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Originally published at Michael Merriam. Please leave any comments there.

Here is the video of my performance at the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Word Brew event at Acadia Cafe on November 20th, 2016. Enjoy!

 

mmerriam: (Default)

Originally published at Michael Merriam. Please leave any comments there.

CaberABLE – I will be performing a 15 minute piece as part of an evening of wonderful cabaret. Saturday, November 5th, 2016 in the JSB TekBox at Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. 528 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403.   Show starts at 7:30 pm. Event sponsored by Patrick’s Cabaret and VSA Minnesota.

Word Brew: The Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Showcase: I will be part of this annual event showcasing Minnesota authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Sunday, November 20th at Acadia Cafe, 329 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Show starts at 3:00 pm.

Not So Silent Planet Podcast. I be recording an episode with them in late November. Once the podcast is available to the public, I will provide a link.

mmerriam: (Type)
Sunday, November 17, 2013 12:00 PM
Acadia Cafe (http://acadiacafe.com/) 329 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

MNSpec (http://www.meetup.com/MinnSpec/) members will be giving short readings from their works. Reading slots will be approximately 10 minutes.

Current List of Readers: Mnspec 2013 Showcase
Joel Arnold
Kelly Barnhill
Rob Callahan
Eli Effinger-Weintraub
Terry Faust
Catherine Lundoff
Michael Merriam
Margaret Taylor

Host:
Conrad Zero

This is a public event. Authors will bring books to sell, swag to hand out, and mailing lists for fans to sign up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Coffee)
On Thursday the 2nd of May, my short piece "The Sixth Son" will air sometime around 7:00am on The Morning Blend on KFAI FM 90.3 Minneapolis and 106.7 St. Paul. This little tale is a riff on and gentle poke at fantasy tropes.

I have two short stories—"Darkly Through the Light Waters" and "Rainfall"— appearing in a just released anthology, Magical Creatures from Celtic Mists, from Artema Press. You can check it out and buy a copy here.

Offered without comment, except to say that the writers organization I am help organize, MinnSpec, plans to sign up: Coffee and Books.

I listened to METAtropolis: Cascadia, and while I enjoyed every novella in the audio book, Jay Lake's The Bull Dancers and Ken Scholes's A Symmetry of Serpents and Doves stood out. Both of these stories really struck me as a reader and have stuck with me days later. I'll review the entire anthology later, but for now, I highly recommend you give it a listen.

Mr. Belyn remains Very Fuzzy Indeed, as befits a Maine Coon.

We now return to preparing for CoreCon.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
The "Sky-Tinted Waters" launch party was a grand success, with great food, great conversation, a room full of authors and friends, plus entertaining readings by four of the authors in the anthology.

It was also a professional success for me. By the end of the party I sold a short story collection, to be published in 2013, was asked to write a steampunk short story for a magazine, was asked to write another novella in the same setting as "Horror at Cold Springs" and "The Curious Case of the Jeweled Alicorn" for possible publication in 2013, and was given the green light to package another MinnSpec anthology for 2014.

That seems pretty productive. I'm kind of sad that I need to set aside the new novel for a few weeks, but thrilled to have these projects in hand.

I began writing the novella today, having finished with all the outlining and research I needed to complete before I started. I expect this novella to run about the same length as the others, so somewhere between 20K and 30K. Here is a rough, rough snippet.

#

From the Memoir of Chidiebude of the Ndị Igbọ, sometimes known under the Christian name Charles Stanton, OBE, but more commonly known to the populace under the code name Mr. Chillblood.

Part One: Mr. Arkady Bloom

No recounting of my adventures in London can, of course, be considered complete –or even begun – without explaining how I came to be in service to Mr. Arkady Bloom, he who would first be my benefactor, then my employer, and at last my truest and most trusted friend.

It was the year of 1873 – a number of years before Mr. Bloom became Special Agent Bloom of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Services, Supernatural Branch – when I first encountered the half-fey poet and adventurer. I was then one of the wretched ragged street urchins that plague the streets of smoggy old London like so many fleas upon the body of a hunting hound, having been separated from the home of my previous guardian.

Dr. William Stanton, a kindly widower, brought me to his home at 49 Welbeck Street in London during my sixth summer of life, fleeing Africa when he was unable to affect a cure for the mysterious ailment that decimated the village of my childhood, leaving me the only survivor. After the tenth autumn of my life, the doctor succumbed to the Consumption contracted while treating unfortunates in the lowest slums of the city.

His heirs did not look kindly on his dark-skinned, scar-faced ward and, obtaining absolution from their vicar that casting out a heathen savage from their midst was indeed no sin, hired a gang of stout men to haul me away to a fate they cared not to know, thereby leaving their own hands unsullied. I left two of the men bleeding on the street cradling broken bones from the sting of the doctor's old blackthorn stick before the others beat me senseless with wooden clubs and dropped me penniless in the Old Nichol Rookery.
#


Like I said, it's pretty rough, but it's a start!

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
Founded in 2004, The Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers (MinnSpec) is a 350+ member strong organization of working writers. Our membership includes writers who have published multiple novels with major publishing houses, editors of highly respected magazines, emerging writers with several professional and small press sales, and brand new writers making their first nervous forays into submitting their work.

We provide our members with a variety of activities and events, including monthly meetings to discuss topics of interest to writers and four different monthly workshop groups. MinnSpec offers its members a chance to share writing goals, discuss market news, keep each other on task, and provides a place for general networking and chat about writing SF, both in person and on our message boards. We hold small celebrations to honor our members' publishing milestones and offer occasional short group readings where members can share works-in-progress and receive light feedback.

MinnSpec organizes periodic Kaffee Klatch chats with well-known local authors such as Lyda Morehouse, Patricia C. Wrede, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Pamela Dean. We also promote the Speculations Reading Series at Dreamhaven Books and hold occasional "Dinner and a Movie" events where we watch great (and not so great) films of the genre. MinnSpec is active in the science fiction convention scene, working with local and regional conventions to help provide programming, readings, and book signings for individual members and the group as a whole.

For more information, please visit us at: http://www.meetup.com/MNspec/


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
Eli Effinger-Weintraub is a whirlwind of energy. Since joining MinnSpec, she has thrown herself wholeheartedly into being an assistant organizer and general minion-at-large. One of her primary minion duties was to also copyedit this anthology. I highly recommend her services, but be prepared to be amused by line comments.

I ended the anthology with “The Weed on the Floss” because it is a story that has everything: drama, humor, adventure, strong characters, and a wondrous alternative-history steampunk world to explore.

“The Weed on the Floss” originally appeared in Steampunk Tales #5 in January, 2010.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
I’ve known Hilary for a long-time now. She’s one of the greatest cheerleaders for new SFFH writers in Minnesota, a dynamo of energy, and a relentless promoter of MinnSpec. She’s is also a fine writer.

“The Grand Cheat” is a fantastic story of using your wits to affect change in life, even when the Gods themselves are working against you. And any story where smarts and cunning is used to resolve the plot instead of violence and force is a winner in my books.

“The Grand Cheat” originally appeared in the April 2002 issue of Tales of the Unanticipated.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
I’ve known Hilary for a long-time now. She’s one of the greatest cheerleaders for new SFFH writers in Minnesota, a dynamo of energy, and a relentless promoter of MinnSpec. She’s is also a fine writer.

“The Grand Cheat” is a fantastic story of using your wits to affect change in life, even when the Gods themselves are working against you. And any story where smarts and cunning is used to resolve the plot instead of violence and force is a winner in my books.

“The Grand Cheat” originally appeared in the April 2002 issue of Tales of the Unanticipated.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
A longtime and highly active member of MinnSpec, Abra is one half of the team that records our meetings for podcast. A terrific writer, gifted with a great reading voice, and a brilliant conversationalist, Abra is the real deal and I look forward to her hitting the big-time any minute.

“These Things Take Time” is a quirky bit of SF driven by the sharply drawn characters and clever premise. I loved this story on the first read and knew I wanted to include it for you, good reader. Enjoy.

“These Things Take Time” originally appeared in the April 15, 2010 issue of Emerald Tales


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
A longtime and highly active member of MinnSpec, Abra is one half of the team that records our meetings for podcast. A terrific writer, gifted with a great reading voice, and a brilliant conversationalist, Abra is the real deal and I look forward to her hitting the big-time any minute.

“These Things Take Time” is a quirky bit of SF driven by the sharply drawn characters and clever premise. I loved this story on the first read and knew I wanted to include it for you, good reader. Enjoy.

“These Things Take Time” originally appeared in the April 15, 2010 issue of Emerald Tales


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
A. Christopher Drown is another of our long-distance members. While he’s never come a meeting that I know of (though he swears he will drop in the next time he is in Minnesota) he has been a part of the group for a long time.

I liked this piece because it was both serious throwback SF and yet had moments of comedic relief. I would call this a seriously fun romp.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
My first really clear memory of Leanna is from the MinnSpec Publication Potluck Party this past year. I mean, I’m sure we've spoken before. I know she’s been to other MinnSpec functions and she takes part in the message board, but memory being the foggy thing it is... Anyway, she read from her work at the party, obviously nervous, but her story was so lovely to hear that I was left wishing for more stories by Leanna.

I picked “A Veiled Affair” because I loved the atmospheric noir style of the piece and the unique and clever world building. The plot is well-constructed and the story a pleasure to read, and Timanus hits all the right notes for fantastical noir/pulp

“A Veiled Affair” originally appeared in Big Pulp in September 2010.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
Gaea Dill-D’Ascoli is a force of nature. No, seriously, sit down and talk with her sometime. She’s energetic, funny, and driven to find adventure. She’s also caring and determined to make a difference in the world. Well, talk with her whenever she comes back to the states. Or go find her oversees, if you’re adventurous enough.

“Off the Shelf” is so short and tightly written that I don’t want to accidentally spill anything for you, but I was moved emotionally by the end of the story and was forced to examine where we as humans might be going as a species.

“Off the Shelf” originally appeared at DailyScienceFiction.com on July 7th, 2011


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
I’ve been friends with Catherine for some time now, starting with seeing each other at conventions and eventually doing readings together, and finally getting together for friendly chat. She’s smart about the business and willing to help promote writers who works she enjoys.

I picked “At the Roots of the World Tree” because it pushed several of my buttons as a reader; including being heavily character-driven and being about story itself. This is a great combo for me as a reader.

“At the Roots of the World Tree” originally appeared in Kenoma: Speculative Fiction and Myth in 2004.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
I’ve been friends with Catherine for some time now, starting with seeing each other at conventions and eventually doing readings together, and finally getting together for friendly chat. She’s smart about the business and willing to help promote writers who works she enjoys.

I picked “At the Roots of the World Tree” because it pushed several of my buttons as a reader; including being heavily character-driven and being about story itself. This is a great combo for me as a reader.

“At the Roots of the World Tree” originally appeared in Kenoma: Speculative Fiction and Myth in 2004.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
Writer, spoken-word performer, snazzy dresser, and all-around great guy. This is how I describe Rob Callahan. I first met Rob at some convention or another, maybe 4th Street Fantasy, and found myself enjoying his company quite a bit. He’s smart, calm, and knows his stuff. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know him and it’s a real pleasure presenting this story.

I’ve heard Rob tell this story on stage, so I can’t read it without hearing his voice in my head. This short tale of a dark and twisted relationship struck a chord with both my love of weird tales and with my slightly macabre sense of humor.


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
Sky-Tinted Waters ToC #11 - Play Time by R. Scott McCoy

The mind of R. Scott McCoy must be a scary place. This is his second appearance in a MinnSpec anthology and both stories were dark and creepy, each in their own way. Fortunately, he’s a pretty friendly guy, so I’ve never felt the need to flee before I ended up in one of his tales.

A surprising number of SF stories I read for the anthology were tinged with horror or they were horror stories with SF world-building. Whichever this one is, R. Scott McCoy hit the nail on the head perfectly. I could see, once I’d finished the story, how it could have played out just this way.

“Play Time” originally appeared in the anthology Old School (2011).


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Default)
Actually, the full title is "Pinky the Invisible Flying Pony vs. the Giant, Carnivorous, Poisonous, Exploding Spider-Leeches" by Conrad Zero

Conrad is one of MinnSpec’s tech people and one of the people responsible for our podcasts. He’s a hard working assistant organizer for the group, and a lot of fun to hang out with at conventions and book festivals. He likes dark things and he writes dark things, but...

But this story isn’t one of them, though it is a little weird and a little gross (in an “eww-yuck” kind of way) at times. It is also laugh-out-loud funny and has one of the most colorful and outrageous protagonists I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Enjoy!


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.
mmerriam: (Type)
I haven’t really gotten a chance to get to know Holly, which is probably too bad, because seems like a pretty neat person. I can tell you that besides writing some wonderful fiction, she also has written or co-written several non-fiction books, including one I own and use a lot.

“The Haunting” was one of those stories that, once I finished reading it, I had to stop reading other submissions and take a break. It was a piece of “Oh wow” fiction that I just adored. This story shows my continued love for dark, atmospheric horror and fantasy. I was shivering in delight for days after I read “The Haunting.”


Sky-Tinted Waters is available from Sam's Dot Publishing.

Originally posted at michaelmerriam.net. You can comment here or there.

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