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10 September 2015 @ 07:51 am

I'm back from DragonCon, after having an even better time than anticipated. I'll be putting together a report, after I finish working through the pile o' stuff that accumulated during the week I was away, but in the meantime...

The Daily Dragon is DragonCon's "newspaper", distributed in hardcopy throughout the hotels and function spaces and electronically on the website and through the DragonCon app. In addition to invaluable info like programming changes, cancellations, changes of location and/or time, reminders, and the like, there are features such as reviews of panels and interviews.

It was my honor to be one of the featured interviews this year, and it was great fun fielding questions from Amanda Faith. Here's the piece that resulted:

Lee Martindale: “Poet, songsmith, teller of tales, lover, student, teacher, warrior… Bard”

Current Location: DragonCon
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
27 August 2015 @ 01:33 pm
Yes, it’s enormous. Yes, it’s crowded. And noisy and weird and wonderful. And I love every blooming minute of it.

The gods have smiled, the patterns have aligned, and a bunch of hardworking volunteers in numerous departments have wrought their magick. My schedule and other pertinent info is in hand, I’m packing like a madwoman, and in a few short days I will making my way to Atlanta for the festivities. Here’s where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing during the slotted times. Again this year, it appears I’m listed as moderator for all the panels on my schedule, and I’m more than happy to put those skills to use. Besides, it’s fun!

Friday, Sept 4

11:30am - 12:30pm, Embassy A-B - Hyatt
Sci-Fi Literature Track
Panel: Definitions
Bill Fawcett, Chris A. Jackson, Lee Martindale (M), Stephen H. Segal, and Mark L. Van Name.

What do all those genre labels mean? What elements define a work as being in a particular genre?

4:00pm - 5:00pm, Edgewood - Hyatt
Reading: Lee Martindale

As of right now, I’m thinking of making this one “listeners’ choice” from the Bard’s Road collection.

8:30pm - 9:30pm, Embassy A-B - Hyatt
Sci-Fi Literature Track
Panel: Blurred Lines: Genres within Genres
Jenna Black, David Mack, Lee Martindale (M), S.M. Sterling, Debbie Viguie

Earlier in the day, a panel defined the genres. This one examines mixing genres and subgenres in one’s work.

Saturday, Sept 5

2:30pm - 3:30pm, Embassy A-B - Hyatt
Sci-Fi Literature Track
Panel: Strong Women in SF
Elizabeth Moon, Esther Friesner, Lee Martindale (M), Kelly Swilley, Ceccato, Amy Herring

It ain’t your granddad’s science fiction, when men were men and women were good screamers, anymore, but then again, it never really was. We’ll talk about what makes a “strong female character”, and talk about some of our favorites.

7:00pm - 8:00pm, Embassy D-F - Hyatt
Sci-Fi Literature Track
Panel: Challenges for Today's Writers
Taylor Anderson, Kevin Dockery, Laura Anne Gilman, Ciara Knight, Lee Martindale (M), Linda Robertson

If we didn’t live in the real world, being a writer would be the ideal existence. But we do live in the real world, where things like eating on a regular basis, sleeping indoors, paying taxes, and other mundanity are important. We’ll talk about the logistics of being a writer in the real world.

Sunday, Sept. 6

1:00pm - 2:00pm, International Hall South - Marriott
Autograph Session

Come by and say hello.

4:00pm - 5:00pm, Marietta - Hyatt
SFWA Informational Meeting
Open to current SFWA members only

Come here what’s happening in the organization, share opinions, and ask questions.

8:30pm - 9:30pm, Embassy D-F - Hyatt
Writers’ Track
Panel: Just Kill Me Now: Self-editing
Lou Anders, Lindsay Cummings, Lee Martindale (M), Rebecca Moesta, Elizabeth Moon

It’s painful, it’s difficult, and it’s an invaluable skill that makes for better work and better writers. Come learn from some of the best.

