Can*Con 2019: Part 1

It’s that time of year again — Can*Con, the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature here in Ottawa.

In the past, I’ve written up summaries on Can*Con on a day-by-day basis, but this year I’m going to group like things together instead. I’m only talking, of course, about the panels and workshops that I actually attended. Every year there are so many great things that I can’t get to and this year was no different. So, I made some hard decisions and these are the ones I picked.

I tend to take copious notes, but these are just brief descriptions with a key thing or two I learned or found particularly striking or useful. Of course, these are my thoughts and notes and should not be construed as other people’s ideas.

Today I thought I would talk about the “writing-related” panels (and workshop) that I went to.

Friday afternoon I went to workshop with Derek Newman-Stille called “Diving into fantasy locations.” As a group, we looked at a series of images of natural and human-constructed places that Derek had put together and we brainstormed ideas about the beings and situations that would live in and emanate from such places, thinking about how we’re influenced by geographic and climatic (and other) experiences.

This was such a useful reminder about focusing on place and setting and how setting should be an active part of the story, interacting and informing character and plot.

Now to some of the writing type panels.

“Traumas and Triggers: Navigating the Dark Stuff,” moderated by Adam Shaftoe with panelists E.C. Bell, Erin Rockfort, and Geneviève Hébert-Jodoin.

Clearly, I enjoy these sorts of panels, as I attend them year after year, but I do find they can often result in everyone just agreeing. However, this panel had some really interesting things to say about catharsis and validation, along with how it is not the large, obvious things that are necessarily traumatic, but the more specific, everyday things.

“Worldbuilding: Government and Politics,” moderated by Anatoly Belilovsky with Millie Ho, Stephen Graham King, Leo Valiquette, Nisa Malli, and Jonathan Crowe.

This panel resulted in a really interesting discussion that gave me a lot to think about with regards to my current work in progress (a novella about anarchism, labour exploitation, and the Moon). One of the things that really struck me was the comment that the more information you provide the reader, the more room you give them to develop doubt. I can get stuck in wanting to explain all. the. things. so I’m taking that to heart.

I’m also still thinking about the idea of humanizing conflict by putting a face on the bureaucracy (eg Umbrage in Harry Potter).


Okay, I’m going to stop here for now. Next I’ll write about the other writing-related panels I attended.

New story coming out soon!

I have a story, The Sound of Home, in Dragon Bike: Fantastical Stories of Bicycling, Feminism, & Dragons, which will be published in February 2020.

But you can pre-order it, along with other goodies, through a Kickstarter campaign until October 31, 2019.

There has been a lot of talk about the current attempts to unionize Kickstarter (and the management resistance to it). The employees don’t want people to boycott Kickstarter yet. There is an explanation of the situation (and a link to a petition) on the campaign page.

Queer Sci Fi’s latest anthology, Migration (yes, I have a story in it)

Migration

Queer Sci Fi has just released the annual QSF Flash Fiction anthology. This year, the theme is “Migration.”

MI-GRA-TION (noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Other Worlds Ink | Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 gift Amazon certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4774/?


Excerpt

Migration meme

Each year, hundreds of writers send in stories for the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology. Here are the opening lines from some of the stories chosen for the 2019 edition – Migration:

“Darkness has substance. It is tangible; different shades within the black, sounds, a taste. It is accompanied by self-awareness of time and thoughts, even when other senses fail.” —Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker

“The sky has been screaming for five straight days when the shrimps come to take us away. They’ve been boxing up the others and hauling them off. Now they’re here for us, soaking wet, dragging cords and crates behind them.” —Shrimpanzee, Sionnain Bailey

“Allister always had faultless hair. He’d comb and gel it to perfection while gazing in the mirror. One day a pair of eyes stared back.” —Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr

“On her sister’s wedding day Ari noticed that one of her ears had migrated to her hand. It was right after her high school crush, Emily, arrived with Cousin Matt.” —Playing It By Ear, Aidee Ladnier

“The wound was fatal. Their vessel wouldn’t live much longer. This is what came from leaving loose ends. Frantically they sought out a new vessel to migrate to. “ —The Essence, by L.M. Brown

“That night, we were sitting in the bed of her daddy’s old pickup truck and the radio was playing the best song. We had a pack of cigarettes between us and her hand was almost touching mine. The wheat field was silver in the moonlight. When they came, we weren’t surprised, just disappointed that our time was up already.” —Our Song, by Lauren Ring

“Willow said she was my wife, but I knew it wasn’t her, not the right her, anyway. Sure she looked like her with olive skin and bright pink hair. She even smelled of mango flowers, just like I remembered, but there was something about her smile that was slightly off, something about when she said she loved me that didn’t sit well in my old heart.” — They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre

“Agnes is eight when she first sees the river. Cutting its way through town, the only thing she knows not coated in coal dust. She sticks her toes in, comes home with wet socks and a secret. See, the river hadn’t been there yesterday.” —Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz

“Terry twirled in her green synthsilk dress, looked at her reflection, liked what she saw. She felt good in her own skin, for maybe the first time.” —Altball, by RE Andeen

“The thing was in the corner. It had come through the window and had slid down the wall. Scratch went the sound. The noise of a hundred nails clawing at the wood. Nails of white bone. Alex pulled the sheets up quickly, covering every inch of skin and hair in a warm darkness.” —Whose Nightmare, by Jamie Bonomi


Author Bio

A hundred and twenty authors are included in Migration:

