Friday, August 25, 2017

Guest Post: Convention-al Inspiration

Another amazing artwork and inspiration for this new anthology, Last Cities of Earth. The Kickstarter is coming into it's final days of pledging. I hope you like what you see and join the fun! Go ahead over to the Kickstarter and pledge now.

Convention-al Inspiration by Cat Rambo

Way back at a Worldcon in Denver one year, my husband discovered the silent auction and reveled perhaps a little overly freely in its joys. Among the pieces we came home with was a lovely piece painted on brushed metal: a lonely floating planet shard, hovering among stars, mounted in a black frame that gave the piece a dignity and sense that you were peering through time and space to a moment, glimpsed out the porthole of an intergalactic cruiser or in a sky lit by apocalyptic clouds. The artist was Jeff Sturgeon.

Since that time, I’ve been happy to find Jeff’s work at many local conventions, particularly Norwescon and Orycon, and I’ve picked up more. They have a serenity and beauty that remind me of moments in space experienced in science fiction, particularly the fabulous space adventures of Andre Norton.

At conventions, I always hit the art shows. While I’m not fond of some of the more from-frou stuff, I often find pieces that spark wonder for me, that I end up bringing home because those landscapes, those images bring me joy, and remind me how wild speculative fiction can be.

And we love those landscapes, whether they’re the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs or Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Heinlein or C.L. Moore, or further out, starscapes, wild vistas that set fire to the imagination. Those vast scopes are part of why we love the genre, whether we encounter them in print or in visual form, or (best of all) a marriage of the two. Prose and paint can work together to create a world worth lingering in, a world in which we can lose ourselves in dreams.

When Jeff approached me about being part of the project, I was aboard in a heartbeat, particularly when I found out that my home turf, Seattle, was available for writing in. My story features the technodruids of Microsoft and a sentient cloud, and unlikely friendships in the shadow of the floating city. In it I’ve tried to capture the wild wonder of his landscape.

There’s a special feeling to being part of a collaborative project of this nature, which grows as more and more collaborators join and spin their stories, bouncing bits and angles off each other. I am breathless with anticipation to see the final result.

Author Bio:
Cat Rambo is primarily a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently the President of SFWA (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and has previously served as its Vice President. She has over 200 original fiction publications under her belt so far, with stories appearing in places such as Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and, and another hundred or so reprints in a variety of languages. She has published three solo collections: Near + Far, Eyes Like Sky, and Coal and Moonlight, as well as a joint collection with Jeff VanderMeer: The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories. In 2016 her first novel, Beasts of Tabat was published by Wordfire and was shortlisted for the Compton Crook Award.
Cat Rambo
Writer. Editor. Teacher.

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