“Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing or Critique Group” Panel at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference Online

Tomorrow afternoon, at 3:30pm PDT, I’ll be moderating and participating in the “Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing or Critique Group” panel at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference, which of course, is taking place online.

SFWA, Nebula, Nebulas, conference

The panel topic is one that’s dear to my heart, both in terms of becoming a better writer and in terms of building writer communities that can support us through this often challenging career:

Writing is often a solitary endeavor–and with the current pandemic, it has become even more so. Writing and critique groups don’t eliminate the aspects of writing that can only be done solo, but a good group can serve as both a social support net as well as providing trusted feedback. Panelists will discuss the factors that go into building a successful group, both online and in-person, and what they’ve learned about keeping one going.

My fellow panelists include A. T. Greenblatt, A.C. Wise, Vylar Kaftan, and Curtis C. Chen, which makes the majority of them finalists for this year’s Nebula Awards, the ceremony for which takes place tonight at 5pm PDT. Regardless of whether they win or lose, they are sure to contribute valuable insight to this topic.

If you are an attendee of #Nebulas2020, you can join us at the link below tomorrow. The panel will only be available to attendees of the conference at this time.

Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing or Critique Group (Sponsored By Clarion West)

I hope to “see” you there!

Wishing for More Now Available in Helios Quarterly!

I am thrilled that my romantic urban fantasy tale, “Wishing for More,” appears in Helios Quarterly Magazine 4.4, which came out in December 2019 (why yes, I am behind on promo).

helios quarterly, rebecca gomez farrell, wishing for more

In “Wishing for More,” a dastardly magical plant outwits stubborn Jewls, forcing her to accept rescue from her childhood friend Cesar. Both newly graduated from Jinn School, Jewls and Cesar set out for a night of adventure, foraging for more mystical plants Jewls can sell to pay the bills and avoid disappointing the Jinn Cadre. Will she use up all her wishing power before she realizes what she wishes for most?

The first lines:

Just a little bit more.

Jewls placed her hand on the guardrail meant to stop people from doing exactly what she was about to: hang over the edge of a desolate ocean cliff. An alep’s hound plant grew about five feet down the cliff’s rockface, its cornucopia of dagger-shaped leaves folded tightly in a nautilus spiral. Jewls had parked her car by the highway and made her way down an abandoned lighthouse’s access road, on a night blowing icy mist, to harvest it.

She shuffled on her stomach over the rim, reaching with her free hand, but the alep’s hound darted left and right, avoiding her straining fingers. A wave crashed against the jagged boulders, sending up a high plume of seawater that drenched her. Brrr. She tried not to ponder those depths, focused on the plant, leaning farther—

Helios Quarterly 4.4 is available directly from the publisher’s webstore in .mobi or .epub formats. You can also purchase from Amazon for $2.99 for the Kindle here. It contains four other short stories in addition to “Wishing for More.” Get your copy now!

And here’s a photo inspiration to set the story’s mood:

c-shell photo, santa cruz, west cliff, night, cliffs

Photo copyright C-Shell Photo

Catch me at FOGcon 2020!

Starting Friday, I’ll be attending FOGcon (website) in Walnut Creek, which is a local convention for speculative fiction writers and enthusiasts. It runs March 6-8 this year, and yes, it is still on despite the coronavirus threat. As I am not in a high-risk population, I plan to attend.

fogcon, 2020, walnut creek, rebecca goemz farrell
You can buy a membership for a full day’s events at FOGcon whether you come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or all of the above. It’s a small con, but that’s part of the reason why I enjoy going so much–there’s so much opportunity to check in with other writers and fans that live locally.

These are the panels and readings I’ll be appearing at:

-Food in Genre Fiction, panelist, Fri, 3:00–4:15 pm. Inspired by Mary Anne Mohanraj’s latest publication being a cookbook, let’s think about food and its place in genre fiction! In stories where a stranger visits a new culture, we often hear about their food choices (Becky Chambers’s “Record of a Spaceborn Few” comes to mind). Food can be a marker of similarity or difference between people, and ultimately, it is a necessity. When our worlds change, what happens to the food in them?

