Not all those who wander DragonCon are lost

Faith Hunter, David Coe, AJ Hartley, John Hartness, Gail Martin and Misty Massey (along with 70,000 of their closest friends) will be appearing at DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, and we’d love to see you there! We’ll be posting our schedules here over the next few days, so keep an eye out.

Today we give you Gail Martin’s schedule!

Friday, Sept 1
Internet Marketing (for Authors): Conquering Social Media
Tips, tricks, and advice for the novice or seasoned authors to navigate Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. We will take a brief look at the various platforms where authors promote, and break down the common themes for utilizing them for maximum engagement in conjunction with book sales.
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: 208-209 – Hilton (Length: 1 Hour)
(Sascha Illyvich, Gail Z. Martin)

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Reading: Gail Z. Martin and Friends
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Marietta – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

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He Said, She Said
Every novel and story has characters. They gotta talk. This panel addresses how great dialogue can boost your book from good to great. Oh, and, of course, they’ll discuss how to write great dialogue.
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: Embassy CD – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(John D. Ringo, Bill Fawcett, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Katherine Kurtz, A. J. Hartley, Gail Z. Martin)

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Two Hunters, an Angel, and a Demon Walk Into a Bar: Teamwork on Supernatural
A moderated fan-panel discussion of the wildly popular long-running series’ emotional and pivotal twelfth season
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Gail Z. Martin, Fr. Bryan Small, Kristin Jackson, Valerie Hampton)

Saturday, Sept 2
After the Storm: We Will Rebuild
It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). Humanity has demonstrated the ability to rebuild after disasters in the past, but what would that look like with today’s complex infrastructure? Our expert panelists cover everything from food/water to societal and government structures.
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Chastain F-H – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Gail Z. Martin, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, John D. Ringo, Jaym Gates, Mika McKinnon)

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The Black Dog: Depression and Mental Health in Fiction and Fandom
Our panelists examine how mental health is portrayed in sf. Are there any portrayals that help those of us dealing with our own issues? Note that this is not a prescriptive or workshop.
Time: Sat 04:00 pm Location: Embassy AB – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Gail Z. Martin, John G. Hartness, Darin Kennedy, Misty Massey)

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Writer’s Block: Real or Imagined?
The debate about writer’s block is as old as the craft. Every writer has an opinion. The pros discuss the condition and the cures.
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Embassy CD – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Gail Z. Martin, John G. Hartness, Kim Harrison, Kathryn Hinds, Anya Martin, Mercedes Lackey)

Sunday, Sept 3
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading

The ladies and gentlemen of Broad Universe read snippets from their works.
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Piedmont – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Gail Z. Martin, Misty Massey, John G. Hartness, Clay and Susan Griffith, Margaret S. McGraw, Trisha J. Woldridge)

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Autograph Session
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: International Hall South 1-3 – Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)

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Signing at The Missing Volume
Time: Sun 2 pm
Location: The Missing Volume, Americasmart Bldg 2, 1st floor, Booths 1400, 1402, 1301 & 1303

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Series or Single Title?
Writers wrangle with this question all the time. How do you decide whether to write single titles or expand into a series. Okay…Series. So how many books in a series?
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: Embassy CD – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Leanna Renee Hieber, Kathryn Hinds, James Minz, James A. Moore, Gail Z. Martin)

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Spiritualism and the Occult in Victorian Times
While the Victorian era was a time of great technological advancement, many prominent citizens including Queen Victoria had a fascination with the occult. Come hear our panelists discuss spiritualism, seances, and the beginnings of serious scientific investigation into otherworldly phenomena.
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: Athens – Sheraton (Length: 1 Hour)
(Sara E Neathery, Leanna Renee Hieber, Gail Z. Martin)

Monday, Sept 4
Niche Marketing in eBooks and Print (for Writers)

What is niche marketing for writers, and what are the special considerations that writers face when writing for niche markets? Are there truly financial opportunities to be had in writing for niche markets? What makes the most business sense?
Time: Mon 11:30 am Location: 208-209 – Hilton (Length: 1 Hour)
(Sascha Illyvich, Gail Z. Martin, Tyra A Burton)

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The Daily Grind: Mundane Jobs and the UF Protagonist
Fighting supernatural threats doesn’t always pay the bills, so some characters have to also have regular, mundane jobs. Our panelists discuss how their protagonists balance the two aspects of their lives.
Time: Mon 01:00 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Gail Z. Martin, David B. Coe, Debbie Viguié, J.F. Lewis, J.D. Horn)

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-14-2017

Tim Miller, director of Deadpool, will be helming a new adaptation of Neuromancer, the classic cyberpunk novel by William Gibson. Can I put in a vote for Maisie Williams to play Molly? Pleeeeease?

Writing a book is a difficult process. It is a process though that should not be interrupted by outside influence, especially when one’s lifetime achievement is involved.

Gods make for terrible characters. How do you present someone more than human making them relateable without diminishing what ought to make them alien?

There may be a “ghost” hanging around Winterfell, and we’re not talking about Jon Snow’s direwolf.

Another author, N K Jemisen, has withdrawn from the Dragon Awards. I understand why, even support the decision, but I’m still disappointed, because I voted for her. Oddly enough, the first withdrawal, John Scalzi, has changed his mind and left his book in the running. It’s all very exciting.

This stunning gallery on Blavity showcases eight up-and-coming visual artists influenced by Afrofuturism, science fiction that explores the experiences and culture of people of color.

