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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 7, Issue 9 (July 2015)

In this issue:

 

PRICE INCREASE
On July 8, 2015, the Sirens registration price increases from $195 to $205. Register now and save! Sirens registrations include access to everything that happens at Sirens between 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 8, and noon on Sunday, October 11: all guest of honor keynotes, all programming, all events, and a conference t-shirt. Tickets for the Sirens Shuttle, Sirens Supper, and Sirens Studio won’t increase in price, but remaining spots are limited. Registration closes September 12; after that, you must register at the door.

 

PRESENTER REGISTRATION
July 7 is the deadline for presenters to be registered for Sirens. If you’re a presenter and need an extra day or two to register and pay, please be sure to coordinate with (programming at sirensconference.org) so that your accepted presentation is not dropped from the schedule.

 

SCHOLARSHIPS
All recipients of scholarships (and those who didn’t receive a scholarship this year) have been sent an email about how to claim their registrations and shuttle tickets. Thank you to everyone who applied!

And thank you again to everyone who donated to support our scholarship program! In the end, we were able to provide nine scholarships.

 

PROGRAMMING SPONSORSHIPS
As we finalize details, verify presenters, and tidy up descriptions, we’ll be posting presentations offered up by Sirens attendees on the accepted programming page. If you see one you love, we hope you’ll consider sponsoring the presentation, whether anonymously, under your name, or on behalf of a group! Programming sponsorships cost only $35, and the proceeds go to covering Sirens’s expenses. (You can sponsor a presentation by clicking the link that says “Sponsor Programming” on that page.) We appreciate your donations, and if you sponsor a presentation by August 21, we’ll be able to list your donation not just on the website, but in the printed program book that all Sirens attendees receive.

A schedule for the conference weekend will be posted soon; please keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook for an announcement.

 

BOOKS AND BREAKFAST
Books and Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 9, and Saturday, October 10. For those of you who are new to Sirens, each year we select unusual, controversial, and popular books within our theme, and invite you to bring your own breakfast and join us for informal chats about books before programming begins in the morning.

It’s perfectly okay to join in Books and Breakfast if you haven’t read any of the books, but if you’d like to come prepared (and it’s a lot more fun if you come having read at least one book each day), here are the 2015 selections. Ready? Start reading!

Friday, October 9
Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore
The Book of Phoenix, Nnedi Okorafor
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
Fire Logic, Laurie J. Marks
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
2015BooksandBreakfast-Friday
 
Saturday, October 10
Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley
The Young Elites, Marie Lu
2015BooksandBreakfast-Saturday

 

TRAVELING TO SIRENS
If you’re flying to Sirens, you’ll likely arrive at Denver International Airport. Denver International is a hub for air travel and most major airlines will take you there.

Ground transportation in Denver is expensive, but Sirens offers the Sirens Shuttle so that you can ride to and from Denver International Airport with other attendees for much less than it costs to travel alone! We’ll pick you up and return you to the airport for $60. We have Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday arrival options, and a Sunday departure; please make sure to check the Sirens Shuttle schedule before booking your flights. You can add tickets for yourself or friends on a new registration or to an existing registration.

It’s also time to make your reservations at the Inverness Hotel. The Inverness rate for standard rooms for Sirens attendees, regardless of occupancy, is $129 beginning the night of October 4, 2015, and ending the night of October 13, 2015. If you’re sharing, you might be especially pleased to know that there are cozy nooks on each floor that might make excellent places to hang out if your sleeping patterns don’t match those of your roommate(s).

Please note that, like most conferences, Sirens commits to filling a certain number of guest rooms at the Inverness in order to hold the event at the hotel. By staying at the Inverness, you’ll not only ensure that you’re part of Sirens around the clock, you’ll help us cover the costs of presenting Sirens as well!

1bed 2beds nook

 

AMY’S BOOK CLUB

RedQueen

Come read with us! Sirens co-founder Amy leads the Sirens Book Club each month. July’s book is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Join the discussion here on Goodreads.

