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.

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.

Worldcon is coming up soon! in San Antonio, Texas, and here is how to find me.

I’ve got some panels to do, I’ll be helping staff both the Phoenix in 2014 NasFic Bid (probably by working at site selection, but maybe at the bid table) & parties Thursday and Friday night, and the Broad Universe table, and I’ll be doing something to help with the Masquerade (whatever Sharon tells me to do–she gets first call on my time!).

Here’s my schedule: (all panels are 50 minutes)

FRIDAY, 30 August
[Business Lunch]

1pm – Convention Center 101A
Hats and Hat Making
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond, Janine Wardale]
Where do you find hats for costuming, and how do you get started in making your own?

5pm – Convention Center 003A
Embellishment Techniques
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond, Sandy Pettinger, Janine Wardale]
Learn the basics of embellishment techniques like applique, beading, quilting, and more!

SATURDAY, 31 August
11am – Convention Center 006A
Steampunk: The Present and the Future
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond(M), Phil Foglio, Kaja Foglio, Takayuki Tatsumi]
Over the last decade the Steampunk genre has exploded. There is a growing presence of Steampunk in literature, the cinema and television. We will discuss both the classics and new offerings, including how to find them, and how ‘steamy’ they are.

12noon – Convention Center 003A
Adapting Historical Fashion
[Panelists: Julie Barrett, Janine Wardale, Elektra Hammond]
How do you learn about historical fashion trends, and how do you adapt those trends to original designs and historically-inspired fashions like medieval fantasy and steampunk?

2pm – Convention Center 007B
30 Great SF & Fantasy Films You Almost Certainly Haven’t Seen
[Panelists: Perrianne Lurie (M), Val Ontell, Elektra Hammond, Terry Floyd, Adam-Troy Castro]
The many new options for home viewing have greatly increased the availability of any number of obscure, independent, and foreign films available to anybody willing to risk a journey off the beaten path. Panelists will take two minutes apiece to sell you some little-known masterpieces you should check out at you first opportunity. Be prepared to take notes.

8pm – Rivercenter Grand Ballroom

SUNDAY, 1 September
10am – Convention Center 007B
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
[Panelists: Valerie Frankel(M), Laurel Anne Hill, Roberta Rogow, Tracey Godsey, Katherine Villyard, Alexis Latner, Rachael Acks, Folly Blaine, Barbara Ann Wright, J.K. Cheney, Elektra Hammond]
Very short readings from members of Broad Universe.

1pm – Convention Center 101A
Building a Costume Library
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond(M), C.J. Mills, Byron P. Connell, Pierre Pettinger Jr]
How do you find costuming books? How to tell the good from the bad books. When to buy instead of borrow.

MONDAY, 2 September
10am – Convention Center 008A
Summer Blockbusters – 2013
[Panelists: Mark Oshiro(M), Melinda M. Snodgrass, Elektra Hammond, Heather Urbanski]
This year’s summer blockbusters are now (almost) history. Iron Man 3, Star Trek…it’s all over but the long form Hugo nominations. Let’s discuss this year’s crop. Why are they always franchises?

Or was it Magic Mike. I can nver be sure.

The second “Bad guys take over the White House” movie of the summer, White House Down delivered in some places, but not in others. I wanted to play Mr. Potato Head using it and Olympus Has Fallen to get one great action movie, picking and choosing actors and plot points.

It really hurt this one that it was the second one out of the gate, so no matter what they did, it just didn’t seem fresh. Although the explosions were bigger . . .

Read the full review at buzzymag.

An excerpt:
Have you ever seen that Monty Python sketch on déjà vu? You know, that feeling that you’ve seen something before. Déjà vu.

I’ve seen this movie before.

Fewer explosions. Same plot. Scruffier hero.

