My new novelette, “Rights and Wrongs,” has gone live at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. Write and let me know what you think!
Archive for March, 2014
My latest sci-fi blockbuster is set to premiere when I’m at a convention. What luck, eh? On the other hand, it’s a mystery convention. But I’m okay with that. And so you’re wondering: “He’s going to talk up his latest SF story at a mystery con. Is he loopy, or what?” Well, yes, I am, but there’s also a method to my loopiness (in this case).
First, my story, “Rights and Wrongs,” set to appear in the next issue of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, is as much a crime drama as science fiction. Very quickly, it explores just how far civil rights extend in a criminal trial context. And there’s some xenophobia, and a murder, and there was a semi-apocalypse about fifteen years earlier. Something for everybody.
But second, mystery fandom is–how can I say this–less entrenched than SF fandom. SF fandom carries around the baggage of paranoia (with some justification). It has been oppressed for so long that it’s become self-protective, and thus insular. (I am speaking in very broad strokes here.) Although SF fandom prides itself on openness, it can ironically be difficult to become a part of. And at the risk of offending my peers, it’s not just limited to the fans.
Mystery cons are different. The first mystery con I ever attended (having virtually no background in mystery fiction) I met more writers than I had in 30 years of SF cons (and I was not yet a published writer myself). Mystery cons are friendlier to newbies. Maybe it’s the average age difference, maybe it’s because they’re smaller…this has been my experience. Your mileage may vary.
I still go to SF cons, and will continue to do so. If I write a space opera or a fantasy trilogy, I’ll bang those drums at Worldcon, not Bouchercon. But in this case, happenstance has put my story’s publication and me at a mystery convention at the right time. And if that’s where I have to start my publicity tour, then I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll even persuade somebody to switch from Sam Spade to Sam Gamgee.