When I showed up to attend the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading on August 21st, the last thing I expected was to end the night in front of a radio mike. But that's what happened.

Rather than greeting me in a traditional fashion when I wandered up to say hello, Jim Freund said to me, "You're on the air at one-thirty."

"Tonight?" I said. "One-thirty A.M.?"

It seems he'd had a guest for his long-running WBAI program "Hour of the Wolf" drop out on him, and he needed a substitute. Well, fair enough. I'd done the show at least five times before, and I'd enjoyed it, so what the hell.

That's how I found myself in Harlem in the wee hours of Thursday morning, smack-dab in the middle of the beautiful City College of New York campus. Thanks to its highly publicized financial problems, WBAI is sharing studio space with WHCR until it either moves into a new space in Brooklyn or collapses altogether.

Jim and I discussed my recent move back to New York, Tuesday Funk, Orson Scott Card, and what I've been working on lately. I also read a couple of chapters from my recently completed novel Root. Here's what it all sounded like:




Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
I'll be appearing next week in not one but two of Chicago's most electric reading series—or "live lit," as we call it 'round these parts. They'll be on consecutive nights, no less, so please block out April 16 and 17 on your calendar and be there.

The First Time: First Crime, April 17, 2013, UP Comedy Club First comes WRITE CLUB on Tuesday, April 16th, at The Hideout. In this bare-knuckle series, three pairs of writers square off with essays on opposing topics. The audience decides who wins, with all proceeds going to charities of the winners' choice. I'll be defending GOD over DEVIL, for the One Tail at a Time dog rescue organization. Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Arrive early!

And the following night, Wednesday, April 17th, I'll be part of CHIRP Radio's THE FIRST TIME at Second City's new UP Comedy Club. This monthly series assembles seven or so writers to reminisce about an important "first" from their lives, backed with specially chosen songs by The First Time Three. For April the topic will be "First Crime." Tickets are $10, and buying in advance is strongly recommended. (And get preferred seating with a dinner reservation!)

To recap...

Tuesday, April 16, 7:00 pm
WRITE CLUB: CHAPTER 43
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
773.227.4433
www.hideoutchicago.com
Tickets $10 at the door





Wednesday, April 17, 8:00 pm
THE FIRST TIME: FIRST CRIME
UP Comedy Club
230 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
312.662.4562
www.upcomedyclub.com
Tickets $10 in advance







Hope to see you at both events!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Tonight I'm participating in a long-running SXSW tradition called 20x2. Twenty people are given two minutes apiece to answer the same question any way they like. This year the question is "What Changed?", and if you come out tonight to Elysium (705 Red River St.) you'll be treated to twenty different answers in the form of essays, poems, slideshows, songs, videos, and more.

How will I answer? You'll have to be there to find out. Doors at Elysium open at 6 pm, show starts at 7. Admission is $10, or free with any SXSW badge. I hope to see you there.

20x2: What Changed? Saturday, March 9, 2013


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Just a reminder that I'll be hosting a special evening of speculative fiction readings tonight at Open Books in Chicago. It's the first in the Chicago Writers Conference's new quarterly readings series, and it's free. Arrive early if you want a cupcake. I hope to see you there!

Chicago Writers Conference Presents
An Evening of Speculative Fiction

Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm

Place: Open Books Bookstore
213 W. Institute Place
Chicago, IL 60610
(1 block north of Chicago & Franklin el stop.)

Featuring:

Jody Lynn Nye
Mary Anne Mohanraj
Matt Darst
Holly McDowell
Wesley Chu
Richard Chwedyk
William Shunn

An Evening of Speculative Fiction, Open Books Bookstory, Thursday, February 28, 2013


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Hey, I'll be hosting a special evening of speculative fiction readings on Thursday, February 28th, at Open Books Bookstore in Chicago! It's the first in the Chicago Writers Conference's new quarterly readings series, and I'm delighted that they asked me to put together this program.

