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Feb. 16th, 2014

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No Boskone 51 for Me, Alas

Alas, I will staying home with a sick Squeaker today. But gnomi should be making it to Boskone today with Muffin in tow. Anyone who wanted to say hi to me, please say hi to them.

Jan. 4th, 2012

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Arisia for Us?

Nomi and I haven't managed to attend Arisia since before Muffin and Squeaker came into our lives. We've wanted to, but the logistics seemed rather insurmountable. (We've also mostly missed Boskone and Readercon, although in 2010 we made it to the Sunday of each.)

Arisia is coming up this month, though, and with all the chatter I've been seeing about it, I've become wistful. Nomi and I discussed it, and we're seriously considering trying to attend on the Sunday of the convention. If we day-trip the convention, we'll have to figure out the answers to these questions:

1. Do we take Muffin and Squeaker?
1.a. If not, who takes care of them for the day?
1.b. If so, how do we get them to and from the hotel?

2. If we take Muffin and Squeaker, what costumes should they wear? :-)

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Feb. 17th, 2011

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No Boskone For You

Last year, Nomi and I made the decision to skip Arisia and Boskone. Our decision was based on a few things, including the cost of attending the convention and the hassle of taking care of the kids in a hotel. As it is, we managed to bring the kids to Boskone for Sunday, and that was nice.

This year, we skipped Arisia again, and this time, we're pretty much sure we're missing Boskone completely, for the first time in many years. The factors are still the same: the cost of going, and the need to care for the kids at the same time, just makes attending the conventions too difficult for us right now. In a few years, we're hoping that will change.

So if you'll be at Boskone this weekend, have a good time on our behalf.

Jan. 14th, 2011

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No Drums, No Bugles; No Arisia, No Party

It occurred to me that I have been so busy this week I forgot to let people know that we won't be at Arisia this weekend. Like last year, it would be too much trouble this year trying to go to Arisia with Muffin and Squeaker in tow. (It's even harder this year, as the convention has moved to the Westin Waterfront hotel; a nice space, but an inconvenient location for us.)

Also, although we often use Arisia as an excuse to throw a birthday party for Nomi, we're not doing so this year.

We're sorry we'll be missing out on all the social interaction, but we need the rest.

And did I mention that the eruv is down? Yep, it's down.

Jan. 6th, 2011

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The Obligatory Hugo Post

Now is that time of year when many writers have posted links to their works online, reminding their fans – and hoping that their fans are members of Worldcon – that they are eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award.

I've actually been in this racket a little longer than most. It's a little known fact that I was the first person to suggest to a Worldcon that Hugo-nominated works be posted online. The 1993 Worldcon had provided a CD-ROM of nominated works for sale to its members, but in 1996, when I was nominated for a Hugo for the first time, the Worldcon went one step farther. I contacted the Hugo administrator and told him that I wanted to put my nominated short story, "TeleAbsence," up on my website. I suggested that we get other nominated works up on the web as well, to help the voters track down the nominated stories, and I offered to host works on my own website. As a result, I ended up hosting my own competition, which was fine with me. (And I lost to a story that was hosted elsewhere, anyway.)

Of course, things are a little different today. Many, many more writers are posting their works online, and everyone has a greater opportunity to get their signal lost in the noise. That said, it behooves me to add a signal of my own, so here goes.

If you're planning to nominate in the Hugo Awards this year, as far as I can tell, I'm actually eligible in three categories. Here are the categories and how I'm eligible.

1. Best Short Story: "Hope" by Michael A. Burstein

I'm proud of that short story, which appeared in Destination: Future edited by Z. S. Adani and Eric T. Reynolds and was published by Hadley Rille Books in February 2010. Publishers Weekly called my story "sublimely moving." I'm delighted to announce that Hadley Rille has posted a PDF of the story, along with other stories, at Hadley Rille: Read Stories Online. Or you can click on the story title above and download the PDF directly.

2. Best Fan Writer: Michael A. Burstein

I continue to be eligible for Best Fan Writer not just for my writing here, but also for my writing on Apex Blog and for Argentus, among other places. One of my Apex Blog posts even got picked up by io9, so I must be doing something right. If you want to read some of my Apex Blog posts and even a story of mine, click here for my name on the Apex site. Or you could click here for a tagged list of my personal blog posts pointing toward my Apex Blog posts.

3. Best Related Work: Mabfan's Musings

Yeah, technically, this blog is eligible as a Related Work. I doubt it'll have a chance given all the great related books that were published this year, but I thought I'd mention it.

So there you go. I've tried to do a little more than just promote myself in this post; I've also provided a little fannish history and links to some free fiction and nonfiction. If you're so inclined, please go read and consider my works for nomination.

And, as always, thanks for reading.

Jul. 8th, 2010

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Readercon 21: We Will Be There on Sunday

Quick note to all who might be interested:
Nomi and I will be at Readercon this weekend, but on Sunday only. Our plan is to sit on the sofa in the main corridor most of the day, along with Muffin and Squeaker, so we can see friends and everyone can meet the kids.

Longer note:
Nomi and I had considered attending Readercon for the whole weekend, but decided in the end that the logistics just weren't feasible. This makes Readercon 21 the first Readercon without my being on programming in over a decade.

That said, however, we didn't want to miss the chance to see the many friends of ours who come into town for the convention. So after much pondering, we worked out a plan to attend on Sunday only, with the kids. We'd like to see friends, and give people a chance to meet the kids. This is especially significant, as at last year's Readercon, Nomi was pregnant with the kids, and exactly a week later, they were born. So people who got to see Nomi in her advanced state of pregnancy last year will now get to see how the kids turned out. (Hint: they turned out fine.)

I am sorry I didn't get my act together in time to try to be on programming just on Sunday, but I expect I'll be kept quite busy, and I wouldn't want to leave Nomi alone with the kids just so I could flit away for an hour to pontificate.

Those of you arriving at Readercon tonight, have a great convention, and we'll see you on Sunday.

May. 10th, 2010

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Welcome to Nebula Week! I've Been Interviewed


Michael A. Burstein at the 2007 Nebula Banquet
Michael A. Burstein at the 2007 Nebula Banquet
Photo copyright ©2007 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.



This upcoming weekend SFWA hosts the annual Nebula Awards, which are taking place this year in Florida. Sad to say, even though I'm a nominee this year I can't attend. What with the kids factored into the equation, along with all my other responsibilities, attending the Nebulas just wasn't in the cards for me.

But that's not to say that I still can't celebrate being a nominee this week, even as I anticipating not winning the award itself. I've got some interesting stuff in store for people this week all tied into the Nebula Awards.

Here's the first one: John Ottinger interviewed me for the official site of The Nebula Awards. I've been interviewed a few times before, but I have to say that John asked some very good questions, most of them very different from the sort of questions I'd been asked before. I think the interview will give readers a fresh window into the way I approach my work, so even if you've read an interview with me before, you might find something new to read here:

Michael A. Burstein 2010 Interview

Go read, and let me know if you come back thinking, "I didn't know that about Michael."

Feb. 15th, 2010

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Short Boskone 47 Report

Yesterday, gnomi and I spent the day at Boskone with Muffin and Squeaker. Thanks to fynixsoul, who agreed to sit with us in the Con Suite all day and help watch the kids, and tigerbright, who gave a lift to the hotel and back, things were a lot easier than they might have been otherwise.

For one thing, we actually got to enjoy being at Boskone. We felt sad when we had to miss Arisia, and even though it would have been nice to spend the whole weekend at Boskone, we knew that would be difficult this year for the obvious reasons.

Normally at a convention, Nomi and I take in programming, the dealers room, the art show – anything we can. This time around, all we did was sit in the Con Suite (which was conveniently in the concourse) so people could swing by and meet the kids. We even got an announcement in the con newsletter, letting people know where we were. The kids were troopers during the day; although the mass of people confused them, in the end, they retreated into naps. (Squeaker napped longer than Muffin.) And even though Boskone doesn't encourage hall costumes, we figure it wouldn't hurt to dress them in their NASA astronaut jumpsuits. (For those of you who missed it, don't worry, as Purim is approaching.)

