My Arisia schedule

185 The Body of the Future Otis Literature Sat 2:30 PM Duration: 01:15
SF gives us a view of various future possibilities for human bodies. Whether through evolution, body modification, or genetic manipulation, the SF future holds a lot of possibilities. How do those possibilities reflect the concerns and biases of our current society?

Meredith Schwartz
Resa Nelson
Shira Lipkin
Vylar Kaftan

510 Making a Video Game 101 Carlton Gaming Sat 5:30 PM Duration: 01:15
Though you’ve played video games, you’ve never really been sure how one gets made. How does a game go from concept to code to finished product? How is it marketed and distributed? Come talk with people who’ve worked in the industry and find out what makes a video game.

Brianna Wu
Carolyn VanEseltine
Vylar Kaftan

137 The New Board Game Classics Executive Board Room Gaming Sat 8:30 PM Duration: 01:15
Some board games are multi-generational classics. Monopoly, Scrabble, and Risk still play as well as ever after over half a century. Fifty years from now, what up-and-coming games will be the new classics?

Adam Lipkin
Christopher K. Davis
Walter Hunt
Vylar Kaftan

139 Cooperative Games Executive Board Room Gaming Sun 11:30 AM Duration: 01:15
Most games are a competition between two (or more) opponents. Recently, though, there has been a rise in cooperative games like Pandemic, where the goal is to beat the game, not each other. Find out about cooperative games and what they may be teaching us.

Christopher K. Davis
Cynthia A Shettle-Meleedy
Vylar Kaftan

963 Autograph – Kaftan & Sakers Commonwealth Foyer – Autograph Space Writing Sun 1:00 PM Duration: 01:15
Autograph session with Vylar Kaftan and Don Sakers.

172 Avoiding Culturefail Paine Literature Sun 5:30 PM Duration: 01:15
How can writers best avoid creating simplistic or hurtful imaginary cultures? How can you portray real world cultures (and fictional cultures derived from them) without resorting to stereotypes? Is doing research enough? Where do you start?
[This panel has run before, very successfully each time. This year, there are new examples to draw from, such as the one depicted in Rose Lemberg’s fabulous post here: http://roselemberg.net/?p=405%5D

Panelists’ Publication Names (Badge Names) Email addresses Comments
Woodrow “asim” Hill
Sabrina Vourvoulias
Daniel José Older
Vylar Kaftan

674 Are Rules Meant to be Broken? Bullfinch Writing Sun 7:00 PM Duration: 01:15
Games have rules; societies have rules; guilds, armies, and magic all have rules. In fiction, sometimes the rules are explicit and sometimes they’re implied. Either way, the rules create audience expectations. Panelists will discuss their approach to creating, using, and sometimes breaking rules in their writing.

Joy Marchand
Ian Randal Strock
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
Suzanne Palmer (Suzanne)
Vylar Kaftan

706 Writing and the Law Bullfinch Writing Sun 8:30 PM Duration: 01:15
What are you legal rights as an author? What are the “gotcha” items to watch out for in a publishing contract? What kind of rights to publish your story should you give the publisher? Are there significant legal differences between publishing via traditional methods versus publishing online?
Additional reference material for discussion http://www.sfwa.org/2012/09/guest-blog-post-writers-be-wary-electronic-distribution-and-control-of-creative-material/

William Frank (Will scifantasy Frank)
James A. Wolf (Dungeonmaster Jim)
Vylar Kaftan
Greg R. Fishbone
Ken Schneyer

930 Reading: Dr. Chris, Kaftan, & Wilk Hale Writing Mon 11:30 AM Duration: 01:15
Authors Dr. Chris, Vylar Kaftan, and Steven R. Wilk will read selections from their works. Dr. Chris will be reading from The New England Horror Filmmakers.

Stephen R Wilk (Stephen R. Wilk)
Dr.Chris (Dr. Chris)
Vylar Kaftan


Submitomancy, a way to track submissions

Helping spread the word about a Kickstarter for a new submission-tracking program. This was started by my friend Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, and I think she’s been doing a great job listening to what people need and want from a site like this. So here’s her announcement.

Submitomancy is my vision of a social site for manuscript and submission tracking for writers and poets. I have written a 60-page specification and consulted with developers and designers to plan the details for a web-based database and reporting system to offer a one-stop shop for tracking.

I’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign asking for support: http://www.indiegogo.com/submitomancy/

This is an ambitious project and it needs two things to work: funds and users.

The largest cost hit is the development which needs to be done up-front. It is important to me that the programmers and artists involved in the creation are paid (although my time will be volunteered for the foreseeable future). My plan is to defray the development costs so that the subscriptions will only need to cover running costs and maintenance. Additional funds can then go into further development.

Crowd-funding also means that Submitomancy can launch with a viable userbase. A service like this needs data in order to be useful. The value of the data is directly connected to the number of users. The Indiegogo campaign is set to refund all pledges if the minimum is not met. That means that if there aren’t enough users to make this project viable, I don’t waste everyone’s time and money.

