Featured post

Velocity Blues is available for pre-order

Velocity Blues is available for pre-order from the usual book supply suspects. If you want to see what it’s all about you can go to Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Velocity-Blues-Clifford-Royal-Johns/dp/1952283124
or find it where you like to buy books. Pre-orders available for eBook and print formats.

Interview up at Vernacular Books

There’s an interview with me about writing in general and about Velocity Blues specifically available at: https://vernacularbooks.com/2021/03/03/exclusive-interview-clifford-royal-johns-author-of-velocity-blues/

Capricon 2020

I will be conducting a writing workshop on writing in first person (Feb 15, 2:30PM) at the Capricon science fiction convention (Feb 13-16, 2020).

I will also be a panelist at the convention on the following panels:
– Detectives in the Wild – Thu 5:00 PM
– Nonfiction for Fiction Writers – Fri 10:00 AM
– Lessons I Learned as a First-Time Novelist – Fri 8:30 PM
– How Not to Kill Yourself over a Deadline – Sat 5:30 PM
– A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Publisher – Sat 8:30 PM

So if you’re in the area, like science fiction and fantasy in any form (books, movies, anime, etc.) and feel like hanging out with some other people who also like this stuff, consider attending. You can check it out at capricon.org.
16

Windycon

I will be attending Windycon (Nov 15-17) this year. My schedule (for those of you who might go) is as follows:

Panel: Commerce in Space Opera – Friday, 11-15-2019 – 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm – Mueller Grand Ballroom G

Panel: Ask a Scientist – Saturday, 11-16-2019 – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm – Lilac C

Chicago-SF Book discussion: Ringworld, by Larry Niven – Saturday, 11-16-2019 – 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm – ISFiC Suite – Room 1612

Writers Workshop – Sunday – Sunday, 11-17-2019 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm – ISFiC Suite – Room 1612

Panel: Memorable Space Opera Settings – Sunday, 11-17-2019 – 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm – Mueller Grand Ballroom H

The Technique of the Mystery Story by Carolyn Wells, 1913

I finished reading The Technique of the Mystery Story by Carolyn Wells, 1913.
Yes, that’s 1913.
Wells wrote this when the mystery story was still comparatively young, but surprisingly, not much has changed in the last hundred years, from the chapter on getting mysteries accepted as literature, to the missteps and clichés of the time, which are still missteps and clichés. Her advice on writing mysteries is still good, if in some places more amusing than intended because of the intervening years (Don’t have the butler be the murderer – it’s been done to death).
What I found most useful to me was the history lesson, that is, her interrogation of the mystery writers and their protagonists who were popular at the time (and still important to read if you are a fan or a scholar of the genre), and a historical analysis of the changes in the genre from Poe to 1913.
This is a quality read. It’s available on audio from Librivox for free since it’s out of copyright, although the reading is done by chapter and by several people.) or you can probably find a copy on ABE books or the like – maybe even in the library.

Going to Capricon Feb 14-17, 2019

I will be on the following panels:

Indistinguishable from Magic: SF or Fantasy?
Fri 1:00 PM

Hero’s Quest and Other Story Structures
Fri 2:30 PM

Writing Optimism in a Dark Age
Fri 7:00 PM

Authors Who Read
Sat 10:00 AM

Chicago-SF Book Club – We’re discussing European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, another of Theodora Goss’s delightful romps through Victorian gothic literature.
Sat 2:30 PM