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Luc to Be Interviewed on Vermont Public Radio Today

Society and culture

vteditionThis is nothing to do with writing or habits, but at about 12:45 Eastern today, I’ll be on VPR’s Vermont Edition talking to host Jane Lindholm about the new CSA Matchmaker on our Web site, which helps Champlain Valley residents find the perfect CSA. In case you’re not familiar with the term, a CSA (“Community Supported Agriculture”) is an arrangement with a farmer to pre-pay for a season’s worth of food, often picked up weekly. The CSA member gets a good deal on great local food, and the farmer gets financial stability and regular customers. If you know anyone in the area who might benefit from joining a CSA, please send them over to the site. We’re coming up on 1,000 visits so far based on word of mouth, an article in the Free Press, and other exposure, so I think it’s working.

Anyway, I’ll be talking a little bit about the CSA Matchmaker and Localsourcers. In future we plan to expand the CSA Matchmaker to many other areas, and on May 1st we’ll be launching the Localsourcers Online Forum, a community for anyone anywhere interested in sharing information and connecting about local resources, local food, sustainability, and resilience. Come join Localsourcers (free) if you’re interested in taking part.

Later addition: here’s the link to the segment.

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Rick Novy Interviews Luc at Entropy Central

Interviews

Writer Rick Novy (FishPunk, etc.) interviewed me for his Wednesday Writer series at Entropy Central: http://www.ricknovy.com/2013/04/wednesday-writer-luc-reid/ . In the interview, we cover subjects like the origin of Codex, why I gave up music, influential writers, and what new projects I’m working on.

To my regular readers, I hope you’ll excuse how unusually quiet the site has been over the past two weeks while I’ve completed and launched the  CSA Matchmaker, which helps residents of the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York connect with farms to get deals on great local food, and then went on a brief family vacation. The articles will start flowing again this week.

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Fight Climate Change With a Grocery Basket

Society and culture

I’ve launched a new community-based nonprofit called Localsource, with a Web site to help people connect around getting food and other necessities locally, and a local chapter called Champlain Valley Localsource that will hold its first meeting in Burlington, Vermont on February 6th.

Email

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Just Released: The Expanded, Illustrated 2nd Edition of Talk the Talk: The Slang of 67 American Subcultures

Luc's writing projects

About two and a half years ago, when I set about putting together a Kindle edition of my 2006 book Talk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures, I thought I was looking at a couple of week’s work in whatever time I could spare. It turns out that updating my term database with the original edition improvements, adding three new subcultures, putting in multiple photographs for every subculture, editing, adding some terms that didn’t fit in the first edition, and otherwise preparing this new edition have taken … well, two and a half years. Yet I think it was worth it! Check it out here.

 

Talk the Talk: The Slang of 67 American Subcultures

 

I was very pleased to find that no significant corrections were required from the original edition. Despite my careful research, I had half expected the day after the original book’s release to be deluged with telephone calls by irate members of the subcultures I’ve documented correcting my facts–but there weren’t any, then or since.

My favorite credibility moment came when a blog post upbraided me for using the term “shank” to refer to a cell-made prison weapon instead of what the post’s author (who like me, has not served time) put forth as the proper term, “shiv.” I didn’t have to defend my research, though: an actual former inmate commented on the post instead, saying that “shiv” was a popular media term, but the word that was really used “inside” was “shank.”

Regardless, whether you check the book out to browse the new photographs of all the unexplored corners of American culture, to test your knowledge of carnival slang (the public radio show Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me used the original edition to do this to guest Julia Sweeney back in 2006), to come up to speed on Renaissance Faire or snowboarding slang, or to just enjoy the range of words model rocketry enthusiasts use when they talk about things blowing up, there’s likely to be something of interest to practically any culture afficianado in what BoingBoing! called “the kind of quirky thing that is endlessly fascinating and full of odd insights into worlds you never suspected existed.”

If you’re interested in a review copy, whether for publication or simply for your blog, Amazon, or Goodreads, etc., please use the contact form here on my Web page.

The print edition should be released next month.

(By the way, astute readers may have noticed that I mention adding three subcultures, but the number listed on the cover only increased from 65 to 67. That’s because hip-hop slang, which to my way of thinking is much too widely used to be considered subculture speak, was removed from the new volume. Instead, I made it available for free on Talk the Talk‘s Web site at www.subculturetalk.com.)

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Audio Fiction: Luc Reid Reading Stories from Bam! at Readercon 23

Luc's writing projects

At Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts a couple of weeks back, I got the opportunity to do a reading of a few stories from my collection Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories, which is available in paperback and Kindle format (see the link for more information, if you’re interested). While the equipment I had available was fairly limited, I did manage to get an audio recording of most of the reading, except for about 10 seconds in the middle, which I dubbed in after returning home. The applause at the end also was cut off due to technological limitations (the audience was terrific, actually).

In the midst of the stories from Bam!, I was also able to include a very unusual kind of reading in the middle, one that quite possibly has not been done before–certainly not that I’ve ever heard of. I’ll leave that one a surprise for people who decide to listen or download this audio. Feel free to share it with friends if you’d like.

I apologize for the less-than-stellar quality of the audio and the jarring change for that 10 seconds in the middle, but what can you do? Next time I’ll try to bring some decent recording equipment of some description.

Many thanks to Grant Carrington, without whom I might well not have any recording at all.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Total time: 20:24

You can download this file at http://lucreid.com/media/LucReid_Readercon23_Reading.mp3 .

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Readercon: Science Fiction, Creativity, and Fascinating People

Events

Every July, science fiction and fantasy readers, writers, editors, and reviewers gather in Burlington, Massachusetts (outside Boston) for Readercon, a literary science fiction convention. Readercon is special because it is devoted to speculative fiction in novels, short stories, and other writing–setting aside games, movies, TV shows, and the like.  It’s a great place to go to talk about everything from bug-eyed monsters to feminism, science fictional politics to Sherlock Holmes–not to mention to bump elbows with and listen to discussions between noted authors and poets. (See the full program here.)

Guests this year include Peter Straub, Caitlin Kiernan, Ellen Datlow, Michael Swanwick, Barry Longyear, Nick Mamatas, Neil Clarke, and others–myself included.  (See the full guest list here.)

This year Readercon starts on Thursday, July 12th with free programming and continues for members Friday through Sunday. Memberships are $70 at the door, less for single days.

A panel at a recent Readercon. Photo by Ed Gaillard

My own participation includes discussions on motivation and creativity (including my 1-hour Writing Motivation Toolbox presentation Saturday evening), a panel on transcending the human body, and readings from my book of flash fiction, Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

This will be my second trip to Readercon, and if it’s anything like my first, I plan to have a spectacular time. Hope to see you there.

Luc Reid’s Readercon Schedule

Friday July 13

5:00 PM    G    Why I Stopped Writing. Erik Amundsen, Nathan Ballingrud, Steve Berman (leader), Geary Gravel, Jennifer Pelland, Luc Reid. We’ve all seen writers logging their word counts, charting their progress toward the next novel or short story. And we’ve heard the advice to keep writing and submitting. But is it ever a good idea to just stop? What can we gain from getting off the publishing merry-go-round, at least for a while? Is stopping a sign of failure, or just another stage in a writer’s career? The panelists discuss how and why they stopped writing (and maybe started up again).

Saturday July 14

6:00 PM    RI    Writing Motivation Toolbox. Luc Reid. Leveraging recent psychological and neurological research, Luc Reid offers a brief tour of human motivation mechanisms as well as specific ways to get past writer’s block, inspire enthusiasm, sharpen focus, and get words onto the page. Many of the ideas from this talk about writing can be carried over to other areas of life, such as health, business, organization, and relationships.

7:00 PM    ME    Kurzweil and Chopra, Ghosts in the Same Shell. Athena Andreadis (leader), John Edward Lawson, Anil Menon, Luc Reid, Alison Sinclair.Transhumanism (TH) has been a prominent strain in contemporary SF; cyberpunk is in many ways the fiction arm of the movement. Athena Andreadis and discussants will explore core concepts of TH (longevity, uploading, reproductive alternatives, optimization projects from genome to organism), investigate which are strictly in science fiction versus science territory, and examine the larger outcomes of these tropes within the genre as well as in First Life, aka the real world.