 

JUNE BOOK RELEASES AND INTERESTING LINKS
We’ll be sending these your way later this month. Keep an eye on our Twitter or Facebook for the good—and interesting—news.


Questions? Concerns? Please email general queries to (help at sirensconference.org) and questions about programming to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Travel Edition (October 2014)

In this issue:

 

CHECK-IN AT SIRENS
Our Registration Desk will open at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 16. We’ll be located in the Baker room in the conference center at Skamania Lodge. To pick up your registration, please bring photo identification and a copy of your registration confirmation.

The official check-in time at Skamania Lodge is 4:00 p.m. If you arrive earlier and you wish to store your luggage, please talk to the hotel’s front desk.

The Narrate Conferences bookstore will be located in Baker. In the Rainier room, afternoon tea will be available beginning at 3:00 p.m. and evening appetizers at 5:00, and we’ll also host fantasy games, meet-ups, and space to chat.

If you’re arriving early and would like to meet others for lunch, please stop by the Cascade Dining Room at noon on Thursday, October 16. If you’d like to meet others for dinner, either in Skamania Lodge or in nearby Stevenson, please stop by Rainier at 5:00 p.m. on October 16. Even if you aren’t looking for company, if you’d like recommendations on places to eat, we’re happy to oblige.

If you’re attending the Sirens Supper on Wednesday, October 15, you should have received information via email; if you did not, please write to (help at sirensconference.org).

 

CONTACTING US DURING SIRENS
Many of our staff will be traveling to Stevenson as early as Friday, October 10, to prepare for Sirens. While we are in transit and when we’re on site unpacking and setting things up for the conference, we will not be able to monitor our emails as closely as we do at other times. If you have an urgent inquiry during this time, please send it to (help at sirensconference.org) and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

During the conference, the best way to contact us is in person! If you have any questions or would simply like to chat, please stop by our information desk in Skamania Lodge’s Baker room starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 16.

 

SIRENS SHUTTLE MEET-UPS
Does your flight arrive early on Wednesday or Thursday, or are you driving to Portland International Airport (PDX) and meeting the shuttle there? There will be meet-ups for attendees at PDX on Wednesday, October 15, and Thursday, October 16, for anyone arriving early who’d like to connect with other attendees. Once you have claimed your bags, please feel free to join us as we gather for a little conversation and perhaps a bite to eat before it’s time to board the Sirens Shuttle. There is no host for these meetups, and lunch is on your own.

Location: Beaches Restaurant and Bar, outside the security checkpoint for Concourses D and E at Portland International Airport
Time: Noon and later

Sirens Shuttle check-in point, both Wednesday and Thursday:
Seating area near Baggage Claim 2/Southwest Airlines baggage assistance desk/TriMet MAX light rail exit from the airport
Time: Please gather by 3:00 p.m. to ride the Sirens Shuttle.

 

REGISTERING AT SIRENS
We have very few on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Thursday, October 16, when the information desk opens at 3:00 p.m. If you have been thinking about coming and don’t yet have a registration, you might check the message boards; there may be a few for sale by people who can’t make it this year.

 

VOLUNTEERING DURING SIRENS
We still have many openings for volunteers, and we’d love to have your help! The shifts are usually no more than an hour or two long. We’re always in need of room monitors, who typically stay in the room during presentations, help the presenters get situated, and keep things running on time.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please take a look at the schedule on our Volunteer page and email us at (volunteers2014 at sirensconference.org) with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!

 

BOOKSTORE
Thank you to everyone who has donated books! We really appreciate your support for our mission, and we hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to browse and maybe find a new (or new-to-you) book to add to your collection. We will also continue to accept donations on site; if you have a moment, please contact Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) with what you plan to donate. If you’re planning to shop, we’ll have books by the guests of honor, from the Books and Breakfast list, and by attending authors, as well as a selection of other really good reads.

 

AUCTION
Do you have an item to donate for this year’s auction? Please let us know by the end of the day on Thursday, October 16. All sorts of items are welcome! If you’d like to donate an item or you have questions, please email Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Thank you in advance for your support!

