May 12 2017

Brain-fried, but in a good way.


I’ve just spent the last week or so prepping stuff to present to my writers’ group, the Fabulous Genrettes.

I’m up next!  On Sunday!  And our last meeting was just on April 30th, so that’s less than two weeks between sessions.  But Delia Sherman will be heading off to Paris quite soon, there to live for a year.  Just because.

(Ellen, of course, will be going as well.  They have an apartment!   That’s what you do, if you are famous, cultured and erudite:  a year in Paris.   I, on the other hand, am merely a slightly famous, nerdy autodidact.   There’s lots of us, actually.  We should form a national association!  No, wait, we’re all introverts. )

Anyway, I had not much time to organize the stuff I have on hand into something both readable and critique-able.   Had to pull out all the stops (which is a lovely metaphor from pipe-organ terminology, she pointed out  nerdishly).

Actually, I quite enjoyed it… I did a lot of late-night writing, and managed to remind myself that I really do prefer writing late at night and into the wee hours.   And often enough, into  the slightly larger hours.   I really ought to just embrace that.

I’m smarter at night.   I just am.

Although, parts of the tale that I thought would be easy, turned out to involve more heavy lifting than I expected.    And of course, much needs to be discussed with Delia and Laurie J. Marks.   I might have to print out a map for us to confer over, as the story involves a whole lot of movement across great swathes of  landscape.

I did manage to take a break from the push, on Saturday, when I attended a concert.   My friend Rob is a member of the Mendelssohn Choir, and they had a joint concert with the Civic Orchestra of New Haven.   The first half was just the orchestra, doing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Number 4, which I’ve heard possibly one other time in my life, and was a treat.   The second half was John Rutter’s Requiem, totally new to me, which had text in both English and Latin.  Alas, the printed text in the program used a very small font, which made it hard to read in the dimmed auditorium, and the acoustics did not allow the English portion to be entirely understandable, so I had to pretty much guess what was being said, and check the program later when the concert was over.  Oddly, it turned out that I recognized the Latin more easily than the English.

The concert was at Yale University’s Woolsey Hall, which is was built in 1901, in a Beaux Arts style, which I found rather fun.  A lot of Yale looks pretty grim, but this place was festooned with carven wreaths and cameos of the nine Muses plus Athena on the ceiling.

Muses plus Athena.

And a bit of trompe l’oeil sky on the ceiling.  I’m a sucker for trompe l’oeil skies.

In other news:  My planned trip to Helsinki for Worldcon looks less and less likely.   It’s just a very expensive proposition, and at this particular point I don’t have a lot of financial leeway.  Just one of those timing things.

I am, however, still slated for Readercon.

Arg.  Very tired after this big push.  I’m going to practice some guitar, and call it a night.

They also had a Calder stabile/mobile in the courtyard.



Aug 28 2016

I’m back from Worldcon…


… but down with the most miserable cold/flu/whatever.

It actually hit Sabine the last day of the convention, which resulted in us staying in Kansas City one extra day, since she was in no shape to even ride in a car for an eight-hour drive, much less share the driving (we drove cross-country, remember?).

And during that extra day — yep, I caught the same damn bug.

Fortunately, it hit me not quite as hard, so between the two of us, we managed to slog our way from motel to motel back across the country, setting aside all plans for exploring the sights on our exciting road-trip.  We finally reached home Thursday night and collapsed in a DayQuil/NyQuil haze until, basically, now.

Still got it, but I thought I’d let people know that we made it home safely.

I do have stuff to say about the convention — but later, sorry, not now.  Must dose myself with even more NyQuil and sleep soon.  I’ll just say that I met many old and new friends, all my panels went well, and I actually had people show up for my autographing!

Also, many of you made a point of speaking to me and letting me know how much you liked my work — Thanks so much for that!  It means a lot.

My reading was also well received, and fun to do.   If you’re interested in what I read, it’s the same bit that read at Boskone last year, which I posted online in September.  (Just click here to get there.)

Thanks.  Must go.  More later.

Aug 19 2016

At WorldCon!


… With no opportunity to post (I’m writing this on my iPhone, while waiting for my autograph session to start).  I’ll fill you in later– but note my Twitter feed, over there in the next column on this page. There’s a chance I might tweet now and then, and you can see it here without even having a Twitter account, if you like

Having a great time!  More later.

May 5 2016

Worldcon wants me!



I was worried that I’d waited too long sending in my request to be a program participant — but nope, I just got confirmation that they want me.  So happy!  It’s been a few years since I’ve been on the program at a Worldcon.

Do you not know what Worldcon is?  I know that my longtime readers do know, but I think I acquired a slew of new readers in the last year  — at least, that’s what my sales figures suggest.  (Unless some of you are buying multiple copies of the books, which would be nice, but odd…)

It’s the World Science Fiction Convention, science fiction and fantasy’s annual meet & schmooze & learn-new-stuff-about-SF&F & party & shop & greet event.  It’s a blast.  It’s also the event at which the Hugo Awards are given out, always exciting.  Well, to me.   Some people skip the awards ceremony and just party instead.