-Choosing Your Own Adventures, panelist, Sat, 10:30–11:45 am. For many of us, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were an early exposure to speculative fiction — and we remember them with fondness. They are also experiencing a pop-culture resurgence. Panelists will discuss some of their favorite examples, what is different about the books (both the experience of writing and reading them), and their influence on the wider culture.

-People Aren’t Food: Cliches in Description, panelist, Sun, 10:30–11:45 am. Her heart-shaped face. His chiseled jaw. He’s ruggedly handsome. Her rose-colored complexion. The women are stunningly beautiful or haggardly ugly. Her cinnamon visage, his coffee-colored arms. He stared stonily. Women sob. Men weep. What are better ways to describe actual people and what they do, without falling into gendered and racialized tropes?

-Reading #10, Sun, 1:30–2:45 pm, reading with Elwin Cotwin, Jr., and Andrea Stewart. During this event, I’ll giving away a copy of Wings Unseen, and Andrea will also have a few books for audience members to hopefully win! Enticements for coming to the last reading of a convention are always appreciated.

fogcon 2020, reading, rebecca gomez farrell, elwin cotman

And you can often find me hanging out in the lobby bar. Come say hi! Wings Unseen will be available in the vendor’s room (or ask me if they run out!).

“What Scattered in the Wind” appears in Accolades!

I’m so thrilled that “What Scattered in the Wind” is reprinted in the Accolades anthology from Women Who Submit Lit. The anthology launches today at the AWP conference in San Antonio.

accolades, accolades anthology, women who submit, women who submit lit, publishing women, horror, what scattered in the wind, rebecca gomez farrell

“What Scattered in the Wind” first appeared in Little Letters on the Skin, a chapbook/anthology (more info here). It’s a flash fiction horror tale of an older woman who wakes to find unwanted, and long forgotten, visitors to her isolated desert mesa.

What makes this reprint so special is that Accolades is a celebration of the submissions, acceptances, and publications of members of the national Women Who Submit Lit organization, of which I run a local chapter.

women who submit, women who submit lit, submission, publishing

Every other month, I spend two hours submitting out my work for publication and encouraging other writers to do the same. Accolades is proof of how effective that support and time investment is, as all the works featured within it are reprints of writing WWSL members have had published elsewhere — all that perseverance pays off!

Accolades is available in print from Amazon for $15. Here are the leading lines into “What Scattered in the Wind”:

Hollow rasps of laughter pestered her to wakefulness. Any noise would have done the same, though she clamped her eyelids together in protest. For years, Ruth had heard nothing but the teakettle’s hiss or the slow scrape of her cane against the camper’s floor panels. The creaking sound of her voice rarely interrupted the silence. Unlike the other wayfarers, Ruth had never developed the habit of talking to herself. She didn’t care to hear what she’d have to say.

“Hee-hee, hee-he-heee!“

And a photo to set the mood:

what scattered in the wind, the gourmez, fiction, horror, trailers

“Treasure” Reprinted in Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2019!

Great news! “Treasure” has been reprinted in the Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2019 anthology from Bards & Sages! As Bards & Sages describes it, “This collection is our annual celebration of the small press and independent publishing community.”

Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2019 features twelve short stories of fantasy, science fiction, and horror that have been published over the past two years, and it came out in November 2019. Currently, it’s available from Amazon here.

“Treasure,” a fantasy fable, was originally published in the Dark Luminous Wings anthology from Pole to Pole Publishing. Here are the first few lines:

Wind thundered past the slats of the storage cabin. Hidden within a barrel of fish guts, the stowaway braced herself for lurching. But when the ship pitched sharply sternside, Enkid knew it was no ordinary squall. A storm this bad would force the captain out of his quarters despite his usual drunken stupor, creating an opportunity to filch the beveled, green-glass vial he wore around his neck. It held hemlock tincture, a rare poison that would come in handy for someone in Enkid’s line of work.

