David D. Levine
This is just a reminder that the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series will be holding its next events in two weeks.

On Tuesday, April 29 in the Seattle area, we'll have local favorites Nancy Kress, Jack Skillingstad, and Leah Cutter plus special bonus reader Daryl Gregory. The University Bookstore will be on hand again selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033

On Wednesday, April 30 in Portland, we'll have bestselling writer Mike Moscoe, along with Leah Cutter and Ray Vukcevich. Wrigley-Cross Books will be selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211

See http://www.sfwa.org/for-readers/sfwa-northwest-reading-series/ for more information on both readings. Tell your friends!

I hope you can join us! It should be a lot of fun.
 
 
David D. Levine
13 April 2014 @ 12:09 pm
Norwescon, Seattle's biggest SF con, is next weekend! I'll be there, and here's my program schedule:
  • Reading: David D. Levine
    Thu, Apr 17, 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM, Cascade 1
    Arabella and the Marsman, a YA Regency Interplanetary Airship Adventure. Arabella 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 pirates, mutiny, and rebellion stand in her way. Will she arrive in time? Rated G
    David D. Levine

  • Behind the Scenes at Kennedy Space Center
    Fri, Apr 18, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, Cascade 12
    In January, Hugo-winning SF writer David D. Levine was invited to attend the launch of the TDRS-L satellite from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch event included visits to a launch pad under construction, the upper stories of the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the crawler-transporter, which are not open to the public, as well as press conferences with administrators, scientists, and astronauts. He took lots of pictures. Come see his slides and ask questions!
    David D. Levine

  • Giving Good Alien
    Fri, Apr 18, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Cascade 9
    It's pretty darn hard to write about a life form completely outside of our experience. No matter how good an SF story is, if you come across an alien that's either `just a guy in a suit' or too far from our current understanding of the laws of physics, it can throw you out of the story. So what does it take to create a believable alien?
    David D. Levine, Dean Wells, Nancy Kress, Pat MacEwen

  • First Page Idol
    Sat, Apr 19, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Cascade 10
    Feeling brave and bold? Send us your novel's first page to be read aloud and critiqued by our pros. Email to idol@norwescon.org by Friday!
    Camille Alexa, Cat Rambo, David D. Levine, Kevin Scott, Phoebe Kitanidis

  • The Many Sides of Hard SF
    Sat, Apr 19, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, Cascade 10
    While some predicted the decline of hard SF in the 1960s and 1970s, it's alive and thriving. What makes SF hard SF? Does it have to play 100% by known physical laws, or can it break them in some areas? Are all sciences open to hard SF, or are some a better fit than others? Come and join us for a lively discussion.
    David D. Levine, Elton Elliott, Jason Bourget, Nancy Kress, Russell Ervin

  • Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, OH MY!
    Sun, Apr 20, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Cascade 3&4
    Where do you get your fandom fixes? Every social media has it's own culture. What's different about the various social medias, and how do they interact within themselves and with each other in spreading fandom.
    David D. Levine, Donna Prior, Jen K, Jonny Nero, Sara Twitty
 
 
David D. Levine
I'm very pleased to announce that my Hugo-winning short story "Tk'Tk'Tk" has been adapted into a short play, which will be presented as part of an evening of "Brave New Sci-Fi" at the Jack London Bar in Portland, Oregon on April 24! See http://thepulpstage.weebly.com for more details.

The adaptation was written by playwright Matt Haynes, and the evening will also include "Why I Left Harry's All Night Hamburgers" by Lawrence Watt-Evans, "My Heart Is A Quadratic Equation" by Shane Halbach, "Deb & Joan" by Isaac Rathbone, and possibly more! The same company has previously adapted works by Ken Scholes, Tina Connolly, and Liz Argall.

I've read a draft of the adaptation, and it's... very different from the short story, but I can't disagree that the changes are appropriate and indeed necessary. The page and the stage are different media with different needs. I've seen before how prose changes when it's adapted to drama, but this is the first time I've seen it with one of my own works and it's been educational.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the play performed on April 24, and if you're in Portland I hope you'll be able to join me there!

Pulpgulp
 
 
David D. Levine
14 March 2014 @ 01:27 pm
I will be reading at the fabulous Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in New York City next Wednesday, March 19! Come "up a steep and very narrow stairway" to see me and Ellen Kushner read from our work, mix and mingle with fans of fantastic fiction, and enjoy tasty beverages. The reading is at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, and it's free! Come early to make sure you get a seat; doors open at 6:30 and the reading starts at 7pm. Hope to see you there!
 
