Working on Boskone: Boston’s Longest Running Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention

The Underwords blog has been a bit quiet lately because I’ve been pouring my time into launching Geek Theater (released Nov 2014) and building the program for Boskone 52 (Feb 13-15, 2015). There are several conventions that take place in the Boston area, but Boskone is by far my favorite … which is why I volunteer my time to help plan and run the convention. It’s a terrific convention for people who love SF & Fantasy books, but we always include other genres like horror, young adult fiction, mystery, and noir as well as comics, games, anime, music …. and lots of real science!

Boskone 52 Image

Boskone is a great example of how a classic science fiction convention can be modernized while simultaneously maintaining the comfortable, relaxed, and safe atmosphere that is so wonderfully conducive for meeting new people and getting together with old friends. Plus, did I mention all of the amazing writers, artists, publishers, musicians, and scientists who will be there? Here’s the list of program participants.

We have a lot of new program participants this year. So, we have begun running a new series called the Boskone Mini Interviews, which provides a nice introduction to many of our program participants who share fun little tidbits about themselves, what they’re working on now, what inspires them, and what they are looking forward to at Boskone. I hope you enjoy the Mini Interviews whether or not you are able to come to Boskone because these are definitely people you want to get to know.

Here’s the list of Mini Interviews that have already been published…and more are coming!

If you’re interested in attending Boskone, the pre-registration rates are: $50 Adults; $35 College Students; $25 K-12 Students. For more information, people can visit Boskone’s website, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @BoskoneNews.

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The Geek Theater eBook is Now Available!

For those of you looking to purchase a digital copy of  Geek Theater, it is now available as an eBook on Amazon and Smashwords. You will also be able to purchase the eBook at Barnes and Noble as well as other retailers in the next few days.

In the meantime, here are the sites where the Geek Theater eBook is currently available:GeekTheater-Kindle

  • Amazon, file format:
    • .mobi (Kindle)
  • Smashwords, file formats:
    • .epub
    • .mobi
    • .pd
    • .lrf
    • .pdf
    • .html


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Happy Book Day to Geek Theater!

We are thrilled to announce that Geek Theater is now available. Happy Book Day to all of our authors who have a play included in this exciting and unique anthology. Geek Theater, edited by Jen Gunnels and Erin Underwood, is a labor of love that we are extremely proud to make available online and in stores near you.

Geek Theater is available in many places including:

Geek Theater showcases 15 science fiction and fantasy stage plays by some of today’s top authors and award-winning playwrights and is the first anthology that truly delves into the world of speculative fiction theater. Until recently, modern science fiction and fantasy stage plays have largely gone unnoticed despite the proliferation of plays and performances by theater companies around the world. These plays are an important part of the science fiction and fantasy canon as they represent a unique intersection of authors and playwrights producing work at a time when these genres are flourishing.

Table of Contents:

Short Length Plays
Mission to Mars by Jeanne Beckwith
For the Living by Chie-Hoon Lee
Rapunzel’s Haircut by Cecil Castelucci
Promise of Space by James Patrick Kelly

Consider the Services of the Departed by F. Brett Cox

Medium Length Plays
Zombies of Montrose by James Morrow
Clockwork Comrade by Carlos Hernandez
The Long and the Short of Long Term Memory by Cecil Castelucci
Geek! by Crystal Skillman
Faustfeathers by John Kessel

Full Length Plays
Thunderbird at the Next World Theatre by Andrea Hairston
Universal Robots by Mac Rogers
DEINDE by August Schulenburg
Hearts Like Fists by Adam Szymkowicz
Dog Act by Liz Duffy Adams

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Pre-Order Geek Theater Now!

Geek Theater is Coming on November 4, 2014! But why wait to purchase your copy. You can pre-order a copy of Geek Theater now and receive it on November 4th.

Pre-Order Geek Theater Now!

The first of its kind, Geek Theater is a groundbreaking anthology of 15 science fiction and fantasy stage plays, edited by Jen Gunnels and Erin Underwood. Each play challenges what you think you know about science fiction and fantasy theater by doing what SF/F does best…but now you can see it on the stage.

“Dim the lights, raise the curtain, and be transported to worlds strange and wondrous, times far and near, with tales thoughtful and thrilling — and then give this book the standing ovation it deserves.” — Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of FlashForward

Geek Theater showcases 15 science fiction and fantasy stage plays by some of today’s top authors and award-winning playwrights and is the first anthology that truly delves into the world of speculative fiction theater. Until recently, modern science fiction and fantasy stage plays have largely gone unnoticed despite the proliferation of plays and performances by theater companies around the world. These plays are an important part of the science fiction and fantasy cannon as they represent a unique intersection of authors and playwrights producing work at a time when these genres are flourishing.

Featuring plays by Liz Duffy Adams, Jeanne Beckwith, Cecil Castelucci, F. Brett Cox, Andrea Hairston, Carlos Hernandez, James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel, Chie-Hoon Lee, James Morrow, Mac Rogers, August Schulenburg, Crystal Skillman, and Adam Szymkowicz.