Monday, Sept. 7

11:30pm - 12:30pm, Embassy A-B - Hyatt
Sci-Fi Literature Track
Showcase: Eric Flint

I’ll be hosting an hour with the creator of the 1632 universe. He’ll discuss that, what he’s up to now, and take questions from the audience. This should be a lot of fun.

4:00pm - 5:00pm, Embassy D-F - Hyatt
Writers’ Track
Panel: Multi-Cultural and Diverse SF/F Fiction
Lee Martindale (M), Amanda Ray, John Johnston, Lisa Yaszek, Rebecca Kumar, Amy Li

Writers who deliver characters who are culturally diverse and non-stereotypical talk about the why and how of doing just that.

There are any number of panels, dances, meet-and-greets, and concerts I’d like to attend as well, so we’ll see how it goes.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
10 July 2015 @ 01:09 pm

The Baen Podcast featuring a roundtable of Chicks and Balances editors and writers is live. The roundtable itself starts at 4:40 in.


Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
07 July 2015 @ 11:29 am
I recently heard from a very unhappy reader. And when I say “unhappy”, I mean nail-spitting, name-calling, threatening-to-sue-me ticked off.

The woman, it seemed, had downloaded the electronic version of one of the anthologies I edited. When she opened it, it was, she said, the worst piece of (expletive deleted) she’d ever seen. Badly formatted, typos and scrambled characters on almost every line, and more blank pages than pages with text. Some stories stopped mid-sentence, others started midword. Even worse, downloading the file apparently downloaded a nasty virus that required professional help to clean up.

You know where this is going. She’d downloaded the book for free. The hot mess she described was consistent with running hard copy through bad OCR and not reviewing the file that resulted.  Sending a virus along as a “bonus” is a common practice, often the primary purpose, among those who set up such sites.  But the final confirmation came with the name of the anthology she’d acquired. Such A Pretty Face was published in limited edition hardcover and trade paperback only.  Once rights to each story reverted back to the individual writers, some put them out in e-version themselves, but as for the anthology as a whole, there has never been a legitimately published e-version.  Any e-copy you see being offered for download is unauthorized and, most definitely, not “real”. It’s a rip-off of the writers, the editor, the copyrights holders, and those who download it.

Such A Pretty Face isn’t the only entry in the HarpHaven catalog being pirated. Granted, the files on the others may be better formatted, since I suspect they’re copies of the legitimately-available ebook versions. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find them serving as carriers for viruses and other malware.

So, as a public service, here’s a breakdown of where readers can find The Real Thing when looking for some of the items from HarpHaven Publishing.


There are currently authorized ebook editions of The Ladies of Trade Town, Bard’s Road, and Prejudice by the Pound. All three are available for the Kindle at Amazon.com, and for the Nook at barnesandnoble.com. As mentioned above, there is no authorized edition, in any format, for Such A Pretty Face.

Physical Books

Such A Pretty Face is available in limited edition hard cover and trade paper editions, while The Ladies of Trade Town, Bard’s Road, and Prejudice by the Pound are all available in trade paperback. All are available directly from HarpHaven.net or from Amazon.com. These are all new, not used, copies. You can also find them from other online and brick-n-mortar book dealers, either new or used, from time to time.

Happy, safe, and honest reading!
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
06 July 2015 @ 08:08 am

The HarpHaven website has been refreshed. Homefront news, story news, podcast news, travel news, and other tidbits.  Come take a look!


Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: accomplished
02 June 2015 @ 11:09 am
Yes, again. This time to Chicago for the 50th Anniversary Nebula Award Weekend. The host hotel is the historic and beautiful Palmer House, and the weekend promises to be very special, indeed. Here’s my schedule:

Thursday, June 4

8:00am - 5:00pm

While some attendees spend the day touring the Argonne/Fermi Labs, soaking up knowledge in the Self-Publishing Workshop, or enjoying an afternoon of writer-focused programming, I’ll be involved in the SFWA Board Meeting. Although the Board is in electronic session constantly, this is one of two face-to-face meetings held each year.


