Trip Report II: Dublin 2019, An Irish WorldCon

I tend to really resist writing convention reports because if I try to name-check everyone I met, I will inevitably forget someone and then they might swear enmity against me for life and that would make me sad. So I’m just going to say up front that I’m not going to try to name everyone I met.

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Trip Report, Part 1: Cork & Killarney

 

I was up for a Hugo Award this year, which provided us with a stupendous excuse to take a family vacation in Ireland and Iceland. (Icelandair is both a budget airline and clearly an arm of the Icelandic Bureau of Tourism since they let you arrange a multi-day stopover in Iceland at no extra cost, and inundate you with on-board advertisements designed to sell you on the idea. HORSES! NORTHERN LIGHTS! SCENERY!)

We went over about a week before the convention started. Ed and I visited Ireland 20 years ago — before we had kids — and Dublin was our least favorite bit, so we wanted to get out of it as quickly as possible. We took a train to Cork, where we discovered that the guest house I’d booked thinking it was walking distance from the train station was not around the corner from the train station but straight up a cliff. (There were stairs! I do not recommend hauling a bunch of suitcases up four flights of stairs, in the rain, while massively jet-lagged and operating on almost no sleep. Just, I mean, if you were considering it.)

The rest of the trip went quite a bit better.

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WorldCon 2019 Schedule

Next month I will be at Dublin 2019: an Irish WorldCon. If we know each other (either in person or online) and you’ll be in Dublin and you’d like to try to meet up, please let me know!

Here’s my official schedule:

Reading: Naomi Kritzer
16 Aug 2019, Friday 20:00 – 20:20, Liffey Room-3 (Readings) (CCD)

Kaffeeklatsch: Naomi Kritzer
Format: Kaffeeklatsch
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 12:00 – 12:50, Level 3 Foyer (KK/LB) (CCD)

The author as a fellow traveler on the hero’s journey

Format: Panel
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 10:30 – 11:20, Odeon 4 (Point Square Dublin)

Many authors, unsurprisingly, form a strong emotional bond with their characters, experiencing the joys and frustrations of the story along with them. How does this affect the writing process itself? What about the impact on the writer’s critical engagement with their own work? How much does an author’s engagement depend on their personality, their approach, or the type of story being written?

Dr Kristina Perez (M), Michael Swanwick, Karen Simpson Nikakis, Naomi Kritzer, Daryl Gregory

 

Gods, religion and atheism in the genre
Format: Panel
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Wicklow Hall 2B (CCD)

Gods and religion are often an integral element of SFF worlds; they offer ways to build conflict and to explore alternative philosophical concepts. How have authors tackled the creation and inclusion of religion in their worldbuilding? Is it possible for atheism to exist in worlds where gods literally walk among the people?

Derwin Mak, Dominic Riemenschneider MA, Ehud Maimon, Naomi Kritzer (M), Meg MacDonald

 

I went to a science fiction convention in Beijing

So remember when I went to China back in December? In April, I got invited to China again, this time to be a Guest of Honor at APSFCon (Another Planet Science Fiction Convention) in Beijing. This was the second APSFCon; there have been almost no SF conventions in China, although there’s an awards event held in Chengdu. The convention culture is incredibly different. I’m going to do a separate post about the awesome tourist stuff we did in China (I brought Ed along) and this post is just going to be about the SF convention.

I’ll note that unlike some of my friends, I have never been to a science fiction convention outside of the US. (I have barely been to any outside the midwest.) But I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what a science fiction convention looks like: you’re in a hotel (or occasionally a convention center), there are panels where people talk and an audience asks questions or offers “more of a comment than a question,” there are a few solo presentations. Fans meet up and hang out. There’s a consuite where you can get food and hang out. There’s a dealer’s room and an art show. All official events happen inside. Depending on the convention, there might or might not be costumes and gaming. Usually there are parties in the evening, frequently run out of hotel rooms but open to all members of the convention. If you’re looking for a writer, check the bar first. (Even if they’re not a drinker, they’re probably in the bar because they went there to find all their friends, who were in the bar. Hardly anyone is actually drinking very much unless there’s an editor there who’s buying.)