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Get the First Volume of Futuredaze on Kindle for $2.99

FuturedazeFor a limited time, Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction, the first book in the Futuredaze series by Underwords Press, is available for only $2.99 on Kindle. Or if you have purchased a print edition of Futuredaze from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version of Futuredaze for only $0.99.

Don’t miss your chance to pick up a Kindle copy of Futuredaze for yourself or buy it for a friend.

And when you’re done, leave a review and let us know what you think.

Happy Reading!!!

About the Book:

Futuredaze: An Anthology of YA Science Fiction includes 33 original short stories and poems that spark the imagination, twist the heart, and make us yearn for the possibilities of a world yet to come. Futuredaze includes pieces by Jack McDevitt, Nancy Holder, Gregory Frost, Lavie Tidhar, Sandra McDonald, Brittany Warman, Stephen Covey, E. Kristin Anderson, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Jenny Blackford, and many more!

Reflecting many of the ideals first set forth by science fiction icons such as Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury, Futuredaze challenges the imagination with young adult fiction that includes far-flung futures, dystopian alternate worlds, life among the stars, and a host of startling stories that embrace the idea of “What if?” that has driven the science fiction genre forward for more then a century. Now, it’s time to give voice to the next generation of science fiction readers and to those of us still young at heart.

Table of Contents:

FICTION (alpha order):
“Over It” by Camille Alexa
“Driven Out” by Steve Alguire
“The Stars Beneath Our Feet” by Stephen D. Covey & Sandra McDonald
“String Theory” by Danika Dinsmore
“Larvae” by Gregory Frost
“Clockwork Airlock” by Nancy Holder
“Another Prison” by Rahul Kanakia
“Prospect of a World I Dream” by Alex J. Kane
“Not With You, But With You” by Miri Kim
“Your Own Way Back” by Richard Larson
“Out of the Silent Sea” by Dale Lucas
“Unwritten in Green” by Alex Dally MacFarlane
“A Voice in the Night” by Jack McDevitt
“The End of Callie V” by Jennifer Moore
“Me and My Army of Me” by Katrina Nicholson
“Spirk Station” by Chuck Rothman
“The Cleansing” by Mark Smith-Briggs
“Powerless” by Leah Thomas
“Hollywood Forever” by Llinos Cathryn Thomas
“The Myriad Dangers” by Lavie Tidhar
“The Fall of Stile City” by William John Watkins

POETRY (alpha order):
“The Ghost Hunter” by E. Kristin Anderson
“Learning How to be a Cat” by Jenny Blackford
“The Alien” by Cathy Bryant
“Ghost Walkers” by Sandi Cayless
“Speech Lessons” by Alicia A. Cole
“King and Queen” by John Grey
“Why” by Evelyn Lumish
“Things to Consider When Choosing a Name for the Ship You Won in a Poker Game Last Night” by Iriving
“Pennies” by Iriving
“The Blue Hour” by Brittany Warman
“The Teenage Years of Ed Nimbus” by Neil Weston
“Market Day” by Anna Della Zazzera

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Join the YA Scavenger Hunt to win TONs of Amazing Books!

scavenger huntUnderwords Press is participating in the YA Scavenger Hunt this fall, which means we’re also giving away a copy of Futurdaze 2: Reprise.

In addition to your chance to win a copy of Futuredaze 2: Reprise, there are dozens of other authors participating on 6 different teams. That adds up to a lot of books for you to win! It’s an amazing opportunity to discover new authors, to win tons of books, and to get access to special content from each of the authors.

Visit the Underwords Press Scavenger Hunt page to join the HUNT! Hurry. It ends on October 5, 2014!

Good Luck!


Join the YA Scavenger Hunt!


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Thought of the Day: Friendship

Thought of the DaySometimes
the most difficult friendships
are the most rewarding
because they help you
to become a better person.

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Futuredaze 2: High School Library Giveaway x 10

Underwords Press is giving away Futuredaze 2: Reprise to 10 different high school libraries anywhere in the U.S.

FD2RepriseWhen I was a teenager, my high school library was a refuge, filled with books that contained doorways to thousands of worlds. However, with all of the budget cuts that schools have suffered lately, their libraries are now struggling to make ends meet. So, in honor of the mysterious high school librarian at my former high school (Kelseyville High School), Underwords Press is holding a contest to give away a copy of Futuredaze 2: Reprise to 10 high school libraries within the U.S. The instructions for entering the contest are written below. The contest is open until Saturday, September 20, 2014 at midnight in Hawaii.

Futuredaze 2: Reprise: Fifteen of the best and most brilliant young adult science fiction stories, written by the hottest SF and YA authors, are gathered for the first time in one anthology. Wild-west steampunk, true love with the alien next door, a confab with Mr. Darcy’s avatar, musical fluted girls, and Dorothy in alt-China—this is not your mom and dad’s science fiction. Grab a friend and go for launch to worlds of wonder that reveal who we are and what we want to become through our decisions, relationships, and the chances we take on our futures—across all universes!

