Friday, May 26, 2023

I'll be at StokerCon 2023 next month in Pittsburgh, PA

Looking forward to Horror Writers Association’s STOKERCON 2023 next month in Pittsburgh, PA (June 15–18)! I’m coming in a day early on Wednesday and beginning the laborious process of picking how best to fill my days from of an immense availability of programming being offered, including workshops, panels, readings, the Film Festival, concurrent day-cons for Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference and for Librarian’s Day, and so much more!

My committed schedule so far includes:

Terror from the Vault: Exploring the Horror Studies Collection
University of Pittsburgh Library System Archives & Special Collections Reading Room, 320 Hillman Library, 3rd Floor with Ben Rubin
Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 4:00pm - 6:00pm EST

HWA Mentorship Panel
Friday, June 16, 10:00am - 10:50am EDT
JG Faherty • Linda D. Addison • Patrick Barb • Eric J. Guignard • Rena Mason • Sarah Read • Tim Waggoner

Mass Author Signing
Friday, June 16, 5:00pm - 6:00pm EDT
Admiral Room, Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square

HWA Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast
Saturday, June 17, 8:00am - 12:00pm EDT
Hall of Fame Room, Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square

Different Paths into Darkness
Saturday, June 17, 1:00pm - 1:50pm EDT
Eric J. Guignard • Jaye Wells • Darcy Coates • Benjamin Farthing • Jessica Luke García • Zoje Stage

"I well remembered the words of my father": Fathers and Fatherhood In Horror
Saturday, June 17, 4:00pm - 4:50pm EDT
Bridget Keown • Eric J. Guignard • John Edward Lawson • Mark Matthews • Scott Johnson • Wrath James White

the BRAM STOKER AWARDS’ Cocktails and Awards Presentation
Saturday, June 17, 6:00pm - 9:45pm EDT


And the remainder of my time, sitting in on panels, attending readings, room parties, and overall hobnobbing.

Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

NICK by Michael Farris Smith

For those who cherish the beauty and gravity of written prose, you need to check out immediately NICK by Michael Farris Smith (2021), the prequel to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY.

I’m about 1/3 through it, and this book is mesmerizing, a complex harmony between self-searching, of desire and regret, and shadows of what once were or could have been.

Besides the Gatsby correlation, it strikes me further as a cross between Nelson Algren’s A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE and William Faulkner’s AS I LAY DYING, and it’s one of my best reading experiences so far of the year.

See herein, an extracted passage from young Nick Carraway as he lies alone in the World War I-ravaged trenches of Europe:

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Returning from SFWA’s 58th Nebula Awards Convention in Anaheim, CA

Got back late Sunday night from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA)’s 58th Nebula Awards. I’ve been a SFWA member since 2014, but this was my first time attending the Nebulas Convention. It travels to a different venue each year, but since it was in the neighboring city of Anaheim this time around, I had to check it out and be part of the event, and I’m so happy I did—It was a great first experience!

The attendance was a little smaller than I’d expected (only about 200 people in-person, although there were more attendees virtually) and held at the Sheraton Park near to Disneyland.

I only knew a few people going in—
Kate Maruyama and Peter Blaisdell who I both see often, and KC Grifant and Arley Sorg, whom I’d met once each before, but have also corresponded with (and good to see again famed Scott Edelman!).

Myself with 
Mark Coker and KC Grifant

Myself with Kate Maruyama, Krista, and Jennifer R. Povey

(Photo by Kate Maruyama)

Myself with Kate MaruyamaFrancesca MymanKrista, and Jennifer R. Povey

(Photo by Kate Maruyama)

Myself with Kate MaruyamaKrista, and KC Grifant

(Photo by Kate Maruyama)

Best of all was meeting friends for the first time whom I’ve only ever communicated with online: Frances Lu-Pai Ippolito, Ai Jiang, and Anna Ziegelhof.

I was sorry to have missed meeting S. Qiouyi Lu who came by one night, and I only learned later that Laura Anne Gilman was in attendance, whom I would have loved to have met.

But I was also very pleased to meet many other attending writers, some of whom I only shared a few words of introduction, while others I chatted with for a long time:


While at the convention, I spoke on two panels:

For The Love of Short Fiction 2022

by: Arley Sorg, Eric J. Guignard, Peter Behravesh, Jane Pinckard, and LP Kindred


(Photo by Phong Quan @pqwrites)

Seeking a Writer for the End of the World

by: K. R. Monin, Eric J. Guignard, R.W.W. Greene, and John Murphy


And I attended a number of other panels, but only took pics of two:

How to Reach an Audience with a Niche Genre

by: Jasmine Gower, Zabé Ellor, Sarah Branson, and M. S. Ewing


Branding and Marketing: Finding That Return on Investment

by: L.S. Johnson, Jonathan Brazee, and Cerece Rennie Murphy



Nice, memorable awards show, hosted by designer and actress Cheryl Platz.

Congratulations to the Winners and Finalists, listed here:

(Photo by SFWA)

Anyway, now marked on my to-do list is to attend the Nebulas again in the future!

Carry on, Airship Nebula!