Sunday July 15

10:00 AM    ME    The Seven Deadly Myths of Creativity. Andy Duncan, Joe Haldeman, Steve Kelner (leader), Toni L.P. Kelner, Matthew Kressel, Jennifer Pelland, Luc Reid. What is creativity, really? How does it work? Many people think of it as somehow magical, but in fact there has been considerable neuropsychological research devoted to the process of creativity, and current evidence makes it clear that it is inherent in the human brain: everyone is creative; the question is how to harness it. There are many myths about creativity that not only are unhelpful but have actively blocked or inhibited writers. Fortunately, many of these myths are entirely explicable and avoidable. Stephen Kelner, a research psychologist who is also a professional writer, will give an overview of the myths and the realities, and discussion will further explore individual participants’ questions or challenges.

11:30 AM    NH    Reading. Luc Reid. Luc Reid reads ridiculously varied flash fiction from his collection Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories. Topics include a virulent outbreak of happiness, alien cheesecake focus groups, and Cinderella’s divorce.

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Amber Sistla’s Writer Wednesday Interview with Luc Reid

Luc's writing projects

Amber Sistla is running a series of well-designed interviews with neopro writers on her Web site every Wednesday, and her latest interview is with me. She asks me about some favorites, which is the kind of question I’m notoriously bad at answering, and throws me some other questions that led me to answers I didn’t expect myself. (For example, my favorite comfort food, which isn’t actually a food.)

You can read the whole interview here.

Some things have changed since Amber did the interview with me last month: for the moment, Futurismic is going semi-dormant, so I contributed my last scheduled “Brain Hacks for Writers Column” for now a couple of weeks ago (“Better Writing Through Writing About Writing“) and will be watching for Futurismic to rise again when publisher Paul Raven is free to return to it. My collection Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories is not available on Smashwords any more at the moment, and my birthday has already passed (it was pretty great, thanks).

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5 Authors, 5 Questions: Advice for New Writers at Shimmer

Uncategorized

Over at Shimmer, Elise Catherine Tobler has started a series of posts in which she asks five authors (me included) five questions about writing for the benefit of aspiring fiction writers. Questions so far have been “How do you begin a story?” and “How do you go about choosing a title for the story?” The answers get at the issue from a variety of points of view in a very short space.

The other four authors in the series are:

Krista Hoeppner Leahy (Writers of the Future XXV, Shimmer, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet)

Don Mead (Writers of the Future XXV, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Strange Horizons)

Justin Howe (Crossed Genres, Brain Harvest, Beneath Ceaseless Skies)

Vylar Kaftan (Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Abyss & Apex, ChiZine)

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Vermont Ten-Fest of 10-minute plays (including my “Discovery of Fire”)

Just generally interesting

If you’re within playgoing distance of the Valley Players theater in Waitsfield, Vermont (about 45 minutes from Burlington, 30 minutes from Barre/Montpelier, or 20 minutes from Waterbury), you’ll be interested to hear about the Vermont Playwrights Circle fourth annual Ten-Fest of ten 10-minute plays by ten local authors:

Divora Zipkin’s “Blood Ties”
Lesley Becker’s “Road Map to Victory”
Lars Nielsen’s “The Night Letter”
Jeanne Beckwith’s “Be Sixteen”
Brett Cox’s “Consider the Services of the Departed”
Charles Coburn’s “A Pause to Remember”
Margot Lasher’s “Stay”
Em Frappier’s “I’m So Disapointed in You”
Terri Kneen’s “Lost and Found”

and my own “The Discovery of Fire and Other Bad Ideas,” an epic tale (well, maybe the 10-minute version of “epic”) of invention and jealousy among stereotypical cavepeople and their marketing consultant, Steve.

Thursday Aug 18 – Saturday Aug 20 at 8:00 PM
Sunday Aug 21 at 2:00 PM
$10 general admission
$8 seniors and students

Valley Players in Waitsfield
more information and directions:
www.vermontplaywrightscircle.org or www.valleyplayers.com

RESERVATIONS: 802-583-1674
For a live person, call
Charlie at: 802-479-2136

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Short Collections of Very Short Stories

eBooks and Publishing

I’ve been having an interesting time with my book Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories selling on Amazon for the Kindle. A while after I released it, I released a 99 cent sampler of stories from it (plus one new one) called 17 Stories About the End of the World. To my surprise, the sampler has been outselling the book even while they were temporarily at the same price, telling me that readers are interested in what kinds of stories they’re getting and aren’t likely to read otherwise.

So I’ve now broken out the remainder of the 172 stories into 8 new, short, 99 cent flash fiction collections. (I’ve also put a free first chapter of my novel Family Skulls–which itself is available for 99 cents as of this writing–at the end of each book.)

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