Tuesday, October 30, 2007

got a book signing on the 10th!

Come on down if you're in the area!


CONTACT: Karina Fabian
Phone: (540) 373-7494
E-mail: karina@fabianspace.com

For Immediate Release

Science Fiction Writers Beam Down to Waldenbooks for Signing

Minot, ND-- Karina and Fabian, editor of the anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God will be signing copies of her book at Waldenbooks at Dakota Square Mall on November 10 from noon to3 pm.

Infinite Space, Infinite God features thought provoking science fiction with a Catholic twist. The 16 stories cover the gamut of science fiction tropes, from realistic near-future settings to far-flung universes that rival Star Wars; time travel, fantastic inventions, dystopias--even alien abduction. Readers will meet genetically engineered chimeras and aliens who wonder what human religion holds for them. They'll also share the doubts, trials and triumphs of humans who find their journeys in time and space are also journeys in faith. With spine-tingling adventure, technological miracles and miracles that transcend technology, Infinite Space, Infinite God has gotten great reviews from critics of all faiths.

Karina edited the anthology with her husband, Robert Fabian. Together, they also wrote two of the stories in the anthology, and Karina wrote a third. The two have been collaborating on stories that incorporate faith in fiction for over a decade, in part because of their Catholic beliefs, but also because of their conviction that humankind will not outgrow its need for faith.

"All too often science fiction sidesteps the issue of faith and religion--any religion. Or it uses religion as a device rather than in integral part of human nature and culture. Yet humankind as a whole has always recognized and venerated something greater than itself. The soul is not something our species can evolve out of," Karina said.

Infinite Space, Infinite God won the 2007 EPPIE award for best electronically-published science fiction, and was published by Twilight Times in August and is available by order from bookstores nationwide or by www.amazon.com or www.twilighttimesbooks.com.

The Fabians’ first anthology, Leaps of Faith, featured Christian SF, was a finalist for the 2003 EPPIE awards, and comes out in print in 2008 from The Writers' Cafe Press. Karina is president of the Catholic Writer’s Guild. Learn more at www.fabianspace.com.

# # #

Full Media Kits, headshots, Book Cover Art and more available upon request both electronically and by post.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Online Conference for Catholic writers coming in May!

Heidi Saxton, Lisa Hendly and the Catholic Writers' Guild have been trying to set up a Catholic writers conference for several months now, but for reasons beyond our control, the live conference is not going to work this year.

So we're going virtual!

The Online Catholic Writers' Conference will be held May 2-9 at www.conference.catholicwritersguild.org. This will be a week-long conference done via forums and live chats and will cover all areas of writing--from characterization to query letter, magazine articles to marketing your books. We're looking for Catholic writers, editors and publishers and those who support quality writing.

How does an on-line conference work? Presenters will have an informational handout posted on the website. (It could be an outline of a lecture or an entire e-book, their choice.) Then they will choose whether to conduct their workshop via forum or live chat or both.

If they choose a forum, they will have a dedicated "space" where they can post messages and receive replies form those taking their workshops. This works very well if they wish to do a class-type workshop. For example, at the MuseOnline Conference this month, several presenters had daily writing exercises. Those who signed up for their workshop got on the forum, read the assignment and did the exercise. Later, the instructor got onto the forum, read the homework posts and commented. Other students commented as well. If you've ever taking an on-line class, you know pretty much how it works.

If the presenter chooses a chat, he will have a scheduled hour in one of the conference chatrooms. A moderator will introduce him, let him make whatever comments he wishes, then directs questions. A transcript is usually made available on the forums afterward for those interested but unable to attend.

Presenters may wish to do both forum and chat.

We hope to have forums for different publishers, and editors where people can simply leave questions-or perhaps present pitches. More on this later.

Finally, there will be "networking" forums: places to put your links, your business info, ask questions, make friends... We'll have one chat room open simply for free chats--the online Lounge.

Those wishing to attend will sign up at the website. Before the conference begins, they will be given a password to enter the forums and chat sites. Form there, they are free to download handouts, attend chats and participate in forums. the only exceptions will be those class-type forums with limited participants--and even then, everyone is welcome to read, just not comment.