Includes Stories by:
Paolo Bacigalupi * Libba Bray * Cassandra Clare * Neil Gaiman
Kat Howard * Hugh Howey * N. K. Jemisin * James Patrick Kelly
Ken Liu * Malinda Lo * Beth Revis * Will Shetterly
Scott Westerfeld * Connie Willis * Jane Yolen

Futuredaze 2: Reprise, edited by Erin Underwood and Nancy Holder

TO ENTER: Enter for your high school library’s chance to win a copy of Futuredaze 2: Reprise by posting your high school’s name and city in the comments area below by midnight on Saturday, September 20th. One entry per person.

MAKE YOUR ENTRY COUNT TWICE: **You can get a double entry by posting the link for this contest on your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, or somewhere else. Be sure to mention in your contest entry  below that you “boosted the signal” to have your entry counts as two entries – doubling your chances to win.**

RULES: The contest is open to all high school libraries located within the United States. Each person is only allowed to enter once, but a high school’s name may be submitted by multiple people. The 10 winning schools will be randomly chosen from all entries received. The person who entered on behalf of the school will be contacted via email for mailing instructions. To enter, you must be at least 14 years old. If you are under 18, please get your parent’s permission to enter.


“Thoughtfully organized to maximize enjoyment, this sci-fi collection introduces YA readers to exciting subgenres and authors.” —Carolyn Bailey, Foreword Reviews, Fall 2014
“Drawing on a diverse selection of the short science fiction of the last 30 years, the authors have created a solid work through which younger readers can explore the world of SF.” —James Davis Nicoll, RT Book Reviews
Posted in Contest, Futuredaze, Uncategorized, Young Adult Literature | 2 Comments

“For YA,” a Response to Slate’s Article “Against YA”

The 1980s were my teen years, and I read like a voracious book maniac. However, there wasn’t much of a YA category at that time so I was left with going to the adult shelves or to the children’s section in the bookstore. That’s it. It was embarrassing to read “children’s” fiction back then (almost as embarrassing as revealing my love of science fiction and fantasy), and I often had to hide the fact that I was reading “adult” books. This frustrated me to no end.

Since then, a robust selection of young adult SF/F literature has been written by a  talented group of authors, most of whom would have been shelved in the adult section 20 years earlier. The exciting thing about young adult (YA) literature is that it can do what no other category can can easily accomplish. It brings together children, teens, and adults into a shared reading experience.  When you think about how arbitrary these categories are and how easily publishers shift titles from adult to YA to middle grade and back to adult, you realize that good fiction is good fiction despite the age category, and we all get something out of it…and that something should not be embarrassment.

Just ReadWhy should anyone feel embarrassed by reading a good book? I realize that the term “good” is fairly subjective. So, let me define “good” as being a book you enjoy or a book that gets you to pick it up, sit down, and READ. Reading is a mentally active pasttime that engages the reader’s intellect, it stimulates emotion, it generates empathy, and it builds the imagination…not to mention it keeps a person’s vocabulary, reading skills, and writing skills fresh. I don’t see anything embarrassing there.

So, I get annoyed when I read an article like Slate’s “Against YA,” which claims that adults should be embarrassed to read YA fiction and that they should stop reading it. Yeah, I get REALLY annoyed. Statements like this are the statements of bullies who shame others into acting in a manner they think is more appropriate. “Adults should be embarrassed to read YA fiction.” This roughly translates to “there is something wrong with an adult who reads YA because they would otherwise be reading adult fiction.”

Even worse, this ridiculous shaming of adults who read YA establishes the presumption that young adult books are not on the same literary level as adult books. It also ignores the fact that publishers and bookstores use the YA category as a marketing tool to reach readers, not as a litmus test for the quality of the writing, concepts, language, and issues that comprise the book.

As a reader, I am offended by anyone shaming another person for his or her reading choices. As a small press publisher of young adult science fiction, I am equally offended that Slate would publish an article that shames adults for reading books they enjoy. Humans are complex creatures. We do not fit in a finite literary box or category. Our reading lists are diverse and varied. They challenge us, and that challenge comes from the content within the book not the bookshelf title.

If adults become embarrassed of reading YA fiction, the next group to be embarrassed of it are the young adults themselves because they are too smart to hold themselves to a separate standard. Sadly, the author of Slate’s “Against YA” article is so busy shaming adults, that she never once thinks about the affect of her words on young adults. Teens are smart.

Ultimately, both teens and adults deserve a lot more credit than this article affords them. While the author of “Against YA” acknowledges that some YA fiction is well-written, her argument that adults should be embarrassed to read YA fiction only succeeds in rebuilding old walls that divided categories, genres, and readers. I say, stop the shaming and start the reading. Pick up a good book and read. Just Read.

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Guest Post and Futuredaze 2: Reprise Giveaway at Reading Teen

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Futuredaze 2: Reprise, Reading Teen is giving away two copies. So, this is your chance, but remember … you have to enter to win. Here’s the link to my guest post and to the contest:

Futuredaze is Featured at Reading Teen! -- Plus a contest!

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