And here is a photo I took during a Paperhand Puppet Intervention show, which may, or may not have, influenced a certain element of this tale. Enjoy!

city of frogs paperhand puppet intervention

Where to Find Me at Worldcon

I’m leaving in just a few hours to join my writer and fan compatriots at Worldcon 77! Also known as Worldcon Dublin. Also known as Worldcon 2019. We like options. 😉

dublin worldcon, worldcon, worldcon 77, worldcon 2019

I will be busy while attending Worldcon, and not just sightseeing! I’m a program participant this year, for the first time ever. I’ll have four panels, one reading, one autograph session, and one kaffeklatsch. Here’s a graphic summarizing my schedule at a quick glance.

dublin worldcon, worldcon, worldcon 77, worldcon 2019, rebecca gomez farrell

And here’s a more detailed list, should you be attending and want to join me for any of them! I’ll, of course, be conquering my Dublin Foodie Hit List in my off-time. But I’ll also be at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America table Saturday morning, at the Hugos, and variously wandering the halls of the Dublin Convention Centre. Don’t hesitate to say hi!

Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s Worldcon 77 Official Schedule:

Thursday, 15 August

-VR and AR: the future of gaming or a fad?

Panelist, 12:00 – 12:50, Wicklow Room-1

In 2015 the gaming industry was abuzz with the potential of both virtual and augmented reality. However, the expected explosive growth of these technologies did not happen. This panel will discuss the potential of these exciting technologies and whether or not they will ever achieve the potential people believed they would have a few short years ago.

-Found in translation: SFF translated works

Moderator, 15:00 – 15:50, Wicklow Room-4

English is the current lingua franca, making it easy to forget that a lot of genre fiction is translated from other languages. Who are the best authors of translated SFF? Are particular languages more likely to be translated than others? The panel will discuss the status of translated works in the wider context of SFF and which non-English books we should be reading.

Friday, 16 August

-Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading

Reader, 17:00 – 17:50, Liffey Room-3

Broad Universe is an international organization for women and female-identifying authors of science fiction, fantasy and horror, working together to promote women’s works in the genres! Our signature event, the Rapid Fire Reading, gives each author a few minutes to read from their work. It’s like a living anthology of women writers.

broad universe, rapid fire reading, worldcon

Saturday, 17 August

-Kaffeeklatsch: Rebecca Gomez Farrell

Author, 13:00 – 13:50, Level 3 Foyer

A Kaffeeklatsch is a unique opportunity at some conventions to meet up with a writer in a casual setting–in this case, right by one of Worldcon’s onsite cafes–and spend time shooting the breeze on whatever topic floats everyone’s boats. The cutoff is usually around 10 or so people–I’m not sure what it’ll be for Dublin, but I doubt it’ll get too high. And I’ll be thrilled if anyone comes!

Sign up for my kaffeeklatsch at the Infodesk if you want to talk about my writing, about our shared love of good food and drink, about the writing business from a small press author’s perspective, about favorite SF/F shows and movies and books this year, or about…cats! I’m planning to give away at least one book during this session as well.

-Window to the soul: a character’s favourite song

Moderator, 14:00 – 14:50, Wicklow Room-4

Creators often use a character’s musical choices to show us their inner thoughts and hidden motivations: in Guardians of the Galaxy the music Peter plays is a link to his lost mother, in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Miles’s favourite song places him as a member of Generation Z, and Alex’s callous rendition of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ in A Clockwork Orange has gone down in infamy. Join our panellists for a walk through our favourite characters’ musical memories.

Sunday, 18 August

-Internet, Censorship, Control, and Influence

Moderator, 13:00 – 13:50, Wicklow Room-1

Innovations on the Internet transformed the ability to have global conversations about politics but also heightened capacities for censorship & control. Have these affected the Internet’s original doctrine? Do they provide greater transparency or muddy the water? We’ll discuss the evolution of the idea behind censorship and control as applied to the Internet in terms of law and modern society.

-Group Autograph Session

Signing, 15:00 – 15:50, Level 4 Foyer

The authors signing for this session include myself, Pat Cadigan, Derwin Mak, RJ Barker, Kathryn Sullivan, and Jim Doty, PhD.