 
David D. Levine
This is just a quick reminder that SFWA's Pacific Northwest Reading Series is having our next events in Seattle and Portland next month! On Tuesday, April 29 in the Seattle area, we'll have Nebula- and Hugo-winning writer Nancy Kress, accompanied by Jack Skillingstad and Leah Cutter. The University Bookstore will be on hand again selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033

On Wednesday, April 30 in Portland, we'll have bestselling writer Mike Moscoe, along with Leah Cutter and Ray Vukcevich. Wrigley-Cross Books will be selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211

See http://www.sfwa.org/for-readers/sfwa-northwest-reading-series/ for more information on both readings. Tell your friends!

I hope you can join us! It should be a lot of fun.
 
 
David D. Levine
30 January 2014 @ 09:54 am
The transcript of my Twitter chat yesterday with Bryan Thomas Schmidt has been posted at http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/sffwrtcht/2014/01/30/transcript-sffwrtcht-12914-with-hugo-winning-author-david-d-levine/.
 
 
David D. Levine
Tonight at 9PM EST (6PM PST) I will be interviewed in a live Twitter chat with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Just follow the hashtag #sffwrtcht to watch the discussion, and tweet any questions you have with that same hashtag. Hope to see you there!
 
 
David D. Levine
28 January 2014 @ 05:31 pm
The places where one thing opens onto another -- a door, a harbor, a gate, a border, a mouth -- are inherently interesting. They attract the eye and the attention. They are places of drama, of excitement.

Kennedy Space Center is the gateway between the United States and space.

I visited there last week, as an invited guest of NASA.

It was awesome.

IMG 2940
Space selfie!


cut for friendslist mercyCollapse )
 
 
David D. Levine
21 January 2014 @ 05:08 pm
Just sold novelette "The End of the Silk Road" to Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction!

This is my "Venus noir" story -- a cheery little tale of murder, betrayal and lost love set in the same universe as "The Wreck of the Mars Adventure" and my recently-completed-and-not-yet-sold novel Arabella and the Marsman. But while those stories take place on Mars, in 1701 and 1813 respectively, this one is set on Venus in 1936 -- a foggy, froggy, overheated Venus, always overcast, always as hot and soggy as New Orleans in August, a swamp of vice and corruption that makes Los Angeles look like Pleasantville.

I wrote this story in ten days and had a lot of fun writing it. I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Big props to Daniel Abraham and the rest of the Rio Hondo gang for help with the plot.
 
 
David D. Levine
17 January 2014 @ 03:33 pm
Some time ago I saw a notice on a mailing list about something called a "NASA Social," which is an opportunity for people who follow NASA on social media to attend a NASA event and meet each other in person. In this case the event was the January 23 launch of the TDRS-L satellite from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But you can't just show up -- you need to put your name in a hat and hope it gets drawn. I had never considered attending one of these before, but this one didn't conflict with anything that couldn't be rescheduled, so I submitted my name through a web page and then forgot all about it.

But then last week I got an email from NASA: I was one of 50 applicants randomly selected to attend the launch! I have to pay for my own transportation, food, and lodging, but... rocket launch! So I'm going!

In addition to the launch itself (assuming everything goes as planned), which will be a night launch and therefore spectacular, there will be a whole day of meet-and-greet with NASA scientists and engineers, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, and hanging out with other space geeks. I'm jazzed.

The TDRS system (it's pronounced "teedris" and stands for Tracking and Data Relay Satellites) is a network of geosynchronous satellites which provide nearly continuous high-bandwidth communication with spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit, including the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station, and TDRS-L will be the 12th one launched (hence the letter L). Space geeks of a certain age (or who have seen The Dish) may remember that in the early days of the Space Age contact with orbiting spacecraft was intermittent and was available only when the spacecraft was over a ground-based relay station; the TDRS satellites and associated ground stations make this problem a thing of the past, so this launch is important because it provides support for a whole bunch of present and future space development.

You can expect serious tweetage and bloggination from the event.

Whee!
 
 
David D. Levine
14 January 2014 @ 11:06 am
20140114-104242.jpgLast week I noticed that I was cleaning my glasses, and cleaning my glasses, and cleaning my glasses, and my vision wasn't getting better. The problem was not in the glasses, but in my left eye. Floaters.

