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In the never-ending quest to make a living off my art and stories, I’ve opened up a Patreon and an online store for Heliopause Productions. The store is pretty straightforward: it’s stocked with signed prints and books I bring back from conventions, and while the Squareup UI leaves something to be desired, currently business is light enough that there’s nothing that can’t be cleared up by a little human interaction. Don’t let the shiny logo and use of third-person-singular fool you, it’s just me behind the HpP logo.

The Patreon is, as I state right at the top, not for people who want to buy my work. It’s more of a “DVD extras” area where you can unlock more extras the more you pledge. I did a preview rundown of the rewards here or you can look up the Patreon itself. I tried very hard to offer rewards that would 1) be fun and 2) be things I want to be doing anyway. So I’m very excited to see people signing up already, as it gives me huge motivation to go forward with some projects which have been forced onto the back burner for a while.

I’m in Sacramento this week for Thanksgiving with das Partern and writing this while Boyfriend naps on the couch. He is like a very big, ginger cat in a Notre Dame T-shirt. Only less claws. It is nice.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! I’m leaving the HpP shop open for Black Friday weekend in case anyone wants to do Christmas shopping, and will ship those orders ASAP when I get home (on Monday). Also, if you’re drop-shipping gifts, say so in the note at check-out along with the to/from info, and I’ll gift wrap your purchase, gratis.

Happy Holidays!

-G

 

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After a good deal of mental blundering and some keen encouragement from close family and friends, I’ve undertaken to build a Patreon—one which will hopefully launch within the next month. I have an assortment of tiers and respective rewards, many of which are not available for conventional purchase. As I will say again: my Patreon is not the place to buy my art or stories. If you’re backing my Patreon, it’s because you want me to do more of what I already do. That being said, here’s a rundown of the various tiers and what they get you.

Tier $1/month: Fellow Traveler

Starting at $1 a month you get access to the Grimby’s Gratitude e-newsletter, which will be delivered electronically in the first week of every month via Patreon message and later posted to my page. Print copies will be sent out at the same time to Star Walker and Mother Chaos patrons along with their relevant gifts.

The contents of each issue will vary! There could be recaps of any interesting events from the previous months, essays or cleaned-up twitterstorms, accounts of my around-town adventures—maybe recipes, poems, even pieces of flash fiction. And you might be the first to know about exciting new projects I’m tackling and insights into my writing and drawing process.

Tier $5/month: Supporting Magician


At $5 a month you gain access to the Sparks Gallery and the Short Spells Library. The Gallery will consist of rare glimpses into my personal sketch journal, which is filled with concept designs, notes, character sketches, brush pen practice, and more! Though I’ve tweeted some of its content before, the majority of it has never been posted online—or even properly scanned!

The Short Spells Library consists of similarly rare short stories that are otherwise difficult to find in the wider world—and perhaps some that have never before been published!

Both the Sparks Gallery and the Short Spells Library will be a series of tagged posts available for patrons at the Supporting Magician tier or higher. Patrons will also be notified via email when either is updated.

Tier $10/month: Valdellunian

For $10 a month you gain access to the Valdelluna Archive. Valdelluna is a narrative illustration project that I stumbled into at the end of 2009, and formally began in 2014 when I acquired a Magical Book from a dear friend. The Archive aims to preserve these drawings, many of which have never been posted online before, and offer a comprehensive guide to the fascinating, magical place of Valedelluna. And, in an effort to actually finish the book, I’m going to add a new drawing for every patron who backs at this level—up to one new drawing per week.

The Valdelluna Archive will be available as a series of tagged posts for anyone who backs at the Valdellunian tier or higher. As always, notifications of updates will be sent to qualifying parties out as they occur.

Also at the Valdellunian level you’ll get a copy of every eBook I publish during the month your pledge is current. Now, most months this will be zero books, but some months there might be as many as three, or four! Additionally, new Valdellunians will receive a thank-you eBook after their first pledge goes through. Otherwise eBooks will be delivered as attachments via email as they become available and will not be posted to the Patreon blog.

Tier $100/month: Star Walker

Now, a slight (haha) jump. If you pledge $100 a month not only do you get everything in the first three tiers, but also: a print copy of Grimby’s Gratitude, snail-mailed to you along with two signed bookplates and a signed print.

You also get one print copy of every new book I publish during the month your pledge is current. Again, most months the number of books I publish is zero, but some months there’s as many as three! And new Star Walker patrons will receive one print book of novel-length when their first pledge goes through.

