Reading at KGB
Tonight I’m reading at KGB with Ben Loory. You’ll get to hear the opening of Without a Summer and a little puppet show. Come down!
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A mini science fiction convention with Mary Robinette Kowal, author of Ghost Talkers and Ada Palmer, author of Too Like the Lightning
Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 pm, at Boswell
Join two beacons of the science fiction and fantasy world, Ada Palmer and Mary Robinette Kowal, for a spirited conversation about their new books, writing, and who knows what else? It’s like having a science fiction and fantasy convention back in Milwaukee, only a really tiny one. Boswell-con, anyone?
Having just completed her Glamourist Histories cycle, Chicago’s Mary Robinette Kowal offers up Ghost Talkers, a just-released novel featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I. Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force. Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence. When Ginger, one of the Corps, discovers a traitor, the top brass thinks she's imagining things. But she most definitely is not.
From Ada Palmer, we present the first book of Terra Ignota, a four-book political SF epic set in a human future of extraordinary originality. Palmer has created a hard-won uptopian world built on technologically created abundance and the complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech, with normal gender distinctions now distinctly taboo, and economic and cultural competition carefully managed by central planners. In this world is Mycroft Canner, a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. He meets Carlyle Foster, a sensayer - a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away. But there's another player in this story, a young boy, who could destabilize the system with his strange power to animate objects. As Hugo and Nebula winner Jo Walton writes of Too Like the Lightning: "Lots of books can knock you over and leave you reeling and dazzled when you're fifteen, but it takes something special to do the same thing to you at fifty."
About the authors: Mary Robinette Kowal is the 2008 recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, a multiple Hugo winner, and a frequent finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards. A professional puppeteer and voice actor, she spent five years touring nationally with puppet theaters. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and nine manual typewriters.
Ada Palmer is a professor in the history department of the University of Chicago, specializing in Renaissance history and the history of ideas. Her first nonfiction book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. She is also a composer of folk and Renaissance-tinged a capella music, most of which she performs with the group Sassafrass. She writes about history for a popular audience at exurbe.com and about SF and fantasy-related matters at Tor.com.
ABOUT NERDCON: STORIES
From the moment we could speak, we’ve been telling each other stories.
And since then, our stories have defined and created us. Every human society that wants to behave different first has to change the stories they tell. The story was — and remains — the key to the marvel of human progress. Stories in songs, in books, on the stage, around the campfire. Stories drove the evolution of human language and fostered the massive burst of creation that accompanied it. We celebrate our culture all the time, but we don’t do a great job of just praising the institution of the story.
Last year, with the help of 40 special guests, and a few thousand adventurous lovers of narrative, we created NerdCon: Stories, a two day conference of connection, content, instruction, and hilarity. The feel of the event was electric, the consensus was that it was maybe the best thing ever.
Now we would like to do it again, and even cooler. This time we’ll have a larger room for booths, activities, and signings. Two new ballrooms for panels and Q&As, and a bunch of small rooms for workshops and more intimate conversations.
And to reflect the diversity of ways humans tell stories this year, we’ll have over 60 special guests including authors, actors, artists, narrators, podcasters, puppeteers, comedians, dancers, directors, screenwriters, game designers, radio hosts, musicians, comic writers, and cartoonists. All of these people will come together to discuss and celebrate the institution of the story. This simple human thing that creates us and defines us.
We are made of stories. Come celebrate them at NerdCon: Stories 2016.
HERE IS A (VERY INCOMPLETE) LIST OF THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE AT NERDCON: STORIES 2016:
– Panels, workshops, discussions & more
– Signings with Featured Guests
– Interactive storytelling art projects
– Live podcasts (including Improvised Star Trek & Unattended Consequences)
– Story Circle
– Live Superfight
– Lots of music (including Paul & Storm and Dessa)
– An expo hall with vendors & activities
– A board game zone
– Opportunities for live attendee storytelling
– A live performance by Rives
– Featured Guest Kaffeeklatsches (Featured Guests will hang out with small groups of attendees and have a grand old time chatting about anything & everything)