Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Southeast Reading Series – TONIGHT

Date: Friday, April 24, 2015
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Edge Workshop Room, Bostock Library

Tonight I’ll be appearing at Duke University with several other area SFF writers for the Southeast reading series. Should be fun! It’s free, so drop by if you like.

The SFWA Southeast Reading Series will present a panel on science fiction and technology with authors Mark Van Name, Mur Lafferty, Richard Dansky, Jay Posey, Justin Achilli, and (via Skype) Tiffany Trent. The panel will be moderated by Hillsborough author and editor M. David Blake.

The panel will be followed by a question and answer session, and a chance to mingle with the authors.

Join me at the Buffet of Authors for the Durham County Library

On May 16, The Durham Library Foundation is doing a “dine out with authors” event where you can, well, dine with authors. The SFF bunch, which includes, among others, me, Monica Byrne, James Maxey, and Clay & Susan Griffith, will be dining at Basan in downtown Durham, NC. (Sushi! I haven’t been there yet!)

If you want to be part of this, you can buy tickets at the Read Local site!

Stretch Goals!

I think I will put on my tombstone: Mur Lafferty: STRETCH GOAL. I love helping out friends on Kickstarter projects, and currently I’m a stretch goal on two!

One is the JR Blackwell photography project, In Their Own Worlds. I’ve mentioned this one before, but I want to mention again cause dammit, I’m a high stretch goal and I really want to do this project! I love JR and her work! It’s funded, but not to the Shambling Guide level yet!

The second is from my good friend Dave Thompson, former co-editor of Podcastle, who is putting together a short story collection called And Welcome Back, Stories. It’s close, but not quite close enough to the $2000 stretch goal of the guest author chapbook (including Matt Fn Wallace and Ann Fn Leckie, winner of ALL the 2014 awards.)

In Their Own Worlds Photography Project

I’ve worked with J.R. Blackwell for years, I’ve hired her for covers, I’ve modeled for her, I’ve purchased her photographs, and have always, always been impressed with the way she sees the world. When she came to me a few months ago with this idea, throwing authors into their own worlds for a photography project, I was 100% on board.

JR Blackwell took this one!

JR Blackwell took this one!


Putting me in Central Park with a whole bunch of monsters is a stretch goal here, and a high one, but there are some other amazing authors in the project, and I’m hoping we can work to unlock some more photo shoots for JR to do. She’s amazingly talented and I am really hoping for this to fund. So check it out!

Podcast Hall of Fame! w00t!

I’ve been sick for a few days with a cold and major migraines, so pardon my delay in, well, everything. I have stuff recorded, and it should go up shortly.

So, news! This July, I’ll be inducted into Podcast Academy’s Hall of Fame! I’ll be going to Fort Worth, TX, for the ceremony, and I’ll be there with my friend Scott Sigler. I can’t wait, it’s a real honor, and I’m excited to see Scott. I’m still a bit stunned.

Interviews: I gave a video interview to Buzzy Mag last November, and that was recently posted.

Game of Thrones night at the Durham Bulls! #sansaball

Wherein I started a bizarre fanfic two years ago that suddenly got attention:

Two baseball seasons ago, I had a silly thought: What would happen if I live-tweeted a Durham Bulls game as if I were the young, innocent Sansa Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones) attending a tournament? So I went on about my hair and the Hound and Joffrey and lemon funnel cakes and calling all of the players “ser” and “the Bulls of House Durham.” My daughter became Arya*. I tagged it #sansaball and ended up enjoying the game a great deal.


After a few games, I made some ground rules for myself. In the books and TV series, Sansa’s story (well, everyone’s story) goes a bit (a lot) dark, and #sansaball would only be fun if I presented as the Sansa who was innocent and had a perfect view of noble knights and perfect royalty. The Sansa who was forced to watch [REDACTED] and then marry [REDACTED], etc, was not someone who would delight in a home run. Speaking of REDACTED, I didn’t want to spoil anyone on the later books, either. (Although I admit it would be fun to try to tweet as Sansa’s evolved character by the end of book five. Her tone would be a bit different. OK, I just spoiled that she’s alive through five books. I FEEL TERRIBLE.)

It turns out that the guy who runs the Twitter account for the Bulls is a Game of Thrones fan and he jumped into #sansaball, talking about how the Greyjoys sponsoring the Norfolk Tides. We decided their mascot was the drowned god, by the way. People who didn’t even like baseball were following the tweets, and I was invited to DetCon in Detroit so I could attend a Detroit Tigers game and tweet as #sansaball (I really wanted to, but schedule didn’t work out.)

