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Dwelling in Probabilities - C. Lundoff's Journal

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Anne Bonny
Dwelling in Probabilities - C. Lundoff's Journal
Catherine's website



December 31st, 2015

Where I'll be in 2015

Anne Bonny
Updates to follow as I have them.

  • Marscon 2015 - March 6-8, Bloomington, MN. I'm a guest again this year and doing panels and a reading, as per my norm.
  • Saints and Sinners Literary Festival - March 27-29, New Orleans, LA. Combination birthday trip/vacation/conference. I'm not doing any programming but will be around and about.
  • Bi+ Story Slam - April 9th, 7:30-9:30, Nicollet Diner, Minneapolis. Bisexual Organizing Project AWP 2015 offsite event. I'll be reading a thing, as will other folks.
  • 4th Street Fantasy - June 26-28. Minneapolis. Schedule,TBD. This is back to conflicting with both Twin Cities Pride and the Antiquarian Book Fair so I won't be around all weekend. No idea about panels yet.
  • CONvergence - July 2-5, Bloomington, MN. Panels - see CONvergence tag.
  • Diversicon 23 - July 24-26, St. Paul, MN. Panels and more panels
  • Sirens - October 8-11. Denver, CO. Panels.
  • Arcana - October 23-25. St. Paul, MN. Editor Guest of Honor

June 30th, 2015

New retaining wall!

Anne Bonny

June 29th, 2015

Weekend write up...

Anne Bonny
Because how can I not?

 Starting with Friday's news. OMG, what a huge, giant relief and source of joy! I'm so happy for the folks who can now have their relationships legally recognized and can access the associated benefits. I'm glad for the folks who have decided to get married. I'm deeply grateful to all those who paved the way for this day to come in U.S. and wish we hadn't lost so many more of them along the way. Does it fix everything? Sadly, not by a longshot. It's a victory, not the end of the campaign. But for those of us who didn't have hospitalization visitation rights, access to survivor benefits, parental rights, tax benefits, healthcare benefits, etc., etc., this is a giant boon. I'm not paying nearly twice as much for my wife's healthcare, like I was when we were domestic partners. We were able to vastly improve out tax situation. And from our personal standpoint, not living in constant terror of producing a sequel to Why Can't Sharon Kowalski Come Home? every time one of us has to travel somewhere less progressive is stupendous. So, thank you, everyone who made this possible.

We sort of celebrated by going to the Twin Cities Antiquarian Book Fair, since we had already planned that with friends. Chatted with a lot of folks, picked up a couple of books and got booted out a bit too early for me; I needed another half hour for browsing. Saturday morning, we were off to Twin Cities Pride to bask in the sunshine, literally  and figuratively. It was lovely and pleasant and I have new earrings and a commemorative tshirt from a friend's company, plus bonus greeting of friends all over the place.

From there, my wife went home, my friend moved on and I went to 4th Street Fantasy. 4th Street, for those unfamiliar with it, is a small local con dedicated to discussing books. Big name pros of various sorts are often thick on the ground,and there's a single track of programming, plus sundry other events. It is traditionally one of my "mixed feels" cons. On the one hand, there are friends I love to hang out with and the panels can sometimes be quite interesting. On the other, it can be quite cliquish
and I have sat through some truly unsound writing advice to newby writers who hung on each word. I also find myself getting irritated by a sense of self-satisfaction about the whole affair, which I'm not sure it earns. What I interpret as a lack of interest in genre diversity--attendance tends to be a very homogenous, panelists often discuss each other's books and don't venture much outside the charmed circle of current attendees, panel topics tend to be geared toward a given cultural default, etc. --make it rather frustrating for me.  Then there's the just plain weird crap, like getting told that the Con suite didn't have the recycling bin provided by the hotel because attendees just couldn't figure it out (Srsly? Blue thing, spinny arrows, often says "Recycling" on it? In a metropolitan area where nearly every event and venue has some form of recycling in it?). The mind truly boggles. So, yeah. I understand that a number of my friends absolutely love it, but I sometimes feel like I'm attending a different event from the one they're at, and it's not big enough to have that much dissonance. Sigh. I think it's time for a year off, barring some big shift in scheduling or makeup.

In other news, the new front yard retaining wall-landscaping project should be done today. Huzzah! Now, if I can just get my mother's phone hooked up again, life will be blissful. Send chocolate, please!

CONvergence 2015 Schedule

Anne Bonny
Seeing as it's looming this week. In addition to the panels below, I can also be found at the Arcana 45/Diversicon/Tales of the Unanticipated revolving party in Kruschenko's, wherever it may be, and roaming free-range around the con. Ping me if you need to find me.
Full schedule is

Friday, July 3 • 11:00am - 12:00pm Plaza 1
How Are Anthologies Made?

