Miscon!

I’ll be at Miscon over Memorial Day Weekend, from Friday through Sunday, at the Holiday Inn in downtown Missoula, Montana. Looks like a fun schedule. I’ll be reading from A RED PEACE, signing anthologies and short story magazines, and doing tooooooons of panels.

Fri 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Book Signing: General Session, Dragon Pavilion (1)

Panel Fri 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Similes and Metaphors, Gallatin
Moderator: Krista Wallace; Panelists: Jill Bowers, Claire Eddy, Spencer G. Ellsworth, Krista Wallace
Sprinkling your writing with similes and metaphors can add vivid detail and make your writing come to life. Let’s discuss how you write unique similes and metaphors and come up with some of our own!

Panel Sat 11:00 – 11:50 AM, Rebooting Your Career, Jefferson
Panelists: David Boop, Jill Bowers, Spencer G. Ellsworth, J.A. Pitts
Tragedies, money, brain block, fear, procrastination. A lot of things can stall a career–professional or otherwise. How does a writer get their career back on track after a long break? Can an author recapture a fan base they lost?

Panel Sat Noon – 12:50 PM, Meet & Greet/Signings, Spotlight
Panelists: Spencer G. Ellsworth, J.A. Pitts, D.L Solum
Meet a few of our authors, get signatures, and see what they’re up to these days.

Moderator Sat 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Popular Books and Movies: The Elevator Pitch, Madison
Moderator: Spencer G. Ellsworth; Panelists: Claire Eddy, Spencer G. Ellsworth, Randy Henderson, Lane Heymont
Before we learn how to write a good elevator pitch, let’s first discuss some examples using popular books or films. Join us for what promises to be a fun time!

Sat 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Author Readings, Yellowstone
Panelists: David Boop, Spencer G. Ellsworth, Eric Scott Fischl
Join our authors as they read from their latest works!

Red Pieces! of A RED PEACE!

This week my publisher is promoting the hecka heck heck out of my book, because bookstores are now looking at which releases they’ll order this summer.

With all the craziness of “politics” in the English-speaking world right now, it’s understandable that people are maybe not getting pumped about reading so much as trembling in front of a computer going “why why why.”

But I wrote this book about demagogues, broken societies, inequality… and giant bugs in space, because I like bugs. I hope it’ll be both fun and an inspiration.

There’s three cool promotions that will get you the book and let you share with friends:

1- Get the book free along with samples of other space opera books here: https://www.amazon.com/Tor-com-Publishings-Su…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

2- Enter a giveaway to get five books, including mine: http://www.tor.com/…/tor-com-publishing-space-opera-sweeps…/

3- Just plain read the first chapter online! https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/starfire-a-red-peace-spen…/

When Stars Are Scattered

“When Stars Are Scattered” is out and ready to read on Tor.com as of April 5th. Or buy it for your Kindle or Nook for ninety-nine cents.

I doubt I’ve ever put as much work into a short story as I did this one. I first got the idea in 2006, after a talk with my friend Dina. Dina was the first Muslim I ever became real friends with. Being that we were both college students living in a red state during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, there was no escaping the public (often toxic) discussion of Islam.

I hit on the idea of “kite” aliens–like flying squirrels, but even less graceful, whose bodies would look to us like a big square piece of paper. And I decided they would be converts to Islam. Our main character, a doctor and a secret atheist, treats them for a mysterious disease, and their conversion has damn near started a war. And and and… well, a lot of ideas went into this story. You’ll just have to read it.

I don’t think I’ve ever written a story that meant something to me as much as this one did.

After MANY drafts, the story sold to Tor.com. Many many people helped me with the endless wrestling of this story, but special mention for Khaalidah Mohammed-Ali, who checked and rechecked the thing for plot & character inconsistencies, and for accuracy in my depiction of Muslim characters. She’s also a magnificent writer; check out her website and make sure to read her story “Talking To Cancer” in the latest issue of FIYAH.

And if you’re a member of SFWA, you can upvote both this story and one of Khaalidah’s at the Nebula Suggested Reading List.