I’ll be spending the weekend in Gaithersburg, MD at Capclave, and here is where you can find me (if you happen to be looking). I’ve gone to this convention for the last several years, but this is the first time I’m participating on programming officially.

I’ll also be happily waving around copies of In a Cat’s Eye edited by Vonnie Winslow Crist and Kelly A. Harmon, which contains my latest “A Familiar Story.”

FRIDAY, 7 October
5pm Suite 1209
UFO 5 & Humanity 2.0 Launch party
I’m the copyeditor on the UFO series, and I’m planning on hanging around the launch party. I hear they’ll be authentic bagels . . . .

7pm – Bethesda
Son of Steampunk
[Panelists: Doc Coleman, Elektra Hammond (mod), Elaine Stiles]
Steampunk genre caught on in ways nobody expected, spawning offspring genres (Dieselpunk, Atompunk, Clockpunk, etc.) achieve the same popularity? The panel will discuss these new subgenres, what defines them, and their staying power.

SATURDAY, 8 October
10am – Rockville/Potomac
The Martian and the Robinsonade
[Panelists: Michael Capobianco, Elektra Hammond, James Morrow, Michael D. Pederson (mod)]
What’s so intriguing and enduring about being stranded and alone? The panelists will discuss if there is room left in the reading market for variations on this theme.

11am – Frederick
The Portal Story
[Panelists: Martin Berman-Gorvine (mod), Elektra Hammond, Victoria Janssen, Sarah Pinsker]
The portal story, where the protagonist travels to another place, world, or universe, has a long history and is a mainstay in genre literature. Panelists will discuss the best and the worst tales, as well as portal stories that defy the trope yet still stays true to the sub-genre.

7:30 – Salon A
Mass Autographing session

8:30 – Salon A
WSFA Small Press Award Ceremony
Two of the stories in Cats in Space (the anthology I edited for Paper Golem) are nominated for the Award, as well as a number of the year’s other fine stories. I’ll be there cheering for the winner!

SUNDAY, 9 October
noon – Rockville/Potomac
Cats in Fantasy & Science Fiction
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond (mod), Kelly A. Harmon, Alex Shvartsman, Michelle D. Sonnier]
From CJ Cherryh’s Chanur series to Alex Shvartsman’s cat aliens who *almost* take over our planet, cats and cat-based alien species are here to stay. Why are they so popular?


Bullets and bad guys and puppies with sad eyes. And Colin Firth kicking butt–what more do you need? Check out my review of Kingsman: The Secret Service at tabloid.io.


I’ve got a new gig reviewing movies at tabloid.io. Follow the link to see what I had to say about Chappie, Neill Blomkamp’s new film about the next generation of robots. Lots of good social commentary, plus explosions! What more could you ask for?

I’m going to my first Arisia 16-19 January 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts, and here is where you can find me:

SATURDAY, 17 January
10am – Marina 2
The Arisia Book Club: Reading the Hugos
[Panelists: Christopher Davis (mod), Elektra Hammond, Kate Nepveu, Erik Amundsen, Jennifer Allis Provost]
Read this year’s Hugo-winning novel (Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie) and stories (“Equoid” by Charles Stross, “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal, “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu), and come on down to discuss!

1pm – Marina 2
Unruly Places: When the Setting Does Not Behave
[Panelists: Erik Amundsen (mod), Elektra Hammond, Greer Gilman, Shira Lipkin, Adam Lipkin]
Streets that shift in the night, pathways that change destination, hills that certainly weren’t there yesterday: some places just don’t behave. What works of genre fiction have explored these unruly places? What stories can only happen where our rules just don’t apply?

7pm – Marina 1
Marvel Cinematic (and TV) Universe, 2015
[Panelists: Shira Lipkin (mod), Heather Urbanski, Elektra Hammond, Ed Fuqua, Kevin Cafferty, Gillian Daniels]
In 2014, we saw Agents of SHIELD and Captain America: The Winter Soldier deal with global corruption, while Guardians of the Galaxy took on Thanos and Ronan. As this panel takes place, we’ll have Agent Carter on TV, with a Netflix Daredevil show hitting in May. We’ll talk about where this increasingly complex and connected universe goes from here, and how things are looking after the last year.

SUNDAY, 18 January
11:30am – Douglas
Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading
[Panelists: Trisha Wooldridge (mod), Terri Bruce, Elektra Hammond, Lisa J. Evans, Justine Graykin, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Anna Erishkigal]
Broad Universe is an international organization of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Come hear samples from the works of several members of the Broad Universe organization.

2:30pm – Hancock
Open Discussion Group: Movies
[Panelists: Rubi, Elektra Hammond, Deirdre Crimmins]
Description What were your favorite movies this year? What as a hit and what was a miss? Come share your opinions in this interactive discussion.

Took a brief break and all the cool kids were making these maps. Seems I’m missing a bunch of states right in a row.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

I’m hoping to fill in some of the missing ones in the next two years–we considering the Empire Builder from Chicago to Spokane next August for Sasquan, with a stop in Glacier National Park. And in 2016, they’ll be Mid-AmeriCon II in Kansas City.

I’m a part of this week’s Mind Meld at SF Signal–read about which genre author I think deserves more recognition. And about which authors Jamie Todd Rubin, Jonathan Laden, Mike Resnick, R. Leigh Hennig, Nick Mamatas, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Deborah Walker, Eric James Stone, Anna Yeatts, Alex Shvartsman, Lynne M. Thomas, and Marguerite Kenner deemed worthy of more appreciation.

Read all about it at:
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/08/mind-meld-underappreciated-genre-authors/. And while you’re at it, check out SF Signal. It’s full of fun!

Maybe this one was just too French for me.

It’s an ambitious film with an interesting structure, but even some solid action scenes couldn’t keep me engaged. See my full review at buzzymag.

An excerpt:
I wanted to like this movie.

It had everything going for it: Scarlett Johansson’s immense talent, a great concept, the always likeable Morgan Freeman, and the promise of tons of action and special effects. But it fell flat.

It’s been years since I saw a movie in the theater twice in as many days–Guardians of the Galaxy is that special.

An excerpt:
Guardians of the Galaxy throws you in at the deep end and turns away, confident you’ll love what you’ll see, but not really giving a darn if you do or not. And it blasts “Cherry Bomb” on a boombox at you the whole time.

Today I went to the American Martial Arts Institute in Bear, Delaware and had my first lesson. I am the proud owner of a new black gi, and I’m motivated to really do this right. I feel pretty good, and nobody died.

Thanks to Al Katerinsky for being so inspiring at Confluence, and Keith DeCandido, for talking so positively about martial arts. Between the two of you, I’m headed down that road again.

Here’s some music to play along the way:

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a stunning triumph for motion caption afficionados as it seamlessly integrates new technology to bring the simian cast members to life in a non-distracting why. This leaves the way open to focus on character development and plot, creating a richly realized world.

Planet of the Apes fandom encompasses three different generations of movies, both a live action and an animated TV series, comic books, magazines, tie-in novels–yet there are still more stories to be told.

And in this case, told very well. See my full review at buzzymag.

An excerpt:
The world has become a tiny place.

One that has a lot of Planet of the Apes movies in it.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sits firmly at the top of the heap.

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