Archive for the 'Reading' Category

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the hunt for read october

I've "borrowed" a TARDIS for October so I can make it to all these events. It's the only way to travel.

I’ve “borrowed” a TARDIS for October so I can make it to all these events. It’s the only way to travel! Don’t worry, I’ll bring it back before anyone even notices it’s gone…

I’ve just updated my events page with some of my upcoming signings, conventions, and other appearances. Next month marks the one-year anniversary of Quantum Coin being published(!), and it looks like I may be even busier this October than I was for the book launch! I also expect to be busy working on various new writing projects while all that’s going on, plus there’s always the day job, so I’m thinking I’ll probably need to go into hibernation after this for the rest of the winter.

My next appearance is this Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Woodbury Fall Arts Festival in Woodbury, N.J. I’ll be reading excerpts from my books and/or from my recent YA fantasy short story, “The Grimoire Girls”, in two 15-minute blocks, as well as selling and signing books nearby. So stop by for my readings at 11:45 a.m. (at the Broad Street Stage) and 1:15 p.m. (at the Railroad Avenue Stage), and catch other authors this weekend, including YA authors Jennifer Walkup, Kristine Bowe, and Phoebe North and middle grade author Rita Williams-Garcia.

Do check my schedule for details on all my other appearances; I’ll be all over the place, including the PA, NY, and DC areas. Here’s a short list:

Be seeing you!

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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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andre norton award nom!

Am I the only one who likes the shortened form of “nomination” because it reminds me of food? Nom nom nom.

Anyway.

I’ve been sitting on this news for a while, but now that it’s public and I can talk about it, it’s finally sinking in, and I’m even more excited: Fair Coin was nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy!

Deep breaths.

nebulaawardlogoJust like the Nebula Awards, the Norton Award is voted on by members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It is more than an honor to have my first novel recognized by writers — it’s freaking awesome is what it is. I have wanted to be a member of SFWA since I started writing, and Fair Coin is the fiction sale that finally made me eligible. And ever since I found out that there was an award for middle grade and young adult SFF (which by the way, is a great thing and very progressive, are you paying attention, Hugo Award committee?), I’ve wondered what it might be like to be nominated for it. Now I know! Freaking awesome.

I’ll admit though, I didn’t really think it would happen this year. As you know, Bob, I was on the committee that added three titles to this somewhat longish shortlist of nominees, and of course, mine couldn’t be one of them. And so many wonderful books for children and teens were published in 2012, which is good for everyone who loves fiction… even the author hoping someone will notice his little novel. After all, I’m not just a writer, I’m a reader, and I’m thrilled that so many of my favorite books made it onto the ballot this year:

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy

Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)
Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day, David Levithan (Alice A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)

If you’ve read even a few of those novels already, you’ll know how amazing it is for me to see Fair Coin listed anywhere near them. If you haven’t read some of these yet, don’t just take my word that they’re great—a lot of other writers think so too. I love reading and writing YA so much, and this ballot is a solid representation of the best that the genre can offer both kids and adults. *blushes*

I’m bouncing around a bit about all the other nominees for the Nebula Awards, many of whom are personal friends and/or writers I admire and also just swell people. (Don’t worry, I’m not gonna name-drop.) Congratulations to everyone, especially my fellow Norton nominees. I, for one, am going to go practice my knot-tying skills and archery to prepare for the arena. There are twelve of us, after all.

Meanwhile, even though I’ve read all the novels on the Norton ballot already (did I mention how great they are?), I still have a lot of reading to catch up on.

In other news…

I just joined the League of Extraordinary Writers! Here’s today’s introductory post in which I have annotated my author bio.

And speaking of reading and things being freaking awesome, if you have the March issue of F&SF, check out the book review section. I’ll blog more about that news later…

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alternate wednesday: “Impossible Dreams”

AltWed_Logo

Somebody described the experience of reading great fiction as being caught up in a vivid continuous dream, and I think movies do that better than any other kind of story. Some people say the best movie isn’t as good as the best book, and I say they’re not watching the right movies, or else they’re not watching them the right way.

One of my favorite alternate universe stories–indeed, one of my favorite short stories in general–is “Impossible Dreams” by Tim Pratt. I first read it in the July 2006 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction, and it instantly felt like one of those things that was made just for me. You know, like that Thundercats/Superman crossover comic, only way way better.

impossibledreamsWithout spoiling more than I have to (considering I’m featuring it in this blog series), the story is about a cinephile named Pete who happens across a video store from another reality… Which means it offers films from another reality. Think about that for a moment, and then think about all the movies that might have been if the whims of Hollywood had turned out a little differently. “Impossible Dreams” is a love letter to film geeks, calling out some of my own favorite movies and tantalizing me with versions of them I wish I could experience.

I love films–if I could, I’d watch at least one movie a day–and this story hits two other big loves of mine: The Twilight Zone (no surprise) and parallel universes. More than that, it accurately conveys some of the joys of watching films, and the particular pleasure in sharing them with others. I can’t recommend “Impossible Dreams” highly enough, and I hope you’ll take a moment to read it. (Don’t take just my word for it; it won the 2007 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.)

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Conveniently enough, you can find it online for free at Wired, have someone else read it to you over at Escape Pod, or purchase it as a $0.99 eBook for Kindle or Nook. But I also think that if you enjoy stories about alternate universes, you have to pick up Other Worlds Than These, a reprint anthology edited by John Joseph Adams which features this and many other wonderful stories that I plan to mention in the future on this blog.

Finally, it seems only fitting that a short story about loving movies should be turned into a film of its own. As it happens, Israeli director Shir Comay has done just that with his 2011 short film, Impossible Dreams, starring Ori Yaniv and Ayala Zilberman. It took me a while to get around to watching it, but I saw it yesterday and it’s a terrific adaptation. I think it works especially well in its 22-minute run time, as it feels like a modern Twilight Zone episode–and even seems specifically designed to evoke that. Check out the full film below in Hebrew with English subtitles. (Here’s the trailer.)



What nonexistent films would you most like to see?

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next time, try the train

Apologies to everyone who came out for the group reading at Jefferson Market Library last night hoping to see me read from Quantum Coin. Due to circumstances entirely out of my control, I missed it by that much.

I was on the Greyhound bus from Philadelphia which normally takes two hours—two-and-a-half tops—to reach New York City on a weekday afternoon. However, a fatal truck crash set the NJ Turnpike and an overpass on fire, requiring significant diversions. So I got on the bus at 1 p.m. and arrived at Port Authority Bus Terminal at 7:15 p.m., like some horrible kind of time warp that I hopefully will not do again. The reading began at 6 p.m. As inconvenienced as I was, I’m still alive (though half-asleep), so I feel I can’t really complain about it all too much. My condolences to the family of the deceased truck driver.

Despite valiant efforts to draw out the reading and Q&A, I arrived just after it had finally ended. But I can tell you this: It was wonderful to see a room full of my friends waiting for me! They said I should read anyway, but I figured the library would have preferred if we were all gone. And I was hungry. At least I had time for dinner and made some new friends before I had to get on public transit again—a train at 10:05 p.m., which thankfully brought me back home right on schedule.

It was also nice to have people on Twitter to keep me company and root for me during my not-quite-epic journey. I am not the whiny sort, but I was really bummed to miss the reading. Still, there will be other readings, and hopefully other books. But next time, if I’m at all in a hurry, I’m taking the train.

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