Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Year-End Writerly Post

It's that time of the year when writers blog about their award-eligible works published in the last calendar year. Well, I only had one work published in 2017:

If you read and enjoyed Kangaroo Too, please talk it up anywhere and everywhere you like!

And now I'm going to direct your attention toward some other writers who have published outstanding fiction in 2017. In no particular order:

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have personal connections to all of the above writers through conventions, workshops, professional organizations, and/or living in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out Cat Rambo's 2017 roundup for a more complete list of award-eligible works.

And don't forget, if you want to nominate for next year's Hugo Awards, you need to buy your Worldcon membership by this coming SUNDAY, December 31st!


Monday, November 13, 2017

My OryCon 39 Schedule

This coming weekend I'll be at OryCon, a science fiction/fantasy convention held annually in Portland since 1979. This year it's at the Red Lion Hotel on Jantzen Beach. When not at the bar, here's where you can find me (moderator for each session in bold):

Friday, November 17th

Getting Your First Professional Sale
Thrawn - 252
An author can struggle for months or years before achieving their first success, but even after writing their opus, they can be tripped up by a process which is both entirely new to them and yet critical to their success. This panel describes what an author may experience as they revel in their first success.
Clayton Callahan, Tina Connolly, Curtis C. Chen, Sheila Finch, Annie Bellet

Comics Created Our Modern Mythologies
Wenatchee - 166 Parlor
How comics conquered our art, stories and media.
Lee Moyer, Curtis C. Chen, Benjamin Hsu, Eva L. Elasigue

Endeavour Awards
East Ballroom
The Endeavour Award honors the best SF/F book written by a Pacific Northwest writer. This year's finalists are Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine, Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia McKillip, Eocene Station by Dave Duncan, Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff, and Waypoint Kangaroo by Curtis Chen.
Page Fuller, Jim Fiscus, Curtis C. Chen, Sheila Simonson, David Levine, Sara Mueller,
Patrick Swenson, Brenda Cooper

Saturday, November 18th

SFWA Regional Business Meeting
Thrawn - 252
The Secretary will give a briefing on the latest in SFWA and the business, as well as answer questions.
Curtis C. Chen, Jim Fiscus

Publishing Ethics
216 Presidential
What should the relationship between publishers and writers look like? Between writers and readers? Both require respect. What does that look like?
Patrick Swenson, Curtis C. Chen, Susan R. Matthews, Ann Gimpel, Doug Odell

Star Trek: Discovery
Whoo hoo! Another Star Trek series! It's been far too long. What do you think?
John C. Bunnell, Rob Wynne, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Jennifer Willis, Curtis C. Chen

Sci Fi Ask Me Another! (Quiz Show)
216 Presidential
Curtis Chen and Jeff Soesbe present a variety of games involving science fiction and fantasy trivia, puzzles, and wordplay. Audience participation is required, and rewarded! Can you make it to the final Elimination Game? Come have fun while competing for prizes!
Jeff Soesbe, Curtis C. Chen

Sunday, November 19th

Trades versus Weeklies Economics
Wenatchee - 166 Parlor
Comic collections or issues? Why have one when we already have the other?
Robert B McMonigal, Eva L. Elasigue, Jeff Soesbe, Curtis C. Chen

Check out the full OryCon 39 schedule on SCHED.

And if you can't make it to the con, I'll also be at Powell's "Sci-Fi Authorfest" in Beaverton on Sunday afternoon from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. Come meet 20 different speculative fiction authors, buy our books, and get them signed!

Here endeth the schedule.


Friday, October 06, 2017

My Can*Con Schedule

Next weekend (October 13-15) I'll be at Can*Con, the Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature in Ottawa. And no, I am not Canadian, but they're letting me crash their party anyway. (Thanks to my literary agent Sam Morgan, last year's Agent GoH, for paving the way!)