And that’s if for my official schedule! And it’s enough, let me tell you. 😉 But I think I’ll actually feel prepared by the time I step on that plane…soon, very soon.

My Dublin Foodie Hit List

Starting 8/14, I’ll be in Dublin, Ireland, for Worldcon 77, or Worldcon 2019, if you prefer. Whatever number you affix, Worldcon is the annual meeting of the World Science Fiction Convention, the longest running fan convention in, well, the world. This year, I am a program participant, meaning I will be very, very busy moderating and being on panels, signing books, et cetera, and so on. I will post that schedule soon. But when my presence is not required at Worldcon itself, you can bet I will be checking out every foodie wonder in Dublin that I can get to–and not just the hotel bar.

My hit list:

1. The Guinness Storehouse: This is where the famed stout is made! I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I can’t be in Dublin without checking this world wonder out.

2. Caramelized Brown Bread Ice Cream at Murphy’s: There are many other flavors at this Dublin ice cream hot spot, such as apple balsamic and Irish cream. But I have to try that classic Irish bread in ice cream form – it is my destiny.

3. Cockles and Mussels at the Winding Stair: The iconic cockles and mussels that old Molly Malone sang about are a must for my list, yet many of the Irish restaurants renowned for them have only mussels on the menu. Not at the Winding Stair! This Dublin landmark is also renowned for being a popular meeting place for creative types throughout its years as a bookshop and cafe. Now it’s a bookshop and restaurant instead, but it looks just as happening! Reservations will likely be made.

4. Dublin coddle, Gurr cake, and other traditional Irish baked goods at the Bakehouse: This eatery in downtown Dublin serves up the most highly respected versions of Irish classics – you can bet I’ll pick up some soda bread, too, when I stop by the counter. Or maybe dine in at lunch for eggs & soldiers or a pottage?

5. Whiskey tastings at the Dingle Whiskey Bar: Located in downtown Dublin, this bar is made of reclaimed wood from whiskey barrels…and looks like you’re inside one too! Offers flights or a five-page-long list of whiskeys and cocktails.May make a reservation depending on interest.

I already have high tea plans at the Shelbourne Hotel on the books, so I think that’s enough of a hit list for a seven-day trip…though there are plenty of other options tempting me, like cocktails at Delahunt and dinner at the Vintage Kitchen. Care to join me for any of them? Let me know! But be forewarned–per my Worldcon schedule, I’ll mostly be available in the evenings.

Join me at the Nebulas Mass Autographing on 5/19!

Friends, family, and readers in LA!
Saturday afternoon, come find me at the mass autographing event at the 2019 SFWA Nebula Conference, free and open to the public (that means you!).
Copies of Wings Unseen will be available for purchase, but you can also bring your already purchased copies, and I will *finally* sign them for those of you I haven’t met up with yet. I’ll also have bookmarks….and some time to hang about 3:30 to 5:30 at the Village across the street…
 
  • Saturday, May 18th from 1:00PM — 3:00PM
  • Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills – Grand Ballroom
  • 21850 W Oxnard St, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
 
Featuring over 100 Authors! (I’m starring the most well-known ones I know)
 