  • Butterflies, by A O’Donovan
  • The Return, by A.M. Leibowitz
  • A New Spring, by Aaron Silver
  • Universal Quota, by Abby Bartle
  • The Call of Home, by Adrienne Wilder
  • Starfall, by Adrik Kemp
  • Playing it By Ear, by Aidee Ladnier
  • Rabbit, by Amanda Thomas
  • That Does Not Love…, by Andi Deacon
  • Inborn, by Andrea Speed
  • Saving Ostakis, by Angelica Primm
  • A Dawn Wish, by Antonia Aquilante
  • Diaspora, by Ariel E. James
  • Transmigration, by Ashby Danvers
  • Across the Mirror, by Ava Kelly
  • Between, by BE Allatt
  • The Speck, by Bey Deckard
  • The King of the Mountain Cometh, by Bob Goddard
  • Before and After, by C. A. Chesse
  • Home, by C.A. McDonald
  • Too Much Tech, by C.L. Mannarino
  • Ze Who Walks Into the Future, by Carey Ford Compton
  • The Gate, by Carol Holland March
  • Our Last Light Skip, by Chloe Spencer
  • Passage, by Christine Taylor-Butler
  • The Perils of Pick-Up Lines, by Colton Aalto
  • Parched, by Crysta K. Coburn
  • Changeling Dreams, by Damian Serbu
  • Destinations, by Dave Creek
  • Another Job, Another Planet, by David Viner
  • Thiefmaster Rosalind’s Apprentice, by Devon Widmer
  • A Weight Off Their Shoulders, by Diane Morrison
  • Once a Year, by Dianne Hartsock
  • Mettle, by Die BoothForever Bound, by E.W. Murks
  • They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
  • Til Death Do Us Part, by Elizabeth Anglin
  • Little One, by Eloreen Moon
  • GBFN, by Emilia Agrafojo
  • The Long Distance Thing, by Ether Nepenthes
  • Call My People Home, by Evelyn Benvie
  • Jace vs. the Incubi, by Eytan Bernstein
  • A New Tradition, by Foster Bridget Cassidy
  • The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel
  • Ready, by Hank Edwards
  • The Albatrosses, by Harry F. Rey
  • A Boy’s Shadow, by Helen De Cruz
  • Portrait of a Lady, by Isobel Granby
  • Beam That Is In, by J. Comer
  • The Hunt, by J. R. Frontera
  • Repeating History, by J. Summerset
  • Neil’s Journey, by J.P. Bowie
  • Homeward Bound, by J.S. Garner
  • Whose Nightmare?, by Jamie Bonomi
  • A Moment of Bravery, by Jessie Pinkham
  • Laetus, by Jet Lupin
  • Where You Go, I’ll Follow, by Joe Baumann
  • Ambrose Out of Ash, by Jonathan Fesmire
  • Shooting Modes, by Joshua Darrow
  • TerrorForm, by Juam Jocom
  • The Curse, by Jude Reid
  • Throwing Eggs, by K E Olukoya
  • Fly, by Kayleigh Sky
  • The Keep, by KC Burn
  • Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
  • The Risks and Advantages of Data Migration, by Kim Fielding
  • Irreversible, by kim gryphon
  • Looner, by Krishan Coupland
  • The Essence, by L.M. Brown
  • Our Song, by Lauren Ring
  • O Human Child, by Lisa Hamill
  • Goodbye Marghretta, by Lou Sylvre
  • Choices, by LV Lloyd
  • Endangered Species, by M Joseph Murphy
  • Planet Retro, Unplugged, by M. X. Kelly
  • Elemental, by M.D. Grimm
  • To Wish on a Love Knot, by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
  • Firebirds, by Marita M. Connor
  • Breeding Season, by Mary Newman
  • Kooks at Home, by Matt McHugh
  • Spring, by Mere Rain
  • Into the South, by Mindy Leana Shuman
  • Not How We Planned It, by Minerva Cerridwen
  • What Is Left Behind, by Monique Cuillerier
  • How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?, by Nathan Alling Long
  • Innocence, by Nathaniel Taff
  • Heart and Soul, by Nils Odlund
  • Tides, by Patricia Scott
  • Killer Queen, by Paula McGrath
  • Genesis, by Pelaam
  • If Pigs Could Fly, by Penelope Friday
  • Click, by R R Angell
  • Be Kind to Strangers, by Raina Lorring
  • Altball, by RE Andeen
  • Far From Home, by Riley S. Keene
  • Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
  • Night Comes to the Bea Arthur, by Rory Ni Coileáin
  • MIG Ration, by S R Jones
  • Going Back, by Sacchi Green
  • World Behind and Home Ahead, by Sara Testarossa
  • The Call of the Suet, by Sarah Hadley Brook
  • Research & Development, by Shaina Phillips
  • Into the Void, by Shannon Brady
  • The Silkie’s Dance, by Shannon West
  • Seal Hunt, by Shirley Meier
  • Shrimpanzee FIRST IN BOOK, by Sionnain Bailey
  • The Woman With No Name, by Siri Paulson
  • Memories of Clay, by Spencer Mann
  • Simulacrum, by Steve Carr
  • The Experience, by Steve Fuson
  • Flight, by Steven Harper
  • Birds of New Atlantis, by Stewart C Baker
  • Lurching Forward, by Sydney Blackburn
  • Spores of Retribution, by Tray Ellis
  • Skin Hunger, by Treasure Nguyen
  • Elvira, by Trevor Barton
  • Ever After, by Warren Rochelle
  • Into the Light, by Wart Hill
  • Dryads, by X Marduk
  • Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz