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I'm heading to Kansas City tomorrow for the World Science Fiction Convention! Here's where you can find me.

Thursday Aug 18, 2016:
  • 10:00-11:00 AM in Autographing Space: Autographing: Christopher Husberg, David D. Levine, Diana Rowland

  • 2:00-3:00 PM in room 2503B: The Care and Feeding of Minions
    A panel of aspiring Evil Overlords need Minions to carry out their evil biddings. But now that minions have heard of collective bargaining and have seen what non evil overlords offer their workers, it isn't as easy as it once was.
    Mur Lafferty, Lynn Gold, David D. Levine, Julia Mandala


  • 3:00-4:00 PM in room 2504B: Why I Write Short Stories
    Most authors agree that short stories don't pay the bills, but authors who are known for writing novels frequently turn their attention to the shorter forms. If it isn't for the money, why do they spend their time and energy writing short stories?
    James Patrick Kelly, Mary Robinette Kowal, David D. Levine, Bishop O'Connell, Charlie Jane Anders


  • 6:30-7:00 PM in room 2203: Reading: David D. Levine





Friday Aug 18, 2016:
  • 5:00-8:00 PM at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown in the Count Basie room: High Stakes Launch Party & Mass Signing
    New York Times Bestselling Author George R. R. Martin will celebrate the release of the new hardcover High Stakes: A Wild Cards Novel with a gathering of Wild Cards authors. This is a special ticketed event and a Worldcon membership is not required.
    George R. R. Martin, Melinda Snodgrass, Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, Caroline Spector, Ian Tregillis, Carrie Vaughn, Max Gladstone, David D. Levine, Parris, Pat Cadigan, Marko Kloos, Gail Gerstner Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Diana Rowland, Walton (Bud) Simons, Bob Wayne, Walter Jon Williams, Michael Cassutt



Saturday Aug 20, 2016:
  • 3:00-5:00 PM on Tucker Stage (3501A): George R R Martin's Wild Cards Deathmatch
    George R. R. Martin pits his Wild Card authors in a cage match for your (and his) amusement.
    George R. R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams, Laura Mixon, Caroline Spector, Bob Wayne, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Diana Rowland, Michael Cassutt, David D. Levine, Stephen Leigh, Melinda Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Marko Kloos



Sunday Aug 21, 2016:
  • 10:00-11:00 AM in room 3501F: How to Form a Writer's Group
    So you have decided to publicly declare your insanity and become a writer. How do you find similar souls and how can they help your dream? What can go wrong?
    James Cambias, ElizaBeth Gilligan, David D. Levine, Julia Mandala, Walt Boyes



All events are in the Kansas City Convention Center except for the High Stakes Launch Party and Mass Signing.
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Kate has been home from the hospital for a bit over two weeks now, working with in-home physical, occupational, and speech therapists once or twice a week each. She is still weak and wobbly -- using a walker even in the house -- and the aphasia is still pretty bad, but I believe both are improving. It's slow and not consistent, but on average I think she's getting a little better every day. In fact, she's doing so well that the physical therapist thinks she ought to switch from in-home to outpatient therapy soon... maybe next week.

We've also signed up with an in-home health care firm. We have two different caregivers coming over on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. This will let me get out of the house or focus on tasks without having to worry about Kate. We are still figuring out how best to make use of their help while they are here, but it is helpful just to be able to take my mind off of Kate's care for a couple of afternoons a week.

We met with the oncologist on Monday. He's satisfied with her progress since the surgery and we are planning to start Avastin infusions in two weeks. The genetic testing isn't back yet, but he says it's unlikely to result in a big change in treatment. I'm not really happy about Kate getting an infusion every two weeks for the foreseeable future, but if it keeps the cancer from coming back I suppose it's worth it. We are also ramping down the steroids (currently 6mg per day, down from 8mg) and pain meds. Next MRI is scheduled for this Saturday; this one is mostly to set a baseline for future scans.

We had an unplanned trip to Seattle last weekend, to visit a dear friend in the hospital there. She's been hospitalized for more than a week and doesn't have a diagnosis yet, which is worrisome. Many of you know who I'm talking about, and if you do I hope you'll spare some good thoughts for her. The trip was stressful for a variety of reasons but Kate came through it like a champ.

As you may know, I had to cancel my planned readings in San Francisco this coming weekend. However, Kate's sister is coming down from Seattle next week to stay with Kate while I attend the Worldcon in Kansas City. I hope to see some of you there.

So, all in all, things are not going too badly. I hope that we will continue to see slow but steady progress in the coming weeks.
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Arabella Audio Drop Shadow

I'm very pleased to announce that the highly-anticipated audiobook of Arabella of Mars is now available at Audible, Amazon, iTunes, and other audiobook vendors. The narrator is Barrie Kreinik and I am extremely happy with the sample I have heard.




TopTen

I have also received my author copy of audiobook anthology The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 8 from Infinivox, which includes my Nebula-nominated story "Damage," narrated by Nancy Linari. This one doesn't seem to be available in stores yet but I'm sure it will be soon.
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As most of you already know, my wife Kate has been extremely ill and spent almost the whole month of July in the hospital. She is back home now, but requires a lot of care. Her sister Sue has very generously offered to come down from Seattle to take care of her while I'm at the Worldcon, but her vacation time is finite and she can't manage the previous weekend as well. Therefore, with extremely great regret, I find that I must cancel my SF in SF and Writers with Drinks readings.

To say that I am profoundly disappointed at this turn of events is an understatement, especially given the relatively short notice I can give. I'd like to publicly thank the organizers of both events for making the space for me in their schedules, and I'm very sorry to let them -- and my friends in San Francisco -- down. I hope to be able to reschedule both events for some time in the future.
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13690652 516094005258606 6316560707750427289 nFriday, July 29 at 7:00pm (that's TOMORROW!) I will be reading from my debut novel Arabella of Mars at the U District branch of the University Bookstore in Seattle. But I'm not just going to be reading and signing books -- I will also be rapping, and leading a singalong, and giving away freebies... in costume. I hope that you will attend if you can, and if you have a Regency or other steampunky outfit I hope you will wear it. It should be a lot of fun. Tell your friends!

(If you can't make it, you can order a signed copy from the store.)

Thanks to Hal O'Brien for the photo. Extra special thanks to Kate's sister Sue for making this reading possible by her continued support above and beyond the call of sanity.
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Kate is finally home from the hospital. This is the first time she's been home since we left for Westercon. She's very glad to be home.

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Kate has been doing well in rehab. She is talking better, walking better, and has more energy than she did last week, and we now expect that she will be able to go home tomorrow (Monday 7/25). That being said, she still requires a lot of support and cannot be left alone, so we are going to need a lot of help in the coming weeks.

In particular, if you are in a position to bring by some food we would greatly appreciate it. It would be best if you could bring dinner for 3, with no mushrooms, in freezer-ready containers. We will also be able to use your help performing errands, shopping, and cleaning. We will be using MealTrain to schedule helpers... watch for an email from me as soon as we figure out our schedule.

We are planning to have some kind of home health care. Unfortunately, our first pick agency couldn't work us into their schedule and our second choice hasn't yet returned our call. We hope to hear from them on Monday.

In addition to home health care for Kate's daily activities, she'll be getting visits at home from physical, occupational, and speech therapists several times a week. Eventually this will shift to outpatient therapy and then, as she gets more functional, taper off to nothing.

We finally got a visit from the oncologist with the pathology report. To no one's surprise, the new tumor is another glioblastoma. They've sent off a sample to Foundation One for genetic testing, which may identify some additional options for therapy going forward. In the meantime we will focus on recovering from the surgery and reducing her steroid dose (currently 12mg per day, down from 16 last week). In the next few weeks we'll get the Foundation One results back and have another MRI and we will know more about what kind of treatment she'll get in the coming months.
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Sorry, it’s been a while since my last public post about Kate. When last I posted she was just being transferred to St. Vincent for more tests and possible brain surgery.

Well, as it turned out surgery was required. She had the procedure on Tuesday, and it was successful, removing “in the high nineties percent” of the mass, which was some kind of glioma. We won’t know more, including the treatment plan, until we see the pathology report.

Kate spent a few days at St. Vincent recovering from the surgery, then was transferred to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Providence in NE Portland. She is working with physical, occupational, and speech therapists for several hours a day and will be here for a week or two until she is well enough to go home — with the support of home health care, if necessary. We’ll know more when we get closer to discharge.

I had good readings in San Diego and LA last weekend, and will be heading to New York tomorrow for my reading at the KGB Bar on Wednesday, returning late Thursday. Sue is holding down the fort in my absence. If you are in town and willing/able to help her out July 19-21, please contact her (or me, if you don’t have her contact info). I do hope to be able to do the remaining stops on my book tour, but we are taking it one day at a time.
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On Friday July 15 (that's TOMORROW), I will be reading from my debut novel ARABELLA OF MARS at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego. But I'm not just going to be reading and signing books -- I will also be rapping, and leading a singalong, and giving away freebies... in costume. I hope that you will attend if you can, and if you have a Regency or other steampunky outfit I hope you will wear it. It should be a lot of fun.

Date and Time: Friday July 15 at 7:30pm

Location: Mysterious Galaxy, 5943 Balboa Ave Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92111

Website: http://www.mystgalaxy.com/event/david-levine-signs-san-diego

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/248924955489042/

The next day, Saturday July 16, I will be participating in Shades & Shadows 17, a group reading including Paul Tremblay, Stephen Graham Jones, Vesta Vaingloria, Glen Hirshberg, and Sara Gran.

Date and Time: Saturday July 16 at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:30, please plan to arrive by 7:00.

Location: The Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum, 3204 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Tickets: http://shadesshadows17.brownpapertickets.com

Website: http://www.shadesandshadows.org/2016/06/july-16th-2016-show/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/788284317975875/

I hope that you can attend one (or even both!) of these, and that you will share the news with your friends in the area. Hope to see you there!

(P.S. As you may know, my wife Kate Yule is in the hospital recovering from major surgery. But her sister is with us, and she has encouraged me to go on with my book tour, so I will do so if humanly possible.)
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IMG 5046Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00pm (that's TONIGHT!) I will be presenting the first public reading of my debut novel Arabella of Mars at Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing. But I'm not just going to be reading and signing books -- I will also be rapping, and leading a singalong, and giving away freebies... in costume. The PDX Broadsides musical group will also be performing. I hope that you will attend if you can, and if you have a Regency or other steampunky outfit I hope you will wear it. It should be a lot of fun. Tell your friends!

(P.S. As you may know, my wife Kate Yule just had brain surgery yesterday. But she has encouraged me to go on with the reading, and I will do so if humanly possible. Even if I can't make it, the PDX Broadsides will perform, and besides, it's Powell's! Hope to see you there.)
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IMG 5055Today is the long-awaited release day of my first novel, Arabella of Mars, from Tor! Here's an FAQ about the release (and these really are frequently-asked questions, not just questions I wish people would ask):

What's the book about?

Arabella Ashby is a Patrick O'Brian girl in a Jane Austen world -- born and raised on Mars, she was hauled back home by her mother, where she's stifled by England's gravity, climate, and attitudes toward women. When she learns that her evil cousin plans to kill her brother and inherit the family fortune, she joins the crew of an interplanetary clipper ship in order to beat him to Mars. But privateers, mutiny, and insurrection stand in her way. Will she arrive in time?

Arabella of Mars will appeal to fans of Naomi Novik s Temeraire books, Scott Westerfeld s Leviathan trilogy, and Mary Robinette Kowal s Glamourist Histories.

Is it SF or Fantasy?

I consider it SF, but it's not hard SF... well, it's actually pretty squishy... okay, to be frank, I've bent the rules of physics to the breaking point and beyond. Maybe it is Fantasy.

Is it adult or YA?

I wrote it as YA, but Tor is bringing it out as adult. The protagonist is seventeen years old and I have had great reviews from young adult as well as adult readers. There's no swearing or sex.

Is it steampunk?

There's no steam power in it per se, but there are coal-burning airships and clockwork automata. If you like steampunk, you should like this. If you're still not sure, just look at the cover. I love the cover and think it does an excellent job of portraying the "feel" of the book.