Welcome Reception: Wherein attendees are welcomed, Larry Niven, SFWA’s newest Grand Master is honored, and Ad Astra: the 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook is launched.

Friday, June 5

Another full day of programming focused on SFWA history and information for writers. There are several I hope to be in the audience for. And then this:

2:00pm - 3:00pm

What SFWA Can Do For You: Various programs SFWA has for authors and how you can get the most out of your membership. Panelists: Kate Baker, Lee Martindale, Sarah Pinsker, Bud Sparhawk

8:00pm - 9:30pm

Mass Autographing: One of my favorite events on any Nebula Weekend schedule. A opportunity to see and visit with folks I might not otherwise get a chance to the rest of the weekend, meet some fans, and – ohyeah – sell copies of The Ladies of Trade Town and Bard’s Road. Looking forward to this.

Saturday, June 6

10:00am - Noon

SFWA Business Meeting: All SFWA members encouraged to attend.


Disability and Narrative: The write-up: “Disabled characters are often omitted from science fiction and fantasy. Many of those that do appear are characterized through the use of stereotypes and tropes Panelists will discuss existing representations of disability, both positive and negative, and talk about ways to accurately research and engage with disabled characters.” Panelists: Walt Boyes, Russell Davis, Annalee Flower Horne, Matthew Johnson, Lynne Thomas, Lee Martindale

Beginning at 6:00pm

Awards Reception, The Banquet, and the Awards Ceremony: “And the Nebula goes to....”

Sunday, June 7

Another full day of good programming, and – since I’m not scheduled – I have the chance to sit in the audience and soak up info. Or I may play hooky and head for the Field Museum.

It’s going to be a quite a weekend.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: goodgood
20 May 2015 @ 11:48 am
I'm getting ready to run away into all of space and time with a man in a blue box. Well, if it’s like previous years, there will be several iterations of the man, and at least two blue boxes. Not to mention a number of guests from both sides of the camera and out of a broad spectrum of Whovian history.

I’m speaking, of course, of TimeGate, the wonderful Atlanta-area Memorial Weekend convention focused on all things Doctor Who and several other Brit-based media fandoms, literature, and culture. I’m honored to be returning again as a guest, and I’ve been gifted with a lovely schedule of panels and other assorted fun to get into. Here’s what’s on tap for me. (All panel descriptions are from the program.)


6:00pm: Opening Ceremonies

7:00pm: Trip of a Lifetime: The 2005 Season. “Looking back at 10 years of new Who - not to mention 10 years of TimeGate.  We’ll reminisce about “Rose” and the amazing season that brought back The Doctor at last. Panelists: Martin Hennessee, Ashley Raburn, Chad Colvin, Lee Martindale, Kathy Sullivan.”

8:00pm: LIT: Sense of Wonder. “American and British authors tend to have different sensibilities. Our panelists discuss the differences and whether the Brits have a better ‘sense of wonder’”. Panelists: James Palmer, Lee Martindale, Bill Ritch.”


11:00am: LIT: A Remembrance of Sir Terry Pratchett. “Discworld, the Wee Free Men, the Long Earth. Terry Pratchett brought humor and thoughtfulness to fantasy. We remember the man and his work. Panelists: Lee Martindale, Dawn Benton, Sue Phillips.”

3:00pm: Don't Stop Me Now: Season 8 (2014) Review. “Listen! Take a trip through the 2014 series, from Victorian London to the Matrix Dataslice, from Sherwood Forest to the North Pole with Peter Capaldi’s compelling new Doctor. Panlists: Louis Robinson, John Rabon, Lee Martindale, Ashley Raburn, Martin Hennessee.”

10:00pm: Game! Of! Thrones! “(Say it like Wheel! Of! Fortune!) Are you hooked? Yeah, we know you are. Come detox with us and talk about what you love (and who you hate) Plus, no Game of Thrones panel would be complete without speculation about who is next to die. Panelists: Aaron Dunne, Hannah Hudson, Lee Martindale, Ellie Collins.”

