It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I took a business trip to Atlanta and got sick in the middle of it, then when I got back, we fell into an opportunity to move into a brick Tudor Revival house that we have loved for years. So, for the last week, we’ve been frantically moving stuff from the old mobile home to the new house, and now that everything’s moved, we begin the process of unboxing and evaluating how much of this stuff we actually need.  (Yeah, I know, it’s a bit backwards, but we didn’t have a lot of time to go through things before moving.)

As always, there are casualties in moving. For me, the biggest casualty has been my signed first-edition hardback of Contact, by Carl Sagan.  It was destroyed by water damage while in storage at the old house.  The book is was worth a fair amount of money, but the sentimental value of the book was much greater to me because it was given to me by a writing group friend a decade or so ago.  There were other signed hardbacks in the same box, by authors like Dan Simmons and Leslie Marmon Silko, and my beloved trade paperback of Silko’s Ceremony was ruined as well, but none of those books held the same emotional attachment for me that Contact did.  Ah, well.

I received my preliminary schedule for MileHiCon 44 today, and will post that later, but for now, I wanted to take the time to just write something on this long-neglected blog.

My MileHiCon 43 Schedule

It’s October once again, which means MileHiCon is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center on October 21-23, 2011.

I’m not normally much of a convention goer, but I do enjoy attending MileHiCon every year, and I’m honored to be chosen for some panels again this time.  If you’re interested in attending any of my panels, here’s where I’ll be and when I’ll be there.


SF (and Otherwise) Poetry Slam — Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM in Mesa Verde A

Like last year, Rhysling Award nominee David Lee Summers will be moderating this event, and I get to share the panel with Robin M. Ambrozic (author of the Piccolo epic fantasy novels), artist Gail R. Barton, and others to be determined.  This is likely to be less of a poetry slam and more of a reading, if David runs it like he did last year (and I hope he does!)


Sounds Like Steampunk — Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM in Wind River A

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn will moderate this panel.  I’ll join panelists Jason Heller (Westword music writer), artist Alisia Silliman, and David Lee Summers (who is evidently stalking me, or vice versa), presumably to discuss Steampunk’s influence on music.


Polyamory in SF/F — Sunday, October 23, 2011 at Noon in Wind River B

If someone were to create a Venn diagram of SF/F literature and alternative lifestyles (and somebody probably has), the area of intersection would probably be greater than in a similar diagram made about mainstream literature.  This makes sense, because science fiction and fantasy allow for a wide range of thematic exploration, and a number of SF & F authors have explored polyamory in their work.  Join moderator and author Thea Hutcheson, author Jane Bigelow, self-defense author Marc MacYoungLoving More Non-Profit Managing Director Robyn Trask, and Yours Truly as we discuss polyamory in the context of science fiction and fantasy literature.


I hope to see some of you there!

Connections (Vorticism 2010)

This is a poem I wrote for a poetry panel at MileHiCon 42.  It’s the third in my series of Vorticism poems (which are not really about Vorticism as much as they are about embracing technology in general.)  Like most technology-related creative writing, it’s already outdated (Google+, anyone?), but it’s an interesting snapshot of where technology and my mind were at the time.


Connections (Vorticism 2010)

iPhones and Androids and tablets, oh my!
Twitter, Facebook, and SMS in the
Palm of your hand
Instant availability
Instant accessibility
Instant interruptions
Disconnected communication
Never before have we been so
Connected, yet so fragmented.

These are not the ‘droids we were
Looking for.

— Stace Johnson
© 2010

MileHiCon 41

You asked for it, you got it:  My MileHiCon 41 panel schedule!

(Okay, so no one asked for it, but here it is anyway!)

Hyatt Regency — DTC
Saturday, October 24

10:00 AM, Mesa Verde Room A: “GM 101 – A Thief, A Mage, and a Paladin Walk Into the Tavern” — I’m moderating this panel about how a GM can make the difference between a good role-playing campaign and a tortuous one.  Featuring Ephemeris game designer J. Alan Erwine and three other experienced GMs.

12:00 PM, Wind River B: “Disabled Fen and Con Challenges” — Disabled people are SF fans, too!  I expect this to be a frank discussion about what works and what doesn’t for disabled individuals in a convention setting.

2:00 PM, location TBD: “Playing with Stace Johnson” — This probably won’t be as pornographic as it sounds; it’s more likely to be me sitting at a table somewhere armed with one of my favorite games, looking for someone to game with for an hour.  (Unfortunately, it looks like Brandon Sanderson has already claimed Magic: The Gathering.  I’ll have to think of something else.)

4:00 PM, Grand Mesa B-C Stage: “SciFi Theatre” — I don’t know what this is about yet, though I have a guess that it involves either improv or one-act plays.  Either way, Connie Willis is one of the other scheduled participants, so I’m excited.

Sunday, October 25

12:00 PM, Wind River A: “It’s Almost 2010: What is Your Computer Up To?” — I get to be on another tech panel this year, with Andrew Burt, David Dvorkin (I don’t think it’s Daniel), Drupal Master John Fiala, and the mysterious L. Rowe (could be any number of people!)

If you’re coming to MileHiCon, I hope to see you there.  If you’re not, why the hell not?!

I am not a poker pro, but I am a writer

I played in the Inaugural PokerStars Blogger Championship Sunday, and I sucked. I finished in 1193rd place out of 1473. By comparison, Wil Wheaton finished 328th! (Congrats, Wil!)

The long and short of it is that I got impatient. The hand that killed me was a hand on which I should never have bet hard (AQ that turned into a pair of queens) and I got beat by a straight (AK with QJ on the flop and a 10 on the turn.) If you know anything about No Limit Hold-Em, you will know that I should have folded after the flop, rather than raising based on my paired queen. Oh well.

However, I had a blast at MileHiCon 37, both Saturday and Sunday. The panel discussions I participated in were fun, I met some cool people (both fans and participants), and hopefully I made some good impressions. I look forward to participating in the convention next year, assuming they ask me back.

My apologies for the lapse in domain name registration over the last few days. One of the disadvantages of being unemployed is that things like domain name registrations, no matter how crucial they are to supporting a budding writing career, are less important than things like mortgages and car payments.