The wonderful thing about online conferences is the flexibility. You can attend the conference all day, looking in each forum, attending all the chats, even hanging out in the online "lounge." Or you can hop onto the site for an hour each night and look at only those things that interest you.

Finally, for those who have books or programs to advertise: the Catholic Writers' Guild is setting up a Convention Store. For $10 for the first ad, $5 each subsequent ad up to $25 total, you can post a cover page/illustration, blurb (up to 200 words) and ordering information. This will stay up until the next online convention.

What's this convention going to cost? ZERO! All we're asking for is donations, which will go toward the expenses of the site and toward a live convention next year. Right now, the plan is to alternate live and online conventions.

So set your calendar for May 2-9 and periodically check this blog or www.conference.catholicwritersguild.org for more details. If you'd like to help, contact me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dumbledor's "Gay scandal" is Not

Dumbledore is gay.

Much as it's been in the blogspehere, I'm sure that's no jarring news to anyone now. And like many people who get "news" form the Internet, I of course heard it in a post on Yahoo which had a link leading me to a blog where someone pasted a piece of an AP article and her opinion. And, like so many of us Internet users, I commented on the blog and the post before going to the AP article and reading it for myself. So here are two AP articles, which I figure are as trustworthy as any source:

AP News Article

AP Commentary on how the "Revelation" changes the meaning of Book Seven

OK. Now for my more considered comments:

Sometimes, we don't choose things for our characters. For example, in my trilogy, The Miscria, Joshua is black. No reason, no agenda, no need to introduce "diversity." Joshua was Black, and that's how he came out when I wrote him. By the same token, most of my protagonists are guys--again no agenda, no secret wish to live a man's life. Those are just the characters that tell me their stories. So I'm willing to accept her assertion that she'd "always thought" that Dumbledore was gay. And if that's not the case, she has other issues, and I don't need to support her by blogging about them.

If she really had to have a gay relationship, even in the background, she handled it pretty well. Throughout the books, Dumbledore is a kind, gentle, chaste man. Never was there an indicator that he saw others--adults or children--as sexual objects. Never was the issue of homosexuality even brought up. It's totally invisible unless you have her hint--given months after the book is out.

However, if you look at Dumbledore's life as headmaster as one of a gay person, there's still nothing to object to. Even the Catholic Church has nothing against someone being gay--it's the practice of that relationship that's sin.

Oh, but what about his relationship with Grindelwald? According to the second article, this gives new light to Dumbledore's relationship with his "friend" Grindelwald. OK. Let's look at that. Dumbledore is a depressed teen in a hard, stressful situation. Grindelwald comes on the scene and offers him happiness and love--all the while filling him with ideas of wizard superiority and the use of forbidden magic in order to force his views on the world. Dumbledore is "inflamed" by these ideas--well, weren't the Germans of the 1930s inflamed by the ideas of Hitler? Grindelwald is an evil, charismatic predator.--and Dumbledore a young foolish victim. When Dumbledore finally sees the truth, it's nonetheless difficult for him to break free of Grindelwald's hold on him. When he does, it finally ends in a duel and death.
Yeah. Healthy, loving relationship, even without the questionable sexual influences. Reading about it in this light makes me accepting of the practice.

Finally, I'd like to point out that we are talking about fantasy. I am no more going to turn to a gay lifestyle than I am to the practice of magic--nor am I looking to Rowling for spiritual direction. Rowling laughs about the fanfic that may come out now. This is known as slash and slash has always been written about characters. Slash has been written about James T Kirk--and never was there a more randy obviously heterosexual character written.

Incidentally, JK Rowling is not breaking any new ground with a gay hero. Mercedes Lackey did that years ago with Herald Vanyel (The Last Herald Mage series.) Lackey writes better fantasy than Rowling, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

MuseOnline Writers Conference 07

Sorry this blog has been so empty for a long time. My best friend, the incredible and talented Ann Lewis, is helping me revamp fabianspace. As a result I changed the password, not realizing blogger needed it to upload the blog to my site! I'm such an ignoramous on these things…At any rate, we'll get it sorted out soon.