APSFCon ran over Saturday and Sunday of last week. Guests from outside of China included me, Allen Steele, Lawrence Schoen, Crystal Huff, Sean Stewart, and Michael Swanwick from the US; Derek Künsken and Kelly Robson from Canada; Samantha Murray from Australia; Kim Bo-young and Kim Juyoung from South Korea; David Sheldon-Hicks from the UK; and Taiyo Fujii from Japan. Most of these people are writers but Sean Stewart is more a VR developer and David Sheldon-Hicks is a visual effects designer for movies.

Invited guests from the China included Liu Cixin (author of The Three-Body Problem), Han Song (who’s similarly famous in China to Liu Cixin, but much less well known in the US because his work hasn’t been translated), one of the stars and one of the directors of The Wandering Earth (Chinese blockbuster SF movie, viewable on Netflix), and most of the writers I met at the Danzhai workshop.

The convention was held at a museum. One of the features of the museum was a detailed model of Beijing (this was only part of it):

Me, standing in front of a lighted model of a city.

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My CONvergence Schedule!

So hey, I AM A GUEST OF HONOR AT CONVERGENCE THIS YEAR! I am really excited. Here’s my schedule:


Thursday, July 6

3:30pm – DoubleTree Atrium 7

AI in Science Fiction: From Evil Overlords to Companions 

There is a diversity of AI in writing and film, from benevolent to malevolent. How does an AI become good or evil? Are they just programmed that way? Panelists: Naomi Kritzer, Jamie Riedesel (mod), Eric Zawadzki, Lyda Morehouse, Lathan Murrell
7:00 pm
Opening Ceremony

Friday, July 7
2:00 pm – DoubleTree Atrium 7
Foresight is 2020: from Speculation to Reality
Of all the inventions, ideas, behaviors, and discoveries imagined in science fiction and satire, which have come to pass? Which stories and authors had the clearest foresight? Who comically missed the mark? What do today’s speculative tales foresee next? Panelists: Anthony Eichenlaub (mod), Renate Fiora, Naomi Kritzer
3:30 p.m. – Sheraton Ames (note — pretty sure that is in the hotel next door, the one that used to be the Sofitel)
Reading
I will probably be reading from my new novel, although maybe I’ll do that + a short story. I could do the time travel story that was published in Uncanny this month, maybe.
5:00 p.m. – DoubleTree Plaza 1
Writing Near-Future Sci-Fi
If you’re world-building 600 years in the future, you have a lot of latitude in what sort of a world you’re making. But what if you’re setting a story or RP 50 years or 20 years in the future? What will tech and culture look like? Panelists: Lana Rosario, Tyler Tork (mod), Naomi Kritzer, Will Shetterly
8:30 pm – DoubleTree Plaza 3

Enterprising Individuals Live!: The Wrath of CON! 
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but nostalgia is best consumed immediately! Join us as a panel of Star Trek authors and fans discuss Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for a live taping of the Enterprising Individuals podcast! Panelists: William Leisner, Patrick Tomlinson, Christopher Jones, Aaron Coker, Naomi Kritzer

Saturday, July 8
12:30 pm – DoubleTree Autograph Table B
Signing
I should have copies of my new collection available to purchase so you can get your signed copy on the spot! (They should also be available to purchase at the desk where you buy your con swag like t-shirts.)
Obviously I’m also happy to sign anything else, as well, but the collection will be NEW which is super exciting.
2:00 pm – DoubleTree Atrium 4
Lois McMaster Bujold Fan Panel
Discuss Bujold’s writing, your favorite characters and story lines. Panelists: Naomi Kritzer, Kristina Halseth, Sean Berry, Marguerite Krause (mod)
5:00 pm – DoubleTree Atrium 6
(Fake?) Science in the News
How do you know when to trust a news report about the lastest fantastic discovery? What should you consider before clicking? Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, Anthony Eichenlaub (mod), Dan Berliner, Vernon McIntosh, Naomi Kritzer
8:30 pm – DoubleTree Plaza 1
Truth That’s Weirder Than Fiction
Are we living in an SF novel right now? What real-world weirdness inspires our fiction and what real-world stories are far too implausible to ever fly in a fictional work? Panelists: Naomi Kritzer (mod), Emilie Peck, Jen Dixon