Anyone who has read my story "Floaters" will understand why I was a bit creeped out by this.

Now, I've had floaters for years, and they are usually nothing to worry about, but these were a lot worse than I'd had previously and they seemed to have come on suddenly, so I made an appointment to have the eye checked out.

Well, the good news is that there's nothing unusual or seriously wrong, it's just a common age-related complaint called posterior vitreous detachment. My retina is still firmly attached, but when you get to a certain age, especially if you are nearsighted, the jelly inside your eye kind of shrinks and separates from the eye wall, and that's what I'm seeing. The process of detachment takes about 6 weeks, and "now would be a bad time to take up kickboxing." I love my eye doctor (whose name is, as it happens, Dr. Love).

The bad news is that these floaters are not going to go away, and I can probably look forward to the same in the other eye one of these years. Oh, well.

On the other hand, with my new insurance I only had to pay a $15 co-pay for the visit (thank you, Obamacare) and with only one eye dilated I get to freak people out all day. So, all in all, it's a win.
 
 
David D. Levine
So I was Skyping with scarlettina the other day (and when did that become a verb, anyway?) and I reflected upon the fact that video calling is something that had been part of "the future" so long that it kind of snuck up on us when it became the present.

Video calling has been possible, even practical, for over 50 years. AT&T's video phone was a memorable part of the 1964 World's Fair, and I'm sure there were prototypes much earlier. I remember when I was a kid that a variety of video phone technologies were introduced every year or so, every one promising to be The Wave of the Future. Yet, even though each of these was technically and economically feasible, every one failed to catch on in any meaningful way.

Many people, myself among them, thought that video calling never would catch on, not because it was technically infeasible but because it was socially undesirable. You might want to see the person you were talking to, we reasoned, but who wants to be seen wearing whatever it was you happened to be wearing when the phone rang?

Until... well, I'm not sure when. Some time ago -- it feels like three to ten years -- something changed. And now people are Skyping and FaceTiming and Google Hangouting all over the place. It's practically normal.

When exactly did this happen? And what changed to make it possible?

scarlettina theorized that it was the widespread adoption of smart phones with front-facing cameras that made the difference, but my gut feel is that the normalization of video calling is a bit earlier than that. My guess is that the inflection point might be the 2003 Iraq war, which may have been the first major event that combined adequate and widespread technology infrastructure (laptops with Internet and video cameras) with long-term overseas deployment of large numbers of lower- and middle-income Americans. Because of this war, millions of average Americans have used this technology to communicate with loved ones who were otherwise inaccessible, and once they've started doing it (and bought the hardware, and climbed the technology learning curve) they will keep doing it with their friends.

Another alternative explanation is, as it has been for so many other technologies, pornography. But I think that ChatRoulette and Cam Girls postdate the widespread adoption of video calling rather than being an instigator.

When do you think video calling became mainstream, and why?
 
 
David D. Levine
06 January 2014 @ 10:33 am

Considering a trip to New Orleans this year. Any recommendations for when to go, hotels, things to do?

 
 
David D. Levine
05 January 2014 @ 10:18 am
Levine SpaceMagic 133x200Kobo's holiday sale ends today (January 5)! Use promo code 50COUPON for 50% off hundreds of indie ebooks, including my award-winning short story collection Space Magic. Use the "Add to Cart" drop-down rather than the "Buy Now" button to allow entering the promo code.

Book View Cafe's holiday sale ends tomorrow (January 6)! Over 100 ebooks are half-price, including my novella Second Chance! Books are listed at full price but will be automatically discounted at checkout.

Happy new year!
 
 
David D. Levine
03 January 2014 @ 08:40 am
I'm (still) working on a big retrospective post of all the cool stuff I did in 2013, but at the prompting of John Scalzi I thought I would put up a separate post with my award-eligible work from 2013.
  • "The Wreck of the Mars Adventure" (novelette) in Old Mars, anthology edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin, October 2013 (buy it at powell's | amazon | b&n). In 1701, Captain Kidd (yes, that Captain Kidd) becomes the first Englishman on Mars.

  • "Artist’s Retrospective" (short story) in Daily Science Fiction, website edited by Jonathan Laden and Michele Barasso, September 2013 (read it at daily sf). An artist "unpaints" a picture in a world where time runs backwards.