11:00pm: OutlantaCon Presents: The Match Game. “For the 21+ crowd. The classic game comes to TimeGate - hosted by OutlantaCon.”


11:00am: LIT: Books We Would Like to See as Films. “Our panelists suggest books that have not yet been given the film treatment...should they or shouldn’t they? Panelists: James Palmer,  Bill Ritch, Lee Martindale”

3:00pm: LIT: So You Want to Be a Writer? “Our panel of experts answer your questions about breaking into the field. Panelists: Lee Martindale , James Palmer”

6:00pm: Wrap-Up

Am I going to have fun? Youbetcha! For a look at the full schedule and other tasty tidbits of info, including a complete list of guests, go to http://www.timegatecon.org.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
22 April 2015 @ 11:52 am
The programming schedule and assignments are up for my next convention, OutlantaCon, and I do believe they’ve outdone themselves in the “put Lee in a pile o’ mischief and see what happens” department.

Friday, May 8

6:00pm - 7:15pm: Opening Ceremonies

In which we kick off the festivities good and proper. May be the first and last time “proper” applies to the weekend.

10:30pm-11:45pm: Writer's Story-Telling Improv

From the write-up: “It's like Who's Line Is It but for authors. Our host will pose the games and authors will make up the story line based on audience suggestions.” Host: Lee Cox.
Story-Tellers: Ally Blue, TC Blue, Lee Martindale, & Kiernan Kelly

Note: I’ve done something like this many times at MidSouthCon under the title of “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night”, and a couple of times at BayCon, where it’s called “A Shot Rang Out!”.  It’s always been great fun for audience and panelists alike. And with this being OutlantaCon...

Saturday, May 9

noon - 1:15pm: Snappy Comebacks to Common Nonsense

The write-up: “Ever thought of a good comeback to an insult or silly comment 10 minutes after the opportunity to use it? Learn how a little prior planning equals thinking fast on your feet. Interactive role-playing and snark could be involved here.” Panelist: Lee Martindale

Note: Snark? Moi? Okay, okay, these folks know me pretty well.

6:00pm - 7:15pm: How NOT to Get Published: Tips for New and Aspiring Writers on the Mistakes and Pitfalls on the Path to Publication

The write-up: “This panel discusses the frequent mistakes that keep otherwise good stories from seeing publication.” Panelist: Lee Martindale

9:00pm - 10:15pm: Match Game

The writeup: “Our most popular event of the con, contestants attempt to match answers to humorous questions as provided by our panelists.” Host: Darren Nowell
Panelists: Java Green, Lee Martindale, Moxie Magnus, & David Yost

Tradition lives and I’ll once again be channeling Fannie Flagg in a version of the venerable TV game show with a distinctly OutlantaCon flair. (Note to self: pack a flask.)

10:30pm - 11:45pm: Confidence: The Ultimate Sexy

The write-up: “There's just something about a person who's comfortable in his/her own skin. The panelists explore what that is.” Panelist: Lee Martindale

Note: Really looking forward to this one.

Sunday, May 10

1:30pm - 2:45pm: Activism 101: Yes You CAN Make a Difference

The write-up: “Effective activism techniques for beginners.” Panelist: Lee Martindale

3:00pm - 4:15pm: Hollywood Squares

From the write-up: “It's OutlantaCon's version of the classic TV game show where panelists answer trivia questions to help contestants win prizes. “ Host: Jose Quiles
Panelists: Lee Martindale, Moxie Magnus, Jason Bush, Ellie Collins, Kiernan Kelly, Pinky Shear, Kage Alan, Brandon Ley, Don Teems

Note: what a way to finish out my programming schedule!

4:30pm - 5:45pm: Closing Ceremonies

The write-up: “We can't believe it's time to close out another Outlantacon. Please join us as we regale our 2015 The Outlantacon Team."