Here's where I'll be:

Saturday, October 14

9:00AM - Salon B
SFWA: Supports for Writers & Routes to Membership
An overview of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) with current and former Secretaries and our current Volunteer Coordinator. Light breakfast fare and coffee will be available!
Curtis C. Chen, Susan Forest, Derek Künsken

11:30-12:00 - Dealer's Room, Chapters Table
Signing Session
Titles will be available for sale by Chapters, but no purchase is necessary – feel free to bring something with you for us to sign!
Curtis C. Chen, Yves Meynard

13:30-13:45 - Salon B
A scene from KANGAROO TOO, and possibly something from the new work in progress!
Curtis C. Chen

Sunday, October 15

2:00PM - Salon D
Leveling Up Your Writing with Formal Courses
Previous participants in courses like Clarion, Odyssey, Taos Toolbox, MFAs, etc. discuss (1) the benefits and drawbacks of residential vs. online writing courses, (2) how they got in, (3) what they learned there vs. other places to learn.
Curtis C. Chen, Suzanne Church, Timothy Gwyn, Leah MacLean-Evans, Kelly Robson (moderator)

Visit the Can*Con web site for complete Panel Descriptions & Schedule and more information.

Follow @curtiscchen or @CanConSF on Twitter for additional shenanigans!


P.S. Has it really been almost two months since my last blog post here? Maybe I ought to put up or shut up on this whole blogging thing. :P

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Crazy Squirrel

There are lots of squirrels running around our apartment complex. Sometimes we throw peanuts out onto our back patio for them to eat. We try not to do it while they're watching, because we don't want them to get the idea that we're feeding them directly.

But lately there's this one squirrel who's been running around right outside our front door. We see him several times a week as we're leaving to go out, and he always runs up and stares at us like "whaddya got for me?"

He does run away when we get closer, but he still watches us like a little creeper.

Today, when I left the house, I found this on top of our car.

Crazy squirrel.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Waypoint Kangaroo is an Endeavour Award Finalist!

ICYMI last weekend: my debut novel is one of this year's finalists for the Endeavour Award, "for a distinguished SCIENCE FICTION or FANTASY BOOK written by a Pacific Northwest author or authors and published in the previous year." Hearty congratulations to my fellow finalists:
More information from the press release over at

As with the Locus Awards, I don't expect to win at all, but it is truly an honor to have made the shortlist. Come see me be a gracious loser in person at OryCon!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Kangaroo Cocktails

As you know, Bob, space tourism features pretty heavily in both of my Kangaroo books: the first one takes place mostly on an interplanetary cruise spaceship, and the second book sees Kangaroo going undercover as a civilian on the Moon.

And, of course, tourism often involves drinking. Like modern cruise ships, the Dejah Thoris in Waypoint Kangaroo encourages its passengers to imbibe early and often; and the Hotel Tranquility in Kangaroo Too boasts a well-stocked, all-hours lobby bar (liquor laws are a little looser on Luna). I have been known to take a drink now and then, myself, and I had fun writing some beverage-fueled encounters into both books.

Enter my friend Huw Evans, one of the workshop administrators for Clarion West (the writing boot camp I attended in 2014) and a real-life cocktail enthusiast, among other things. I had the wacky idea to ask him if he wanted to actually come up with a recipe for the vaguely described "Zero-Gravity Football" drink from Waypoint Kangaroo, and he did! So of course I also asked him to do the same for Kangaroo Too this year, for the unnamed cocktail that Kangaroo shares with Breyella Wilgus in chapter eight.

The point of all this is to say that it's nice to have people who support your wacky ideas and help you celebrate things. I look forward to many more book launches, readings, and afterparties with Huw and my other Seattle-area friends.

Below you'll find the complete recipes for both Kangaroo cocktails. Enjoy in good health and good company!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Waypoint Kangaroo is a Locus Award Finalist!

This pleasant surprise appeared in my inbox today (email truncated):

I'm flattered that enough people voted for Waypoint Kangaroo to put it in the top ten for the first novel category, and I'm honored to be listed alongside these outstanding works:

The Locus Awards Weekend is open to all (tickets are $60 each), and includes readings and workshops with the likes of Connie Willis and Carrie Vaughn. Will I see you in Seattle next month? Leave a comment and let me know!