The marketing branch of the Durham Bulls are big time geeks, apparently, and last year they had a Star Wars day complete with themed jerseys (auctioned for charity), light sabers for the kids, and Darth Vader doing a force choke on the Bulls’ mascot.

Now we’re at 2015 and opening day is 22 days away. The Bulls recently announced another geek themed day, a Game of Thrones theme, with special jerseys again and more fantasy fun. I’m excited to be mentioned as a part of it, as they pointed out #sansaball in their announcement. But today, Entertainment Weekly did a small piece on it, and covered #sansaball extensively. I’m a bit stunned.

But BASEBALL IS COMING. We have our tickets for Game of Thrones night at the Bulls, complete with #sansaball. So follow on Twitter if you like, it’s a lot of fun!

got-baseball-jersey* Wasn’t sure how to refer to Jim. He’s pretty much better than all the men in ASOIAF – perhaps he’s like Ned Stark but he’s not terminally stupid. And Ned is Sansa’s father, anyway. Ew. Otherwise, Sansa doesn’t have good taste/luck with men. I couldn’t call him the name of the sadistic prince or the whoring, drunkard dwarf** or the burned murderer or the master of lies or the totally gorgeous-but-gay knight or the creepy-ass kid who wants to be an Oedipal complex when he grows up…
** I know Tyrion is a fan favorite. I like him too. But still, some of his most notable qualities that are fun to read about are not something you look for in a spouse.

 

Imaginary Faceless Time Traveling Haters

I’ve been afraid-a lot-in my life and career. It comes and goes, there are peaks and valleys. I’m sitting here now, grumpy and afraid. And I realized that I’m afraid that people will Find Out.

Imposter syndrome is not just you thinking that you’re not good enough to have achieved what you have. It’s not just feeling that your success is a fluke. It’s worrying that those things are true and everyone is going to find out. You’re only able to fool people for so long, and then it will be on the front pages. And by you, I mean me.

MUR LAFFERTY: LYING IMPOSTOR WHO LIES. COMPLETE SHIT WRITER. LIKE, SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS. YOU HAVE ALL BEEN FOOLED. 

And the people who reveal this, the ones who break the story and blow the whistle, they are going to be outraged and furious and come and take away your awards and erase your good reviews and go to the house of everyone who has purchased anything from you and tell them to demand their money back because you’re just not worth it. You’re giving these faceless people power over you, power to cancel your achievements, power to erase the fucking past. 

That’s a whole lot of power. And if someone had that kind of power, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t go back in time to fuck up your (my) career. Come on, we have Hitlers to kill and stocks to short and famous people to hang out with before they become famous and we can say we Knew Them When.

So I want to remove that power from the imaginary faceless time traveling haters. And I’ll do so by the simple matter of confessing, removing the ammunition from their time travel hater gun.

  • I don’t know what I’m doing. I write silly or weird shit. People sometimes like it.
  • Sometimes when good things happen to me, I’m so confused about it-how did THAT happen?-that I don’t immediately have what most people consider the proper response. And if something good happens, but not what I expect/want, it’s even harder to process.
  • I have an ambitious indie project I want to do this year. It is scaring the shit out of me. It scares me because I’m afraid that I will get shell shocked by attention, depressed by lack of attention, or delayed because of other projects, and quit in the middle. (it’s serial fiction, can’t write it all and then release it because of reasons and baseball.)
  • Sometimes when I actually think about the fact that people are actually listening to my podcast, I get panicky and my mind goes blank and I can think of absolutely nothing to say. This causes podcast delays.
  • I have written fanfic about a video game. This makes me feel delicious that I have gotten away with something, and worried I am unoriginal.
  • I secretly feel like the vehicle that is my career is a stuttering, choking, rusty jalopy while every one of my peers is driving a sports car. Logically, I know this is untrue. We all struggle. Emotionally, I’m a pig in the mud and everyone else is a soaring hawk.

I’m sure there are more, but I have things to do. I have a 2015 writing schedule to make up and a freelance project to finish. I have fears to get over and time machines to break.

Home from the snowy wilds of Boston

The blizzard in Boston kept me (and many other people, as I understand it) stuck in Boston far past Boskone’s last hurrah. Thanks to the kindness of Max Gladstone, I didn’t have to add *too much* extra money onto my credit card for the extended stay, but it still put a kink in my work this week, especially stuff I was already behind on, namely recording. I got home Tuesday night, with much stress wearing me out on Wednesday.

So after I play with the kiddo because she didn’t understand that HER having a snow day didn’t mean the *I* got to have one, I will park myself in front of the mic and bring you an interview and show.

