Monthly Archive for July, 2013

embarrassingly late review of the original nexus 7

I’ve been promising to write up my thoughts on the original Google Nexus 7 tablet since it was released last July, but it always took a backseat to blogging about other things. With the Nexus 7 Mark II coming out this week, this post is as outdated as it could be, but I like to finish what I start (this post has been in draft form for at least six months). And if you’re considering getting the new Nexus 7, some of this may still be relevant.

The Nexus… From Star Trek VII

So when the original Nexus 7 was announced, I had been considering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 as a birthday present to myself, primarily for use as a non-proprietary eReader. The prices and specifications were roughly equal for a picky but not-obsessive media consumer like me, but the Nexus 7 had a few other things going for it:

  • It was a Google device running the latest version of Google’s Android OS, with the promise of superior support and not needing to wait long for future updates.
  • The Nexus 7 was designed in partnership with Asus, which had produced my very first netbook (and perhaps the first true netbook), the Asus 7, which I was very happy with. I think I wrote a couple of novels on little Zim. (What? Don’t you name your devices?)
  • The Nexus 7 uses a standard micro-USB port for charging and connecting to a computer vs. a proprietary port for the Samsung.
  • The Nexus 7 had a slightly higher screen resolution, which was important since I intended to read on it.

Continue reading ’embarrassingly late review of the original nexus 7′

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fantastic kickstarter

E.C. Myers reads from his first novel, Fair Coin at Fantastic Fiction at KGB, June 20, 2012

E.C. Myers reads from Fair Coin at Fantastic Fiction at KGB, June 20, 2012

Today is the third Wednesday of the month, and if I were still living in New York, I would be excited about going to see authors Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud read tonight in a red room on the second floor of a building at 85 E. 4th Street. This is the KGB Bar, where for more than a decade, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and young adult writers, readers, editors, and agents have gathered for the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Reading series.

I’ve been going to KGB Readings for many years, and last year I was honored to be invited to read from my first novel, Fair Coin — on my 34th birthday, no less! Basically, this reading series is an important part of the SFF scene in NYC, and it’s very important to me, personally; I have met many people there who have become good friends, and it’s a place where we can get together to celebrate the fiction and genres we love, or just drink beer. Now that I’m in Philadelphia, where there are not very many literary readings at all (or, in fact, books), I value that kind of connection even more. New Yorkers, you are lucky to have this every month!

The Fantastic Fiction readings are completely free, but current co-hosts Ellen Datlow and Matt Kressel buy their guest authors drinks and dinner, and that does cost money. They have prevailed upon the kindness of the community before, with tremendous success, but the coffers at last have run empty and it’s time to pass the hat around again. Happily, their ongoing Kickstarter campaign was funded in record time (demonstrating the value that so many place on it), and they now have support for the next four years, but I would like to see it continue for as long as possible. Every $1500 above their $3000 goal buys another year of readings and means they won’t have to ask for donations again for a good long time.

There are still lots of wonderful rewards for giving at different levels, including a critique from my writing group, Altered Fluid, which I was first introduced to at a KGB reading. (Of course a group with that name would hang out in a bar!)

Not only have I offered up a copy of Fair Coin as a reward (the first one claimed!), but I edited the Kickstarter video below, and I’ve even donated a little money myself. That’s how you know how much I support what this series does, and/or how much of a sucker I am.

There are only 9 days left to donate. Won’t you consider chipping in whatever you can spare?

Oh, also, next month YA authors Libba Bray and Nova Ren Suma will be reading there on August 21, and I will definitely try to make it for that one!

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heading to princeton

Part of Quantum Coin is set in Princeton, N.J., so I’m looking forward to bringing the book there this Friday for an event called Buzz Pop: Connecting Teens with Books, Pop Culture, and Young Adult Authors.

liblogo2This program series at the West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library System is described as an informal discussion with teens and YA authors about books, music, movies, and TV shows — with snacks! I approve of all of these.

I’ll be joined by several other authors: Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist), Alissa Grosso (Shallow PondFerocity SummerPopular), and Evan Roskos (Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets). Books will be for sale! We will happily sign our names on things! Fun will be had!