Sunday, July 9

11:00 am –  DoubleTree Plaza 3
From Fan Fiction to Professional Writing
Brichibi and Snow Cosplays met through fanfiction and roleplaying, which later spiraled into a writing career. This panel will go into how they managed to do that, and how fanfiction writing became one of the best ways to practice their craft. Panelists: Briana Lawrence, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Kritzer, William Leisner, Jessica Walsh
3:30 p.m. – DoubleTree Bloomington
I Love Everyone In This Bar: The Good Parts of Being a Fan
It’s important to discuss the problems and issues within geek culture, but it’s also important to celebrate the massive amounts of awesome. What’s your favorite thing about being a fan? What do you love about conventions? When do you squee the hardest? Panelists: Elise Matthesen, Maggie Schultz (mod), Norman Cates, Naomi Kritzer, Grace Ulak
5:00 pm 
Closing Ceremony

If you can’t catch me at my signing but want me to sign something, please feel free to catch me at the end of a panel or basically anytime I don’t look like I’m in a hurry to get somewhere.
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Naomi Kritzer’s Fiction, 2015

Wondering if you missed any of my stories that came out in 2015? Here is a handy list with links!

Short Stories

Cat Pictures Please, Clarkesworld, January 2015.

Wind, Apex, April 2015.

“The Silicon Curtain: A Seastead Story,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2015. You can buy the back issue online.

“Cleanout,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2015. You can buy the current issue online.

Novelettes

“Jubilee: A Seastead Story,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 2015. You can buy the back issue online.

So Much Cooking, Clarkesworld, November 2015.

Reprints

The Good Son, Lightspeed, March 2015. (Originally appeared in Jim Baen’s Universe, 2009.)

“Artifice,” ESLI (“If”), translated into Russian. I have no idea how you’d get your hands on this, if you really wanted to read me in Russian. The magazine’s website is here. (Originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2014.)

MarsCon schedule

Marscon is this weekend. If you live in the Twin Cities and find Convergence fun but have never been to Marscon, you should check it out. If you live in the Twin Cities and quit coming to Convergence because it’s too crowded, you should come to Marscon because it’s like a much smaller version of Convergence.

Here’s my schedule, if you want to find me:

Friday 04:00 pm
How Come Nobody’s Heard Of Me, Dammit!!
Room 419 (Krushenko’s)
Let’s figure out all the things we did wrong!
With: Lyda Morehouse, Naomi Kritzer, mod.; Bruce Bethke, Rachel Gold, Michael Merriam

Friday 09:00 pm
Costuming on a Budget
I Blue Heron (Masquerade Lounge)
Costuming has the potential of becoming an expensive hobby (or even career), but it doesn’t have break your budget. We will discuss where to get inexpensive (or free!) materials, DIY, and tips and tricks for taking advantage of the network, barter and trade strategy. Plus we’ll showcase our own thrifty costume creations.
With: Dorianne McCreary, Naomi Kritzer

Saturday 04:00 pm
Lyda Morehouse Interview
Room 419 (Krushenko’s)
Learn about the mind and works of our Author Guest of Honor.
With: Lyda Morehouse, Naomi Kritzer, Interviewer

Saturday 08:00 pm
The Wyrdsmiths: Twenty Years
III Eagle’s Nest (Re(a)d Mars)
GoH Lyda Morehouse is in a writers’ group that was founded in 1994. How does a critique group sustain itself for two decades?
With: Lyda Morehouse, Naomi Kritzer, mod.; Eleanor Arnason; other members if they show up. (Probably depends on how their weekend is going.)

Sunday 03:00 pm
Convoluted Quests: The Modern Writing Career
III Eagle’s Nest (Re(a)d Mars)
Book contracts, self-publishing, short fiction, editing… writing careers these days are often made up of a patchwork of options. Join GoH Lyda Morehouse and other professional writers to talk about how they’ve dealt with current publishing realities.
With: Lyda Morehouse, Naomi Kritzer, mod.; Bruce Bethke, Roy C. Booth, Michael Merriam, Kathryn Sullivan