I just came back from the most incredible writers conference. This conference had an amazing wealth of information, workshops, discussion groups, time with publishers… The best part was I could attend more than one thing at once, plus I was home to take care of the kids and handle any crisis that came along. No, I didn't clone myself: I attended MuseCon 2007--the only on-line conference of its kind.

Lea Schizas (aka the Amazing Mother Hen) organized the event, which had 1900 attendees, over 80 worshops (many with exercises and critique sessions that ran the week), moderated and impromptu chats, at least 15 publishers to ping, plus an agent or two. Writers who were so green they were yellow to well-established authors with hundreds of writing credits mingled, taught and learned. (Yes, even the experienced folks learned something new.) Classes spanned from query letters to characterization to poetry to marketing your works--and if you didn't find a workshop to answer your need, there was always a chat session or the chat forum to ask up.

I went last year as a somewhat experienced writer and yellow-green marketer, and left a marketing monster. This year, I came back to give back what I'd learned and store up more knowledge and ideas for the next year. I'm not sure what kind of monster I've become this year, but I can feel the energy, like the lightening that brought Frankenstein to life.

My workshops were a re-run of Faith in Fiction with Maya Bohnhoff and Colleen Drippe, a workshop on worldbuilding and a virtual book tour workshop. Then, after seeing some of the same questions again and again, I held an impromptu chat workshop on marketing plans. That's the coolest part of this con--if you want to do something like that, all you had to do is announce the time in an empty chat room, pull some files off your computer and go for it! Even better, I got a lot of my material from some of the other workshops! Writers working together: that's what MuseCon is all about.

I was overwhelmed by the number of workshops--too many for a week. I finally selected four: Christine Amsden's worldbuilding (She sent the homework ahead of time! Joy!), Lisa Logan's "Promotion on the Web." Earl Stagg's "Write Tight II" and on a whim Devon Ellington's dialogue workshop. Christine's helped me better develop my DragonEye, PI world; I got a lot of tips and links from Lisa's (and probably gave too much unsolicited advice), and came away from Devon's ready to write a story that had been stuck in my mind for a year now. And Earl's--well, my favorite moment was when he gave us this paragraph to re-write:
Mary had been a lonely girl all her life. Even as a young child in school, she had never had many friends. In third grade, she had desperately wanted to be friends with Rebecca, who was the most popular girl in school, but Rebecca had never paid any attention to her. When she was in sixth grade, she had a very big crush on Todd, but he always ignored her. Remaining a lonely outsider even into high school, she was never able to feel like she belonged. When other girls had sleepovers, she had never been invited to them. While the other girls would talk about dating, she would not join in because she never had any dates. Like the school dance in her sophomore year. She pretended to be sick, which was the reason she gave for not going. Once, when she asked her mother what was wrong with her, her mother simply replied absently-mindedly that there was nothing wrong with her and for her not to worry about it. It was as if she didn’t think it was important. But it was important to her then. Now, at thirty-five and still lonely, it still bothered her.

After a couple of posts, he mentioned that it seemed like it'd be the start of a romance novel, which wasn't really his style. "I need a dead body thrown in." This is what I turned in:
You want a dead body?

Detective Staggs frowned at torn yearbook pages littering the bulletin board. Rebecca Changler, "Wish we'd gotten to know each other," with a red X and LIAR! Todd Ames, elected Sixth Grade Hottie; cupid's arrow got him between the eyes. There were more--nameless faces pasted onto magazine covers of girls' sleepovers and prom shots. Below it all, "See Mom? It DOES Matter!"

"Who's next, Mary," Staggs muttered, "And where are you?"

I'm still laughing.

Lea has hit upon a beauty of an idea for conferences by using the internet. It's inexpensive (She asked for donations, which she richly deserved, but has no fees.). You can have an overload of information yet not miss anything you really want (thanks to the beauty of cut-and-paste.) People from all over the world could attend, in any time zone (thanks to the forum workshops) and even if they had disabilities. You could market your books (subtly, just be talking with folks, including characters in your exercises, and of course your signature line.) The only thing this conference lacks is a good pitch session, but I think ask the con continues to grow, you'll start seeing that, too.

If you are a writer, make a note for January to sign up for MuseOnline Conference 2008. Of all the writers' conferences available, this is the most comprehensive, easy and fun!