In all cases, books are shipped direct from the printer so they will arrive unsigned, but you will receive extra signed bookplates with your newsletter equal to the number of books you are getting. Print books will be shipped out in the first week of every month.

Tier $500/month: Mother Chaos

At $500 a month, in addition to all other previous rewards, I will also send you an original piece of art. Artwork will be entirely up to me, and will probably be quite small, so you don’t have to worry about running out of space.

Mothers Chaos will also receive a hand-lettered Encouragement Card. These will be 3″x4″ pieces of cardstock with some encouraging words prettily inscribed upon them, handy for sticking in places where you need some cheer. You’ll get a new one each month when your pledge renews.

Originals and Cards will be shipped out with the print newsletter, bookplates and prints at the top of every month, and yes, they will be signed.

Tier $1,000/month: Albatross

Albatrosses, oh boy. So, yes, I have a $1,000 a month tier. I do not expect anyone to back at this level for the material rewards. You just want me to focus on creating more books and art. You also probably have more money than time and/or wall space, so in the interest of not wasting anything, Albatrosses will not receive any of the previously mentioned physical rewards. They’ll still get the eBook emails, the Gallery, the Library, and the Valdelluna Archive, and the e-Newsletter, but that’s it.

What one gets for backing at the Albatross level is this: a single origami classic crane, folded from a page of a proof book. These are the copies I order for myself and which usually contain errors to a greater or lesser extent. They might as well be recycled for all they’re worth once the final is approved, but in their moment they are as valuable as… well, as a thousand bucks a month.

If you’ve met me you know I like folding origami and will literally do it at the drop of a hat. But these particular cranes will only be folded for Albatross-level patrons, and each one will be personalized, signed, and dated.

Cranes will be mailed out to Albatross patrons each month when their pledges go through.

And even if you decide you’re not in a position to safely render support at this time, thank you for reading, and I hope your future journey is pleasantly exciting.

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WFC 2017 report

San Antonio feels in November like Pittsburgh does in July: humid, warm, full of the sound of Diesel engines—thought the grackles are absent from Pgh—and the smell of green water and grease. It is a city full of stairs and hidden passages and the kind of heartfelt southwest aesthetic that Los Angeles tries to imitate, often unsuccessfully.

It’s been a long weekend, literally. It started on Thursday with a cascade of set-up in the art show and the dealer’s room, which was accomplished largely due to the helpfulness of the staff and my Wonderful Mother. By Saturday, Friday morning was a distant memory, and new acquaintances from Thursday night felt like old friends. Though there were those, too. (You know who you are.) It was so very good to see all of you.

World Fantasy continues to be a puzzlingly wonderful convention. Though not as lucrative (for me) as AnthroCon, and not as exhuberant as WorldCon, I found it as full of interesting, intelligent, brave, creative people as ever. Also, the hospitality suite was excellent.

Also excellent was the art show, which was not only well-stocked by top-notch artists, but the hard working staff kept the bidding open through the (wet) art show reception, thus enabling a few crucial last-minute bids which absolutely made the weekend (for this artist at least). My heartfelt thanks to Scott Zubrek and his team, especially Jimmy, Ruth, Gretchen, and Rhonda—the best enabler. Thanks too to Greg and Lisa for steering the dealer’s room one last time.

The greatest difference from my perspective between this and my last World Fantasy (D.C. in 2014) was that this time I was not left floundering when trying to describe what I do, but merely had to gesture at the contents of my table. Which were, admittedly, varied enough that some people were still confused as to whether I was the author or the artist. Which is understandable, since there are few creaturs who are so involved in the process (shall we say) as I am—but I think there are more of us than we think. I have personally met enough writers who draw (and vice versa) that I think I could fill a panel with them. Which John Picacio actually did, to great effect, with Kathleen Jennings, Jeffrey Alan Love and Greg Manchess—none of whom had been on my own personal list. So, that is also a change.

Another change was the prominence of indie and self-published authors, one which I’m happy to be a part of. It was great to meet and talk with Brian Hades and David Stokes, two champions of alternate stories. The importance of diverse and marginalized voices being given amplification ranks very high with me, and it was good to others in the same boat.

Besides being able to sell my work to people I’ve long admired, I’d have to rank the readings of Davids D. Levine and Mitchell as the highlights of the con. Levine read excerpts of Battle of Venus (Arabella 2) and Arabella 3 to great effect, while Mitchell read three shorts which shook me like words hadn’t done since I read The 13 Clocks.

