Hello, Readercon! Wondering where to find Cat for the rest of this weekend? Check out her full schedule below:

9 PM • Salon 5Old Hollywood in Recent Speculative Fiction
Randee Dawn, Heath Miller, Nikhil Singh, Sonya Taaffe, Terence Taylor
Tim Powers’s  Medusa’s Web, Catherynne M. Valente’s  Radiance, and Lara Elena Donnelly’s Armistice all draw on images of vintage Hollywood in very different ways, both honoring and criticizing a crucial era in the making of media that shaped a generation. What brings that era to the front of our awareness now? Is the fantastical reworking of old Hollywood linked in some way to recent criticisms of racism, sexism, and harassment in present-day Hollywood?

11 AM • Salon C • Past Predictions of Future Food
John Chu, B. Diane Martin, David G. Shaw, Romie Stott, Catherynne M. Valente, Francesco Verso
Writers of the early and middle 20th century loved predicting the comestibles of the future: food pills, soylent, Soma, and more. This panel will pull out some favorite examples of predictions that came true and didn’t, and look at how SFnal predictions of future food have changed over the last 100 years.

12:30 PM • Salon A • Reading: Catherynne M. Valente
Just as it says on the tin!

2PM • Autographs • Mark Oshiro Catherynne M. Valente
What you see is what you get!

3 PM • Blue Hills • How I Wrote Space Opera
Catherynne M. Valente
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets the joy and glamour of Eurovision in Catherynne M. Valente’s science fiction spectacle, in which sentient races compete for glory in a galactic musical contest and the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth. Valente will discuss how she wrote and sold her latest work.

7 PM • Salon 5 • From What Mad Universe to Radiance: The Livable Solar System
Andrea Corbin, Jeff Hecht, Kathy Kitts, Sioban Krzywicki, Catherynne M. Valente
The notion of the other planets in the solar system being habitable by humans and/or inhabited by aliens held appeal long after it was known that this wasn’t the case. How do we tell these stories and why? Is reimagining the physics and reality of our own solar system easier than FTL? Or is there a romance about it that is lost in the reality of our universe?

2PM • Salon 5 • A Thing with Feathers: Avian Imagery in Speculative Fiction (CART)

Scott H. Andrews, C.S.E. Cooney, Ellen Datlow, Nisi Shawl, Catherynne M. Valente
Works such as The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Cormorant Run, Blackbirds, Rose Lemberg’s Birdverse stories, and the Black Feathers anthology use the imagery, characterization, presence, and beauty of birds to explore issues of environmentalism, social violence, and empathy with the other. How have birds come to be a metaphor for our human failings and strivings? How is the reality of avian life and biology transformed into speculative narrative?

3PM • Seven Masts • Kaffeeklatsch • Catherynne M. Valente, Mark Oshiro
Come say hello!

Posted in News Comment

We’re over the moon to announce that Universal Pictures has optioned the film rights for Space Opera! In fact, our excitement has us well past the moon and rapidly approaching the Metagalactic Grand Prix, whatever planet it happens to be taking place on this cycle.

Excitement is strong stuff!

More details: as reported by Deadline, Marc Platt will produce with Adam Siegel and Colin Trevorrow. Lexi Barti (Creative Executive) will oversee this project for Universal while Katie McNicol (Director of Development) will do the same for Marc Platt Productions (the production company behind La La Land).

That’s really all the news for now! Beyond the tidbit that it’ll be a musical-themed film, but that’s to be expected. Space Opera is in the earliest stages of development, but feel free to head over to Twitter for fancasting fun!

Posted in Blog Posts Comment

Do you live in and/or near Boston? Fantastic! Cat Valente will be in your neighborhood (roughly) TOMORROW at Speculative Boston. Come see her read from Space Opera, and see two other brilliant authors at this event: Elizabeth Bear and Cadwell Turnbull! Since Trident Booksellers and Café is temporarily closed, head on over to the Coolidge Corner Library at 7 PM on Tuesday, April 24.


Now for some Space Opera news: 

Have you wondered what The Big Idea is with Space Opera, anyway? Well, it’s a good thing John Scalzi runs the series of guest posts that lets you find out:

Sometimes you plan a book. Carefully. Meticulously. You hone it, prune it, and shepherd it through the publication progress with all the gentleness you’d give to a particularly shy child.

And sometimes a book comes to you. And the book says: I’m happening. Deal with it. I’m happening right now. Just…hold on to something.

Space Opera, you may not be surprised to learn, was the second kind of book. [Keep reading here.]

Or perhaps you’re more interested in the writing process than the idea behind the book. In that case, you want to read Cat’s guest post over on Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds: “5 Things I Learned Writing Space Opera.”

Did you miss Cat’s AMA on Reddit over the weekend? Not to worry! You can read how it all went down right here.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print this morning – unless you’d be interested in a Twitter thread covering all the species names and proper alien names from Space Opera, along with their translations from the languages of various Eurovision countries. In which case, enjoy!

Posted in News Comment

Outtake from Lumen’s First Reddit Photo Shoot

Look at your calendar. Now back to me: is it Saturday, April 21? Then you’re not too late! (Maybe. I don’t actually know what time in the future you’re reading this.)

Here’s what you need to know: Cat Valente is doing a Reddit AMA on April 21 at 2 PM EST. You can join in by having a Reddit account and watching out for the thread on r/books. Come for the Ask, stay for the Anything: you can ply her for secret details, detailed secrets, behind-the-scenes snippets, and her favorite recipes. Chase your Space Opera high or your Mass Effect Quarian feels!

She’ll see you there.

Posted in News Comment

Good afternoon, all! We come bearing treats, the best and the shiniest that could be found – they’re all polished up and waiting for you, so let’s be brief. Here’s the good stuff:

Subterranean Press now taking pre-orders for The Future is Blue

Cat is excited to share that Subterranean Press is publishing a gorgeous limited edition hardcover of her first major short fiction collection in five years! The Future is Blue comes with a showstopping dust jacket illustration from Galen Dara, and collects 13 stories, including three never before printed! Right now, this is the only place in print you can find “Major Tom,” “Two and Two is Seven,” and her novelette with the evocative title “Flame, Pearl, Mother, Autumn, Virgin, Sword, Kiss, Blood, Heart, and Grave.” This volume also collects her return to Fairyland, “The Beasts Who Fought for Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still.” Pre-order now to ensure your signed and numbered copy. 

Tor.com has an exclusive excerpt of Space Opera available NOW:

Can’t bear to wait another month before trying Cat’s latest novel in all its Eurovision-in-SPAAAACE glory? You don’t have to! Tor.com has shared an exclusive excerpt and you can read the first chapter now-right-now. So stop reading these words and go read those:

“Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery, excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking gentleman by the name of Enrico Fermi was born into a family so overprotective that he felt compelled to invent the atomic bomb. Somewhere in between discovering various heretofore cripplingly socially anxious particles and transuranic elements and digging through plutonium to find the treat at the bottom of the nuclear box, he found the time to consider what would come to be known as the Fermi Paradox.” Keep reading at Tor.com! 

That’s it for today. Enjoy!

Posted in News Comment