Please share the Facebook invitation with all your Chicagoland friends:

http://www.facebook.com/events/148595008632051/

And here's all the info, straight from the CWC itself:




This month, we're excited to kick off our quarterly events at Open Books Bookstore! Join us on Thursday, February 28 for an evening of short readings hosted by Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author William Shunn. This evening will feature science fiction, fantasy, and horror readings by local authors. This free event gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

Featuring:
Jody Lynn Nye
Mary Anne Mohanraj
Matt Darst
Holly McDowell
Wesley Chu
Richard Chwedyk
William Shunn

For more information, visit our website.

The Basics
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time: 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Place: Open Books Bookstore
213 W. Institute Place
Chicago, IL 60610
(1 block north of Chicago & Franklin el stop.)

Mark your calendar. We'll see you there!

An Evening of Speculative Fiction, Open Books Bookstory, Thursday, February 28, 2013


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
oubliette.jpg Happy New Year! I mostly try to keep all the news about Tuesday Funk, the Chicago reading series I help run, over on its own blog, but today I can't help trumpeting our mention in this morning's Chicago Sun-Times:

Article: Drink it in: Beers paired with the wisdom of Chicago authors

The feature by David Hoekstra in today's Entertainment section introduces four of tonight's five participants, who each discuss the pieces they'll read and suggest the perfect beer from Hopleaf's vast menu to drink as accompaniment.

Check out the accompanying slideshow as well, and if you're in town I hope to see you tonight upstairs at Hopleaf. The free reading starts at 7:30 pm, but you should arrive at 7:00, when the doors open, if you want a seat. You can find all the relevant information here.


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
I'm in New York City today to hang out with writers, editors, and agents at the annual SFWA Reception for Industry Professionals, so maybe it's an appropriate day to post this radio interview. Gary K. Wolfe and I appeared this past Thursday night on WGN's "Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg" to talk about science fiction, not to mention the new Library of America collection American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s which Gary edited.

We had a great time talking with Milt Rosenberg. You can listen to WGN's podcast of the interview online at WGNRadio.com, or hear the two segments of the show embedded below. Commercials and news breaks deleted!

10:00 - 11:00 p.m.  (43:59)


11:00 p.m. - midnight  (41:48)



Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
miltrosenberg.jpg Gary K. Wolfe and I will be appearing tonight on "Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg" on Chicago's WGN Radio 720 AM. We'll be talking about science fiction, of course—and particularly today's release of the Library of America's new collection, American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s, which Gary edited.

Milt Rosenberg's show has run since 1973, during which time he's talked with an intimidating array of world leaders, prominent academics, and entertainment figures. I hope Gary ends up doing most of the talking for us. (Just kidding.)

The program airs live tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight. You can listen online, but I believe the discussion will also be available as a podcast in a few days.

(And for more information about the collection, please visit the American Science Fiction companion site, which Gary curated.)


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, gets underway tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Chicago! In case you're interested, I'm so far scheduled to appear on two panels:

Sunday, September 2, 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Columbus CD

Incorporating the Personal into Speculative Fiction

If the sampling of short fiction presented and discussed in the New Yorker Fiction Podcast is any indication, mainstream literary writers draw heavily on events from their own lives, sometimes barely veiled, as inspiration for their work. Since science fiction is generally regarded as writing of ideas, is there any room for this same mining of one's personal experiences? Our panel will discuss to what extent when writing the fantastic they are writing about themselves.

Moderator: Cat Rambo
Panelists: Inanna Arthen/Vyrdolak, Gwynne Garfinkle, Nick Mamatas, William Shunn






Monday, September 3, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm, Columbus EF

Getting the Most out of Writing Groups

There are all kinds of writing groups for all kinds of writers. What should you look for and what rules should you follow to get the most out of the experience? How do you handle conflicting suggestions and how do you comment on others' writing effectively?

