Diversicon Schedule!

If you all want to stalk me this weekend. I’m easy to find. I’ll be the big guy in a loud shirt with a white cane.

Michael’s Diversicon 28 Program Schedule

Thursday, July 29:

6:30-7:45 pm DreamHaven Books, 2301 38th St E, Minneapolis
Reading/Autographing/Reception by Diversicon 28 Guest of Honor Michael Merriam and Special Guest Abra Staffin-Wiebe

Except as noted, all subsequent items in Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West

Friday, July 30:

4:00-4:55 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Panel: Writing at Different Lengths
What are the challenges of writing from flash fiction to short story to novelette, novella and novel?
Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Michael Merriam

7:00-7:25 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Opening Ceremonies
Scott Lohman, MC: Michael Merriam, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Eric M. Heideman, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury in absentia.

7:30-8:25 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Guest of Honor, Michael Merriam Interview
interviewed by Scott Lohman

Saturday, July 31:

Noon-12:55 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Panel: Writing While Disabled
What are the unique challenges of writing while disabled? A look at technology, time management, and balancing energy levels when you are disabled and an artist. Will include a small survey of disabled authors working in the field today and some of their works.
Michael Merriam, mod; Eleanor Frisch

2:00-2:55 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Fiction Reading: Our guest of honor, Michael Merriam reads from his work.

5:00-5:25 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Massive Autographing: Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Michael Merriam, et al.

SF Minnesota/Diversison Auction Mainstage (Studio 2)
7:00-7:30 pm Auction items available for inspection
7:30-8:20 pm Bidding: Round One
8:20-8:30 pm Auction Half-Time, incl. Flash Fiction Contest Winner
8:30-9:20 pm Bidding, Round Two
9:30 pm Krushenko’s Annex (Studio 6)

Sunday, August 1

11:00-11:55 am Mainstage (Studio 2)
Panel: The Roaring 20’s (and other decades). Writing in a historical setting. Tips and tricks for researching and writing SF/F in history. What do you keep? How do you decide what history you might change?
Micheal Merriam mod. Abra Staffin-Wiebe

3:00-3:55 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Panel: Disabled People in Fiction-Getting Past the Tropes
Why are so many disable people relegated to the three roles of “Wise Mentor Who Dies in Act II,” “Evil Villain of Evil” and “Sad Thing to be Fixed?” How do we move past these tropes and allow disabled characters to be both disabled and a main protagonist/hero of the story?
Michael Merriam, Mod.

5:00-5:30 pm Mainstage (Studio 2)
Closing Ceremonies: In which our guests get a chance to say their goodbyes. But wait! We still have…
Scott Lohman, MC; Michael Merriam, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Eric M. Heideman; Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov in absentia.

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DreamHaven Reading

Hey Everyone, just a little reminder that I will be reading, along with my dear friend Abra Staffin-Wiebe, at DreamHaven Books on Thursday July 29th. Details here!

And then, I will be Guest of Honor at Diversicon 28 – July 30th – August 1st, 2021 in Minneapolis, MN. Details here!

I really hope to see some of you there!

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A Study in Violet – Available to Buy!

You can get it here from Amazon in both a physical form or as an e-book.

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A Study in Violet

I will have new book coming out soon. Probably later this month. I will get you a buy link as soon as I have one. This is Book 4 in my Sixguns & Sorcery series, though it is actually the first book chronologically. But for now, just look at my lovely cover!

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New Poem Up!

Follow the link to read the angriest thing I’ve ever written.

Bang Bang Apple Pie

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New Story up at All-Worlds Wayfarer!

New story up at All-Worlds Wayfarer, in which I once again show my love of all things public transit.
Now Arriving on Track Four

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Upcoming Steampunk Reading and Discussion

Steampunk Reading and Discussion Logo

I will be part of a virtual steampunk reading and discussion on the 24th at 2:00 pm as part of virtual CONvergence.

CONvergence Online brings CONvergence squee to you—wherever you are! All CONvergence Online events are FREE. Panelists will read from and discuss steampunk.

Catherine Lundoff, publisher of swashbuckling steampunk adventure Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks

Michael Merriam, author of Weird West steampunk novella in the Sixguns & Sorcery universe.

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, author of post-apocalyptic steampunk novel A Circus of Brass and Bone

Tyler Tork, author of newly released steampunk mystery The Deep End.

(Free) Registration Here: https://convergence-con-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sz53PUPiSFulsXmrogwI-Q

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Possibly My Only Public Appearance of the Year

I am a last minute addition to Cream and Amber’s Fall Mini-Market this Saturday from 10am to 2pm at Cream And Amber 1605 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55343! Come out and buy items from local crafters, authors, etc in a safe and socially distanced event. I will be there wearing a mask and selling my books! There will deals and specials just for this event. I am sure Cream and Amber will have coffee and food and of course books inside the store. Check the website for how they are handling book shopping (I think it’s limited numbers in the store at one time)

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2019 Artist’s Year in Review

Since I’m pretty sure last night’s show was last thing happening this year and nothing else will shake loose this late, I think it is okay to do my annual artist year in review post and close the books on 2019.

Of course, I once received 4 rejections on Christmas Eve while sitting in a shitty hotel room, so maybe I shouldn’t tempt the universe. But since I’m not traveling this year and it’s no fun for the universe to kick a guy if he can just go home, hug his cat and his wife, and pour himself a stiff drink, I think I’m pretty safe.

First, the basic stats –

Submissions: 36
Sales: 1 (a piece of flash fiction)
Rejections: 32
Publications: 0
Productions: 0
Performances: 8 (6 Literary readings and 2 spoken-word performances)
New Pieces Written: 12 (1 novel, 1 screenplay, 1 flash fiction piece, 2 spoken word pieces, 7 poems)

On the surface it isn’t one of my best years, but I did complete two large projects with that novel and screenplay, and most of my rejections are for the novel I have out on agent submission. I also did appearances at Twin Cities Book Festival, Midwest Comic Book Association Fall Comic Con 2019, The Loft Word Play Event, GPS Holiday Emporium, and 13 Gears Steampunk Expo, and book and reading events at Bingley’s Teas, Cream and Amber Books and Coffee, and DreamHaven Books and Comics, which were all fun events.

I think the two most important things this year brought were that I joined a new writers group with some really strong and talented writers who I feel I can trust, and for the first time since the car accident in 2017, I felt like I was getting back to normal/settling into the new normal. The writing seemed to going at a solid pace and my public appearances were progressively stronger as the year wore on, culminating with last night’s performance where I felt in command on stage again after over 2 years of feeling shaky at best and disappointed at worst with my readings and spoken-word performances.

So there’s the year in review.

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Tonight! Not-So-Silent Planet Open Mic

This is your reminder that I will be a special guest performer at the Not-So-Silent Planet SpecFic Open mic tonight. This also your reminder that, due to some heating issues at Red Stag, tonight’s Not-So-Silent Planet is moving out to:

Strike Theater
824 18th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

I know it still says Red Stag on the graphics, but trust me, we will be at Strike Theater. FYI – I don’t know if there is food and drink available at the Theater (I think there are vending machines in the building), so plan accordingly.

The evening’s theme is “Celebration!” Open-mic sign-up starts at 7:20 pm. If selected, performers have up to 7 minutes of stage time. Anything goes as long as it’s speculative fiction. First-time performers are guaranteed stage time. For December’s Sentence Challenge, the performer who can most seamlessly or creatively fit the following line into their performance, as determined by the audience, will win a prize: “We couldn’t remember anything.” Or, alternatively: “They couldn’t remember anything.” Like the theme, this challenge is also optional.

I hope to see you there!


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