MuseCon is nearly here and, this year, Cat is their Guest of Honor! This Illinois convention takes place this weekend, August 4-6 at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca. MuseCon is a family-friendly event that invites all muses out to play – it “is a weekend-long convention for artists, musicians, inventors, gadgeteers, makers, tinkerers, and creative people of all ages,” as they say! And it looks like memberships are still available.

Here’s where you can find Cat at MuseCon 7 this weekend:

FRIDAY – AUGUST 4

7:30 PM – Opening Ceremonies & Klingon Pop Warrior
When: 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Where: Lakeshore
Description: Welcome to MuseCon 7! We will meet our Guest of Honor Catherynne Valente, special guest Loren Damewood, and find out what’s in store for the weekend.

Immediately after we will be serenaded by the Klingon Pop Warrior – a unique and fun experience for audiences of all ages, featuring the best of today’s popular music is brought to you in the original Klingon. (Andrea Hawkins-Kemper, Catherynne Valente, Loren Damewood, Staff)

SATURDAY – AUGUST 5

10:30 AM – Journeying to Fairyland
When: 10:30 am – 11:45 am
Where: Barrington
Description: The Fairyland series by our Guest of Honor Catherynne Valente began as a book much beloved by a character in another of her books. It wound up becoming a real book – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Come hear the amazing tale of September’s Journey. (Catherynne Valente)

1:30 PM – Alternative Funding of Creative Projects
When: 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
Where: Barrington
Description: Patreon, Kickstarter, subscriptions and pay as you go – the creative artist now has many ways to connect to their audience and help fund their artistic creations. Our panel will discuss some of the ways they’ve used and the pros and cons of each. (Catherynne Valente, Matthew Morrese, Jen Midkiff)

7:30 PM – In the Cities of Coin & Spice
When: 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Where: Lakeshore
Description: Join our Guest of Honor Catherynne Valente as she reads from some of her best known works, which in turn inspired wonderful music. (Catherynne Valente)

SUNDAY – AUGUST 6

12:00 PM – Catherynne Valente’s Latest Works
When: 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Where: Leighton
Description: Our Guest of Honor Catherynne Valente will read excepts from some of her latest works. (Catherynne Valente)

3:00 PM – Closing Ceremonies & Feedback Session
When: 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm
Where: Lakeshore
Description: It’s been a fun weekend at MuseCon, but now its time to show off what we’ve learned and say good-bye. A feed back session will follow immediately after. Please be polite and constructive in your comments – compliments welcome! (Andrea Hawkins-Kemper, Staff, Catherynne Valente, Loren Damewood, Tanya DePass)

If you’d like to learn more about MuseCon’s programming, click this way.

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Readercon starts tomorrow, and Catherynne M. Valente will be in attendance! Use our handy cheat sheet below to find her on panels and at one game session that promises to be hilarious:

FRIDAY, JULY 14

2:00 PM / BH / In the Heartland.
Chris Gerwel, Marissa Lingen, Natalie Luhrs, Peter Straub, Catherynne M. Valente.
What about the middle of the U.S. makes heartland stories such as Stephen King’s The Stand and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven so powerful? Recognizing that the U.S. is far from perfect, does the baked-in concept of American exceptionalism negatively affect these stories? What do they teach readers who aren’t American about Americans and their values?

5:00 PM / 5 / The Truth of Fiction, the Fiction of Truth.
John Clute, John Crowley, Heath Miller (leader), Miriam Newman, Catherynne M. Valente.
This panel will explore works of fiction in which the author claims not to be the author. In Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series, the conceit is that King was given the diaries of Mary Russell; more tongue-in-cheek is The Princess Bride, which William Goldman claims is “the good parts version” of a much longer and more boring 4 pm 5 pm Friday 53 work by the fictional S. Morgenstern. How do we construct these agreements between audience and author about what is real, and what reality means in the context of a fictional work? How does an author get the reader to buy in to the idea that the story they are about to read is truth?

7:00 PM / 6 / Race and Historical Accuracy in Cod-Medieval Fantasy Fiction. Shannon Chakraborty, Phenderson Clark, N.S. Dolkart, Tom Greene, Catherynne M. Valente.
Too often, we’ve heard the excuse of “historical accuracy” used to explain the lack of PoC in historical fiction. Yet their presence is profoundly felt throughout European history, including in the medieval era so often used or modified as a fantasy setting: Arabic numbers have been used in Western societies for centuries, philosopher Ibn Rushd preserved and notated the works of Aristotle, the Silk Road brought traders and diplomats from all over Asia, and Moors in Spain were credited with promoting astronomy, medicine, and literacy. This panel will discuss how to populate cod-medieval fantasy novels with characters of color who have dimension, depth, and humanity, while avoiding stereotypes of swarthy villains and uncouth sidekicks.