What can I do to help?

Yoiu should buy the book, of course. Buying it today is helpful but not necessary. If you can't buy it, borrow it from the library. If you can't find it at your local library or bookseller, ask them to carry the book. Also, it's extremely helpful if you post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, your own blog, or anywhere else people might see it. It's okay if you don't like the book! Even a negative review can be helpful if you say why you didn't like it. (Reviewer: "I hated this book! It has Martians and airships and girls dressing as boys! Yuck!" Reader: "Cool, that's just what I love!")

It's also helpful if you mention the book to your friends online and off. And, if you are on Twitter, I'm running a giveaway: tweet a picture of the book in the wild, with the hashtag #ArabellaOfMars, and you could win an Arabella Prize Package of paper dolls, recruiting poster, and stickers! I'll select five winners at random on 7/19/16, one week from today.

Where should I buy the book? Is paper better than ebook?

Wherever and in whatever format you like to buy books. I get the same money wherever you buy it, and I don't care whether you read it on paper or on screen. There are benefits to me if you buy it on Amazon, but personally I'd prefer it if you would support your local independent book store. Or you could get it from Powell's, which is my local independent book store. You can even order a signed edition from Powell's, which I will sign for you at my reading tomorrow (July 13).

Are you planning a book tour?

Yes! Here are the planned stops:If any of these events is local to you, please come if you can. Come in costume! Tell your friends! However, see the next point for an important caveat.

I heard your wife is in the hospital! How is she doing?

Yes, my wife Kate Yule is currently in the hospital (I'm in the room with her as I type this) and she is scheduled for brain surgery this afternoon. :-( :-( :-( However, she wants me to do my book tour and I will do as much of it as I can. Her sister Sue is here and we have lots of friends in town to help out. However, all plans are provisional at this point, and I might have to cancel some or all of my planned events on short notice. Keep an eye on http://www.daviddlevine.com/about/upcoming-appearances/ for the latest word.

How are you doing?

Worried. Anxious. Underslept. The book release stuff is a useful distraction.

Do you really rap?

Yes, I really do.
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This started a couple months ago when I noticed that the name “Arabella Ashby” almost scans the same as “Alexander Hamilton” and… well, let me just say that filking Lin-Manuel is HARD. But I like the way it came out. I will be performing this at my readings as well.
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This has been a tough week for the country as well as for me. Kate's been in the hospital all week and is scheduled for another round of brain surgery on Wednesday; the murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five police officers in Dallas are all over the news and social media.

At the same time, Arabella of Mars is marching toward release next Tuesday. I still hope to do my reading at Powell's Cedar Hills on Wednesday (yes, even if Kate has her surgery that day), and to travel to San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York for my readings there in the following week. I plan to be active on social media promoting it.

This feels wrong. This feels very, very wrong. How can I gallivant across the country and post excitedly about my book when there's so much tragedy at home and abroad?

The answer is that it's my job. I am a fiction writer, which is a species of entertainer. Tor pays me to entertain people, and as part of this arrangement I have made certain commitments to publicize the book in an entertaining fashion. I am a conscientious person and I will keep those commitments if at all possible.

If I were still working at Intel or McAfee I would probably not be sitting in the hospital with Kate all day the way I have been. I would probably be working at the day job, however distractedly, during the weekday. My "day job" with Tor is even more important to me than that was (though not so lucrative), so I'm going to keep doing it in the same way I would with any other day job. This may mean leaving town even though Kate's in the hospital, as long as she's stable and our friends and relatives are available to look after her, and it may mean tweeting and facebooking about the book, as long as it's done with some sensitivity (for example, I postponed the scheduled release of a humorous video in the most grievous hours after the Sterling and Castile murders).

There may be people who are offended by book promotion tweets on a day when the whole Twitterverse is in mourning over the latest senseless deaths. There may be people who find it heartless of me to sing and tell jokes while my wife is in the hospital. But this is something I have to do, and not just for Tor or for Kate but for myself.

