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Earlier this week, Cooking the Books took a road trip - Michael R. Underwood and I piled everything in the car and headed out for new frontiers… Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 8.52.57 AM

We set up camp at GeekMom to talk about Mike’s latest novella Attack the Geek! Mike brought along a great pizza recipe, as well as a giveaway. There’s still time to enter to win – head on over there.


The next day, over at Apex, I interviewed the amazing Elizabeth Bear about Steles of the Sky, the third book in her Eternal Sky series.  Continue Reading…

My first-ever podcast interview is up, thanks to Shaun Duke and Julia Rios! During ICFA, they interviewed me for the Skiffy & Fanty Show and it was excellent fun.  We talked about Cooking the Books, upcoming stories in Asimov’s and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the worldbuilding behind Bone Arrow… which led me to talk about:

(A) Clouds & wind
(B) Monsters
(C) Wingbuilding


(D) Poop

If you selected D, you win! Great Job, Me! I blame this odd turn of events on my forebears, engineers all. But, truth be told, I do think about structural and engineering details a lot when I build a world. And one part of those details is often poop. Even if it’s not always front and center in the books (Which, thank goodness, it’s not,), thinking about it is important. Go on, have a listen. Continue Reading…

ICFA Roundup

Fran Wilde —  March 27, 2014 — 5 Comments

Last week, I attended my first International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA), but from the moment I arrived – on the same plane as my fabulous roommate Siobhan Carroll – I was made to feel so welcome and at home that I’m positive this will not be my last ICFA.


John Kessel, me, and Jim Kelly. Photo credit: Bill Clemente

The panels and readings were fantastic, with both guests of honor Nnedi Okorafor and Ian Macdondald giving generously of their time and knowledge, and guest scholar Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. delivering a powerhouse of a talk during Friday’s luncheon. The book room was stocked with both fiction and theory, and thanks to Veronica Schanoes, I’m sinking my teeth into some great nonfiction and research.

Though they tried, Brett Cox and Andy Duncan didn’t succeed in convincing me that first-time ICFA readers always stay out all night drinking, so I made it to my reading with Sara Pinborough and Greg Bechtdel (spoilers: they were brilliant) on time and managed to stay awake for the whole thing, despite turning in novel edits just a few hours before. I read from the novel, which was great fun and I received amazing feedback on it.


Meantime, Ellen Klages and Jim Kelly gave me excellent career tips at lunch, and I did a podcast interview with the Skiffy & Fanty folks that started off completely normally, I swear. (It should be up soon.) And then Emily Jiang, John Chu, Max Gladstone, Ilana Teitelbaum Reichert, Ellen Klages (as judge) and I accidentally started a flash fiction contest. Max has a great write up of it on his blog.  Still waiting on that photo of you in the hat, Max!

From visiting with friends and folks I know, love, and admire to staying up until the wee hours talking good versus evil and Bob Dylan to dawn swims in the pool (with singing, thank you Emily & Julia) and meeting new friends – I feel so lucky to be a part of this community, and about 10,000% smarter, by osmosis.

Many, many thanks to Sydney Bowling Duncan and IAFA for an amazing conference.

If you’re reading this and wondering whether you should attend? Read Sofia Samatar’s brilliance forthwith. 

Where is March going, you guys? It’s a total blur.

I’m still in editorial mode, but tomorrow I am off to ICFA – the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts. I’m ridiculously excited about all three guests of honor, writers Nnedi Okorafor and Ian McDonald being regular occupiers of my bookshelf, and guest-scholar Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. as well. (Yes, I’m also happy it will be warm and not snowing.)

My schedule: Thursday, March 20, 8:30 am in Vista A, Author Reading with Brett Cox (host), Greg Bechtel, Sarah Pinborough & Fran Wilde

If you’re going, I look forward to seeing you there. If not – check out the papers and panels. This is an amazing conference.

Otherwheres, I was asked to guest post about staying ahead of emerging technology over at SF Signal last week. Here’s the teaser – go read the rest – and jump into the discussion, if you’re so inclined.

On Staying Ahead of Evolving Technology (OR: Things Fall Apart)

John DeNardo invited me to talk to SF Signal readers about the sensor wasps that appear in my Asimov’sApril/May 2014 short story “Like a Wasp to the Tongue,” and I’m delighted to do so.

SF writers spend a lot of time thinking about where technology is headed. In particular, we try to stay far, far ahead of where technology might be headed. It’s part of the job description. Personally, I find it a lot of fun. But it isn’t an easy sort of fun. Tech moves faster every day.

In a former life as an engineering and science writer, I learned that one way to get a jump on technology and where it could evolve is to look at the problems that technology (read the rest here...)

Douglas Levy

photo by: Douglas Levy

Russell Galen figured out by the age of 14 that helping authors was his career path. By the late 1970s, he’d secured an apprenticeship with one of the great literary agents of the era. In 1993, he joined two other literary agents to found what is now Scovil, Galen, Gosh Literary. With passions that include science and nature writing, science fiction and fantasy, Russ represents writers including Cory Doctorow, Diana Gabaldon, Terry Goodkind, Steven Gould (his Cooking the Books interview was our first ever), James Rollins, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cassandra Clare, and new novelists including Ken Liu, Charlie Jane Anders, and me*. (See how smooth I was, sticking that last one on the end? SMOOTH.)

