John Chu

writer, improviser, microprocessor designer, translator, podcast narrator

Read this first

MidAmeriCon II, I’ll be there!

I’m going to be at MidAmeriCon II (aka the 74th WorldCon) in Kansas City from August 17-21 and I will be on programming. Here is what I’m scheduled for:

 Your Character Ate What?

Thursday 17:00 - 18:00, 2504B (Kansas City Convention Center)

A Hollywood-Squares style game that will challenge your memory, your appetite, and your constitution at the same time.

Fran Wilde (M) , Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, Max Gladstone, Esther Friesner, John Chu

 Reading: John Chu

Friday 10:30 - 10:57, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)
(Yes, the reading runs to 10:57 because I have a panel at 11am.)

I’ll be reading… something. It’ll almost surely be something unpublished. Show up! What I read can be a surprise to the both of us.

John Chu

 Privilege of Beauty in Film & Television

Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)

While characters in novels aren’t always

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My schedule for ReaderCon 2016

I’ll be at ReaderCon from July 7th-10th. This year, they’ve moved to Quincy, MA. It should be a fun con. They’ve put me on a bunch of panels, plus I have a reading:

 Thursday July 07

8:00 PM    5    Living in the Future. John Chu, Barbara Krasnoff (moderator), Andrea Phillips, Tom Purdom, Terence Taylor. Today, if we’re going to see another person, we have cellphones to instantly communicate with that person, and maps on the cellphones to help us find our agreed-upon location. Twenty years ago we would have had to phone each other on landlines, pick a restaurant in advance or agree to meet at a landmark known to both of us. Five hundred years ago we wouldn’t have had watches on our persons, so even keeping to the correct time of the appointment would have been difficult–how would we even know when the agreed-upon time of our meeting arrived? Our panelists will discuss some of the

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My Boskone schedule

Because I’m a little behind, I’m just posting my Boskone schedule now. Yes, Boskone starts today. I’m staying at the con hotel, so I should be around even when I don’t have a panel. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Tales from the Silk Road: Nonwestern Speculative Fiction Literature

Friday 18:00 - 18:50, Burroughs (Westin)

From the Silk Road to silkpunk and everything in between, Asian speculative fiction has become an important segment of the market. However, many readers in the U.S. are still fairly unfamiliar with its depth and breadth of literary offerings. What is available? Whom should you be reading? What can we look forward to in the next year?

Alexander Jablokov (M),Ken Liu, Wesley Chu, John Chu, Michael Swanwick

Writing: Dialog

Friday 19:00 - 19:50, Harbor II (Westin)

“No one talks that way!”
“I do.”
“Well, okay, but your characters aren’t all you. How about writing

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Stuff I want people to read

Well, we’re in the heart of the silly season. The Nebula (nominated and voted on by the members of SFWA) closes its nomination phase on February 15th. The Hugos (nominated by the members of, Sasquan, MidAmeriCon II, and WorldCon 75, and voted on by the members of MidAmeriCon II) closes its nomination phase on March 31st. (I guess this means that, this year, the Hugo nominations will not be announced at EasterCon.)

I’m being snarky when I call it the silly season, but I’m being sincere when I point out that the nomination process only works when lots of people nominate the work that they have read and loved. No one person has read the entire field. All of us, however, have read the entire field together in aggregate. The more people who nominate, the more likely that we will get a final ballot that represents what we love.

That said, what follows is a list of works that I’ve read that I

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My Arisia schedule

[It just occurred to me that I’m probably supposed to write a “what writing things happened in 2015” post. The short answer is that my bibliography is up-to-date.]

My schedule at Arisia:

7:00pm Friday in Faneuil

Genre Fiction in Translation

Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, translated by Ken Liu, won the Hugo for Best Novel. Clarkesworld’s recent foray into translating Chinese SF has brought some well deserved attention to the vibrant body of stories in that country. Haikasoru has made a name for itself translating works from Japanese, and Tor.com has recently published SF stories translated from Spanish. What possibilities do we see in translation of other cultures’ SF? How might this change the landscape of the genre?

