Monday, October 26, 2009

Winter -- er, World Fantsy Con -- Is Coming!


So how did you spend your weekend? I spent mine rewriting the first 16,000 words of my novel to make them into a stand-alone story, and then cutting, cutting, cutting, so I can read it within the hour given me at the World Fantasy Convention this coming weekend. And I am still cutting. We'll see if I can manage it in time.

Why am I putting myself through this? Well, when I do a reading, I prefer it be something which is a) unpublished, and b) a complete story. Especially when the con makes me a Guest of Honor, as the WFC has.

Have I mentioned that I'm a Guest of Honor at the World Fantasy Con?

Oh yeah, and I also went to Kyle Cassidy's and Trillian Stars' fabulous wedding celebration. That's the happy couple above. May they live longer and be happier than Marianne and me. But may she and I first live a million years and always be as happy together as we are now.

If you're going to the World Fantasy Convention . . .

. . . where, as I may not have mentioned, I'm a Guest of Honor . . . here's my schedule to date. Things will doubtless be added, and if I have time and can get wi-fi in primitive, distant San Jose, California, I'll add them. But this is what I have now.

If you see me, say Hi. I'll be busy as hell. But I won't have anything better to do.


Autographing at Borderlands Books in San Francisco - a group signing of authors who've come to San Jose for the WFC and are making themselves available for those who'd like an autograph but don't want to buy a convention membership and spend a weekend having a good time to get it. A good deal and a great location: Borderlands Cafe.

Borderlands Books and Borderlands Cafe are at 866 - 870 Valencia Street between 19th and 20th Streets in the Mission District.


5:00 PM Opening Ceremonies - sa short ceremony opening the convention and introducing Guests of Honor Jay Lake, Richard Lupoff, Garth Nix, Lisa Snellings, Donald Sydney-Fryer, Jeff VanderMeer, Ann VanderMeer, Zoran Zivkovic -- and me.


10:00 AM Tachyon Table Signing - in the huckster room.

2:00 PM Reading - "The Pearls of Byzantium," if it's finished by then.

4:00 PM Signing - of Hope-in-the-Mist, presumably in the hucksters room.

8:00 PM Group Autographing- a group signing for all the authors and editors attending the convention. Rather informal. Good time to strike up a conversation with a few of your favorite authors.


10:00 AM Why Steampunk Now? - a Steampunk panel with Charlie Jane Anders, Deborah Biancotti, Liz Gorinsky, Ann VanderMeer and yours truly.

1:00 PM Urban Fantasy as Alternate History- a panel with Jon Courtenay Grimwood, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Paul Park, Bill Willingham and yr humble correspondent. Kind of difficult to explain. They say it'll be good.

2:00 PM What We Read Just for Fun - what is sounds like. With Jay Lake, Richard Lupoff, Garth Nix, Jeff VanderMeer, Zoran Zivkovic and, well, me again.

5:00 PM Multi-Author Reading of The Raven - "Four authors will read Poe's famous poem, each in their own style and idiom Leanna Renee Hieber, Garth Nix, Michael Swanwick, Donald Sydney-Fryer. What is my style and idiom? I guess we'll find out.

Midnight – Weird Tales Party- the party starts earlier, but they're planning something called a "Midnight Invocation,” with various folk reading or reciting very short pieces. I'll be reading “Hush and Hark.”


1:00 PM World Fantasy Awards and Banquet - I'll be there! Along with all the other Guests of Honor (Jay Lake, Richard Lupoff, Garth Nix, Lisa Snellings, Donald Sydney-Fryer, Jeff VanderMeer, Ann VanderMeer, Zoran Zivkovic).

And that's it for officially scheduled stuff. The picture to the right? Trillian Stars and Kyle Cassidy cut their wedding cake! After which, they did not stuff cake into each other's faces. A very elegant couple, Kyle and Trillian are.



Victoria Janssen said...

ZOMG Michael!!! Are you a Guest of Honor at World Fantasy this year?

Michael Swanwick said...

Well, I wasn't going to say anything but . . .

Chad Hull said...

An interesting point about the rewritting of 16,000 words of a novel to make a stand alone story. I was blogging about a how much I dislike novel excerpt in short story collections just this morning, though it doesn't seem that is what you're doing.

I appreciate your reasons for doing the rewrite but do you feel it compromises your creativity, or expression in anyway? Were you happy with the 16,000 words before you began the rewrite?

Any chance this is the Darger and Surplus novel?

I can't wait for the Darger and Surplus novel.

Michael Swanwick said...

Yep, this is the Darger and Surplus novel and, speaking as the guy who has to write the rest of it, I can hardly wait to be done myself.

You ask some tough questions. Actually, I'm very happy with the opening of the novel as it is. I don't think I could managed to rework it like this if I weren't.

Shaving it down like this, an enormous amount of expression is lost -- little twists of wit, a rhapsodic description of what it feels like to learn Russian in five seconds, and much more. If I were doing this for publication, it would be a terrible compromise.

But this is a one-time only reading, so it'll be something special for those who are there. And the experience of hearing a story read is inherently different from reading it. So the thinness that would leap out from the page shouldn't bother those listening.

Anyway, that's the theory. We'll all know in a few days.