My film OtherLife is shooting now in Perth

OtherLife Countdown Clock
I’m thrilled to announce that my film OtherLife has begun shooting in Perth, Australia.
(Read the press release.)

OtherLife is directed by Ben C. Lucas (Wasted on the Young), a fiercely talented director and writer who brings depth and heart and passion to the film. The script is written by me, Gregory Widen (Highlander, Backdraft, The Prophecy), Lucas Howe, and director Ben Lucas. The film stars the fantastic Jessica De Gouw (Dracula, Arrow, and the forthcoming Underground), as well as Thomas Cocquerel (Kidnapping Mr. Heineken) and TJ Power (Eat Pray Love, The Sapphires, Wasted on the Young).

OtherLife is produced in Australia by Ticket to Ride, See Pictures, and WBMC. These fine people brought the film to Australia and put together a stunningly creative crew. You should see some of the photos… and you will! I’ll have a lot to say about the process in coming posts.

A special shoutout to Ben Lucas and producer Jamie Hilton for believing in the script and working so hard to bring it to Australia. Oh my god the stories…

And finally, three important people to thank:

Tommaso Fiacchino of Cherry Road Films (Al Otro Lado) optioned the novel more than 10 years ago. Tommaso gave me the opportunity to write the script revision a year later, after which I became the project’s lead writer. Tommaso and I have worked together since then in a close collaborative producer/writer process.

Marco Mehlitz of Lago Film (A Dangerous Method, Mr. Nobody, Only Lovers Left Alive) joined our Scooby Gang several years ago. His experience and expertise have been invaluable in navigating the wild waters of filmmaking. His belief in the script has kept us all going during the many times when things weren’t going well.

Tommaso and Marco have worked tirelessly on behalf of the script, and have afforded me a level of trust, access, and teamwork that is not always the norm for screenwriters. They are the champions of OtherLife. This film would not exist without them.

And thank you to my beloved Nicola Griffith for being here for every low, high, and what the fuck am I doing? moment.

Solitaire was first optioned more than 10 years ago. I became the lead writer on the script a year later. It took 3,326 days from the morning I began my first pass with the screenplay to the commencement of shooting. It has been, and continues to be, an amazing ride. I’ll have a lot more to see about it over the coming days, but for now I hope you’ll help me celebrate this dream of mine come true.

Guess who’s GoHing to Westercon?

Nicola and I will be Author Guests of Honor at Westercon 66 in Sacramento, CA in July 2013. It’s our first joint gig as GoHs — we’re excited! And we are honored to be honored by one of the oldest conventions in science fiction and fantasy.

For four days, we’ll be talking on panels, doing readings and Q&A, having conversations, and hanging out with SF/F fans. We will do programming as a couple and as individuals, so folks will have the chance to experience us in a variety of ways. There will probably be drinking involved . And dancing! And also some As Yet To Be Determined Cool Things. We’re planning to work hard, have fun, and connect with as many con-goers as we can.

It will be a blast. Go find out more about membership, and come con with us in 2013!

News and reviews

Catching up on word-spreading…

If you’re in the Seattle area, please join me and Nicola on May 8 at a reading of Lambda Literary Award finalists at Elliott Bay Books. Nicola will be MC’ing the event, and we’re looking forward to an evening of great fiction and poetry, and a chance to spend time with readers and writers. It’ll be fun!

It’s been three months since Small Beer Press re-published Solitaire, and I’ve been thrilled by the response. When the book first came out in 2002, blogging wasn’t as widespread as it is now, and bloggers certainly weren’t as influential in building buzz. I adore bloggers. Adore. And I’m most grateful to everyone who has taken time to read the book, think about it, and talk about it online.

Here’s an interview at The Daily Monocle, which I very much enjoyed doing — it includes a question I’ve never been asked before!

Edited to add, in the spirit of completeness: you can also find recent interviews at The Big Idea and Lambda Literary.

Enjoy your day.

Olympia SciFiFest

It all happens in Olympia WA on October 24 at the Olympia Timberland Library.

Nicola and I kick things off at 5:30 with readings and Q&A. Science Fiction Museum curator Jacob McMurray (who designed Nicola’s beautiful memoir) hosts a showing of video interviews with SF authors. Blöödhag plays literary heavy-metal music and then MCs a fashion show.

See those words “All Ages” on this poster? Ignore those words (grin). Of course all are welcome, but it’s billed in the library events calendar as an adult show, and if you’ve read my work or Nicola’s, you know we’re not exactly kittens-and-bunnies (or rocket-ships-and-rayguns) storytellers.

Should be fun. Join us if you can!


Sterling Editing

Nicola and I are jazzed to announce the launch of Sterling Editing — editing, mentoring and coaching services for writers. If you want to make your writing better, we can help you.

It’s a joy to help people with their work. I love to mentor and coach, and the most valuable part of that isn’t explaining theory or technique: it’s working with a writer on a piece of text to make it cleaner, deeper, brighter, more true. Seeing the oh! moment when the writer leaps from a specific suggestion to an understanding of how their work can always be better.

Nicola and I have been helping friends and students this way for more than 20 years: and one day this summer, we looked at each other and said Well, let’s expand our horizons. Let’s help anyone who needs it. And from that — its own kind of oh! moment — came Sterling Editing.

We’re here for everyone from new writers to professionals; we’re here for all genres, for stories, novels, essays, collections, and memoir. It’s all exciting, and it’s all a chance to help writers find their place in writing, or find the path to the next place they want to take their work.

Our marvelous website is created by writer and web designer Karina Meléndez, and on it you’ll find a description of our services, an example of our editing, and an ever-growing list of articles and resources to help writers. We hope you’ll like it.