 

TRAVEL TIPS
Packing and Weather
October in the Pacific Northwest generally ranges from the upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 7–17 Celsius), and there is always a chance of rain. Be sure to pack comfortable, casual layers to make the transition between indoors and outdoors—and the temperature that you prefer in your room and the temperature of the conference space—more comfortable. Sturdy closed-toe walking shoes are recommended, as is a raincoat or umbrella. For more packing tips, please check out the Travel page of our website.

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website.

Where to Eat in Stevenson
Skamania Lodge has two restaurants on site, both featuring locally sourced regional cuisine. River Rock, the bar and restaurant next to the lobby, is the more informal of the two and typically has slightly lower prices. The Cascade Dining Room, which is farther down the hallway past River Rock, is more formal and has fantastic views of the Columbia River. On Sunday mornings, the Cascade Dining Room hosts a champagne brunch, which might make a nice splurge if you’re leaving late; be sure to make reservations in advance. The hotel gift shop has snacks and grab-and-go items. The lobby offers free tea, coffee, and cocoa in the mornings. Room service is available from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. The hotel will also offer grab-and-go options like juice and pastries in the Conference Center Lobby if you need a breakfast to bring to Books and Breakfast.

If you’d prefer to have a meal outside the hotel, the official Stevenson website offers a listing of area restaurants on their Dining page, and you can check the last pages of your program book for our list of nearby eateries. Please note that the hotel does not provide shuttle service to Stevenson.

 

TWITTER SCHEDULE
Beginning on Thursday, October 15, we will be posting the conference schedule on our Twitter. If you prefer not to receive these reminders, you may want to mute or unfollow @sirens_con until Monday, October 20. (The schedule will not be posted on Facebook, though a few highlights might be.)


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 7 (June 2014)

In this issue:

 

PROGRAMMING DECISIONS COMING
Notices regarding proposals will be sent to you by June 9, 2014 (and you should expect them close to that date, rather than sooner). Please note, however, that if we’re still tracking down your co-presenters, a decision may be delayed. Thank you in advance for making sure that all proposal collaborators have checked in. Tip: Be sure to check under less-used tabs if you use Gmail.

 

GET A ROOM!
Over the past year or so, hotel occupancy rates and meetings have picked up significantly. There is more demand than available space. That can affect smaller events, like Sirens. We recommend that you reserve your room at Skamania Lodge this summer—and that you don’t plan for there to be a spare upon your arrival at the conference, especially given the resort policies. See more information and discounted rates on our hotel page. Also, if you’re looking for roommates, others are (already!) looking too. Contact others or post an ad on our message boards.

 

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL
If you’re wondering about air travel from your location to Portland International Airport (PDX), you might sneak a peek at FlightAware Insight. Plug in your departure and arrival airports, and you’ll get back a list of popular routes, passenger loads, and typical prices, so you can figure out if you’re getting a good deal—or not!

 

REGISTRATION PRICE INCREASE: JULY 6
Registration for Sirens increases to $205 on July 6.

 

AMY’S BOOK CLUB
One of Sirens’s chairs, Amy Tenbrink, is reading “hauntings and the haunted” books in preparation for October. Ghosts, specters, memories, visions, and other patterns show up across fantasy, horror, and non-genre fiction, and she keeps talking to us about them, so we thought she should talk to you, too! If you’d like to read along, there is a discussion up for Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García, and the following books will be featured on the Sirens Goodreads Group in coming months.

June: Imaginary Girls, Nova Ren Suma
July: The Ghost Bride, Yangsze Choo
August: In the Shadow of Blackbirds, Cat Winters
September: The Woman in Black, Susan Hill
October: The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…

Recent and Upcoming Releases:

June2014Collage
Click the image for a closer look at the covers.

