Mini Interviews: Bill Campbell, Neil Clarke, Carrie Cuinn

With less than a week until Boskone begins, we bring you the last of our Mini Interviews. However, this is just a taste of what’s to come next weekend. We hope you have enjoyed the interviews and this opportunity to get to know a bunch of our program participants who will be attending Boskone this year. It has been our pleasure to introduce them to you. And now, for our final batch of interviewees. Help us welcome Bill Campbell, Neil Clarke, and Carrie Cuinn. We look forward to seeing each of them and each of you at Boskone 52!

Bill Campbell

Bill Campbell is the author of Sunshine Patriots, My Booty Novel, and Pop Culture: Politics, Puns, “Poohbutt” from a Liberal Stay-at-Home Dad and Koontown Killing Kaper. Along with Edward Austin Hall, he co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. Campbell lives in Washington, DC, where he spends his time with his family, helps produce audio books for the blind, and helms Rosarium Publishing. For more information, visit Bill’s website, follow him on Twitter @bcampbellauthor, and friend him on Facebook. What are you looking forward to at Boskone? Well, this will be my first Boskone, and what I’m really looking forward to is the sense of envy I’ll have during the whole thing. Looking over the program, there are a lot of writers I’ve enjoyed or heard great things about. I’d like to hear them speak, but I’ll be in the Dealer Room most of the time. Maybe they’ll take pity on me and drop by to say Hello. What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project? Wow, good question. Well, as a publisher, I’m working on all of Rosarium’s releases. We’ve kind of exploded this past year and have a lot of books and comics coming out this year. It’s keeping me pretty busy. As an editor, I’m working with Nisi Shawl to finish up Stories for Chip, the anthology dedicated to Samuel R. Delany, and I’m also working with John Jennings and Jason Rodriguez for our benefit comic book anthology, APB: Artists Against Police Brutality. As a writer, I’m working on a comic book with the immensely talented, Ashley Woods called Baaad Muthaz, it’s a spaceploitation about a group of women who are pirates, smugglers, and a James Brown revival band. The main challenge in all of these projects is getting sleep. How would you describe your work to people who might be unfamiliar with you? Not for the feint-of-heart. But pretty damned funny.

Neil Clarke

Neil Clarke is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Clarkesworld Magazine (clarkesworldmagazine.com). His work at Clarkesworld has resulted in countless hours of enjoyment, three Hugo Awards for Best Semiprozine and four World Fantasy Award nominations. He’s also a three-time Hugo Nominee for Best Editor (Short Form). In 2012, Neil suffered a near-fatal “widow-maker” heart attack which led to the installation of a defibrillator and a new life as a cyborg. Inspired by these events, he took on his first non-Clarkesworld editing project, Upgraded, an all-original anthology of cyborg stories published earlier this year. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons. For more information, visit Neil’s website, follow him on Twitter @clarkesworld, and friend him on Facebook. What are you looking forward to at Boskone? It takes something special to get me to head north in the winter. I enjoy the panels, but for me Boskone is more about the people than anything else. What event or experience stands out as one of those ‘defining moments’ that shaped who you are today? The most recent thing would have to be my heart attack at Readercon two and a half years ago. There’s nothing like a brush with death to remind you what’s important in life. It shapes everything I’ve done since. What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project? I’m still working on Clarkesworld Magazine (clarkesworldmagazine.com). Our hundredth issue was published in January and I’m looking forward to what adventures the next hundred will bring. It never gets boring. For example, we’ve recently partnered with Storycom in China to start regularly publishing Chinese translations in each issue. It took us months to work out the logistics, but I’m really excited to have the opportunity to introduce English-speaking audiences to these works. The response from our readers has been amazing and now we have plans to expand those efforts to other languages as well.

Carrie Cuinn

Carrie Cuinn is an author, editor, bibliophile, modernist, and geek. Her work often references and subverts classic science fiction, blending SF tropes with feminism, anti-colonialism, hard science, myth, magic, poetry, and more. Recent stories can be found at Unlikely Stories, Daily Science Fiction, Chaosium, and in her latest collection, Women and Other Constructs (June 2013). She founded Dagan Books, Ltd. in 2010, publishing SF/F anthologies, novellas, and Lakeside Circus, a quarterly magazine of very short fiction. In her spare time she listens to music, watches indie films, cooks everything, reads voraciously, and sometimes gets enough sleep. Visit Carrie’s website, follow her on Twitter @CarrieCuinn, and friend her on Facebook. What is it that you enjoy most about Boskone? For me, Boskone is a perfect mix of pop culture and fandom combined with intelligent and thought-provoking literary panels and discussions. I’ll meet fans that often feel more comfortable approaching me — or any of the other guests and panelists — than they seem to be at other conventions. I can see friends, be social, and connect with folks I may not see again for another year. At the same time, a large percentage of the attendees are fellow professionals, so even when we’re enjoying a relaxing moment, we tend to talk shop. I get a lot out of those conversations, especially from writers who’ve been in the business much longer than I have. I love being able to share information and stories with the audience during the panels I’m on, and I have learned something new from each one of those panels as well. In short, it’s entertaining enough that I know I’ll have a great time, and still professional enough that I know it won’t feel like a vacation, or worse (a waste of time). What are you working on now? What excites or challenges you about this project? I have several short stories and poems that I hope to find a home for this year, and as someone who considers themselves more of a short story writer than anything else, I think I’ll always be working on a new story idea or revising an older one until I’m happy with it. For me, the most challenging project I’ve committed to this year is the non-fiction book about the history of printing presses. It’s an extension of my academic work, and it’s going to require a lot more research before I’ve got a good rough draft, but it’s exciting too because I have a chance to share the personal stories of the people who propelled what I consider to be humanity’s greatest technological achievement. I get to highlight the contributions of artisans who developed the press, and moveable type, long before Gutenberg put his name on it. I get to educate readers about the vital roles played by women, and by people of color, in not only developing the tech but also protecting the early presses, and advancing the cause of the printed word. If you could recommend a book to your teenage-self, what book would you recommend? Why did you pick that book? Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters. My teenage self read a lot of horror, especially Stephen King and Clive Barker. From them I learned important lessons about telling entertaining stories, about going from point A to point B to point C and still having the reader care about the story by the time you get there. But Ballingrud would have taught me about style. He would have taught me that the sort of story I most love to tell — where there’s far more going on than the central conceit, and not all of it gets explained by the time the end languidly but definitively rolls around — is a damn fine way of storytelling. If I’d known that, I could have spent more time being myself (as a writer), even when that only makes sense to me.

~

Register for Boskone today. Join us February 13-15, 2015

Register for Boskone!Registration Rates:

  • Adult rate: $60
  • College student rate: $40
  • K-12 student rate: $25
  • Friday: $20; Saturday: $40; Sunday: $20
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