Moderator: William Shunn
Panelists: Derek Kunsken, David McDonald, Sarah Stegall, Tim Susman






That first panel was a programming suggestion of mine, so I guess it's only fair that I should be part of it.

I've been told there may be an opportunity to get slotted in for a reading sometime this weekend as well. I'll be sure to post an update if that happens.

Also, and most importantly, on Thursday, August 30th (tomorrow!), I'll be leading a small group on an unofficial daytime pub crawl to various breweries and beer bars around the North Side. We'll meet in the front lobby of the Hyatt at a little before 11:00 am, then take cabs and trains to Haymarket Brewery, The Bad Apple, Revolution Brewing, and more. We should be back no later than 7:00 pm, probably earlier.

The route is subject to change at a whim, so if you can't meet us at the start, watch the hashtag #ChiconPubCrawl on Twitter and come join us along the way!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
A few weeks ago, Andrew Huff of Gapers Block issued me a fascinating challenge: to take a piece of original poster art by Chad Kouri and produce a piece of writing of between 1,500 and 2,500 words to accompany it.

The resulting art/writing combo, along with seven other collaborations between artists and writers, will be on display and on sale at The Coop on May 18th. All the info is below. Hope to see you there.

8x8.png

8 x 8
Friday, May 18, 2012
6:00 pm until 10:00 pm

The COOP | A co-working space in River North
230 W Superior, 2F, Chicago, IL 60654

In the spirit of artistic collaboration, The Coop and Gapers Block teamed up to produce 8x8, an experiment in writing and design. Eight Chicagoland designers were paired with eight local writers to create collaborative works, with text informing and influencing art and vice versa. The results of this experiment are presented in limited edition poster form, with writing and design back to back.

Writers:
Patrick Somerville, Claire Zulkey, Ramsin Canon, Kevin Guilfoile, William Shunn, Veronica Bond, Wendy McClure, Scott Smith

Designers:
Jesse Hora, Andy Luce, Chad Kouri, Ina Weise, Letterform, Ryan Sievert, Paul Octavious, Kyle Fletcher

Proceeds benefit Open Books.

More info: http://blog.coworkchicago.com/post/22148593743/the-coop-presents-8x8
RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/375591619149230/


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
Hey, Chicagoans! I just want to give you a quick heads-up that I will be appearing as part of the Essay Fiesta reading series at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square this coming Monday, December 19th, at 7:00 pm.

It'll be my third time reading at Essay Fiesta, a monthly charitable reading series that benefits 826CHI, a non-profit writing and tutoring program here in Chicago, and I'm very excited to be asked back. Hosts Alyson Lyon and Keith Ecker (both of whom have read for us at Tuesday Funk) do a fantastic job of putting together a great program every month. Also appearing on Monday will be Dana Norris, J.H. Palmer, Jennifer Bosworth, and Eric Bjorlin. I hope you'll turn out and support the whole gang.

The Book Cellar, I should mention, is a wonderful place for a reading. It's a lovely independent bookstore and café, with beer, wine, and coffee available during their events. The reading itself is free, with fun prizes raffled and donation accepted on behalf of 826CHI. Show up early to be sure of a seat.

I look forward to seeing you there!


Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
I have a couple of upcoming events in Chicago I wanted to let you know about.

First, I'll be appearing on Tuesday, October 4th, as part of the Tuesday Funk reading series at Hopleaf Bar (5148 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL). (Sharp-eyed readers will recognize that I also serve as co-host of this series.) The reading takes place in the upstairs lounge. Doors upstairs open at 7:00 pm, and the show starts at 7:30 pm. I'll be reading a short story, "The Visitors at Wriggly Field." Please note that Hopleaf is 21 and over only. More info here:

http://www.tuesdayfunk.org/2011/09/tuesday-funk-38-october-4th.html

Tuesday Funk #38

Also, I'll be reading a personal essay on Monday, December 19th, as part of the Essay Fiesta reading series at the Book Cellar (4736 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL). I've read for Essay Fiesta a couple of times before, and it's always great fun. For more information about this charitable reading series, see:

http://www.essayfiesta.com/



Please mark your calendars, and I hope to see you at one or both events.
Since 2006, I've spent a week almost every summer at a workshop for novel writers—either Blue Heaven or a spinoff based on its organizing principles. And since fall of last year, I have co-produced and co-hosted a monthly reading series called Tuesday Funk at a Belgian beer bar on the north side of Chicago.

