Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fresh fiction: Karen Joy Fowler's new story

Author Karen Joy Fowler read a work in progress, her short story "Booth's Ghost," at the Clarion West reading June 30 at University Book Store. Fowler's short story credits include the Nebula award-winning "Always," 2007, and "What I Didn't See," 2003, as well as her collection Black Glass (1997) which earned the World Fantasy Award.

Her newest story, "Booth's Ghost," is a well-researched and historically accurate (except for the ghost!) portrayal of Edwin Booth, an American actor known both for his performance of Hamlet and for the infamy of his older brother — who assassinated Abraham Lincoln.

It's always fun when an established author risks reading a fresh work and "Booth's Ghost" was well-received. More than 50 people attended the reading including 18 Clarion West Writers Workshop participants (taken under Fowler's wing this week).

No complaints, but there was some chagrin that the "work-in-progress" was so well done. Granted the tale was a draft
seasoned and vetted by the likes of Timmi Duchamp, founder of Aqueduct Press, and author John Kessel, a Clarion instructor who read earlier in June. But who knows? Fowler may well work some additional magic on the tale before the next reading. They don't give out those Nebulas for nothing. Learn more about Fowler's writing process in an interview by Charles A. Tan, co-editor of the Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler.

Clarion West's Six Summer Evenings of Science Fiction & Fantasy, continues 7 p.m., Tuesdays at University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE, Seattle. Free!


Elizabeth Bear, author of 50 stories including the multiple award-winner, "Tidewater" — July 7
Nalo Hopkinson, author of
The Salt Roads and The New Moon's ArmsJuly 14
David G. Hartwell, senior editor of Tor Books — July 21
Rudy Rucker, author of 30 books including
Postsingular and Mathematicians in Love, July 28

More July readings, 7 p.m., at the University Book Store, U District Store:
Wed., July 8Forgotten Realms authors Erik Scott de Bie and Rosemary Jones
Thurs., July 9 — David J. Williams, Clarion workshop alum and author of Burning Skies
Wed., July 15 — Caitlin Kittredge, Street Magic, and Kevin Radthorne, The Pool of Shikama
Thurs., July 16 — Local author Lisa Mantchev reads from her first novel, Eyes Like Stars
Fri., July 24 — Jay Lake reads from his sixth novel, Green, out from Tor

Speaking of the Nebulas, check out the
Nebula Awards 2009 Showcase, edited by Ellen Datlow (named best editor at the 2009 Locus Awards) and filled with stories by Michael Chabon, Karen Joy Fowler, Ted Chiang (author of the 2009 Locus Award-winning story, "Exhalation"), Nancy Kress and Michael Moorcock.

"Start reading Nebula Awards 2009 Showcase on your Kindle in under a minute!" What an irresistible suggestion!

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