I have been working toward this day, the release of my first novel, for over ten years. If I had to pass it up, even for as important a reason as this, I would be devastated. Kate wants me to do it, and do it up right. And Kate's psychologist told me just a few minutes ago that it's important for both of us... that anything I can do to bring me joy and boost my energy will help me help her in the long run. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and if I have to take some time and energy for myself now I will have more to give her later.

So. I will be doing my very best to appear at Powell's Cedar Hills in Beaverton on July 13, and Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego on July 15, and Shades & Shadows in Los Angeles on July 16, and KGB in New York on July 20. (There are more events planned after that, but this is as far ahead as I can see right now.) There will be singing and costumes and giveaways. I will strive to entertain, to bring some smiles and laughter into this time which is so very difficult for all of us.

I hope that you will join me.
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Kate is still in the hospital. Her sister Sue is with us. We expect her to be transferred to St. Vincent (in Beaverton) for more tests today or tomorrow. There will likely be another round of brain surgery next week, but she should be up for visitors until then. If you'd like to come and visit, please txt me before coming over.

I still hope to do my reading at Powell's Cedar Hills on Wednesday, but the rest of the book tour is an open question. Not canceling anything just yet.
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Kate's aphasia has been getting gradually worse for the past several weeks. We consulted with the doctor earlier this week and raised her steroid dose a bit, but it was still getting worse and we were looking forward to next Tuesday's MRI with some trepidation.

On Friday, the first day of Westercon, Kate was having even more difficulty talking and was weak and wobbly. She attended my reading, but after the reading she fell over in the hallway -- didn't hurt herself, but had great difficulty getting up. After that she went to bed and dozed away the afternoon. I had friends watch over her while I went to my programming.

Kate had a pretty bad night and I called the doctor at 2am; he recommended doubling the steroid dose, so I ran home for more pills. At 4am I was awakened by a thud -- Kate had fallen while getting out of bed to go to the bathroom. She couldn't get herself up even with my help, couldn't talk, and seemed panicky and confused; I called 911. The paramedics got her up onto the bed, but she was still very confused -- they recommended taking her to the hospital, and I agreed. Kate's sister Sue had arrived at the convention by now and she came along.

At the ER they took a CAT scan to check for brain bleeding from the two falls. There was no bleeding, but substantial brain swelling, for as-yet-unknown reasons (the CAT scan would not show tumor growth). They gave her IV steroids, admitted her to the hospital, and scheduled an MRI for a more detailed look at her brain. Sue sent me back to the hotel for food and sleep. That was Saturday.

At this point (noon Sunday) Kate is resting. Her steroid dose has been raised to 12mg/day to get the swelling down, and the aphasia has improved from "can't talk at all" to "can often form partial sentences." This is extremely frustrating for all of us. We have met with the on-call oncologist and the on-call neurosurgeon's PA -- our regular doctors are all on vacation. The oncologist is not a brain specialist and found the MRI ambiguous; we are now awaiting the neurosurgeon's assessment of it.

If you are at Westercon and would like to visit Kate, please coordinate with Ruth Sachter. We don't want to overwhelm her with too many visitors. Sue will stay with Kate so I can attend my autograph session at 2pm today. I am disappointed to be missing most of my Guest of Honor stint, and worried about my upcoming book tour, but Kate comes first.
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I have recently received author copies of two books containing works of mine. The Best Science Fiction of the Year, edited by Neil Clarke, has my story "Damage," and The Usual Path to Publication, edited by Shannon Page, has my essay "How to Sell a Novel in Only Fifteen Years." Both are full of good stuff, and are available wherever books are sold. Enjoy!

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Westercon 69 will be held this coming weekend in Portland, Oregon. I am the Fan Guest of Honor and will be appearing on a ton of programming. Please note that my reading will be very early in the con -- on Friday at 3pm -- so if you can attend I would really appreciate it!