I did leave Nomi alone with friends at 2 pm to do my own panel, "Sequels I Want to Read," with Tom Easton and Paul DiFilippo. It was a lot of fun, and I think the small audience got something out of it. We went a little meta, discussing the concept of sequel and series and writing in one universe as well as the idea of wanting to read sequels that haven't been written.

Below is a list of people we saw at the con, and some commentary. I'll come back and add names as they come to mind, and remind me if we saw you!

People we saw:
Bob Eggleton & Marianne Plumridge
Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin (authors of the novel "The Unincorporated Man," making them Campbell-eligible this year)
Patty Cryan and Frank Raymond Michaels
Bill and Carol Aronoff, Samuel Aronoff, Matthew Aronoff, and Aronoff hangers-on
Zev Sero
Yossi Charpak
Muriel Kanter
Mark & Priscilla Olson
Tony & Suford Lewis
Alice Lewis
Laurie Mann
Jeff Hecht
Jennifer Pelland
Sarah Beth Durst
Bob Leigh & Mabel Liang
Ian Osmond & Lis Riba
Michael Devney
Bob Devney
Lawrence M. Schoen
Miriam DeMarco
Leah Cypess
Navah Wolfe
Darcy Devney & Bob Kuhn
Sheila Perry
Deb Geisler
Claire Anderson
Connie Hirsch
Adina Adler
Meryl Gross
Ellen Brody
Beth Bernobich
Badger
Sarah Smith
Kris Burger
Christopher Davis
Chaiya & Steve Huff

Feb. 8th, 2010

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Going to Boskone!

Excellent news! Thanks to the assistance of a former student of mine who has agreed to help us out, Nomi and I will be showing up at Boskone this Sunday at around 11 am and will be bringing the girls, so people can meet them. Our plan is basically just to plop down in the Con Suite or some hallway so folks can come by and see us (since carrying two fifteen-pound babies around will tire us out easily).

I know it's not really attending the con a lot, but this way we do get to see people.

Three notes:

1. If you think you'll want to make sure to see us, be in touch with me and and I'll email you my cell number.

2. As it so happens, I'll be doing one panel item at 2 pm, "Sequels I Want to Read."

3. I still have copies of I Remember the Future that I can sell on consignment from the publisher and personally autograph. However, given everything that we have to carry to the convention for the kids, I can't just drag a box of books along as well. If you know you'll be at Boskone and want a personally signed copy of the book, let me know in advance and I'll bring one. As usual, hardcovers are $35, trade paperbacks $22, and you can give me a check made out to Apex Publications.

Jan. 15th, 2010

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Busy Weekend in Boston

There's certainly a lot going on in the Boston area this weekend. As I noted before, Nomi and I would have gone to Arisia this weekend had it not been for the logistics of dealing with the new little ones. We're slightly wistful about missing the convention, but in all honesty, we wouldn't have it any other way.

One thing I wish I could get to this weekend, though, is the ALA Midwinter conference. I attended ALA Midwinter the last time it was in Boston in my role as a Trustee of the Public Library of Brookline. ALA draws a lot of publishers giving away books and selling many more at discounted prices, plus the chance to meet various authors. Again, it's something I would love to attend, but I'm not about to leave Nomi home alone to take care of the kids all day. And, anyway, last time ALA was at the Hynes, which is easier for me to get to. This time around it's at the BCEC, a little harder.

A third thing going on in the area this weekend is the Mystery Hunt. This isn't something I've ever participated in before, nor do I plan to in the future, so I don't mind missing it. However, I do have friends active in Mystery Hunt whom it would be nice to see, and given how busy they all are, it's unlikely I'll have a chance to see any of them.

Say la vee.

A reminder to all: Nomi and I will be celebrating her birthday at our place on Saturday night, if you want to stop by and say hello. And we will be around (but at home) the rest of the weekend if you're so inclined; just get in touch in advance.

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