 

Feather Bound, Sarah Raughley (May 6)
The Wizard’s Promise, Cassandra Rose Clarke (May 6)
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, ed. Daniel José Older and Rose Fox (May 9)
Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times, Emma Trevayne (May 13)
Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1 (Pretty Deadly #1-5); Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos (ill.), Jordie Bellaire (ill.) (May 13)
Reborn, C. C. Hunter (May 20)
The Castle Behind Thorns, Merrie Haskell (May 20)
Fairs’ Point, Melissa Scott (May 20)
Thunderstruck (Weather Witch #3), Shannon Delany (May 20)
City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare (May 27)
Everyday Angel, Victoria Schwab (May 27)
The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of Tala, Jeffe Kennedy (May 27)
Messenger, Kate Tremills (May 30)

Drift, M. K. Hutchins (June 1)
The Girl Who Never Was, Skylar Dorset (June 1)
Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014 (Women Destroy Science Fiction special issue), including flash fiction by Rhiannon Rasmussen (June 1)
Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays, Andrea Hairston (June 1)

A Barricade in Hell, Jaime Lee Moyer (June 3)
Blood Red (Elemental Masters #10), Mercedes Lackey (June 3)
Ecko Burning, Danie Ware (June 3)
The Feral Child, Che Golden (June 3)
Gasp, Lisa McMann (June 3)
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, Genevieve Valentine (June 3)
The Heir of Khored (Seven-Petaled Shield #3), Deborah J. Ross (June 3)
The Merchant Emperor, Elizabeth Haydon (June 3)
Sea of Time, P. C. Hodgell (June 3)
Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (June 3)
A Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry #9), Laurell K. Hamilton (June 3)
Stars of Darkover, ed. Deborah J. Ross and Elisabeth Waters, with contributions by Janni Lee Simner, Rachel Manija Brown, Kari Sperring, and Diana L. Paxson, among others (June 3)
Take Back the Skies, Lucy Saxon (June 3)

The Impossibility of Tomorrow, Avery Williams (June 4)

The Truth Against the World, Sarah Jamila Stevenson

The Arabian Nights, ed. Wen-chin Ouyang (June 10)
Born of Deception, Teri Brown (June 10)
(Don’t You) Forget About Me, Kate Karyus Quinn (June 10)
Hexed, Michelle Krys (June 10)
My Last Kiss, Bethany Neal (June 10)
The Leopard, K. V. Johansen (June 10)
The Strange Maid (United States of Asgard #2), Tessa Gratton (June 10)
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, Diana Gabaldon (June 10)

The Glass Sentence, S. E. Grove (June 12)
The Merciless, Danielle Vega (June 12)
Dreamwood, Heather Mackey (June 12)
Inland, Kat Rosenfield (June 12)

Dark Metropolis, Jaclyn Dolamore (June 17)
Flight of the Golden Harpy, Susan Klaus (June 17)
Otherbound, Corinne Duyvis (June 17)
Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo (June 17)
The Quick, Lauren Owen (June 17)

Better Homes and Hauntings, Molly Harper (June 24)
Child of a Hidden Sea, A. M. Dellamonica (June 24)
The Doll Graveyard, Lois Ruby (June 24)
Of Sorcery and Snow, Shelby Bach (June 24)
Rain, Amanda Sun (June 24)
Still Life (The Books of Elsewhere #5), Jacqueline West and Poly Bernatene (ill.) (June 24)
Summoned, Anne M. Pillsworth (June 24)
Thorn Jack, Katherine Harbour (June 24)
Unexpected Stories, Octavia Butler (June 24)

Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier (June 25, Aus/NZ; out in US in 2015)

 

Interesting Links:

“Trust the Story”: A Conversation with Sofia Samatar.

Nalo Hopkinson on winning the Norton Award for Sister Mine.

Article on Guadalupe Garcia McCall in SIGNAL.

Obituary note: Mary Stewart, author of The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment, among other works, passed in May at age 97.

Speculative Literature Foundation: Diverse Writers and Diverse World Grants reading period open May 1 to July 31 (grant funded through efforts of Faye Bi and Ellen Wright).

The 2014-15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship has a deadline of September 5, 2014.

Folklore doesn’t always or necessarily mean fantasy. With that in mind, we thought many of you might be interested in checking out Never Alone, a game with a young Iñupiat girl at its center.

