Instructions for the Age of Emergency.

Some fascinating comments on dystopias in science fiction, restructuring societies, and the Age of Emergency (which I now need to go read a lot more about).

monica byrne

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Halbert W. Hall Speaker’s Series on Science Fiction and Fantasy, Texas A&M University

February 2, 2018

Full Audio

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Thank you so much to Texas A&M for hosting me, and especially to the Science Fiction Archivist, Jeremy Brett, who invited me and orchestrated everything. He’s been a supporter of my work for years, and I’m so delighted to finally meet him, and to have the chance to address all of you. I’d also like to thank TAMU Libraries, the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research and its Science Fiction Studies Working Group, the Department of English, the Department of International Studies, and the Department of Visualization. I’m so honored by such an intersectional effort to bring me here. So thank you.

As Jeremy said, I write a lot of things, but when people ask me what I am, the first thing I say is that I’m a science fiction writer. I gave…

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October

The latter half of the month has been a bit much, but rather than focussing on that I’m going to note the positive.

First, it’s October, which is always a good month. A surprising number of the neighbours put up their decorations on the 2nd, and when I walk to the bus stop for work I’ve been walking past tombstones and skeletons and grasping decomposing hands and one disturbingly large and green plastic Slimer and cobwebs and–

Look, even the more restrained houses have hay bales. It’s a very enthusiastic neighbourhood this year.

I finally got a chance to sit down and rewatch Trick ‘r Treat, and that was comfortably reassuring as always. I usually try to watch something seasonal in October, and that was the first chance I had. (Speaking of which, a YouTube channel called CineFix did a list of the top 5 horror movies of all time once you eliminate all the famous ones, and it seems pretty solid–there are a couple in there I haven’t seen, and I think I should catch them.)

I also got a few sketches done for Inktober. Nowhere near close to one a day, but it was good to sit down when I could and scribble something out in twenty-odd minutes.

And finally, I got a couple more stories into a state fit to send out, so I’ve started collecting even more rejections; I’m pretty sure I’m on track to make fifty submissions this year.

Time assessment

Well, WorldCon was lovely, although I’m pretty sure that by the end of it I was running on half the sleep I should have been. Very glad I went and got to see and talk to everyone I did, although I wish I’d had more time.

(Also I have to say that the experience of singing the Stephen Universe theme song along with the members and attendees of a panel was a really sweet experience.)

Work wasn’t exactly difficult, but there was a pretty close deadline and I ended up doing a fair bit of overtime. I knew that I worked well with deadlines; I hadn’t specifically realized before how easy it was to let a work-set deadline override all the other deadlines I tried to set for myself. I feel like I lost a lot of August to that.

Anyway, moving forward, I had some luck finishing a draft with an outline and I’m hoping to get some revising done this weekend–the uninterrupted block of time should help.