We’ve all been there – goodbyes have been said, bags have been packed. The con is over, and you’ve got a case of post-con depression.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-10-2017

Matt Goldman says, “My slow-learning writer’s guide to writing applies to all mediums and genres. The ideas are simple and have nothing to do with structure. Maybe one day I’ll flesh these out into a book or class or overpriced two-day seminar. In the meantime, I’ll dip a toe in 3 of the at least 4 things I know.”

Le Guin’s story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” asks as much about ethics as it does about how we — and even the author herself — may instinctually define certain works.

Facebook was forced to shut down a pair of chatbots in the social network’s artificial intelligence division after discovering that they had created a secret language all on their own.

When will the powers that be finally rip the Bandaid off? When will humanity finally die out?

Francesca Barbini says, “Conventions are a big part of an author’s life. I cannot imagine being where I am today without my con experience.”

John Scalzi and Allison Littlewood have withdrawn their books from the Dragon Award ballot.

The recent announcement for a position that NASA has had since the 1960s – Planetary Protection Officer caught the attention of one self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” — an inspired fourth grader from New Jersey who reached out to NASA in a letter to express his interest in the job.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-9-2017

Steve Wetherell says, “I’ll never say the n-word. Well, not in any official capacity. I might sing along to an Anderson Paak song, and my usual tactic of replacing it with ‘fella’ doesn’t always scan well.”

It’s no secret that television shows and movies struggle to realistically explore the lives of people of color, but in dystopian fiction, it’s an especially glaring problem.

Fantasy tropes can be great—that’s why they become tropes. But sometimes you want to read something you feel like you’ve never read before.

Zazie Beetz as the mutant Domino in Deadpool 2 looks incredible: confident, ready to kick ass, beautiful and deadly. But of course, this being the Internet, criticisms started to pour in.

Horrorfreak News explores cults, secret societies, and the appearances of cults in horror cinema.

Few authors are as prolific and compulsively readable as Stephen King. That doesn’t mean his books translate easily to the big screen.

Sometimes, NASA gets to have a bit of fun with asteroids. This fall, the agency will have a grand ol’ time with one such object.

Stephen Petranek thinks we should have gone to Mars years ago — decades even.

Sony has named a showrunner for their upcoming Dark Tower television series.

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-8-2017

Voting is open for the 2017 Dragon Awards. We have some fantastic choices this year, including Faith Hunter, A J Hartley, James S A Corey, John Scalzi, N K Jemisin and many more! Take a minute and vote, please! You don’t have to be a registered DragonCon attendee to do it. Here’s the link – http://bit.ly/2b43wH0

Witness the power of Chuck Wendig‘s fully armed and operational writing shed!

Many newbie writers would screech in horror and say no one can write that fast, while most MFA snobs would turn up their noses and say it’s impossible to write anything of worth at that rate, that writing must be an agonizing process of constant revision and polishing.

Those who are familiar with Frank Herbert’s famous novel Dune will notice his analogy for the spice, and the surrounding struggle for it, with the crude oil of the Middle East.

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology revealed Monday that the planet Uranus’s magnetosphere flips on and off like a light switch — every single day.

For publishers, especially those who support the work of emerging authors, disempowered authors or authors whose voices aren’t in chorus with the mainstream, Amazon‘s data-based approach to bookselling is disconcerting.

It’s hard to be unhappy when surrounded by dinosaurs. But then the screaming starts.

The Tough Guide offers information on various kinds of fantasy strongholds. For example, you might be looking for castles, complete with ‘frowning battlements, slit windows and multiple defensible spiral stairways inside’ and which ‘occasionally adorn the heights for pictorial effect’.

What do you totally lie about having read or watched?

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-7-2017

Writers are asked all the time to explain where those ideas of theirs come from. Most of us smile and say, “It just came to me.” But that’s not quite accurate. The ideas come from passing thoughts, intriguing headlines, unfinished conversations. It’s all about the ‘what if’. So I wanted to share a few links that might lead to some exciting ‘what if’ moments for you. Take a look.

When exorcists need help, they call this man.

A Colorado man is feared dead after searching for a treasure worth $2 million.

Imagine that you didn’t understand what an eclipse was and the sun disappeared.

In the world of cybersecurity, a hacker taking down a city’s electrical grid is a classic nightmare scenario. Indeed, it’s already happened.

The prince of Denmark looks set to launch an eternal protest after announcing he does not wish to be buried next to his wife, the queen.

A Swiss couple who disappeared from their farm in the Alps during World War II have finally been found, 75 years later, mummified in a glacier.

Can you believe people listened to disco? Who thought acid-washed jeans were a good idea? What’s with the big hair, was it all full of secrets?

I had a ‘what if’ moment with all of the links above, which is why I shared them. But here’s the interesting part…every single one of those links was on today’s CNN page. In other words, the ‘what if’ is all around you. Just let your imagination run free!

Magical Words Link Roundup 8-3-2017

Everybody is getting hung up on SF definitions, usually ending up by arguing over sub-genres. In order to rectify the situation, a selection of definitions for popular sub genres of science fiction are herein offered.

Another alternate history drama series, which has been in the works at Amazon for over a year, also paints a reality where southern states have left the Union but takes a very different approach.

When was the first time you saw yourself represented in media? Depending on your racial background and gender identity, this might be an emotional topic for you.

When the Worldcon presented its first awards back in 1953, they were more prosaically called the “Science Fiction Achievement Awards”.

When your spouse goes missing or business partner turns up dead, you call a private eye, but when you’ve got zombies at the door, or a demon on your trail, you’ve better call an occult detective.

The British film Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd, immediately shrouds the female protagonist with a murderous and anti-hero air.

The Anachronistic Society discusses how science fiction inspired real science.