I'm pleased to announce that these two worlds will soon collide! I'm spending the next week at the Wellspring Workshop in Lake Geneva, WI, organized by Brad Beaulieu, but for one night only the group of us will be roadtripping back to Chicago to invade Tuesday Funk for a "Science Fiction Sextuple Feature."

This special edition of Tuesday Funk convenes Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 7:30 pm, in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., Chicago. Arrive early, stake out a table in the upper room, and grab a beer from John at the cash-only bar. We start seating at 7:00 pm and no earlier. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older.

tf-postcard-2011-06.jpg

Our readers will include Brenda Cooper, Sarah K. Castle, Holly McDowell, Gregory A. Wilson, Vincent Jorgensen, and Kelly Swails, not to mention, as usual, a Poem By Bill. We hope to see you there!

May 3rd's Poem By Bill )
If you're in Milwaukee today, come out to Boswell's Books this afternoon for the book launch party for Bradley P. Beaulieu's debut novel The Winds of Khalakovo. It's going to be a great event, and the after-party at Cafe Hollander will include a rapid-fire reading featuring Brad, Kelly Swails, John Helfers, Matt Forbeck, and me.

Get all the details here. Hope to see you there!
I wanted to let you know about a couple of upcoming appearances of mine in the Chicago area.

First, coming up on Tuesday, April 5, I'll be reading at Tuesday Funk, the monthly series of which I'm also a co-producer and co-host. Our other readers that night are Robert K. Elder, Ian Belknap, J.H. Palmer, and Lisa Chalem. (See here for bios of all the readers.)

Tuesday Funk is an eclectic reading series that features all types of writing in all genres. It takes place at 7:30 pm upstairs at Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark St. in Chicago, and is free. The upstairs lounge opens at 7:00 pm. Arrive early for a seat!

Tuesday Funk, December 7, 2010

Later that week, I'll be appearing on the public-affairs program Senior Network on CAN TV 19 as part of a panel discussion on contemporary science fiction novels and films. The panel also includes Jody Lynn Nye and Edison Blake and is hosted by Dr. Bob Blackwood.

CAN TV is a Chicago public-access cable network with five separate channels. Our episode will air on Channel 19 on Friday, April 8, at 5 pm, and then again on Sunday, April 10, at noon (though I'm not sure whether our part of it will air in the first or second half of the show). If you get CAN TV 19, please tune in!

On the set at CAN TV
Just a reminder that tonight I will be reading tonight with the Tuesday Funk gang at Hopleaf Bar in Chicago. Since I was also recently named a co-producer of the reading series, that's two big reasons I hope you'll join us tonight. Adding in great readings from Connor Coyne and Jackie Adamski only sweetens the pot.

Here's what the event invitation on Facebook has to say:

Tuesday, October 5 · 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Hopleaf Bar
5148 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL


October is our fall fiction reading, and our lineup of writers—CONNOR COYNE, JACKIE ADAMSKI, and WILLIAM SHUNN—bring you brawny, beer-soaked stories to fit the season.

Tuesday Funk convenes in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf. Arrive early, grab one of the 600 amazing international beers at the bar, and come on up. We start seating at 7:00 pm. Stay afterward for some great Belgian-style food from Hopleaf!

PLEASE bring your friends and show your support for Tuesday Funk. Help us deliver a RECORD TURNOUT so we can keep staging these readings at HOPLEAF, the finest food-and-drink establishment on the north side.