This year it’s being held in Kansas City, Missouri, a place I have never been.   An awful lot of my travels have been centered around Worldcon.   I’ve been to Boston, Chicago, San Antonio.   Toronto, Winnipeg!   Atlanta, San Jose, Orlando, Philadelphia, Denver.  And Glasgow!  I missed London, alas, couldn’t be helped.  Last year in Spokane, I didn’t get on the program, so I was there purely as an attendee (which did serve to remind me that it’s especially enjoyable to be at Worldcon when you have no responsibilities).

If you’ve never been, you should really try it.   And if you’re local to Kansas City, Missouri, you can pop in for a day (easier on the budget).   At least once in your lifetime, go to a Worldcon.  And if it turns out that you like it — there’s one every year.

Also, people who have signed up as members get to vote on the Hugo Awards.   The finalists have been selected, and the voting starts May 15th.

You can check out the list of finalists at the Worldcon website here.

(Last year there was a certain amount of — how shall I put it — fuss and bother about the Hugo voting.   And some of that has spilled over into this year.   But the simple thing to do is read the nominated works and vote for the ones you think actually deserve an award. )

In other news:  This weekend there’s a reunion of my former writer’s group, The Fabulous Genrettes.   Can’t wait!



Aug 28 2015

So exhausted I can barely think straight.


Back from Worldcon, having arrived home at an ungodly hour on Monday night while needing to get up mere hours later for the Day Job, at which I had a full week of work already waiting for me, while the current week’s work did not pause in rolling in.  I have not been able to catch up at all, in tasks or in sleep.

Well: hooray weekend.   (I intended to put an exclamation point at the end of that, but I’m too tired to back-arrow and fix it.)  I plan to sleep lots, enabling me to be up at the peculiar hours of the night that coincide with my best writing time.

I’ll say more tomorrow…


Hugos: very interesting indeed, and well worth being there.

Readings attended: Jo Walton, Ada Palmer, Pat Cadigan, & more.

Panels: glad I went.

Music at Jo Walton’s party: So much fun, with Ada Palmer and Lauren Schiller of Sassafrass there, plus Patrick Neilsen Hayden, with surprise performance by me.

Music not at Jo Walton’s party: Astonishing stuff onstage from Ada and Lauren and Patrick.

Spokane: lots of smoke.  Lovely town, not usually this smoky (all those wildfires you hear about on TV?  Yeah.  There were very nearby).

Loved the park.


Statue in the park by the river, right outside the doors of the convention center, where we passed it every day.

Statue in the park by the river, right outside the doors of the convention center, where we passed it every day.

Michael P. Anderson





Aug 20 2015

At Sasquan — Hello Spokane!


At the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane Washington, and too busy to post — But I’m tweetin’!  Because it’s easy.

Just random pix, mostly.   Like this:

This life-size liones is a lamp for next month's Chinese Lantern Festival.

This life-size lioness is a lamp for next month’s Chinese Lantern Festival

And this:


Tiny author. I could squash him if I wanted.

Tiny author. I could squash him if I wanted.

I’ll put up a bunch of these when I get home.  Meanwhile, you can get ’em fresh on Twitter, where I am: @rkirstein.


More soon…

… oh, okay, here’s another:

Found in a Starbuck's. Yes, I said Starbuck's.

Found in a Starbuck’s. Yes, I said Starbuck’s.  Click to enbiggen, because it’s stained glass worth seeing..


Aug 11 2015

You know how you get back from an SF convention, and you feel kind of blue?


Because it was so great, and now you’re not there any more?

Yeah, I got that after Readercon.

Reason for Readercon.

Random person at Readercon doing what the convention is all about.

— except that it was delayed by my usual post-con hangout with Ann Zeddies and Geary Gravel.  During which, by the way, we did not do our usual arts&crafts with collages and/or collaged book-boxes, because  we were reading to each other!

Yes!  New stuff, from all three of us.  This is an unusual circumstance.  Generally, it has been observed that only one of us at a time seems to be productive, and we swap it around between the three of us.  But not this year!  Each of us had new stuff to read to the other two.  And then — we did it again! Two sessions of readings.  So happy.

And then when I got home: postcon blues.

But!  No time for that, because the Schrodinger sessions were just around the corner!  And what a blast that was.  Kind of like a convention only better because of real, actual science!   I was in heaven.


This is what science looks like.


Taking place here.

Taking place here.

And… then, back home, and the day job…  squeezing in the writing at night and on weekends…

So, that would create sort of a double-dose of post-con blues?

But no time for the blues, because next, very soon: Worldcon!  I haven’t been to a Worldcon in years and years.   It’s gonna be great.

Yeah.  And after that… triple post-con blues?

Like, this comic by Abby Howard.

Ah, hell.  It’s worth it.

Plus: extra motivation to shed this day job.   ‘Cause, then I’d never have to go back to it!  I like that idea.

Let’s think long and hard about that, shall we?




Aug 30 2013

As you may have guessed….


No WorldCon for me, alas.

a) the cost… between plane fare to San Antonio and hotel room and membership — just too expensive at the moment (working reduced hours, remember) ….

b) the time… if I had tons of time, I could take a cheaper and slower method of getting there (driving! )  But I do not have that much time….


However!   Next year in London!  I already have my membership for WorldCon purchased  and socking away the money for the trip and extended stay in Great Britain…


So, to recap:




That covers it…