I had a great time at Boskone, despite all the people who ran away from the snow on Saturday. It’s becoming one of my favorite cons.

Upcoming Events: Boskone! Wake County Library!

This coming weekend I will be at Boskone, doing a TON of interviews for ISBW and some panels*. I’m really looking forward to it, and hoping not to be snowed in forever.

Boskone Schedule:
Angels, Demons, and Saints
Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Religion has always played a strong role in fantasy, and we’ve seen an influx of fiction that specifically features characters that have been touched by higher powers — especially in today’s urban fantasy. What role do these characters play within the story? How do we see these roles changing or morphing into something new? Why do we keep coming back to these types of characters? And what are some examples of stories that use these characters especially well?

25 More Years of Good Omens*
Saturday 14:00 – 14:50, Harbor I (Westin)
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel Good Omens has had 25 years of success. Now there is talk again that a six-part TV series is in development. What will it take to bring the book to the small screen? Are we missing out on a big-screen experience? And how did the BBC do with the recent radio play? How might the adaptation of the novel deviate, or what areas might it more fully develop? Are there good omens for this project happening in other media?

Authorship, RPGs, and the Legacy of D&D
Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Dungeons & Dragons, the first commercially available role-playing game, was published 40 years ago. D&D ushered in a new era of cooperative storytelling that has inspired Game Masters, players, and authors to dream big and create their own fictional universes. Panelists explore the many facets of RPGs — from developing challenging and believable frameworks for cooperative story construction to taking the story beyond the game.

Fun with Silly Poses
Saturday 21:30 – 22:00, Harbor II+III (Westin)
Expect to emit great giggles at our group reenactments of scenes from SF/fantasy/horror cover art. Warning: high probability of awkward audience participation and pretty pathetic props.

Reading: Mur Lafferty
Sunday 10:30 – 10:55, Independence (Westin)

Kaffeeklatsch: Mur Lafferty
Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Galleria-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

Autographing: Mur Lafferty, Kenneth Schneyer, Alison Sinclair, Charles Stross
Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)


And next month I’ll be part of the Wake County Library “Let’s Talk Sci-Fi” series.

Science Fiction & Fantasy authors discuss classic, iconic authors of the genres, including their body of work and influence. Take part in the discussion, share your thoughts and ask questions of the authors. Registration requested.

Ariel Djanikian and Mur Lafferty discuss Anne McCaffrey
West Regional Library
919-463-8500
Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

John Kessel and Mur Lafferty discuss Ursula K. Le Guin **
Southeast Regional Library
919-662-2250
Saturday, March 28, at 2 p.m.


* Dear 17 year old Mur: You just read this very cool book called Good Omens. It was so amazing you need to read it again. Now sit down; your career will go in a direction where, in 24 years, you will be asked to speak at a science fiction convention about this book you just read, a book that will be incredibly influential to you. DO NOT FREAK.

** Dear 17 year old Mur: Remember what I said about Good Omens? Same thing about Lathe of Heaven. JUST CHILL. And talking about Ursula K. Le Guin with John Kessel? Not intimidating at all.

Con Etiquette: Approaching Authors (Subtitle: I remember no one)

I get asked this a lot, and I’m very glad that this year someone has written a great blog post about interacting with authors, including at cons. So I send you there, to Delilah S Dawson’s post about How To Approach Writers in the Wild.

I wanted to underscore one part she mentioned:

[At a convention] Start off the conversation by telling them your Twitter name and mentioning a conversation you had; our memories are full of lies and plots, but we want to know we know you.

This. God, this. It is horrible to say, but attending lots of cons and being generally forgetful causes me to need a memory jolt when I see someone. If they just say hi or want to shake my hand or hug me, and I can’t see their name tag (or if I know them by their online name or Twitter handle and not their full name) I feel horribly awkward and spend all my time talking to them going through the “oh shit where do I know you from???” panic in my head while I’m smiling and nodding.

And I promise- it’s NOT YOU. In my life I have done the very classy moves of:

  1. …not recognizing my neighbor at the coffee house.
  2. …greeted an old boss at a pool hall because I remembered I knew her, but not from where, and also, oops, forgot we parted on bad terms.
  3. …didn’t recognize a guy I went to Russia (then USSR) with – we were  a small group of 17 year olds traveling for three weeks. Saw him at a party a year later and didn’t recognize him at all.

I am NOT GOOD at this.

If you approach this scatterbrained author at a con, and I look confused, please be kind and introduce yourself and remember- scatterbrained author, not you.