Balticon is this weekend, at the Habitrail Hunt Valley Inn, in Hunt Valley, Maryland. I’ve got some panels to do, the Dark Quest launch to help out with on Sunday night, and I’ll be helping with the Phoenix in 2014 NasFic bid table (and the Saturday night party!) and the Masquerade. I also hope to be at the Fortress Publications meet-and-greet Friday night.

Here’s my schedule (this is subject to change–I’m pulling the panels off the published schedule on the website):

FRIDAY, 24 May
3pm (1 hour, 50 minutes)
Salon D
Steampunk Mini-Hat Workshop
[Presenters: Lisa Ashton, Nancy Frey, Gaia Eirich, Elektra Hammond, Ron Robinson, Kate Szkotnicki, Jeanette Holloman]

Project Tracking for Editors
[Panelists: Trisha J. Wooldridge (M), Lesley Conner, Michael A. Ventrella, Brian Koscienski, Neal Levin, Elektra Hammond]
How to make sure all the ducks line up in a row when working on a project. Editors share war stories and recommendations on how to get organized, stay organized, and how to deal with the unexpected

Salon B
An Inside Look at Editing
[Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (M), Lesley Conner, Elektra Hammond, Neal Levin, Damien Walters-Grintalis]
What does an editor do anyway? A look at the different types of editors and the roles they play in the publishing process. Copy Editors, Line Editors, Project Editors, Acquisition Editors, Managing Editors

—no scheduled panels—

SUNDAY, 26 May
Salon D
Using SF&F to Protest War and Conflict
[Panelists: Elektra Hammond (M), Marttin Berman-Gorvine, T. C. McCarthy, Joy Ward, Jack Campbell (John Hemry)]
How has our war torn era shaped fantasy and SF literature? How have authors used fiction to express their concerns, help readers see the horror of war, and show their support for peace?

Salon B
Standard Submission Guidelines
[Panelists: Christine Norris (M), Patrick Thomas, Elektra Hammond, Eric V. Hardenbrook, Brian Koscienski]
What are these anyway? Why are things done a certain way? How come they are different from publisher to publisher?

7pm (2 hours)
Frankie & Vinnie’s
The Dark Quest Books Mega-Launch
Dark Quest Books launches their Spring 2013 titles with guest editors and authors: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (“The Eternal Cycle”), Danny Birt, Jack Campbell (“The Lost Fleet series”), Myke Cole, Judi Fleming, Charles E. Gannon, Elektra Hammond, Eric V. Hardenbrook, C.J. Henderson (“Teddy London”), Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, Christine Norris, KT Pinto, James Daniel Ross (“Radiation Angels”), Alex Shvartsman, Maria V. Snyder, Jim Stratton, Patrick Thomas (“Murphy’s Lore”, Robert E. Waters, and John C. Wright (“Chronicles of Chaos”), Jeff Young

MONDAY, 27 May
Salon B
Editing Anthologies
[Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail (M), Bob Greenberger, Elektra Hammond, Richard Allen Leider, Darrell Schweitzer]
Want to edit an anthology? Pick the panel’s brains about what kind of work goes into the process and what challenges to expect along the way. Learn about the different types of anthologies, submission methods, organization, and promoting the finished product.

Balticon is just a few short days away, starting Friday at the Hunt Valley Marriot in Baltimore, Maryland, and continuing through all of Memorial Day weekend.

I volunteered for a bunch of panels this year, and am both surprised and pleased (and a little shocked) to find that I am on almost all of them (and only moderating one of the them). I’m going to be almost as busy as I was at Darkovercon. Looking particularly forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

4:00pm in Belmont
Stories We Like to Hear Out Loud
[Moderator: Alan Zendell, Speakers: Elektra Hammond, Cindy Young-Turner, Roxanne Bland, Norm Sherman]
Panelists read excerpts from some of the favorite stories they like to have read to them. The audience offer the names of some of their favorites.

5:00pm in Salon B
Swords & Sorcery
[Moderator: Kelly A. Harmon, Speakers: Michael D. Pederson; Elektra Hammond; David Wood; C.J .Henderson]
How Has It Evolved, panelists contrast New Swords & Sorcery to that of earlier decades.

9:00pm in Salon B
The Modern Short Fiction Market and the Ebook Revolution
[Moderator: Paul D. Lagasse, Speakers: Emilie P. Bush, Michelle D. Sonnier, Neal Levin, Elektra Hammond]
Where is the revolution going, why should you join, will it save genre? Does it have the potential
to resurrect short fiction as a profitable enterprise, and if so, how can we get there?

noon in Parlor 1041
Magical Systems in Fantasy Literature — A Round Table Discussion
[Moderator: Gail Z. Martin, Speakers: Hildy Silverman, Trisha J. Wooldridge, Myke Cole, Jody Lynn Nye (Guest of Honor), David Wood, Barbara Friend Ish, Elektra Hammond, Bill Fawcett, Jean Marie Ward]
Panelists look at what are some of the things we expect to see in magical systems and give examples of works that are missing those factors, but work just fine for the reader anyway.

1pm in Salon D
Just Dandy: The Importance of Accessories in Steampunk
[Moderator: Elektra Hammond, Speakers: Janine K. Spendlove, Jared Axelrod, Doc Coleman, Rebecca K. Davis]
Finding the perfect accessories is vital to having the perfect steampunk costume: Find out the best places to get these accessories and tips and tricks to making your own.

3pm in Salon D
A Literary World Without Borders
[Moderator: Joshua Bilmes, Speakers: Elektra Hammond, D. Douglas Fratz, Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate, Nathan O. Lowell, Maria V. Snyder]
Where do you go for sf/f stuff on the internet? Panelists look at how the internet is changing how people find and buy books. Is this the beginning of the end for physical bookstores?

9am in Parlor 1041
The Technology of Steampunk — A Round Table Discussion
[Moderator: Emilie P. Bush, Speakers: Elektra Hammond, Rebecca K. Davis, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, C.J. Henderson, Andrew Fox]
What does and doesn’t fit into a steampunk world? How does the setting shape technology and how people relate to it?

7pm in Garden Room
The Eternal Launch Party
[Moderator: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Speakers: Jonah Knight, Mike McPhail, C.J .Henderson, Jeff Lyman, Neal Levin, Elektra Hammond, Keith R. A. DeCandido, John Hemry (Jack Campbell), Patrick Thomas, James Daniel Ross, Charles Edward Gannon, Bernie Mojzes, S.J. (Sooj) Tucker]
The Dark Quest Books release of Danielle Ackley-McPhail’s Eternal Cycle Series of urban fantasy novels, including Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, and the newly released Today’s Promise, as well as other 2012 titles, to be announced. Be sure to stick around long enough to hear the music of SJ Tucker and Jonah Knight!

10am in Belmont
If You Like To Read Books by __________ , You’ll also like books by __________
[Moderator: D. Douglas Fratz, Speakers: Darrell C. Schweitzer, Elektra Hammond, Robert E Waters, Simone Caroti]
Audience members provide names of books or authors they like, panelists will suggest books or authors they might also like.

noon in Belmont
Editing Anthologies
[Moderator: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Speakers: Keith R. A. DeCandido, Mike McPhail, Darrell C. Schweitzer, Elektra Hammond]
What are the challenges faced by anthology editors? What are the benefits? How do you go about it? What do you want to tell authors submitting stories?

This weekend at the cat show, I had the pleasure of a visit from Linda K. and her daughter, who came to a long ago cat show (sometime in 1998), and brought home Ace’s sister, then called Aurelia nic Morrigan, who was rechristened Stella.

Immediately after that show, the Downingtown Farmer’s Market was demolished, leaving us short a show site for the aptly named Catastrophic Cats.

Ace has been gone about six weeks.

It’s nice to know his sister is still happy and going strong. The visit was the high point of my weekend.