Monday, October 15, 2012

Kennedy School

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America present...

    • SFWA: Jay Lake, M.K. Hobson, Seanan McGuire

    7 p.m.

    All ages welcome


Jay LakeJay Lake has been described as one of the rising stars of the science fiction and fantasy genre. Since first appearing on the scene in late 2001, he has seen over 300 short stories published, along with nine novels out, and more forthcoming. His work has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and significant recognition within the science fiction and fantasy field. He has won two of the most prestigious awards in science fiction and been nominated for numerous others.

Lake was born and raised overseas as the son of a United States diplomat. His childhood experiences in Asia, African and Europe have given him a wealth of cultural and geographical detail to draw from when creating exotic settings and strange situations. He has, after all, lived them. His professional career has been in advertising and marketing for the high technology field, which gives Lake a lifetime of exposure to technology issues and trends. Taken together, these go a long way to explaining his choice of writing fields.

Lake is a frequent guest at writing conferences and conventions, where his readings are well attended. He also workshops with newer writers, paying forward all the help and mentoring he has received and continues to benefit from. With his distinctive attire and quirky, improvisational humor, Lake is a familiar figure and a fan favorite all over the West Coast.

He also maintains a blog which has been ranked as a top 25 science fiction blog. There Lake talks about writing, photography, politics, his journey through cancer, his experiences as a parent, as well as posting travelogs of his trips to some unlikely destinations, such as a recent outing to a long-abandoned Titan I missile silo. Lake also regularly posts online reprints of his older work, and a biweekly podcast consisting of recorded readings, panels and interviews conducted during his travels.

Today Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on multiple writing and editing projects. His 2012/2013 books include Kalimpura from Tor and Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh from Prime. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. Jay can be reached through his web site.

M.k. HobsonM.K. Hobson: “By night, I don a cape and mask and fight crime.

“Actually, I don’t fight crime. But I do have a secret identity. I’m a writer. I write all the time – on the computer, in paper journals, on the backs of receipts, on the silky unscarred flesh of my many beautiful manslaves. When I’m not writing novels or short fiction, I relieve the almost unbearable pressure of words in my mind by blogging about my existence in minute detail.

“By day, I put on the Clark Kent glasses and pretend to be a Marketing Manager at a large insurance company. Apparently, I pretend pretty good, because over the course of my career I’ve helped produce award-winning campaigns for a variety of national and international clients. I have also owned a newspaper, driven night-shift taxi, read tarot professionally, and taught conversational English in Japan.

“All while fighting crime.

“(I’m also an unreliable narrator. I know, it’s maddening. Try walking a mile in my shoes before you judge me. My shiny, red, crime-fighting shoes.)

“I live in the first city in the United States incorporated west of the Rockies in a 1916 Craftsman bungalow that I share with my husband, my daughter, two unbearably entitled cats, and a long-suffering yellow lab named Sugar Cookie.”

Seanan McGuireSeanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn't killed for using her typewriter at three o'clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite. Her upbringing left her with a love of rattlesnakes and a deep fear of weather, which explains a lot.

Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan's personal anecdotes end with things like “and then we got the anti-venom” or “but it's okay, because it turned out the water wasn't all that deep.” She has yet to be defeated in a game of “Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?” and can be amused for hours by just about anything. “Just about anything” includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality television, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir's horror films of the 1980s as a checklist.

Seanan is the author of the October Daye series of urban fantasies, the first seven of which have been purchased by DAW Books; the InCryptid series of urban fantasies, the first two of which have been purchased by DAW Books; and the Newsflesh trilogy, published by Orbit under the pseudonym “Mira Grant.” She's working on several other books, just to make sure she never runs out of things to edit. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies, and she was a 2010 Universe Author for The Edge of Propinquity.

In her spare time, Seanan writes and records original music. She has three CDs currently available (see the Albums page for additional details). She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, “With Friends Like These...,” as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie that has the words “blood,” “night,” “terror,” or “attack” in the title. Most people believe that she doesn't sleep.

Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her three cats, Lilly, Alice, and Thomas, a vast collection of plush things and horror movies, and sufficient books to officially qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.

Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have firmly fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the “marginally.” It probably doesn't help that she has so many hobbies.

Seanan was the winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and her novel Feed was named as one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2010.


SFWA: Jay Lake, M.K. Hobson, Seanan McGuire

All are welcome to gather for this series in which you can hear from some well-known science fiction and fantasy writers.

Each event starts with notes from the host, a leading local author, who has selected two of their favorite writers to complete the evening's theme.