  • "Wavefronts of History and Memory" (short story) in Analog, magazine edited by Trevor Quachri, June 2013 (buy it at itunes | google play). A radioarchaeologist travels thousands of light-years to peer into Earth's past, but her own history gets in the way.

  • "Letter to the Editor" (short story) in The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination, anthology edited by John Joseph Adams, February 2013 (buy it at powell's | amazon | b&n; hear it at tales to terrify). Mad scientist Dr. Talon explains himself.

  • I also made "Letter to the Editor" into a 15-minute video, which is eligible for the Hugo Award in Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.


Of these, I'm proudest of "The Wreck of the Mars Adventure," but it would be a real hoot to get Dr. Talon on the Best Dramatic Presentation ballot.
 
 
David D. Levine
02 January 2014 @ 05:31 pm
As you may know, I retired from my day job in 2007. People often ask me if I retired to write full-time, but the fact is that I'm not really spending much more time writing than I did when I was employed. Instead, we spend a lot more time traveling.

Here are all the cities where I spent at least one night away from home in 2013:

Las Vegas, NV
Redmond, WA
Lake Quinault, WA
Walnut Creek, CA
Bend, OR
Taos Ski Valley, NM
Kennewick, WA (x2)
Minneapolis, MN
Milwaukee, WI
San Francisco, CA
San Antonio, TX
La Grange, TX
Lincoln City, OR
Barcelona, Spain
Greenwich, UK
Brighton, UK
Orlando, FL

Plus numerous visits to Seattle to hang out with scarlettina and other friends.
 
 
David D. Levine
31 December 2013 @ 09:58 am
Novel words written: 46,303
Short fiction words written: 12,316
Notes, outline, and synopsis words written: 41,088
Blog words written: 26,878
Total words written: 126,585

New stories written: 2

Short fiction submissions sent: 26
Responses received: 24
Rejections: 18
Acceptances: 6 (1 pro, 3 semi-pro, 2 audio)
Other sales: 1 (audio)
Non-responses: 1 (project collapsed)
Awaiting response: 4

Short stories published: 14 (4 pro, 1 semi-pro, 5 reprint, 4 audio)

Novels completed: 1
Novel submissions: 5
Rejections: 3
Acceptances: 0
Awaiting response: 7

Agent submissions: 10
Rejections: 4
Acceptances: 0
Awaiting response: 6

Happy New Year!

 
 
David D. Levine
This is just a quick reminder that SFWA's Pacific Northwest Reading Series is having our next events in Seattle and Portland soon!

On Tuesday, January 14 in the Seattle area, we'll have Nicola Griffith, Kelley Eskridge, and Janet Freeman-Daily. The University Bookstore will be on hand again selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033

On Wednesday, January 15 in Portland, we'll have Mary Rosenblum, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, and Rick Lovett. Wrigley-Cross Books will be selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211

See http://www.sfwa.org/for-readers/sfwa-northwest-reading-series/ for more information on both readings. Tell your friends!

I hope you can join us! It should be a lot of fun.
 
 
David D. Levine
26 December 2013 @ 04:50 pm
Did you get a shiny new e-reader or tablet for Christmas?

Book View Cafe is having a holiday sale! Through January 6, over 100 ebooks are half-price, including my novella Second Chance! Books are listed at full price but will be automatically discounted at checkout.

Kobo is also having a holiday sale! Through January 5, use promo code 50COUPON for 50% off hundreds of indie ebooks, including my award-winning short story collection Space Magic! Use the "Add to Cart" drop-down rather than the "Buy Now" button to allow entering the promo code.

Enjoy, and spread the word!
 
 
David D. Levine
26 November 2013 @ 10:53 am
You don't really want to get into that whole "Black Friday" BUY BUY BUY thing, do you? Why don't you come out to Hillsboro and hear readings from five local authors (including me!) while enjoying food and/or drink from the world's largest collection of Oregon wines and beers instead?

What: Bards & Brews Author Reading Series
When: Friday November 29, 7:00-9:00 pm
Where: Primrose & Tumbleweeds, 248 E Main St., Hillsboro, OR
Who:
    Damien Macalino, What If an Alligator Ate an Avalanche?
    Eddie Regory, Wallace Park: A Memoir
    David D. Levine, Old Mars
    Jo Barney, Graffiti Grandma
    Christopher Lord, The Christmas Carol Murders

See http://www.niwawriters.com/bards--brews.html for more information. Hope to see you there!