  • Fri Jul 1 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm in Ross Island: GOH Fan Guest David D Levine Reading.
  • Fri Jul 1 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm in Mult/Holl: Opening Ceremony. With Bobak Ferdowsi, Charlie Stross, David D. Levine, Lea Rush
  • Fri Jul 1 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm in Hawthorne: Going to Mars: What s the Point?. With the release of the hit movie The Martian and the release of the latest NASA plan for the journey to Mars, a fundamental question needs to be asked, and answered concerning the Why. The panel will discuss the pros and cons of a Mars mission and how it can be presented in the non-science world in order to justify the endeavor. With Bobak Ferdowsi, David D. Levine, Gerald D. Nordley, Kristin Landon
  • Fri Jul 1 9:00 pm - 12:00 am in Jeff/Adams: Match Game SF. Get ready to match the fannish stars! In this re-creation of the classic 1970s game show, contestants are selected randomly from the audience to attempt to match the panelists' answers to fill-in-the-blank questions like "Captain Kirk has the biggest ___ in Starfleet!" All contestants will receive prizes. With Andrew Fuller, David D. Levine, Debra Stansbury, Jim Doty, Kevin Standlee (m), Lisa Hayes, Lynn Gold, Manny Frishberg
  • Sat Jul 2 10:00 am - 11:00 am in Multnomah: Saturday 10am Kaffeeklatsch. Small group discussions with authors, artists, and other interesting personalities (referred to as "hosts"). Sessions are limited to the host and a small group of attendees.
  • Sat Jul 2 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm in Lincoln: Contract Pitfalls to Avoid. Join the Chair of SFWA's Contracts Committee and other panelists in discussing contract clauses writers need to avoid or modify. With David D. Levine, James Fiscus (m), John Lovett
  • Sat Jul 2 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm in Mult/Holl: The Scientist vs The Authors: Intellectual Brawl of the Century. 3 of our GoH's having a free form discussion. With Bobak Ferdowsi, Charlie Stross, David D. Levine (m), John Scalzi
  • Sat Jul 2 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm in Mult/Holl: Masquerade. The Masquerade is an event where members of the convention have the opportunity to present their costumes on stage for the entertainment of the other members. With David D. Levine (MC)
  • Sun Jul 3 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm in Autographs: Guest of Honor Autograph: David Levine.
  • Sun Jul 3 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm in Ross Island: Toxic Masculinity as Villain. Fighting demons is clearly easier than fighting the cultural narrative of men as arrogant, emotionally repressed aggressors who refuse to accept advice or reconsider poor decisions. What would it look like if a male character became aware of that narrative and decided to take a stand against it? Instead of toxic masculinity traits being used to generate repetitive conflict, how can authors build the tension between what the culture wants a man to be and who he wants himself to be? With David D. Levine, Sara Stamey, Sienna Saint-Cyr
  • Sun Jul 3 9:00 pm - 12:00 am in Jeff/Adams: Match Game SF. Get ready to match the fannish stars! In this re-creation of the classic 1970s game show, contestants are selected randomly from the audience to attempt to match the panelists' answers to fill-in-the-blank questions like "Captain Kirk has the biggest ___ in Starfleet!" All contestants will receive prizes. With Andy Trembley, David D. Levine, Jonnalyhn Wolfcat Prill, Kevin Roche, Kevin Standlee (m), Lee Moyer, Lisa Hayes, Lynn Gold
  • Mon Jul 4 11:00 am - 12:00 pm in Jeff/Adams: GoH presentation: Science Tourism Experiences. A slide show presentation by GoH David Levine showing a zeppelin ride, a NASA satellite launch, a short trip on a sailing ship, and a stay at a simulated Mars base.
  • Mon Jul 4 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm in Broadway: How the Hugo Awards Work. There have been millions of words tossed around for the past few years about the Hugo Awards, much of it uninformed, inaccurate, or simply wrong. Come listen to people who have actually administered the Awards and know the rules to hear some facts about the process. With Ben Yalow, David D. Levine, Kevin Standlee (m)
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IMG 0007Clothing is a big thing in Arabella of Mars. At the beginning of the book, Arabella is a wild child, running around the desert in a warm, protective, and thoroughly scandalous Martian garment called a thukhong. When her mother finds out, she hauls her back to Earth and makes her dress like a proper English lady -- which she hates. Later on she winds up running across the English countryside in her nightdress, and eventually she dresses as a boy and signs on to the crew of an interplanetary clipper ship.

