The weekend I spent as a heron in the Dreaming

On Saturday, I went to a blackbox LARP called Before We Wake.

If you ever suspected that someone was directing your dreams, you're absolutely right. That intelligence, known as the Dream Envoy, was who I and the other participants played: the part of your conscious that tries to send you messages through dreams. For a few hours, the Dream Envoys congregated in a collective dream space to design and act out messages for their dreamers. They started in the raw fabric of the Dreaming, weaving new patterns together, producing new impulses, new material; they moved on into the Dreamspace to act out dreams, or discuss and plan them in the Night Café together with other envoys. If it sounds kind of trippy, it's because it was. It was surreal and profound and honest; sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious. 

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Archipelacon: a short-short report

I'm not the master of writing long reports, but Archipelacon deserves something because of its sheer awesomeness. I had the pleasure of being a guest of honor together with George RR Martin, Johanna Sinisalo, Parris McBride and Gary K Wolfe. The con was beautifully organized, set in the ridiculously picturesque town of Mariehamn in Åland. 

Stuff I did:

  • Signed a can of mushrooms 
  • Was told that "It seems that the sound of your voice makes my baby poop. It has pooped every time I've been to one of your program spots"
  • Talked about Nordic Weird with Johanna Sinisalo. We agreed that it's a good label for what we both do (although, as Johanna points out, Finnish Weird is the new New Weird).
  • Recorded a great Fantastisk Podd episode (in Swedish)
  • Talked about various forms storytelling with David Gullen, Mika Loponen and Sari Polvinen, going from the written word through Lone Wolf to transmedial projects
  • Failed to find the peacocks that supposedly roam the streets of Mariehamn and attack cars
  • Learned the many permutations of the word "vittu" and promptly forgot them again

If you're reading this and are wondering who to vote for in the Worldcon 2017 selection, know that Finland has once again proven they know how to put on an amazing show. The organizers were friendly and efficient; everything worked; the atmosphere was cozy and intimate despite the fact that the con had 800 members. Helsinki in 2017 is the only way to go.

Dead words, reanimated

Where Ghost Words Dwell is a new project that gathers discarded bits of fiction and presents them Exquisite Corpse-style to the world. You can read it any way you like, as parts of a gigantic map, or tiny worlds that never were. Rochita Loenen-Ruiz started it all, and twice a week you'll find new posts by authors like Victor Fernando R Ocampo, Joyce Chng, Tade Thompson, Haralambi Markov, Cindy Pon, Vida Cruz and many more. The first one, by a certain awesome French writer, can be found here. The posts are anonymous, but you can sometimes identify the author by clicking on links in the text. I'll save you the trouble this time, because I'm excited about it. Today's post features clippings from my story "Migration", which is published in Jonathan Strahan's Fearsome Magics.


I finally read some good stuff

Haralambi Markov's piece "The Language of Knives" tells the story of a broken family by way of preparing and baking a dead man into a cake. It's beautiful, heartbreaking and feels like a fresh (although painful) breath of air. Having written a couple of making-people-into-food stories myself, I found myself wondering how many stories like that are out there. It's certainly an ancient story concept, either as an offering for the gods, or in order to absorb another person's essence. (a favorite: the Knights Templar were accused of baking little children into bread. They may also have been accused of kissing chicken butts.) What Markov does feels very old and very new at the same time. Go read.