*John Joseph Adams
Michael Anderle
Marie Andreas
Liz Argall
Barbara Barnett
Gregory Benford
TJ Berry
Laura Blackwell
Brooke Bolander
Joseph Brassey
*Jonathan Brazee
Rhett C. Bruno
Rob Buckman
Michael Cassutt
Mike Chen
Curtis C. Chen
Gwendolyn Clare
P. Djèlí Clark
*Neil Clarke
*Tina Connolly
John Peyton Cooke
Dan Cray
S.B. Divya
* Cory Doctorow
Meghan Ciana Doidge
A.K. DuBoff
Andy Duncan
*Scott Edelman
Eva L. Elasigue
* Meg Elison
Isaac R. Fellman
Sheila Finch
Susan Forest
Richard Fox
Laura Frankos
* Sarah Gailey
* William Gibson
Laura Anne Gilman
Rebecca Gomez Farrell
W. L. Goodwater
A. T. Greenblatt
Sally Wiener Grotta
A. J. Hackwith
*Joe Haldeman
Rachel Hartman
Erin M. Hartshorn
Kate Heartfield
Alyc Helms
Barbara E. Hill
José Pablo Iriarte
Xia Jia
L.S. Johnson
James Patrick Kelly
* Jeffe Kennedy
Scott King
* Mary Robinette Kowal
* R.F. Kuang
Derek Künsken
* David D. Levine
Henry Lien
Jenn Lyons
Terry Madden
PJ Manney
* Lee Martindale
Alastair Mayer
* Sam J. Miller
Mary Anne Mohanraj
Tina LeCount Myers
Larry Niven
Karen Osborne
Chrome Oxide
Douglas Phillips
Palmer Pickering
* Sarah Pinsker
C.L. Polk
Daniel Potter
* Lettie Prell
* Cat Rambo
* Rebecca Roanhorse
* Kelly Robson
* Lawrence M. Schoen
Caitlin Seal
Peng Shepherd
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
* Dave Smeds
Rosemary Claire Smith
* Melinda M. Snodgrass
Caitlin Starling
Shanna Swendson
* Rachel Swirsky
Christine Taylor-Butler
Lauren C. Teffeau
R J Theodore
Natalia Theodoridou
* Harry Turtledove
Nicole Valentine
Greg van Eekhout
R.R. Virdi
Juliette Wade
E.D. Walker
Wren Wallis
M. Darusha Wehm
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
* Fran Wilde
* Connie Willis
Gwendolyn Womack
William F. Wu
Christie Yant
Caroline M. Yoachim
Joe Zieja
 
And more! See you there. Full details here: https://nebulas.sfwa.org/nebula-mass-autographing-announced/

Join me on 4/14 for a Litquake panel on Debut Authors!

I am thrilled to be sharing my experience as a debut author with the Litquake and greater Bay Area literary community at this panel. It takes place on Sunday, 4/14, at 2:15 pm, at Z Space in the Mission.

“Debut Authors: Fame and Fortune in Five Easy Steps” will feature myself and fellow debut authors, Lauren Markham and Huda Al-Marashi ,as we discuss just how we made it to our debut years and what we learned after our first books came out. Sarita Cannon, associate professor of English at San Francisco State University, will be our moderator to guide us through sharing the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes mystifying experience of getting to this point in our careers.

Get your tickets here! With the code LITQ20, you can save 25%–Hooray! Our panel is part of the Litquake Writers Weekend at Z Space.

litquake

Day 1 (4/13) is on the art of writing, with panels devoted to discussing flash fiction, short story, and novel writing techniques. Day 2 is on the Pursuit of Publishing, which includes our debut author panel and discussions on traditional publishing and its continuing relevance and on how to draw in readership for your works. Each panel costs $20 for admittance and each one will provide a wealth of valuable information for writers looking to polish their craft or get to the next stage of publication.

And yes, Wings Unseen will be available for purchase and signing at the event! Hope to see you there!

I’m Reading at the Inaugural Parallel Lit 4/12!

Please join me at Parallel Lit on Friday, 4/12 at 8:30 pm at Paulista Kitchen in Oakland!

parallel lit, rebecca gomez farrell

The awesome and amazing Meg Elison, author of the Road to Nowhere post-apocalyptic series, is founding and hosting this reading series that will celebrate speculative fiction in the East Bay. You can get tickets here at Eventbrite, but you can also pay at the door–$10 is not a bad price at all to hear this crew read our fiction and talk about our work! Plus, Paulista Kitchen is a fantastic cafe and restaurant featuring Brazilian cuisine with California influences and the delicious cashew milk ice cream of Mr. Dewie’s.

cashew milk ice cream, mr dewie's, paulista kitchen, oakland

Yeah, Mr. Dewie’s is that good. Mmm.

No, I am not above bribing you with food photos. It’s my superpower. Meg and I will be joined by (and eating ice cream with) three other badass local spec fic authors: Tim Pratt, Juliette Wade, and Caroline Ratajski. Come join us in welcoming the birth of Parallel Lit!