To celebrate Arabella and her outfits, I commissioned a paper doll set from Rachel Cohen of paperthinpersonas.com. It's done, it looks fabulous (printed in full color on heavy paper), and now, thanks to Tor, you have a chance to get one for yourself -- free! Here's how:
  1. Pre-order Arabella of Mars from Powell's, University Book Store, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, or even Amazon.
  2. Submit your proof of purchase to torpublicity@tor.com with the subject line "ARABELLA PRE-ORDER PROMOTION."
  3. Don't forget to include your mailing address.
That's all! But hurry -- quantities are limited. Offer expires July 12, 2016.

If you want a paper doll but can't pre-order the book, you might have another chance. I will be giving away paper dolls (and other goodies) at my readings to people who dress up, ask questions, or otherwise earn them. :-)

Join Arabella Ashby on her space adventures with this paper doll set. In this alternate history Arabella has grown up on the flourishing British colony on Mars and loves her wild frontier home. Packed off to the stiflingly civilized Earth, Arabella soon discovers that her family is in danger so she runs away and dresses as a boy to join the crew of the flying ship Diana. She must learn to sail the skies, weather the naval war raging between Britain and France, and deal with a mutinous crew if she hopes to save the day. From her Martian hunting clothes to her proper lady’s gown this paper doll features outfits from all of her adventures in Arabella of Mars, on sale from Tor Books July 12, 2016.
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Last year at OryCon I saw a performance by the PDX Broadsides, who describe themselves as "a trio of nerd enthusiasts who sing about science, piracy, superheroes, robots, and other geeky topics with great vigor and harmony." I knew that they had composed a custom sea chantey* for Portland cartoonist Lucy Bellwood's Baggywrinkles, and I asked them if they were interested in a commission for Arabella of Mars. Well, they were, and it's now complete! I'm just thrilled with how it came out.

You can listen to it using the gadget below, or click "download" to download the MP3 from BandCamp for a "pay what you will" price (which includes free!).



Here are the lyrics, if you'd like to memorize them. You may have an opportunity to sing along if you see me at Westercon or any of my other personal appearances this summer!


CHORUS:
Take the air, take the air
The wind is fine and fair
‘Tween the stars and stones I roam
Oh the sun feels fine
Up above the falling line
And I never want to see my Earthly home

Well I reef and hand and steer
Like the hardest privateer
And I never like my feet to touch the land
For if England’s shore I see
It’s the sponging-house for me
So I’d rather I was buried where I stand

CHORUS

Give the pedals all you’ve got
Till you’ve fin’lly earned your tot
Strike the spankers and sheet home the mains’ls now
We are sons of Kidd
So give thanks for what he did
From the moment the Adventure left the ground

CHORUS

John Company’s man am I
And I sail across the sky
In a Marsman of the finest honey-blond
We are skyward bound
So pass the rum around
We’ll drink his health to Venus and beyond

CHORUS

Now the rising’s underway
We won’t see the break of day
Til we walk upon the crimson Martian sand
And the bell’s struck eight
So for god’s sake don’t be late
For the cosmic tide she waits for no man

CHORUS

Oh the sun feels fine
Up above the falling line
And I never want to see my Earthly home


* I use the spelling "chantey" rather than the equally valid "shanty" because I want to clarify that we are talking about a sailors' song here, rather than a shack.
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Residents of the US and Canada have two ways to win a copy of Arabella of Mars this month!
  • Tor.com is giving away four galley copies through noon Eastern time on June 5. Just comment at this blog post to enter.
  • Goodreads is giving away nine copies of the final hardback through June 17. Go here to enter.
In case you are wondering why you might like to read this book, I recommend you check out this video trailer:



If that isn't enough to convince you, Bookish.com named Arabella of Mars one of Summer 2016’s Must-Read Science Fiction & Fantasy Books, calling it "ideal for readers who want a good ol’ fashioned high seas (er, air?) adventure story," and RT Book Reviews gave it a four-star review (subscription required), saying "Excellent, entertaining, humorous scenarios make up Levine’s latest. His storytelling will keep readers turning the pages with its slight edginess, light-hearted tone and clear, crisp dialogue. Arabella is strong, sassy and clever, and her journey, as she makes her way back to Mars on an airship, makes this story an engaging read."