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

My Norwescon 40 Schedule

Earlier today I realized that Norwescon is NEXT WEEK. Time to start making plans! Here's where you can find me at the con (other than the bar):

Thursday, April 13

Write Your Elevator Pitch Workshop
Cascade 12
2–3 p.m.
Got a good elevator pitch for your manuscript? Whether you’re seeking an agent and traditional publisher, or planning to self-publish, you need to have an elevator pitch of your book. Loglines and elevator pitches are ways to explain your story/series and pique interest in your work in one or two sentences. This workshop will teach you how to condense your 90,000 word novel or 5 book series into a quick, effective elevator pitch. Ages 18+. Space is limited and advance sign-up is required in Cascade 1.
Curtis C. Chen (M)

What is a Story?
Cascade 9
3–4 p.m.
Writers talk about story, but what is it really? Something with a beginning, middle, and end? A witch’s brew of words and punctuation? Come discuss with our panelists what separates a coherent narrative from a random series of events.
Marta Murvosh (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis C. Chen, Nancy Kress, James C. Glass

Friday, April 14

Reading: Curtis C. Chen
Cascade 2
5–5:30 p.m.
Kangaroo Too, sequel to Waypoint Kangaroo (Thomas Dunne, 2016). A suspicious spacecraft accident sends our favorite superpowered secret agent to the Moon hunting for information, but there are more secrets buried there than he suspected. Rated PG.
Curtis C. Chen (M)

Saturday, April 15

Technical Sci-Fi
Cascade 11
1–2 p.m.
The balance between technical details and story are discussed as our panelists dive into the junction between being specific and still captivating the audience.
Curtis C. Chen (M), Dr. Rob Hoyt, John Cramer, PJ Manney

Autograph Session 1
Grand 2
2–3 p.m.
Our attending professionals are available to sign autographs. PLEASE NOTE: So that as many fans as possible can participate, we will be enforcing a three-items-at-a-time (or single-sketch) autograph limit.
Ethan Siegel, Ian McDonald, Catska Ench, Cory Ench, Nancy Kress, Marc Gascoigne, Mike Underwood, Carol Berg, Alex Irvine, Annie Bellet, Caroline M. Yoachim, Curtis C. Chen, Dean Wells, Greg Bear, Jack Skillingstead, James C. Glass, Jeff Sturgeon, John Cramer, Kat Richardson, Lee Moyer, Nathan Crowder, Nisi Shawl, Peter Orullian, Randy Henderson, Scott James Magner, Tori Centanni, Wendy N. Wagner, PJ Manney, Julie McGalliard, Crystal Connor, David D. Levine, Susan diRende, Claudia Casper, Kristy Acevedo

Evergreen 3&4
4–5 p.m.
Join our panelists as they discuss the concept of the singularity, both as a scientific principle and an element in fiction.
Django Wexler (M), PJ Manney, Curtis C. Chen, John Cramer

First Page Idol
Cascade 9
5–6 p.m.
Feeling brave? Want to see how your first page holds up in a cold read? Send the first page of your manuscript to to have it anonymously read aloud and critiqued by a panel of pros.
Curtis C. Chen (M), Wendy N. Wagner, Patrick Swenson, Mark Teppo

Follow @curtiscchen on Twitter for up-to-the-minute shenanigans.

ALSO: the following week (April 19-20), I'll be in Hong Kong for the first-ever Melon HK conference. Tell your Southeast Asian friends!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

I Got Yer Oscar Nominations RIGHT HERE

TL;DR: I care about the Academy Awards and I care about data reporting.

This year's Oscar nominations (honoring films released in 2016) were announced on January 24th, and ever since then I've been checking periodically to see if they've published the "view by film" tab on the nominations list. Several news outlets reported on the numbers of nominations different films received, but usually the Academy posts a full list of nominations for each film.

Well, that tab still hasn't appeared as of this writing, but on a whim, I back-hacked the URL based on last year's site, and you know what? The data's actually there. It doesn't appear to be fully cleaned up (the original song nominees are sorted incorrectly), but it's better than nothing:

However, I had already compiled my own list from the per-category nominations page, so I'm posting that information here for everyone else's handy reference. Please note that I'm only listing films with more than one nomination below. For everything else, please refer to the broke-ass page linked above.