The core services will be available for free:

* Manuscript Database
* Quick CSV Import
* Basic Search
* Submission Tracking
* Average Response Times per Market
* Newsletters

Members can also subscribe on an annual basis, which will give them access to a long list of extras including:

* Expanded Manuscript Data
* Power Search
* Detailed Market Response Data
* Personalised Notifications
* Profile Page
* Status Updates
* Expanded Reports
* Website Themes

I’m asking for support from the writing community now in order to make this a reality. I have the skills and the experience to make this happen. I have a brilliant team ready and waiting to take this on as a project. If you think you would gain benefit from a website like Submitomancy existing, even if only as a free service, then please support the Indiegogo campaign and tell your friends.


–Sylvia Spruck Wrigley


Interview with M. Svairini

I’m in an anthology called Outlaw Bodies, edited by Lori Selke and Djibril al-Ayad, with a reprint of She Called Me Baby. Outlaw Bodies contains stories about how bodies will change laws and transgress rules in the future. As part of the promotion, each author is interviewing another about their story. So here’s M. Svairini talking about “Mouth,” a story I quite liked; both edgy and erotic, which confronts issues of pre-defined sexual roles enhanced by technology.

VK: Tell me a little about your story “Mouth.” What inspired you to write about a person with the gender of “mouth,” in a world with four genders clearly defined by their sexual roles?

MS: Oral sex is hot! So the character came first — I started writing a character who was totally, 100% about oral sex, and would be going to an orgy where she would be totally satiated. I thought about what would give her even more pleasure, so the idea came of a kind of technology that would divert sensation from all of her erogenous zones to her mouth.

Then I started to imagine a world around her, and the rest of the story arrived. I’ve always been a fan of feminist utopias/dystopias. I wanted a world that didn’t have to deal with male-female gender roles, so I got rid of those but realized it needed a different kind of hierarchy in order to create conflict.

That all sounds very deliberate, but actually I just started writing what I felt was exciting, and the story unfolded. Then the world got more complex and cohesive in the revisions.

VK: What does the phrase “Outlaw Bodies” mean to you? Why is the topic interesting?

MS: Our bodies are subject to all kinds of written and, perhaps even more so, unwritten laws. Everything is more interesting when we start to push up against that policing, to violate and threaten the rules, to encounter the limits within ourselves and seek ways to transcend or bust through them.

VK: What are you working on lately, and what projects do you have coming out soon?

MS: The story of Mouth continues after this piece, so I’m developing it into a novella. I’m part of a couple of other anthologies coming out: the Perverts of Color anthology and Alchemy: The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories 2. I post stories on my blog, The Bottom Runs the Fuck, and I write occasional commentaries on sex issues for India’s top news commentary site, First Post.


The full novella is available!

I hadn’t realized the Feb 2013 Asimov’s is available already! So, you can read the entire novella if you like.

“The Weight of the Sunrise” is an alternate history in which the Incan Empire survives into the 19th century, and they bargain with the Americans for their future.

You can get the Asimov’s issue a few ways:
1) Go to a Barnes & Noble and pick it up. Make sure you get the Feb 2013
issue (with my name on the cover! Cover is black with an orange planet.) Or your local science fiction bookstore of course–if you’re able to do this, it’s a fabulous choice for supporting local business.
2) Get it for Kindle:
Kindle version

Have a great holiday, everyone!


Reading for Hugos and Nebulas

Hey all! I’m reading for the Nebulas and the Hugos.

I invite each writer to send me one short story, novelette, or novella which is eligible for these awards. Make the subject header AWARD STUFF so I can sort my email. Don’t be shy. I’m looking for good material to read so I can nominate the best stuff I see.

If you are reading/nominating for the awards, I’d be delighted if you’d consider Lion Dance. This originally appeared in Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2012, and was podcast at Escape Pod. The full text and audio of the story are at that link. If you prefer a doc format, just email me and I’d be happy to send it that way.



Taboos in Speculative Fiction

I’m up at Apex with a nonfiction essay.

You’re Not Supposed to Write That: Taboos in Speculative Fiction.

I haven’t blogged much lately because I’m busy producing new work. It’s a good thing. 🙂

ETA, at about 3:20 Pacific: Apex Magazine’s site appears to have been compromised. There is a security concern. Probably best not to visit the page until that’s fixed. I’ll remove this when it’s clear. Sorry, folks.

ETA, Dec 6, 1 pm: They tell me they have resolved the problem, so you can try again now.


Reading at Writers With Drinks this Saturday, 7:30 PM

Hey all! I’m excited to say I’ll be reading at Writers With Drinks this Saturday evening, 7:30 PM, at the Makeout Room in San Francisco. This event, hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, is tons of fun. Six writers do short readings, in a bar setting (so you can have wine while you listen to stories!) Readers often do erotica, poetry, and science fiction and fantasy. The event is $5-10 sliding scale (no one turned away).

I hope you’ll come hear me read!