Marvel’s Agent Carter picked up by ABC.

Nominees for the 2013 Shirley Jackson Awards.

Shirley Jackson takes readers on unsettling ride down a darkened path.

Shveta Thakrar sold “Krishna Blue,” to be included in the forthcoming Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories.

Arabic sci-fi and other literary revolutions.

Translating Frozen into Arabic.

Science fiction in the Philippines/A short and incomplete history of Philippine science fiction.

A Day of Latino Science Fiction.

The 2014 Locus Awards finalists.

The 2013 Bisexual Book Awards finalists.

And the winners include Inheritance by Malinda Lo and Pantomime by Laura Lam.

C. S. Friedman on starting a writing career without revealing gender.

Aliette de Bodard on “Vanished Women: In the Wake of This Year’s Nebula Awards.”

Athena Andreadis on “Lest We Forget: In the Wake of This Year’s Nebula Awards.”

Do you have exciting book news or fantasy links to share? Send it to (help at sirensconference.org) and we’ll include it in the next newsletter. We appreciate your contributions! Thanks for helping us expand this month’s news, and special thanks to Kate, Sabrina, and X! for their additions.

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY
Post a comment of at least two sentences on our blog or LiveJournal by June 20, 2014, and tell us which June release you’re most excited about and why. We’ll choose one lucky winner from the participants and contact them for a mailing address, and that person will win a copy of the book they chose. (U.S. addresses only, please!) Current Sirens staff members are not eligible to win, though they may leave a comment, but all volunteers, attendees, and I-wish-I-could-attendees are welcome to tell us their favorites.

 

MAY GIVEAWAY WINNER
No one entered the May giveaway, and thus there was no winner. Good luck to June’s entrants!

 

SIRENS REVIEW SQUAD
In the not-so-distant past, we had a review squad: volunteer readers reviewing books that they would recommend to others interested in women in fantasy. We’re pleased to bring back the review squad, and to feature their book reviews in the Sirens newsletter. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in.” Review squad volunteering is very flexible; we simply ask that you share information about books you’ve enjoyed. You can contribute once or on an ongoing basis, and on a schedule that works for you.

If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). On to this month’s reviews!

 

MothandSparkMoth and Spark
Anne Leonard
Viking (February 2014)
hardcover edition

Moth and Spark. Tam and Corin. I’m a sucker for strong female characters, and Tam Warin certainly fits the bill. She’s of good birth and excellent education but not noble. She is possessed of a sassy sense of humor and an extraordinary amount of common sense, which eventually saves the day and her handsome prince. Corin (said handsome gentleman) has several hard tasks—living up to his father’s expectations, freeing the dragons, and saving his country from imperial politics and enemy invasion. Our intrepid heroes make a formidable team as they operate within court and go haring about the countryside on adventures.

The book starts strong. In the first fifty pages or so, Corin has an enigmatic encounter with dragons and fights an unexpected skirmish at a country inn. Meanwhile, Tam accepts her sister-in-law’s invitation to court where she becomes an accidental witness to a strange sort of murder. All of these brief scenes eventually unspool into a tangled plot that carries this story forward into intrigue, romance, and war. The dragons present another unexpected layer, since their fate determines so many other problems.

I haven’t read a second world, high fantasy novel in ages, and I enjoyed this one. I would have appreciated a little more world-building, but the plot drove me through the story. I happen to like “girl cooties” and rooted for our unlikely, heroic couple. The romantic aspect also served to balance the hardships of invasion and war. The dragons seemed completely Other, almost unexplainable. Hopefully, Anne will write another volume that examines the relationship between dragon and rider.