La La Land – 14 nominations
Best Picture - Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
Directing - Damien Chazelle
Actor in a Leading Role - Ryan Gosling
Actress in a Leading Role - Emma Stone
Writing (Original Screenplay) - Damien Chazelle
Cinematography - Linus Sandgren
Costume Design - Mary Zophres
Film Editing - Tom Cross
Music (Original Score) - Justin Hurwitz
Music (Original Song) - "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)"
Music (Original Song) - "City of Stars"
Production Design - David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
Sound Editing - Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
Sound Mixing - Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow

Arrival – 8 nominations
Best Picture - Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
Directing - Denis Villeneuve
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - Eric Heisserer
Cinematography - Bradford Young
Film Editing - Joe Walker
Production Design - Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
Sound Editing - Sylvain Bellemare
Sound Mixing - Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye

Moonlight – 8 nominations
Best Picture - Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
Directing - Barry Jenkins
Actor in a Supporting Role - Mahershala Ali
Actress in a Supporting Role - Naomie Harris
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Cinematography - James Laxton
Film Editing - Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon
Music (Original Score) - Nicholas Britell

Hacksaw Ridge – 6 nominations
Best Picture - Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
Directing - Mel Gibson
Actor in a Leading Role - Andrew Garfield
Film Editing - John Gilbert
Sound Editing - Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
Sound Mixing - Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace

Lion – 6 nominations
Best Picture - Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
Actor in a Supporting Role - Dev Patel
Actress in a Supporting Role - Nicole Kidman
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - Luke Davies
Cinematography - Greig Fraser
Music (Original Score) - Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka

Manchester By The Sea – 6 nominations
Best Picture - Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
Directing - Kenneth Lonergan
Actor in a Leading Role - Casey Affleck
Actor in a Supporting Role - Lucas Hedges
Actress in a Supporting Role - Michelle Williams
Writing (Original Screenplay) - Kenneth Lonergan

Fences – 4 nominations
Best Picture - Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
Actor in a Leading Role - Denzel Washington
Actress in a Supporting Role - Viola Davis
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - August Wilson

Hell Or High Water – 4 nominations
Best Picture - Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
Actor in a Supporting Role - Jeff Bridges
Writing (Original Screenplay) - Taylor Sheridan
Film Editing - Jake Roberts

Hidden Figures – 3 nominations
Best Picture - Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
Actress in a Supporting Role - Octavia Spencer
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi

Jackie – 3 nominations
Actress in a Leading Role - Natalie Portman
Costume Design - Madeline Fontaine
Music (Original Score) - Mica Levi

Deepwater Horizon – 2 nominations
Sound Editing - Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
Visual Effects - Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton

Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them – 2 nominations
Costume Design - Colleen Atwood
Production Design - Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Florence Foster Jenkins – 2 nominations
Costume Design - Consolata Boyle
Actress in a Leading Role - Meryl Streep

Kubo And The Two Strings – 2 nominations
Animated Feature Film - Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
Visual Effects - Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff

A Man Called Ove – 2 nominations
Foreign Language Film (Sweden)
Makeup and Hairstyling - Eva von Bahr and Love Larson

Moana – 2 nominations
Music (Original Song) - Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Animated Feature Film - John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer

Passengers – 2 nominations
Music (Original Score) - Thomas Newman
Production Design - Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 2 nominations
Sound Mixing - David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
Visual Effects - John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, you're welcome to join us at our Oscar Party on February 26th. (Message me for details if you haven't already received an invite, and apologies for the oversight!)

Finally, everyone on the Internet is welcome to follow me on Twitter for #OscarTrivia that day. (Teaser: you'll find out which one of this year's nominees I worked with on a project back in 2011! Feel free to speculate in the comments.)


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

How Far I'll Go

Short answer: Hong Kong, in April.

Long answer: Below is a list of all my currently scheduled author events and appearances in 2017. Bookmark for the most current details, and contact me if you'd like to invite me to something in your neck of the woods!

If you'd like to get periodic reminders and related updates in your inbox, sign up for my mailing list. Also feel free to follow me on Twitter, or "like" my Facebook Page.