Yes, I’m going to have a great deal of fun. And that’s just part of a truly outstanding programming line-up, and the rest of the weekend’s activities, at http://www.outlantacon.org.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: gigglygiggly
05 April 2015 @ 04:52 pm

Happy Easter to those who celebrate The Resurrection, and Chag Pesach to those celebrating Passover.

For your reading pleasure: the HarpHaven Website has been updated. Travel news, a report on AnachroCon, story news, and Adventures in Handicap Travel. You'll find it at http://www.HarpHaven.net


Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: busy
25 February 2015 @ 10:50 am
My first convention of the year (and let me tell you, I'm ready!) is AnachroCon, a wonderful gathering in Atlanta that brings together the best in steampunk, costuming, time-travel, and alternate history programming. My programming is evenly split between the Literary Track and the Time Vortex (Doctor Who) Track, and the topics and panelists promise to be a lot of fun.


3:00pm: “Exploring Gender in Alternate History”. Discussing the construction of gender, gender roles, and related issues in steampunk and alternate history. Lee Martindale (M), Tyra Burton, Meghan Harker

5:00pm: “The Uses of History: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Alternate History” How historical fiction, historical fantasy, and alternate history differ from each other. Is there such a thing as too much alteration in alternate history? Lee Martindale (M), Toni Weisskopf, Milton J. Davis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Charlotte Babb, Julia Morgan Scott, Meghan Harker

7:00pm: “Monsters: What Works, What Doesn’t?” The Doctor has faced many monsters over the years. Which have been the most successful, which fell short of the mark, and what makes makes a Doctor Who monster “work”? Robert Lloyd, Hannah Hudson, Lee Martindale, Caro Brown


12:00pm: “Season 8 Review”. A new regeneration of the Doctor, a companion shifting tact, and a new take on an old nemesis made for a lots of discussion in the Whoverse. We’ll talk about our opinions of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, which stories we liked, what didn’t work for us, and other topics likely to get me lynched. Josh Wilson, Robert Lloyd, Mike Faber, Lee Martindale

1:00pm: “So You Want to Write Alternate History . . .” Advice from authors and editors on writing alternate history novels and short stories. Lee Martindale (M), Toni Weisskopf, Leanna Renee Hieber, James Palmer, D. Alan Lewis, Milton J. Davis, Catherine Barson, Meghan Harker

2:00pm: “10 Years of New Who” The “modern era” of Doctor Who began on March 26, 2005 with David Tennant in the iconic role. We’ll look at how and why of its remarkable success. Robert Lloyd, Daniel Pierce, Mike Faber, Lee Martindale

4:00pm: “50th Anniversary In Review” A look at Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary year and how a remarkable birthday was celebrated. Hannah Hudson, Daniel Pierce, Mike Faber, Lee Martindale

7:00pm: “What The Master Teaches Us About Gender” When, in 2014, one of The Doctor’s most iconic adversaries came back with a difference that sent Whovian discussion and show canon off in spirited discussion. We’ll talk about what it means and where things might go from here. Josh Wilson, VandyBeth Glenn, Lee Martindale, Ken Spivey


10:00am: “What’s Up in Steampunk” Current trends, possible directions, and things we’d love to see. Lee Martindale, Toni Weisskopf, D. Alan Lewis, James Palmer, Milton J. Davis, Meghan Harker

11:00am: “Steampunk Themes in Who” Over the course of 51 years, there have been definite elements in Doctor Who. We’ll look at how Steampunk has been represented. Aloysius Fox, Robert Lloyd, Lee Martinale, Ken Spivey

12:00pm: “Exploring Race and Ethnicity in Alternate History” How well does alternate history handle issues of race, ethnicity, and culture diversity? What can it do better and how? Lee Martindale, Milton J. Davis, Meghan Harker

Yes, I’m going to be busy, and I couldn't be more pleased. It should be a fun convention all around.
Current Location: Home Sweet HarpHaven
Current Mood: bouncybouncy