But nothing compared to getting handed a fresh-off-the-table Jeffrey Alan Love original at the mass signing on Friday night. Jeffrey is a stunning artist and I can’t wait to read his writing.

We will be boarding soon, and I doubt I’ll have time to finish this up afterwards (I plan to spend the flight writing micro-stories… or sleeping. Or both.) Quickly, then, a shout out to Adrian, another author I hope to read one day, with whom we discovered we shared a very dear friend. Also, some exciting news for the future: Heliopause Productions will be opening a web store for signed books, prints, and whatever other merch I have in stock. If you missed filling out your Professor Odd collection or missed WFC entirely, watch this space!

Now to trot off to the bathroom before they bundle us onto a metal tube to Phoenix.

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I am writing this in Keflavik airport, and I hate it here. Luckily we will be leaving soon. Let us speak no more about it. Instead, let me tell you about Iceland and the Future.

Iceland was gorgeous. Majestic and stark and frightening and beautiful. I am much obliged to Icebike Adventures who took us on two wonderful trips on Tuesday and Wednesday, especially our guides Rúnar and Lárus. A+ experience. Here is me and Rúnar trackstanding on a sandstone ridge dragon’s spine:

(Photo: Wonderful Mother.)

Seriously, Iceland is not so much a land where dragons live, it is a land that dragons are. Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

And Exhibit C:

On Tuesday evening we rode past some thermal vents (pictured above), and WM exclaimed “This is what inspired myths about dragons, not dinosaur bones!” I don’t think she’s wrong.

This trip also marked another milestone: my first time on horseback since Emmy died. We went riding with Eld Hestar (VOLCANO HORSES) and had a wonderful guide, Anina, who introduced me to Gráman, who taught me how to tölt. It was very fun and very different from any other kind of riding I had ever done and I only cried a little bit. Here we are together:

Looking to the future, next week I return to my backlog of publishing projects that I left behind at the beginning of the month. But I have been inspired and encouraged by the enthusiasm of the readers I met at WorldCon, and look forward to putting together the best books I can as promptly as I can. You can look forward to a new issue of Apsis Fiction, the second volume of Bouragner Felpz, Wheel 1 of Driving Arcana, plus some new Professor Odd singles and… hopefully sooner rather than later… some original novels. Going to be good times.

As far as convention appearances, I’ll be attending Rose City Comic Con in Portland OR September 8-10. This is largely an experiment to see if it would be a good fit to exhibit at, and also an excuse to visit Portland. My final con of the year will be World Fantasy in San Antonio TX, November, where I’ll be under the banner of Heliopause Productions in the Dealer’s Room, with new originals in the art show. They haven’t published their program yet, so I do not know what (if any) panels/readings/etc. I’ll be on. I expect I’ll announce it on Twitter later.

It’s early days yet, but for 2018 Further Confusion is looking like a lock-in, as is World Con 76 (both in San Jose, would ya know!) and of course I’ll be at AnthroCon, as always. Of less certainty, but something I’m hoping for, is Biggest Little Fur Con (Reno NV, in May) and Norwescon (Seattle WA, at the end of March). Of these five, only AnthroCon would necessitate a flight, something I am intensely happy about.

Anyway, here’s a parting shot of Iceland. See you when I get back to my own volcanos.

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I’m writing this in the little dining area across from Upper Crust in Helsinki-Vantaa Int. Airport, with about 30 minutes to boarding, since I just know once we get done with Iceland this incredible weekend will be blown from my mind.

With that in mind: WorldCon75 was absolutely magical, fun, exciting, and overwhelming in the best possible way. The rapid-fire highlight reel:

Getting to take City Bikes to and from the Messukeskus. Our hotel was about 2.5 miles away, but that made for a lovely bicycle ride along Helsinki’s marvelous protected bike lines and numerous cycle pathes. In fact, these pathes were so numerous that the WM and I took a slightly different route each of the four days we did it!

I had forgotten the expansive breakfast buffets of European hotels. That was a nice thing. So many soft boiled eggs!

The con itself was very well attended. So well, in fact, that they ran out of program space on the first day, and had to limit day-pass sales the rest of the weekend. What this translated into for me, however, were some of the best-attended panels I’ve had the pleasure to serve on. I walked into the Diana Wynne Jones panel at noon on Wednesday to find it packed wall to wall. It was a job to keep from blubbering in joy.