(And please also become a fan of Tuesday Funk on Facebook, so you never miss an invitation.)
I hope to see you there!
One of the most exciting and unpredictable reading series in Chicago is Tuesday Funk, which takes place the first Tuesday of every month upstairs at Hopleaf Bar in Andersonville. Tuesday Funk has hosted wild-eyed poets, doe-eyed troubadours, and more excellent fiction, verse, and essays read live than you could shake a blue pencil at. I've been fortunate enough to have been asked to read there four times in the past couple of years myself, and I'm proud to have been considered an adjunct member of the Tuesday Funk family.

Reinhardt Suarez and Hallie Palladino of the Gothic Funk Nation have run the eclectic series with scary efficiency for nearly three years, but they're both moving on to greener pastures. I'm very pleased and more than a little humbled to announce that I will now be co-producing Tuesday Funk together with Sara Ross. We hope to keep the same great mix of genres and disciplines that has made the series so much fun in the past, while throwing in some curve balls to keep things fresh and interesting. We have some big shoes to fill.

While I never want the series to get away from its roots as a showcase for Chicago writers, I'd love to bring more out-of-towners into the mix too. So if you're a writer (or something similar) and plan to be in Chicago the first week of any given month, please drop me a line and I'll see if we have room for you. We'd love to have you.

Oh, another thing. Chicagoans, please mark your calendars for our next reading on Tuesday, October 5, 7:30 pm, at Hopleaf. I'll be reading again that night, together with a full slate of compadres, but most importantly we need to keep our attendance high so we can continue using Hopleaf's upstairs bar month after month. More reminders will follow, but I hope to see you there.

And finally, thanks to Hallie and Reinhardt for all their hard work, for their continued input and advice, and for entrusting us with their baby. We don't plan to let you down.
Back in June, during the week I attended the Starry Heaven workshop in Flagstaff, organizer extraordinaire Sarah K. Castle put together a little panel discussion on the interactions between science fiction and actual science. Titled "Science + Fantasy = Science Fiction," the panel brought seven Wine Loft Panel Discussion, June 24, 2010 scientists and writers together to talk about how science inspires science fiction and vice versa.

Besides Sarah, who is both geologist and SF writer, the participants included writer Bradley P. Beaulieu ([livejournal.com profile] brad_beaulieu), writer and futurist Brenda Cooper ([livejournal.com profile] bjcooper), biologist and computer scientist Dan Greenspan (blog), biologist and physiologist Stan "Bud" Lindstedt, and science historian David S.F. Portree ("Beyond Apollo").

Everyone's five- to seven-minute presentations were fascinating, and I wish I had time and memory sufficient to recap them all. Instead, though, I've been meaning for a couple of months now to post the loose notes I wrote up for my little presentation. Here they are:

"Hacking Reality" )
shunn: (Tattoo)
If you'll be at Wiscon tomorrow afternoon, I'll be part of a terrific group reading at 4:00 pm in Conference 2. The participants include Carrie L. Ferguson, Nicole Lorenz, Chibi-Evil and me. Here's the program description:

Disappearing Acts
Reading | Conference 2 | Friday, 4:00–5:15 pm
Come on in, sit down and get comfortable—we're only going to erase certain important things from the world. You don't need those stars, do you? Oh—you'll miss the words, surely, but we'll read that one last. Trust us. We're only ending the world here.
I was originally planning to read from Cast a Cold Eye, but given the theme it might be more appropriate to read a bit from my in-progress-but-nearly-done novel Endgame.

This will be the first group reading of the whole convention, so please come over to Conference 2 and help us make it a success. Looking forward to seeing you there!
I had a great time yesterday afternoon doing "Doing Time with Ron Kuby" on Air America. He had very kind things to say about The Accidental Terrorist, and he held me over for an unplanned extra segment. I think it went pretty well, though I was vibrating in the X-ray band. Here's audio:


Segment 1  (10:35)


Segment 2  (07:49)

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