Good editors don’t just fix text: good editors strengthen writers by giving them skills, understanding, specific examples, and the confidence to keep on trying. That’s what I love. And that’s what Nicola and I plan to do with Sterling Editing.

I’m so excited!

Nicola joins LLF

Nicola has joined the board of the Lambda Literary Foundation. I am hugely proud of her, and I think she will do many Good Things to help LLF grow and prosper.

The Foundation presents the annual Lambda Literary Awards and offers a variety of services and support to quiltbag (LGBT and otherwise queer) writers and readers. They have a committed and enthusiastic board. And I’m especially excited that Nicola has this opportunity to help queer writers grow and prosper and find their place at the literary table — there is no one in my experience who better combines clear-headed pragmatism about the business (and its bullshit) with absolute passion for writing, and the talent to help others make their work better.

My sweetie is made of awesome. I’m glad she’s sharing it with LLF!

“Dangerous Space” is a Nebula finalist

I’m delighted to announce that “Dangerous Space” is a finalist for the Nebula Award.

My thanks to the SFWA members who have supported the story — the approval of other writers is very special to me, and I appreciate it more than I can say. This is my third time as a Nebula finalist, and the thrill never goes away. Congratulations to all the finalists. I’m honored to be in your company.

And my special thanks to Aqueduct Press for publishing the collection and giving me the chance to tell another tale of Mars, of all my characters the one who most compels me.

The Nebula Awards will be presented the weekend of April 24-26 in Los Angeles. I hope that Nicola and I will be there — it would be lovely to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. Speculative fiction writers know how to party (grin).

I invite you to read “Dangerous Space” (in PDF format), and let me know what you think. And thanks to all of you who have let me know in the past that you enjoy my stories: this moment in the spotlight is lovely, but nothing compares to the immense pleasure I get knowing that I’ve told you a story that has touched you.

Preliminarily dangerous

I’m delighted to report that “Dangerous Space” has qualified for the Preliminary Nebula Award Ballot in the novella category. Finalists will be announced in early March, I believe, and the award ceremony takes place in LA in late April.

“Dangerous Space” has qualified because during the 12 months after its publication, at least 10 members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) recommended it for the award. Thank you to those who took the time and trouble to recommend it — I appreciate your support and am glad you liked the story.

I’ll post the final ballot when it’s, you know, final (smile).

If you’re interested in the arcana of it all, here are the rules. And if you’re interested in the story, you can download it right here and read it for yourself. Enjoy.

Humans At Work is open for business

Work is a human thing. Let’s treat each other that way.

I am excited, a little scared, and also feeling very satisfied on a deep level — because after many, many years of thought and more than two years of development, Humans At Work, LLC launches today.

I’ve talked about this before, but here’s a recap:

In my corporate life, I built and led teams, developed and managed process, facilitated meetings of 2 to 250 people, taught effective communication and effective meetings classes, served as a company ombudsperson, and learned everything I could about organizational development and dynamics.

And what I learned boils down to this: managing people is the most important job in business. And it’s the job that no one ever really teaches us to do.

Management is behavior. It’s my experience that bad managers are not evil or insane; mostly, they just have no idea how to be good managers. When we get our first management job, no one sits us down and tells us that the most important thing we can do to be successful is to deal well with the other humans in the building — to communicate clearly, build relationships that help everyone be more effective, share information, collaborate on decisions with the people whose work will be affected, and give people control of how they do their jobs. No one teaches us how to do these things. If we’re lucky as managers, we eventually figure out how to be better… generally at the expense of the people who work for us.

And so we’ve all got a Boss From Hell story (some of us have several). We all know the damage that bad managers do to the people they work with. And it’s not just people — business suffers too, because people who are badly managed become angry and disengaged and unproductive. That’s not good for anyone.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It really doesn’t. So I’m going to change it.

I’ve developed an intensive training program called Humans At WorkSM. It teaches basic human management skills to new managers. I have never seen anything quite like it, and I think it’s solid and… well, it’s good. Not just that it’s put together well, but that it feels like I’m doing some good in the world by putting it out there.

Because here’s what I’m doing — think of it as the 21st century approach. First, I’ve written A Leader’s Manifesto, which describes the core skills of good managers, and gives me the chance to testify about why it matters to people and to business that every manager leads from those skills. The manifesto includes unabashed table-thumping and talk of revolution, very fun to write (and, I hope, to read). I hope the manifesto will spread far and wide around the internet, and that people will feel as passionate about its ideas as I do.

Second, I am making the entire Humans At WorkSM program content available free under a Creative Commons License — because I believe so strongly in these ideas that I want everyone to have access to them, whether they can afford to pay for the program or not. There are nearly 400 pages of lesson plans, teaching notes, tools, materials lists and tips for people to set up the program in their own companies. It costs a lot to have me teach the program — my time and my brain are not cheap to hire — but anyone who is willing to do the work themselves will be able to create their own version of the program (for non-commercial use). And I’m available as a consultant to help people do that at a lesser cost than a turnkey program.

I believe that enough people will respond to the ideas of Humans At WorkSM that there will be more than enough work for me. And if I’m wrong, then the ideas that I care about will still be out in the world helping people. No matter what happens with the business, it’s hard to think of that as failure.

My ambitious goal is that every working person on the planet reads the manifesto, becomes aware of the program, and finds at least one idea that helps them make their own work experience better. If you’d like to help with that, I’d be very grateful indeed — because the only way it happens is if people spread the word. So check out Humans At Work, and if you like what you see, please tell everyone — because everyone can benefit from what’s there.