I hope many teens in the area will be there. The event is free, but you should register here now to make sure there are enough snacks.

West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library
333 North Post Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

Friday, July 19, 2013
3–4:30 p.m.

Many thanks to YA librarian Carolyn Aversano and the Friends of the West Windsor Library for inviting us! And thanks to K.M. Walton for connecting us. I’m looking forward to it!

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busiest readercon ever!

Readercon is one of my favorite SFF conventions, so I’m excited to be participating in programming this year. My schedule is busy for my first time as a guest, and I’m especially looking forward to the many interesting YA panels on the program.

If you’re attending Readercon in Burlington, MA this month, I’ll be there from Thursday, July 11 – Sunday, July 14. My schedule is below: You can find me on panels, get books signed during my autographing session (or indeed, if you see me anywhere else and I’m not in a hurry or otherwise occupied), meet me for coffee (or kaffee?), or come to one of my readings.

The program guide says I’m reading from my current YA novel in progress (a standalone book unrelated to Fair Coin and Quantum Coin), but I may read from a new YA short story instead (or do one at my solo reading and the other at my group reading with Altered Fluid). We’ll see. I also assume my books will be on sale somewhere in the dealer room, but if not, I may have a very small supply with me.

I hope to see you there!

Friday, July 12

8:00 PM    RI    Life After Clarion. Ron Drummond, Scott Edelman, E.C. Myers, Resa Nelson (leader), Ken Schneyer.
The Clarion SF Workshop is one of the best in the world for budding science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. Many of today’s award-winning authors are Clarion graduates. For six weeks, Clarion students have the luxury of learning from top-notch authors and editors while living the life of a full-time writer. But once Clarion ends, what do you do next? How do you take what you learn at Clarion and apply it to your writing life and your real life? And how do you adjust from having the support of other writers to possibly having very little or none at all? Professional writers who graduated from Clarion in the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s share their life-after-Clarion experiences. Proposed by Resa Nelson.

Saturday, July 13

9:00 AM    CL    Kaffeeklatsch. E.C. Myers, Rick Wilber. (Sign up in advance for kaffeeklatsches at the Information Desk, beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday.)

10:00 AM    F    To YA or Not to YA. Jordan Hamessley, E.C. Myers, Phoebe North, Charles Oberndorf, Veronica Schanoes (leader), Shveta Thakrar.
There are plenty of adult books with teen heroes, like Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. Some books that were not aimed at teens when they came out are mostly read by them today, like Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Some books are marketed as YA in one country and adult in another. So what makes a book “a YA book”? Do we just know it when we see it, or is there a way to pin this down beyond listening to marketing campaigns?

2:00 PM    NH    Altered Fluid Group Reading. Paul Berger, Rajan Khanna, Sam J. Miller, E.C. Myers, Devin Poore, Mercurio D. Rivera.
Members of the Manhattan-based Altered Fluid writers group will read excerpts from their forthcoming works.
3:00 PM    VT    Reading: E.C. Myers. E.C. Myers.
E.C. Myers reads an excerpt from a YA novel in progress.
10:30 PM    F/G    Meet the Pro(se) Party

Sunday, July 14

11:00 AM    E    Autographs. Andrea Hairston, E.C. Myers.
12:00 PM    G    Writing for Younger Readers. Lisa Janice (LJ) Cohen, Jordan Hamessley, Alaya Dawn Johnson, E.C. Myers (leader), Phoebe North, Shveta Thakrar.
How do middle grade (MG) and young adult (YA) authors and editors write for children and teen readers? How do they make science fiction more accessible for kids, build complex fantasy worlds, and develop authentic characters with diverse backgrounds? This panel is ideal for anyone writing MG or YA or interested in finding books with plots as rich and complex as any novel targeted to adult readers. Proposed by E.C. Myers.

You can view and download the full conference schedule here.

I would also like to thank Rose Fox, Readercon 24 Program Chair, and their committee for putting this program together. It is no small task coordinating everyone’s requests and a schedule with so many moving targets, while crafting a program that will appeal to the interests of such a diverse group of attendees. And I appreciate that YA, in particular, has received some more attention this year.

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