MileHiCon Schedule and Publication Announcement (Updated)

MileHiCon is just around the corner again. This year marks the 49th occurrence of this magnificent convention, and the first year where Ed Bryant’s presence will be more of a memory than a staple. A number of events are planned to remember MileHiCon’s favorite toastmaster, and I will be involved with several of them.

Of those events, the one I’m most looking forward to is a selection of readings from the upcoming Ed Bryant anthology tribute, Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence, due out in November. My story “Chesterfield Gray”, which I’ve referenced in this blog multiple times, is in that anthology, and I’ll be reading a selection from it. My story is in esteemed company; several pro-level and best-selling authors are also in the book, including Connie Willis, Kevin J. Anderson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Mario Acevedo, Lucy Taylor, Gary Jonas, … the list goes on. In the end, I think this will be a fantastic tribute to our mutual friend Ed. Thanks to Chuck Anderson and Jim Lemay at Mad Cow Press for all their hard work in putting this tribute together.

My MileHiCon 49 appearance schedule is below. As usual, MileHiCon is being held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center location. The dates are October 27-29, 2017.

Friday, October 27, 2017
I won’t be on any panels on Friday this year, but I will be attending the con, so catch me if you want to say hi!

Saturday, October 28, 2017
1pm — Roundtable: How Can Creativity Transfer? (Bristlecone) — A discussion about how creativity can bridge or transfer between mediums and genres. I’ll be moderating this one, with panel participants Boom Baumgartner, R. Alan Brooks, Kirsten Imani Kasai, et. al.

6pm — Iron Hack (Mesa Verde B) — UPDATED — I learned what this panel is about, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. From the description: “Our fearless contestants–given four ingredients by the Audience: a person/occupation, a thing, a place, and a time period–will then write a piece of Flash fiction. Results will be read and winner chosen by audience acclaim.” I’ll be moderating this panel, too, with panel participants Chris Barili, Nathan Beauchamp, Greg Hyde, and Author Guest of Honor Jane Lindskold. (Gulp! I’m going up against Jane Lindskold in a flash fiction contest?!)

9pm — SF Poetry Slam (Avistrum Academy, 12th Floor) — It sounds like this year’s poetry panel is more of a competition than a reading, as it has been in past years. We can either prepare a poem beginning with the line “In a hundred years” or compete in an improv “slam” format. Tim Anderson will be leading this panel, and I’ll be participating with Jane Bigelow, Rob S. Rice, and others.

11pm — Group Reading & Discussion: The Ed Bryant Anthology (Avistrum Academy, 12th Floor) — Traditionally, Ed Bryant used to hold a late night reading at MileHiCon. This year, in honor of that tradition, Mad Cow Press will be presenting readings from several of the authors in the forthcoming anthology Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence. I will be reading from my story in the volume, “Chesterfield Gray”.

Sunday, October 29, 2017
1pm — Southwest Regional Authors (Wind River A) — What impact or flavor does the Southwest give to fiction written here, or by authors who live here? I’m honored to be on this panel with Paolo Bacigalupi, Robin D. Owens, and Aaron Michael Ritchey, moderated by Dana Bell.

3pm — Ed Bryant Remembered (Mesa Verde B) — A panel for all to talk about memories of Ed, similar to the remembrance that was held for him earlier this year at the Mercury Cafe. This is an opportunity for those who couldn’t attend the remembrance to tell their stories and listen to others’ stories about how Ed affected their lives. A memory book will be launched here, curated by Deena Larsen, and other projects involving Ed’s work will be covered, like Jean-Philippe Gervais’ massive three volume compendium of Ed’s collected works. I’ll be coordinating the speaking at this event, and a number of people are expected to attend, including Cynthia Felice, Greg Hyde, Ronnie Seagren, John Stith, and many more.

MALCon 2017 Panel Schedule

Myths & Legends Con 2017 hits the Ramada in Northglenn, CO on Friday,  August 4th, and wraps up on Sunday, August, 6th. Here is my official MALCon panel schedule. The room names are in parentheses.

Friday, August 4, 2017
5:00 PM: Unsung Villainesses and Heriones of Fandom (Serenity)
Bryan Fields, Tonya L. De Marco, Stace Johnson
Starting with Professor McGonagall, who are some of the great unsung heroines and villainesses of fandom?.

10:00 PM: Building and Cultivating Your Creative Community (Helms Deep)
Melanie Unruh, Sarin Tatroe (Sariochan Arts), Veronica Calisto, Stace Johnson
How do you find people with shared creative energies to build community that inspires and helps you grow as an artist, author, musician, crafter, etc? Learn how others have found and built safe, creative communities with a spirit of helping one another thrive.

—- —- —-

Saturday, August 5, 2017
2:00 PM: Wish You Were There: Worldbuilding (The Shire)
Amalie Howard, Sean Patrick Fannon, Veronica Calisto, Stace Johnson
There are two kinds of worldbuilding: the kind that describes the story’s world, and the kind that makes you wish you were there. Authors discuss the difference, and offer tips and techniques to help you bring your own fictional worlds to life.

4:00 PM: Serenity vs. Firefly: The Audience Quiz Bowl Game (Helms Deep)
Ana MacDonel, Pam Walker, Stace Johnson
Do you know more about Serenity and Firefly than your friends? Now is your chance to find out how much you know in this family-friendly and fun game where deep knowledge is pitted against recall speed.

6:00 PM: Verse in the ‘Verse: Poetry and the Firefly Universe (Kings Landing)
Stace Johnson, Bryan Fields
Readings of fan poetry, impromptu Firefly poetry, and any poetry based on Firefly topics. Bring your material to share or provide prompts to the panelists.