The Nordic Steampunk Blacksmiths set up in front of the South Entrance added a special ambiance to the whole venue. It was especially charming catching them putting on their (quite necessary) sun screen on Wednesday morning.

While line-wrangling for George R R Martin’s Thursday signing I fell into a conversation about single malt with a large Finnish man who declared he would “get me drunk” on scotch at some point. I later learned he was the head of security. I feel this more or less typifies my relationship with that department. (Glances sideways at her DI friends.)

It was lovely to connect and re-connect with so many kindred spirits. I know I shall forget some but here are the ones I’ve remembered: Eleanor Joslin, Gili Bar-Hillel and her family (hi, Tali!), Rob Carlos and Lee Moyer and Venetia Charles, thank you for saving the Illustrated Stories panel in the absence of Claire Wendling. It was wonderful to see Mari Ness and to watch the Hugos on twitter in the bar with Scotch and David D Levine, who was so kind as to invite me to the Hugo Loser’s Party, held this year at a bar called Steam Helsinki which felt a bit like the game Eye Spy come to life. There were motorcycles on the ceiling and dozens of hidden crannies. Ironically, I think I saw more of my friends compacted into one place on that night than anywhere else at the con! Not leastly Ursula and Kevin, even if I had to lean over the back of a seat to reach them (as you do).

Thanks, GRRM, for using your powers for good.

I would like to thank Gillian for being the best Gopher Mom I’ve ever had, and every single person who came to the Diana Wynne Jones fan meet. I had fellow fans coming up to me for the rest of the con, and it was marvelous.

Shout out to Ellen (from Germany) and Daniela and everyone who came to the Origami Jam. Also thanks again to Ursula for shouting “I’m your biggest fan!” at my signing. I’m planting that moment in my memory like a landmine for the next time depression invades.

Thanks, Nalo Hopkinson. I will forever be proud and grateful for my freckles.

Kind regards to Tim and Malcom and everyone who skipped the masquerade to come to the Furries panel.

Congratulations to the Dublin Team, good luck to New Zealand (2020) and DC (2021), and very best wishes to San Jose, where you will, barring disaster, find me next year.

To cap off the con the Wonderful Mother and I took a cycling tour of Helsinki’s Solar System Model. I do not have time to recap it here, but you can find the live and after-life twitter string, with pictures, over here.

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It’s been a whirlwind… life, really. AnthroCon was there at the turn of the month, and as always it was a wild, exhilarating ride. So many good feelings, so good to see old friends again and kindle new ones. I missed Susan, who wisely stayed in the Netherlands this year and thus avoided the harrowing trip through US customs, but my partner in fundraising, Shujin, dropped in and was an immense help on Saturday and Sunday. Shujin and I debuted a quirky live-sketch show part iron artist, part charity auction. Shujin is a DJ and we took prompts from the audience, combined with his choice of song, and I drew them. The results were… as irreverent as one might expect.

Yet through the generosity of our audience we raised ~$375 for AnthroCon’s flagship charity, Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary. I managed to scrape together another $75 from charity brush pen commissions I took, so that’s pretty neat.

Commissions were somewhat lighter than in past years, but those I got were lovely, and sales were good. I under-ordered Professor Odd Season 2 singles, and sold out of Driving Arcana Rotation 1, but I had enough of Season One—though all but one copy has been spoken for now. Anyone want a signed copy of Professor Odd: The Complete Season One? Hit me up!

Oh yes, the Complete Season One is finally out! Here is the cover (I am so proud of it):

I will make a proper art post later with the whole thing. It’s a wrap-around illustration that took me months. Whew!

I missed my partners, who were unable to make it this year due to Boyfriend moving from TX to CA to live with Girlfriend, which necessitated a quick trip down to visit them on my behalf directly after the con. This, combined with the mountain biking camp for girls which I volunteered at last week (put on by Soul Sister Cycling) and I am now woefully behind on summer business. Which business has been compacted by our upcoming trip to Helsinki for WorldCon next month. What ho! Time to get off the blog and back to work! I’m on several panels at World Con this year, not least the Diana Wynne Jones panel and a storytelling/illustration panel with (heavy breathing) Rob Carlos and (heavy breathing intensifies) Claire Wendling. Wish me luck.

Also I have several new pieces of art to share. Expect a bunch of art posts in the coming week. And by expect I mean nag me about it on Twitter so I actually do it.

Thanks.

-G

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What a month. I am going to make a blanket assumption that everyone reading this is at least as terrified as I am at the political climate change going on, which is almost as dangerous to the future of humanity as the natural climate change we have even less control over.

