Tuesday, May 4, 2010

News and Interesting Bits

This weekend I attended Penguicon, which is an interesting convention held in the Detroit area of MI.  It started with a group of Linux users who made an open source convention.  Since Linux users (at least the ones who started this con) tend to also like Science Fiction and Fantasy and Anime, and a whole host of other things, people started volunteering to run panels on those topics.  Following the open source model, the con has grown into something rather hard to explain, but typified by the fact that the con mascot is a penguin wearing a Star Fleet uniform.

There’s a large Literary/Writer’s track at Penguicon, which is the reason it first popped up on my radar as something I’d like to go to.  Saturday I spent a good eight hours in panels, and learned some things that I can apply to my writing ambitions.  So expect to see a much more regular schedule for this blog (I haven’t decided exactly what schedule, just that I need one), and some more streamlined content.  I will also be double posting in both Blogger and in Live Journal.  They have the same title and username, so they’ll be easy to find.

On another note:

Cathrynne M. Valente is publishing an initially crowfunded collection of short stories on Lulu from her Omikuji Project.  This collection was before available only in installments to subscribers.  While I’m not a great fan of short fiction, I find some of the things Valente is doing to make money as a writer interesting.  She does, in fact, have traditionally published work that has been critically successful and has contracts for more such work.  However, unless you are a bestselling author, it’s very hard to make a living as an author in the traditional industry.  So, Valente has branched out into crowfunded projects and done some experimenting.  Recently, her YA novel, available online in its entirety for free, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland for short), has received a Nebula/Andre Norton nomination and will be traditionally published by Feiwel and Friends in 2011.  Fairyland is, to date, the most successful crowfunded project in SF/F.  The Omikuji Project predates Fairyland, but is a subscription only service, and only the handful of people who got in on it at the beginning have the whole collection (other than Valente herself).  Cycle One, or the first two years of the collection, is available in an anthology called This Is My Letter To The World on Lulu and will soon appear on Amazon.  For more information on Cathrynne M. Valente and her work (both traditional and crowfunded) take a peek at her website http://www.catherynnemvalente.com.  If your interested in the book itself, the cover art above is linked to the Lulu page.


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