Russ’ tastes are legendary, and I was delighted when he agreed to answer questions for Cooking the Books – so delighted that I threw him a curveball, below, about what upcoming releases should be paired with which foods. I suspect we will see more pairing suggestions in the future.

None of the other questions I asked him were easy ones either. I’m not sure where that falls on the brave/stupid scale of how to work with your agent, but his replies are phenomenal, and I’m very grateful Russ shared some of his time.

Everyone ready? Let’s all sit down to an agent’s lunch with Russell Galen… Continue Reading…

Here Be Deadlines

Fran Wilde —  March 7, 2014 — 3 Comments

This is a flyby post because I’m on deadline (What happens when you go to a writers’ retreat and give a talk about why you love deadlines? You get bigger deadlines.)… which means really good things for 2015, but for right now … aieeeee.

So have some picspam and links to nibble on -

Sheila Williams, the venerable editor of Asimov’s, and her daughters answered 10 Questions for GeekMom. How cool is that? She talks about growing up in science fiction and fantasy, the ins and outs of the editorial process, and the amazing Dell Magazine Award.  (But wait, there’s more! Is Sheila Williams a Geek or a Nerd? Find out!)

My story, “Like a Wasp to the Tongue,” appears in Asimov’s this month. A couple reviews already!

And I’ll be talking about wasps and tech with SFSignal very soon too.

Here’s where I was last week, a writers’ retreat in the Pacific Northwest:


Hard at work at RWV2014 (photo: Andrew Williams)

And here too (Powells Book Store, in Portland OR <3 <3 <3). Continue Reading…

Hooray! The April/May double issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction is on its way!

My story, “Like a Wasp to the Tongue,” joins tales by my delightful Philly neighbor Michael Swanwick, the wonderful James Patrick Kelly, M. Bernardo , William Preston, Robert Reed (I loved his story “Katabasis” in Fantasy & Science Fiction last year), Matthew Johnson, K.J. Zimring, and Joe M. McDermott in the latest issue.

Rumor is the e-book version is already out. WHEE.

I’ve loved this magazine since I was a kid. It’s where I’ve found some of my favorite authors. To say I’m delighted and honored to be on the same table of contents with the writers above is an understatement.

Asimov’s is available in hardcopy from Dell Magazines. It is also available from multiple purveyors of e-magazines, including: Barnes & Noble | Amazon (kindle) | iPad | Kobo | Magzter | Google play.

When I first met David Edison, he was silver.

That is, David was dressed for a masquerade, wearing glittering things from head to toe (including mirrored pants). He was beautiful. And then we began to speak, and, dear reader, I realized that the beauty wasn’t a costume. David is one of those people who glitters, even without mirrored pants.

His first book, The Waking Engine, is strikingly beautiful too. And Cooking the Books is lucky enough to have David as a guest during his debut week, in part thanks to another guest, E.C. Myers, who realized that David’s opinions on sandwiches would be a perfect topic for us to munch on. So it is, friends. So it is.

The Waking Engine is available for order now. We’ve tried to keep spoilers at bay, below, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

A warning, before we begin. What started out as a mild-mannered interview about food turned into something much more important – a manifesto on the true nature of sandwiches. Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll comment with your own thoughts at the end, and enjoy The Waking Engine, by David Edison.

I’ll be putting sandwiches on the Cooking the Books dinner party menu, for sure. Continue Reading…

My Boskone Schedule

Fran Wilde —  February 4, 2014 — Leave a comment

Boskone is coming up fast (February 14-16), and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! Check out the full program here.

Here’s where you’ll be able to find me:

Future Fashion (Panel), Fri 7- 7:50pm What will the well-dressed futurian be wearing 50 years from now? A hundred years? A thousand? What is clothing actually for? What SF works have presented interesting ideas about the clothing of the future? How has fashion infiltrated comics or brought comics styles out into the real world?Panelists: Elizabeth Bear, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Fran Wilde (M), Brianna Wu

The New England SF/F/H Workshop Alumni Reading (Reading), Fri 9-9:50pm, A rapid-fire reading featuring the alumni from New England’s science fiction, fantasy, and horror writing workshops: Viable Paradise, Odyssey, and the Stonecoast MFA program. Featured Readers: Scott H. Andrews, Julie C. Day, Michael J. DeLuca, Sean Robinson, Margaret Ronald, Hannah Strom-Martin, and Fran Wilde.

Continue Reading…

For a little over a month, I’ve been working on a bit of a secret project – a roundtable about food and the future – with amazing authors Aliette de Bodard, Ann Leckie, Elizabeth Bear, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. We created a virtual roundtable to talk about Food of the Future after a roaring discussion on Twitter last December. The resulting discussion was filled with give-and-take, and everyone posed excellent questions. We topped it off with a speed-round: Describe the Future of Food in 10 Words Or Less.

Food of the Future was a lot of fun. I’m grateful to be able to work with Aliette, Ann, Bear, Benjanun, and Rochita in the middle of what is a very busy time of year. Thanks to Aliette de Bodard for the framework idea, and to everyone for their great questions.

The comment section discussion over at is already quite delicious! I hope you’ll join in.