Ad Astra 2015 schedule

I loved Ad Astra so much last year that I signed up to do it again! …With even more panels! And a reading! And a signing session which I don’t remember signing up for, because who is even going to want things signed by me, but maybe I did? EEP.

If you’re in the area, here is the official schedule of Things At Which I Will Be Expected To Say Words:

Saturday, April 11

Genre Crossing: Please Watch for Slow Moving Pathetic Fallacies

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Room: Oakridge

Sometimes you just want to read, write or direct a paranormal romance during the robot uprising on the medieval planet of urban fariy hipsters.

Signing Sessions

Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Rooms: Richmond A, Richmond B

Formatting, Style and Sticking it to the Man

Time: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Room: Oakridge

Where do you draw the line between personal style and compromising? What is a “voice” versus “extraneous undisciplined spasms of words”?

The Big Bang Theory: Revenge of the Nerds or Geeksploitation?

Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Room: Aurora

There has been mixed reaction to TBBT in the SF fandom community. When the show first aired some hailed it as a breakthrough—there “we” were every week on TV! But not long after a backlash began: there “we” were every week on TV, the butt of the joke. Or are we? Are you a geek or nerd who loves TBBT? Are you a geek or nerd who loathes TBBT? Are you laughing with or at Sheldon, Howard, Raj, and Leonard? As TV’s idea of geeks are they portrayed as heroes or just hapless? Let’s discuss opinions of the show—ours and those of some insightful media commentators—and decide where we stand on The Big Bang Theory.

Readings: Ada Hoffmann & Kate Heartfield

Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Room: Unionville

Sunday, April 12

Body and Person in SF: Identity and Diversity

Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Room: Oakridge

North American literature has never been great at portraying diversity. What is new is also weird, what is alternative is considered faddish or rebellious. When it comes to people in SF/F it is extremely difficult to write about identity and diversity in a casual way. Our bodies are political spaces and each word has to be chosen with care – or so we have been taught.

Mental Health and Fandom

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Room: Markham B

Fans don’t talk about it. Literature hardly acknowledges it. TV and Film generally ignore, mock or misrepresent it. Is it really so hard to talk about?


New Canadian Noir launch, March 31

If anybody wants to see me read a scene from “Lady Blue and the Lampreys”, while eating pub food and drinks, and maybe buying a copy – or if you’re interested in seeing David Menear, Michael Mirolla, Kelly Robson, or Michael S. Chong do the same things – you can come to the Toronto launch on March 31, at 7:30 (food and drinks available starting at 6:15) at the Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Avenue, Toronto.

Or you can sit at your computer enviously because you can’t make it to Toronto that day. Or whatever, really. 😛

Autism News, 2015/03/11

Today, the Sad Things come first, because March 1 was the official Day of Mourning for disabled people who are killed by their caregivers. Vigils were held in many cities, mostly in the US but also in a variety of other countries.

  • For those of you not sure what happens at a disability day of mourning vigil, here is a detailed description of one from Vancouver
  • A eulogy by Ari Ne’eman
  • Kerima Cevik on the role social media plays in this violence
  • Zoe Gross on copycat crimes
  • ASAN has an Anti-Filicide Toolkit here
  • Lisa D., who maintains the Autism Memorial LJ, has opened a Memorial Annex as a side project – this lists other disabled crime victims she comes across in her autism-related research.

With recent measles outbreaks in the US and Canada, there has been even more talk about vaccines than usual.

April is coming up, and in many places April is Autism Awareness Month. Here is a post by Kerima Cevik about reclaiming the month from Autism Speaks

Some posts on the benefits (and pitfalls) of diagnostic labels:

Some stuff about stories and media:

  • A.C. Buchanan on why autistic authors should do research when writing their own autistic characters
  • Luna Lindsey in defense of “Benny & Joon

In “what is it like to be autistic” news:


Lady Blue and the Lampreys

Today is the launch day for The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, which features my short story, “Lady Blue and the Lampreys”. I’m excited and intrigued to see what happens with this book – noir is not at all my usual genre. But I happened to have this story lying around which involved a femme fatale, a gender-flipped fairy tale, and a bunch of soul-eating three-headed lamprey people who invade a dingy little small town. It had enough elements of Weird Noir that I looked at it and said, “Hmm, I bet Claude Lalumière and David Nickle would like this,” and then they did. 😀

Merc Rustad gets major thanks for helping me talk out my vague “I want to write a female Bluebeard because reasons” ideas, way back when this was being drafted, and connect them to a workable plot.