Have you ever wondered how these collections come to be? Let our panel walk you through the process, from origination to publication. Panelists: Catherine Lundoff, Tim Lieder, Toni Weisskopf, Lynne M Thomas, Roy C. Booth

Saturday, July 4 • 11:00am - 12:00pm Atrium 4
Adding Humor to Your Writing
There are many types of humor, but writing in something that is actually funny can be difficult, be it literature, television, movies, theater, or audio plays. What are some techniques to help write humor that reaches the audience successfully? Panelists: phillip low, Melissa Olson, Catherine Lundoff, Patrick Tomlinson, Wesley Chu

Sunday, July 5 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm Atrium 6
Build-A-World with Guests
Welcome one and all to the Build-a-World game show, with your host Monica Valentinelli! In this panel, two teams of writers will compete against one another to create a brand new world in under an hour. You, the audience, will help judge! Panelists: Monica Valentinelli (mod), Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, Catherine Lundoff, Martha Wells

June 26th, 2015


Anne Bonny
 to all of us whose marriages are now legal all over the U.S. and to those in our communities who can now get legally married!!!

And Happy Pride! 😃

Does it mean we're done fighting for equal rights? Hell, no. But it's a huge change for a lot of us and makes some aspects of contemporary life easier. 

June 24th, 2015

New SF Signal Mind Meld

Anne Bonny
"My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors!'

Actually, this is just because I like Moxy Fruvous from time to time. The Mind Meld is actually about authors on our must buy lists. Some interesting suggestions!

June 23rd, 2015

Arcana fliers

Anne Bonny
The Arcana 45 Con Com is releasing a series of online posters in the pulp tradition to promote the con. As can be expected, I like a few of them
but find others cringeworthy. But hey, it's publicity and I'm hoping we can really boost the numbers this year so I have lots of cool people to chat with.  Here's one I like - 


June 17th, 2015

Signal boosts and updates

Anne Bonny
 PSA for folks going to TC Pride next week - Trinity Works, an exgay ministry hosted by the Northwest Bible College and the First Baptist Church, is targeting the Pride Parade and celebration again. If you run across them, report them to Pride security if you can and check in with Outfront MN if you need support. Remember that some members of our community are more vulnerable than others and there are reports of suicide watches and related horrors from last year's "outreach." 😡

Fundraising notes - please boost and donate if you can:

SF Minnesota is fundraising for Diversicon and for Tales of the Unanticipated Magazine. This is a thing I've been trying to get them to try for awhile now and it would guarantee the future of both for a few years at least if they succeed.

My friend Rebecca Polston is, amongst her other accomplishments, the first African-American midwife to be licensed in MN. She and a collective of midwives are trying to launch a multicultural, friendly to all families, birth center in North Minneapolis. It would be great to see this get off the ground, both for my friend and her group and for the area, where this would be the only healthcare of its kind.

"Normal Lives, Valid Lives" is a new documentary in progress about the successful struggle to force the Anoka-Hennepin School District to address the homophobic bullying that drove multiple children to commit suicide. The fact that parents and activists succeeded makes this documentary even more essential for other fighting the same problems.

And me, well, I'm trying to get caught up. Novel edits are back, progress is being made on Not So Sekrit Project, articles are getting done. Onward! 

June 12th, 2015

Joanna Russ was awarded a posthumous Solstice Award at the 2015 Nebula Awards, which serves as a kind of Not Quite Grand Master Award to professionals who've had a great influence on the field. There was another one awarded to former Analog editor Stanley Schmidt too, but since he's alive to receive his, he got to speak for himself. Joanna's, on the other hand, consisted of a memorial letter written by editor David Hartwell, read by author Mary Anne Mohanraj. My objections are entirely about the content of that letter, for the record. We got about a minute and half of "Yep, she was a genius. Brilliant." Followed by several minutes of the great tragedy of her final years, illness, electroshock, loss of self, loss of genius, etc. With a sidebar anecdote assuring us that even though she was a super-angry lady (I'm not sure the word "lesbian" was uttered; if it was, I don't remember it), she didn't hate the menz.

At this point, I spotted erstwhile Tor editor and serial sexual harasser Jim Frenkel at the back of the room and thought Really? I'd love to have seen the list of exceptions to that.

My thoughts then and now pretty much boil down to: Fuck that Noise. Seriously? This is one of the finest minds in the genre, incredibly groundbreaking for her time, a woman who paved the road for many of us who came after her, a brilliant critic and we get sad, sad, sad, but no worries, she liked guys too. Not one word about her works being largely out of print. Not one word about what they were or how we could bring them back or how to honor her legacy. Not. One.

One of the books that Russ wrote (when not busy being sad and sick) was a book called How to Suppress Women's Writing (1983). In it, she catalogs many of the ways that women's voices are silenced, their writings and opinions devalued and forgotten. She talks about the barriers we face, the cultural obstacles consistently placed in front of women as writers and artists to prevent them from being read and remembered: She didn't really write it. She wrote it, but she's an anomaly. She wrote it, but she only wrote one of them. It is still horribly, horribly accurate today, 32 years later. When I think about that, I feel sick and sad.

Which is why I then turn to her writings (I shall always love the Alyx stories, among others) and to writings that truly celebrate her brilliance. For instance, Annalee Newitz wrote this excellent piece for I09 on Russ:
How to Remember and Discover Joanna Russ. Brit Mandelo's essay We Wuz Pushed: On Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-Telling and Farah Mendlesohn's nonfiction anthology On Joanna Russ talk about her work in detail, what it meant and what its impact was. These are real memorials and this is how she should be remembered, by being read and discussed. And let's get her oeuvre back out there; works of sfnal genius are too rare to be wasted.


This was intended to be my morning at the Printers Row Literary Festival so, inevitably, I woke up with a migraine. I managed to stagger down to breakfast, then girded my loins for the multi-block walk under the big hurty thing in the sky. I found the Festival without any trouble, but found it a tad underwhelming. Mind you, I found the PM Press booth and immediately picked up a couple of books and a Utah Phillips CD, then wandered down the row of tents. I left with a murder mystery set at Hull House, a history of women business owners, Edward Gorey ephemera, Daughters of the Revolution and the CD. It was decently well-trafficked but I couldn’t but notice that the Fair organizers thought it was more important to have an Acura dealer and several other nonbook related vendors rather than any SF ones. I didn’t see anything affiliated with RWA either and I was told that every SFWA author in attendance at the Nebulas who tried to get on Lit Fest programming was turned down.  I gather the mystery writers had a good weekend though, so yay on that score.


From there, I wandered back to the hotel and lunch, then quiet time. I went downstairs just before my afternoon panel and ran into Lee Martindale and signed the program book and my story in a copy of Obsession for a nice gentleman who was hanging about waiting for me to turn up. (This is, incidentally, super flattering J). My second panel, this one on diversity in SFF began shortly thereafter. This one didn’t go as well as the first: too many disconnects, one panelist delayed on a train and in later, and there was me with my lingering migraine. So we talked a lot but I can’t say that I felt like we connected with each other or the audience. Not the worst panel I’ve been on, I suppose, but definitely in the lower half.  After that, it was icing my head until the Nebula Reception started.


I came down and soon realized that had been something of a mistake and that I should have stayed in my room until the banquet because I got wiped out pretty quickly. I ended up taking my juice (I don’t drink alcohol) to a quiet cul-de-sac and answering emails for a half hour until things got started. I had failed to realize that we had assigned tables, so I didn’t get to sit with the folks I wanted to, but I did end up sitting with a man I’d met earlier and some new folks, including some international fans so it was perfectly fine. The banquet food was good. Nick Offerman was probably hilarious if your sense of humor runs to jokes about sleeping and drinking with Nick Offerman. As an aside, if the point of getting him in to MC was to draw in a younger crowd, cheaper tickets and more outreach for the nonbanquet tickets probably would have helped.  As it was, I think he offended some people and baffled a fair number of others.


The Russ speech was awful; more on that soon. But Stanley Schmidt’s speech was rather charming and most of the winners were either not present and had proxies or gave good to okay speeches. I will admit to being surprised by Jeff VanderMeer’s win simply because I hadn’t heard much award buzz about his book, but I’m sure it’s good and his speech (also by proxy) was quite good. I gather there were some other issues (one finalist was left off the onscreen list of titles, and there were connection issues) but from my standpoint, it seemed to go reasonably well.

  I popped by the signing to say hi to a few people and tried unsuccessfully to find a friend’s book. I had to settle for schmoozing, then trotting off to pack and sleep. Sunday, I got to have breakfast with Lee Martindale, then hiked over to Union Station and caught the Amtrak for an uneventful ride home (except for the minor bomb scare which was quickly resolved).  And thus ended the weekend. I know I’m leaving some things out; I’ve never been a Larry Niven fan and our paths never crossed, for instance. Connie Willis was there, but was always deep in conversation. Jim Frenkel put in an appearance at the Awards but that was the only time I saw him (and I haven’t heard about any incidents, just for variety). There’s a certain level of manic cliquishness at all these sorts of events and this one split out pretty heavily along age lines and known quantities vs. unknown quantities, divisions made a bit rougher simply because it wasn’t a big crowd. I was actually more surprised that I did get as much time with some of the folks I either wanted to see or met over the course of the weekend. Overall, good event with useful info acquired and some down time achieved, so I feel like I got my money’s worth.

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