Crystal Huff (m), John Chu, Morgan Crooks, Ken Liu, Sarah Weintraub

10:00am Saturday in Bullfinch

Constructing Languages

Many SF/F worlds have their own languages

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Finding Your Slot at Moozvine

This is how the pitch goes:

Moozvine is a publishing platform where readers pay what they like for stories on their website. Some stories are immediately released for free. Others have two weeks to hit a pledge target. If the story hits the target, the pledges are collected then the story is release for free to everyone. Writers like Nancy Fulda, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Lawrence Schoen, and Will McIntosh have placed their stories on their website.

Finding Your Slot is original to Moozvine. It has a funding target of $820 and a deadline of November 6th. Since it’s such a hard SF story, I’m weirdly amused that the deadline will hit during World Fantasy Convention.

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if I sat down to write a classic hard SF problem story that actually makes use of my PhD in Computer Engineering, this is the story where you find out. Augmented humans! Failed network

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Readercon schedule

(Actually, the con I went to next after Wiscon was 4th Street Fantasy. Accidentally did my first panel drunk. Accidentally ended up moderating my second panel. Messed up Hug Negotiation by not realizing that someone was asking for permission. Nobody got hugged although I would have consented had I realized. Oops. Lots of fun on balance. Met a lot of great people. Had a lot of terrific conversations. Also, there’s a supermarket right next to the con hotel! Yay!)

Readercon is coming up. My schedule goes like this:

Friday, July 10

12:30pm Reading

I’m going to read my short story “The Law and the Profits.” The story is a little too long to fit in the time slot. Hopefully, by Friday, I’ll have an adaptation that does fit…

7pm The Plausible Normal in Future Societies

Chesya Burke, John Chu, Sarah Langan, Adam Lipkin, Scott Lynch

According to author Charles Stross, “If you’re not doing

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My WisCon schedule

For a bunch of years, I’ve wanted to go to WisCon but didn’t because of schedule conflicts. This weekend, I’m actually going, along with a bunch writers from my Clarion class. It’s been about five years since our Clarion and this WisCon is, as Leah Thomas puts it, our Clareunion.

Also, I’m part of a reading and am on two panels:

Saturday, May 23

Your Title Sucks! 10:30pm-11:45pm, Conference 1

A bunch of us from Clarion 2010 are going read excerpts from our work. I’m probably going to read the first scene from “勢孤取和 (Influence Isolated, Make Peace)”, my story that will be published in Queers Destroy Science Fiction in June.

Sunday, May 24

Towards More Realistic Fictional Diasporas 10:00am-11:15am, Conference 1

Many diasporic cultures in SFF are written shallowly. This is not how diasporas grow and change in our world’s actual history. Some diasporans freeze their moment of leaving

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Life is a Ring of Keys

On Saturday, I saw Fun Home on Broadway and the Encores! concert production of Zorba. They both had amazing casts. I wish they both had amazing texts.

Fun Home is a musical based on the autobiographical comic of the same name by Alison Bechdel, best known for the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For and the Bechdel test. The musical (and I assume the original book) is centered around Alison and her father. As she discovers her own sexuality, she also discovers her father has been leading a closeted second life all along. I may be wrong about this, but Fun Home may be the first Broadway musical with a lesbian leading character.

After raves at the Public, it comes to Broadway with such expectations so high that they are essentially impossible to meet, much less exceed. If the show fails to run, it will be due to the inevitable backlash. And that would be a shame because the show is

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Defying Doomsday

Clearly, I’m still not blogging regularly. I can make all sorts of excuses, but it boils down to me not sitting down and just doing it on a regular basis. So, is blogging regularly something I even want to do? I’m not sure yet. Anyway…

Defying Doomsday is an anthology of apocalyptic survival fiction that edited by Holly Kench and Tsana Dolichva for Twelve Planet Press (who published the Aurealis Award winning YA spec-fic anthology, Kaleidoscope). It will be focused on characters with disabilities, chronic illness and other impairments. And I will have a story in it. It is also in the final days of its Pozible campaign

Normally, this is where I write about why we need this anthology. I’m not a big fan, though, of the idea of some anthology themes need to be justified while others we simply accept. I mean…

I can point out that we are used to reading disabled characters where their

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