But in the tradition of artists in times of crisis, and I am going to keep on doggedly doing what I do, as hard and as best that I can. To that end I’m extremely pleased to announce that Heliopause put out three new titles this month! The long-overdue third rotation of Driving ArcanaProfessor Odd #9, and last but not least the Perihelion 2017 issue of Apsis Fiction! You’ve probably already seen the covers, but I’m going to share them again, because I am so proud of them.

Looking forward to next month (tomorrow—eep!) things are going to be very busy on the Professor Odd front: we have Episode 10, “The Thousand Songs” coming out as a single, and—hopefully—the Complete Season 1 (episodes 1-6). The Season 1 volume is still in the process of being put together, but I can share with you the cover for “Thousand Songs” (which can also be found in Perihelion 2017).


It has been an interesting winter here in Oregon. Snowy and cold, we’ve had a minor respite these past ten days, but the prediction is for another good dump this week followed by rain—and just when the roads were beginning to recover! Oh well. It’s given me an opportunity to put to use the shoveling skills I honed cleaning up after horses as a teenager, and I’ve been keeping in practice for mountain biking by navigating the icy, slushy, snowy streets and bike/ped paths between my house and the gym, where I’m doing weight training and lap swimming. Gary Silver (my hardtail) has been tricked out with studded tires, fenders, lights, and flat pedals, so I can ride him in my snow boots. All this combined has rendered him a more reliable means of transportation that my poor little Fit, who performed beautifully in the snow and ice with her own studded tires, but was bested by the deep slush and has spent the last ten days hiding in my garage. But as this is what she often ends up doing even in good weather, it is of no great loss to me. My trusty Blue Sky Cycle Cart has been sufficient to haul the week’s groceries home from the nearby store, though dodging the potholes on the return journey (for the sake of the eggs) has made these trips quite exciting.

Bend is beginning to feel more like home, and less like some surreal, never-ending vacation. Part of this I am sure is that I have set to work in earnest on the titles scheduled for release later this year, and my studio is at last getting the use it so richly deserves.

And on that note I shall leave this post and return to it!

Ice bikes of Bend! Gary Silver is in the background.

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Keep burning

Some thoughts on the recent spate of cultural icon deaths…


It is destabilizing to lose an anchor of inspiration.

Like looking to your lodestar and finding it dark.

Maybe, you feel, a piece of you has also died.

But the fact is we exist in a continuum. We are not fixed points. We are a reaction. A combustion.

We are fire.

Fires burst into life, flare, crackle and shine, and eventually go out.

We are temporary marvels of the universe,

like rainbows

and sun dogs.

But unlike combustion, or rainbows, our consciousness is greater than the physical reaction that creates it.

We are webbed together by our love and passion and fear.

And through this, though the carriers may change, the fire spreads.

The carriers may die, but the fire rises.

It rises through the embers shot out

by those who came before.

Bowie, Lee, Prince, Fisher—whoever your torchbearers were—were and are part of this great conflagration.

And their torches are still burning.

Even as I grieve, I put my hand into that fire

(it does not burn me; I am fire too),

and I rise.

I rise.

We rise.

And shine.

Keep burning.


(adapted from this tweet string; dedicated to the spirit of Carrie Fisher. 🖕🏼 )

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If I’ve been more than usually quiet this last month and a half it’s because I’ve been preoccupied moving to Oregon. Turns out there’s even more to it than renting a large truck, packing up your life’s belongings and driving for twelve hours. There’s insurance and licensing and you find out how much stuff you truly need. Like blinds. Bike stands. Waste baskets. Spare sheets. A vet.

But I seem to be nearing the end of the turbulent times of change. Routine is creeping in again, even if that routine is necessarily different from my previous one. In the space it has lent me I’ve been writing, both fiction and letters, and hanging pictures. I have a studio now, and it is assembled to the point that I might begin working in it soon. Which is good, because we are already behind schedule on Perihelion 2017, and we have another ten titles to publish next year.

Which reminds me, I really must apply for that Business Permit.

Bend is a funny sort of city, which is probably why I like it so much. It was until quite recently not a city at all, and there is a tension here between all the people who want it to stay small, yet at the same time really want to be here and are proud of the place they live in. There are a lot of transplanted Californians, which gives the atmosphere a kind of comfortable familiarity. At the same time, these are largely Californians who have self-selected as the kind of person who is compatible with the Oregonian spirit, which appears to be slower, more relaxed, and less inclined to dance in the streets when it rains. There are many other out of state immigrants, but the common thread I find is that most of us came here from places that were not right for us, and, having found Bend, understand just how lucky we are to be here.