7:00 PM: Relationship, Sexual, and Gender Diversity in Fandoms (Helms Deep)
Catherine Winters, Layman Kingsford, Veronica Calisto, Stace Johnson
Sometimes representation of diverse relationships styles, sexualities, and genders is overt in fandoms, and other times they are fan created. What are some examples of non-cis/heterosexual/monoamorous relationships we see and are these characters authentic and fairly represented?

9:00 PM: Epic Rap Battles of Literature! (Helms Deep)
Jason Henry Evans, Thomas A. Fowler, Stace Johnson
Two teams go head to head in a rap battle where the topics are Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, Lord of the Rings, and more. Fight!

—- —- —-

Sunday, August 6, 2017
10:00 AM: Polyamory and Non-monogamy in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Terre d’Ange)
Jacqueline Koyanagi, Vivian Caethe, Stace Johnson
Panelists will review SFF genre fiction throughout the decades with non-monogamous and polyamorous themes and how they have influenced current lifestyle trends.

11:00 AM: Lord of the Rings: Myth or Mythopoetic (Helms Deep)
Aaron Michael Ritchey, Andrew Hallam, Stace Johnson
Tolkien’s works are often referred to as modern myth, but are actually mythopoetic. Our panelists explain the difference and how Tolkien fits into each.

Perspectives

(This poem was inspired by a post on Drew Myron’s website.)

Perspectives

I am from a southwest past
from mountains and trailer parks,
from cactus and chiles and columbines
from sagebrush and snow and shame and guilt

I am from a frightening present
from Trump and chaos
from Putin and Assad and Kim Jong Il
from walls and racism and leaks and fear

I am from a bygone future
from Bradbury and Heinlein
from BASIC and DOS and Lotus 1-2-3
from Kirk and Solo and Reynolds and Sheridan

I am from a simpler time
from Skinny Minnie and Lyledy Dyledy
from Judy and Bruce and Tuffweetie
from Ralph Edwards and Dick Van Dyke and NBC and CBS

— Stace Johnson, 2017

February Word Challenge, Day 27

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are button, verse, ambiguous, passport, bundle.

Chosen word for free association: all
(I’m going to try to write something that makes sense using all of the prompt words.)

Exercise:

“Now, I don’t take too kindly to bein’ hornswaggled. I don’t recall the terms of our deal bein’ ambiguous, and I definitely don’t remember giving you a passport to anybody’s quarters.”

“But Captain Reynolds, I was just …”

Mal held up his forefinger. “A-bup-bup-bup. You don’t talk right now.” He leaned down and looked in the thief’s eyes. “I’d just as soon have you out of my ‘Verse, but I reckon off my boat’ll do. So you grab your bundle and button your coat up tight. You’re gettin’ off at St. Albans, and it’s a might bit chilly there.”

Mal turned and walked toward the stairs. “Zoë, tie him up and let him contemplate the meanin’ of his actions.”

“W-what season is it where you’re dropping me off?” asked the thief.

“Winter,” said Zoë, pulling his hands behind a pole. “It’s always winter on St. Albans.”

Mal called over his shoulder. “Don’t worry; we’ll give you some of Jayne’s coffee to keep you warm.”

From the balcony above came, “Hey! Don’t be givin’ away my coffee!”

Mal looked up. “What? I’m not gonna give him the good stuff!” He smirked at Kaylee and climbed the stairs.

February Word Challenge, Day 26

(If you’re wondering what this is about, read this.)

My five random words for today’s exercise are pain, shrimps, herb, copier, van.

Chosen word for free association: pain
physical, emotional, feeling, heartache, loss, longing, missing, release, alive, need

Exercise:

(Trigger Warning: intentional self-harm)

She eased her fingers into the steaming curtain of water spewing from the showerhead. Not bad, she thought, but it needs to be hotter. I can barely even feel that. She nudged the outside collar of the shower fixture a little further to the left. The central water in her apartment building was entirely unpredictable, but it was worth a shot. “Please, please, please …,” she whispered. She felt the warmth increase on her fingers and hand. “Yes!”

She pushed her arm further into the water, felt it scalding her skin. She pulled it back out a little; it was already getting red. Good. That’s just right. She turned and slowly backed into the shower stream, letting the liquid fire coat first her calves and legs, then leaving stinging streaks as it rolled down and around her ankle to molest the fresh skin on top of her feet. Then the pain hit her lower back and flared down her crack to her rectum, blossoming outward like a rose in time-lapse. Slowly, slowly, she eased further back into the water, careful not to scald the fair skin of her back too quickly. She gritted her teeth and hissed through them as she breathed in, eyes closed, head turned to the side. God, I need this.

As the pain climbed up between her shoulder blades, she rolled her head forward, letting some scalding water run around her neck and down her chest. Rivulets of lava, in her mind. She turned her torso slowly to the left, then across to the right, painting her back a uniform red with the showerhead. She looked down, and could see the clear division on her side between the raw, pink skin of her back and the near alabaster of her ribcage. I’d better stop, she thought, but continued standing under the fiery rain until she could feel the temperature of the water dropping. The water was still probably too hot for other people, but it wasn’t hot enough for her any more.

She stayed in a couple of minutes more anyway, letting the dropping temperature cool her skin a bit. Then she turned off the water and carefully toweled herself dry. When she looked in the mirror, she could still see bright red on her back, and some red streaks down her chest and onto her belly. She took a selfie. Her proof; proof that she had felt something.

Not that anyone would ever know, of course. She just had to prove it to herself.