SATURDAY, JULY 15

2:00 PM / BH / Sidereal Symphonies: Writing Extraterrestrial Art and Performance.
John Clute, Max Gladstone, Alex Shvartsman, Catherynne M. Valente, Caroline M. Yoachim.
Descriptions of art, music, and other creative work are a wonderful way to flesh out an invented world, but when worldbuilding encompasses cultures from places other than Earth, things get can get tricky. This panel of writers, performers, and creative artists will discuss how culture and technology give rise to art, with an eye toward developing alien art from alien worldbuilding, and will also explore ways of creating convincing descriptions of alien art forms that don’t and maybe even can’t exist.

8:00 PM / 5 / A Most Readerconnish Miscellany Presents: Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue.
Chairperson Heath Miller presents an evening of SFnal hilarity featuring contestants Max Gladstone, Mark Oshiro, Sam Schreiber, and Catherynne M. Valente. Come for the funsies, donate your money for the great causes! We promise to leave you laughing. Promise void where prohibited.

Here’s the full Readercon schedule in PDF format if you needed that. Cat will see you there!

Posted in Blog Posts, News Comment

The Denver Comic Con is this weekend, and Cat will be in attendance! We hope you have your tickets – we hear all the weekend badges are sold out, but there are still some one-day badges available. Head over to their site if you still need membership.

If you hope to catch Cat at the con, here’s her schedule of appearances:

FRIDAY, JUNE 30

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Signing at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 2

2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
Mistakes Were Made in Room 402 – Authors

SATURDAY, JULY 1

12:00 PM – 12:50 PM
The Writing Process of Best Sellers in Room 407 – Authors

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Signing at Tattered Cover Signing Booth 1

3:30 PM – 4:20 PM
Millennials Rising – YA Literature Today in Room 402 – Authors

5:00 PM – 5:50 PM
Start Short, Get Good in Room 407 – Authors

SUNDAY, JULY 2

10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
Is This a Kissing Book? in Room 402 – Authors

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Signing at Author Signing Booth 1

3:00 PM – 3:50 PM
The Best Writing Advice I Was Ever Given in Room 407 – Authors

See you in Denver! Unless we don’t. In which case, have a great weekend!

Posted in Blog Posts, News Comment

If you’re a science fiction fan, you’ve probably heard of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. If you’re not, here’s the cheat sheet straight from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas:

“The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction of the year was established in 1987 by James Gunn, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at KU, and the heirs of Theodore Sturgeon, including his partner Jayne Engelhart Tannehill and Sturgeon’s children, as an appropriate memorial to one of the great short-story writers in a field distinguished by its short fiction.”

The Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award is a juried award as well, with this year’s jury including Elizabeth Bear, Andy Duncan, James Gunn, Kij Johnson, and Nöel Sturgeon (one of Sturgeon’s children and trustee of the Theodore Sturgeon Literary Estate).

It’s kind of a big deal for the science fiction field. And Cat Valente is it’s latest recipient.

That’s right: Cat’s short story “The Future is Blue,” published in Drowned Worlds (edited by Jonathan Strahan) took the prize! As you may have already seen on Twitter, Cat is incredibly excited, chuffed, and all-around honored to be awarded the Sturgeon Award.

Learn more about the award and past winners at the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award’s site.

Posted in Blog Posts, News Comment

This weekend, Cat will be at the 2017 Campbell Conference and Awards in Lawrence, KS. We’ll post Cat’s schedule later this week, if possible, so check back here on Wednesday!

In the meantime, we’ve got another exclusive excerpt from The Refrigerator Monologues to share with you! We hope this embarrassment of riches will entice you to pick up a copy, if you haven’t already – and if you aren’t able to get a copy yet, may this keep your appetite whetted.

THE HELL HATH CLUB VS. THE MIGHT OF ATLANTIS

All eyes turn to the lady in green. She swirls a spoon around her coffee cup. It doesn’t make any noise. Thank the tiny baby Jesus, down here in Deadtown we are spared the constant tinkle of silverware against porcelain that plagues the restaurant industry. A long, long red curl slides out of the black pearl comb in her hair and lands on the table like a spurt of blood. It hurts to look at it. Like a camera flashing in your eyes. The sides of her head are shaved down to red fuzz, just the one long horsetail left, running up and over and down her spine like a special-edition collect-them-all punk-rock Barbie doll. . .

You can continue reading this excerpt at Paste. Enjoy!

Posted in Blog Posts, News Comment