For myself I find I am not only a Californian in Bend, I am a writer in Oregon. I feel myself developing a new (if still not complete) understanding of Ursula K. Le Guin. I think it has something to do with the volcanos and the high desert.

So far I think the thing I like best about it is that, within walking distance of my house, there is a yoga studio, at least two bike shops, a frozen yogurt café and a hardware store, plus more coffee shops and restaurants than there was in the entirety of my old hometown.

Instead of being thirty minutes away by car, the vet is five minutes. I can ride my bike to the farmer’s market. I can also ride my bike to the dirt trails which lead up into and across the Cascades. The place is riddled with off-leash dog parks. The place is riddled with dogs, period.

Many people have asked in perplexity, “Why Bend?” when they heard about the move. But these have uniformly been people who either didn’t know me very well, or didn’t know Bend, or both. Everyone who knows me, who has visited the city, has looked at the quirky cafés, the bike shops, the dogs, the artwork rampant in the roundabouts, and nodded sagely.

“Of course,” they say. “This is your city.”

It’s not, of course. (I only just got here.) But somehow, though I never visited before 2013, I have managed to grow up into the sort of person who lives here.

And now I do.

I run. I bike. I work. I walk my dog over streets whose asphalt is made lumpy from all the roots growing under it. The houses crowd in tightly, craftsman and prairie style or modern custom built with funky windows and odd angles. There are ponderosa pines and quaking aspen. Every garage has at least two bikes in it. And there are dogs everywhere.

Now there’s me, too.

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It has been quite a week. Month. Whatever. I am moving house and business across state lines and had to leave things half-finished to go attend MidAmeriCon II. Which was wonderful. And exhausting. And exciting. And would have been enough to lay me out for a whole week but I had to move right on to Toronto, where I am writing this now, for a dear friend’s wedding.

So this will be the briefest of recaps:

Everything went well. Art show. Panels. Demos. Book sales. Print sales. Everything went well. I made some new friends and reconnected with old ones. Missed David Stein who I learned broke both his legs recently. (!!!!) Once again I have come away inspired by the F/SF fandom and filled with new drive and inspiration to take my work to the next level. Don’t let the quietness fool you: my reserve is only growing while the creative output is on hold during these times of change.

But I have managed something, at least: Aphelion 2016 is finally out! The Heliopause master post is over here. Please refer to it for all the relevant links to purchase the book (electronic or print) from your preferred retailer.

Brief and incomplete thanks to: Greg Ketter, for selling my books for me. Brian McCullough for being a fantastic handler. Rob Carlos and Teddy Harvia and Chronographia for their doodles in my guest book. In fact, everyone who signed my guest book! You are all awesome! John Picacio for everything between heaven and earth. And Nina Niskanen, Sunil Patel, Ann Leckie, Morgan Swim, Karen Bovenmyer, Mur Lafferty, Kyell Gold (you know who you are), Will Frank, Courtney Schafer, Kinuko Y. Craft, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, Foz Meadows, Lyda Morehouse, and PAT CADIGAN.

Keep being you.

So many awesome memories, but at the moment one thing stands out so that is what I will put here.

I got to speak briefly with Robert Silverberg, who I didn’t recognize as Robert Silverberg at the time because he was not wearing a suit and up on stage at the Hugos. He asked me how I got the name Ogawa. So I explained about the being quarter-Japanese thing. I then went on to explain that Goldeen was a Jewish name (from Goldenstein). He squinted at me sideways.

“I am a quarter Jewish,” I explained.

“Yes,” he said. “But from where?”

I gave a disjointed explanation about my maternal grandfather’s ancestors and their journeys around Ukraine, Romania, Crimea, their problems with the Pogroms, etc. when he stopped me.

“So you are Eastern European Jewish,” he said.

“A quarter, yes,” I said.

“Yeah, yeah,” he said. “But that means you’re my people.”

“I am?”

“Yes,” he said. It was then I realized who I was talking to, and was rendered speechless. Which was just as well, because he went on:

“My family is Eastern European Jews. I’ll think of you as my Japanese niece.”

I got him to sign my guest book, too.

This was Sunday night in the Marriott lobby, and as that was essentially the end of my World Con, it’s not a bad place to end this post.

Until next time…

-Robert Silverberg’s Japanese Niece.

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