Full disclosure: Anne Leonard attended Sirens in 2013, where I met her and enjoyed discussing books and being parents of teenage boys. – Kristen Blount

 

TheThirdEyeThe Third Eye (The Tara Trilogy #1)
Mahtab Narsimhan
Dundurn (2007)
paperback

Tara’s mother and grandfather disappear in the middle of the night, and soon, her father remarries, leaving Tara and her little brother, Suraj, pitted against an evil stepmother. In true fantasy fashion, the stepmother pampers her own child and neglects Tara and Suraj. It’s almost unbearable for the children, especially since their father is a mere shell of his past self, unable to spin the tales he used to tell. When a strange newcomer, Zarku, tries to usurp Tara’s missing grandfather’s place as the village healer, Tara hatches a plan to scour the dangerous forest for her missing relatives. However, the night is dark and full of vetalas…and before things are done, Tara forges an alliance with Lord Yama, the god of death.

The Third Eye won the 2009 Silver Birch Award from the Ontario Library Association for books aimed at young readers. It’s not hard to see why: Third Eye is an engrossing, fast-paced fantasy adventure that incorporates Indian culture and Hindu stories. I loved that Tara’s quest is not only to save her family (and her relationship with her younger brother is, frankly, cute), but to save the men of her village, who are Zarku’s biggest targets. How often does a little girl end up in that position? I also enjoyed how stories and storytelling were embedded within the plot, such as the inclusion of Tara’s father’s stories, which gave me a pleasant sense that the story was operating on multiple levels.

The writing is uneven at times, and I sometimes wished for more attention to introducing details at just the right time. I also wished for a little more subtlety in the struggle between good and evil. Still, when this story is good, it’s especially good. I devoured most of the book on a plane ride, and I’ll be going back for the rest of the series—this book ends on a breathtaking cliffhanger. – Undusty New Books


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 12 (October 2013)

Checking In at Sirens
You can pick up your registration starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, in the Baker room. If you’re coming from your hotel room, the conference space is past the main lobby and down a corridor; the Baker room is midway down that corridor. (There aren’t many corridors to worry about—Skamania Lodge is fairly compact!)

Remember to bring a photo ID and a copy of your registration. If you’re a presenter or a volunteer, you’ll also check in with our programming and volunteer coordinators for any last-minute communication and a copy of your schedule. Starting at 3:00 p.m., we’ll open the Rainier room for chatting, informal games, the Narrate bookstore, and an afternoon tea.

If you have a ticket for the Sirens Supper, we’ll bring your registration to you on Wednesday night. Please watch your email for information about where to meet for that event.

 

Registering at Sirens
We have very few on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Thursday, October 10, when the information desk opens at 3:00 p.m. If you have been thinking about coming and don’t yet have a registration, you might check the message boards; there may be a few for sale by people who can’t make it this year.

 

Driving to Sirens: Bridge of the Gods
If you’re driving to Sirens, please check out the information about the bridge closure at the end of the newsletter.

 

Reunion Ball
The Reunion Ball will begin after Ellen Kushner’s keynote presentation in the Cascade Locks Ballroom on Saturday, October 12. Ball gowns are always fun, as are glass shoes, but fantasy creations, cocktail dresses, jeans, and fuzzy bunny slippers are also welcome. Alongside the dancing, you can put in a last-minute bid at the silent auction or try to solve the Murder Mystery.

Do you have a request for the music playlist? Please leave it here as a comment or send it to (help at sirensconference.org) by October 4 and we’ll pass it on to the playlist organizer.

 

Volunteering During Sirens
We still have many openings for volunteers, and we’d love to have your help! The shifts range from 2-2.5 hours long on average, but we do have a handful of shifts that are only an hour each. (In fact, most of the remaining shifts are only an hour long.) We’re in particular need of room monitors this year. Room monitors typically stay in the room during presentations, help the presenters get situated, and keep things running on time.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please take a look at the schedule on our Volunteer page and email us at (volunteers2013 at sirensconference.org) with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!

 

Bookstore
Thank you to everyone who has donated books! We really appreciate your support for our mission, and we hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to browse and maybe find a new (or new-to-you) book to add to your collection. We will also continue to accept donations on site; if you have a moment, please contact Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) with what you plan to donate.

 

Auction
Do you have an item to donate for this year’s auction? Please let us know by the end of the day on Thursday, October 10. All sorts of items are welcome! If you’d like to donate an item or you have questions, please email Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Contacting Us During Sirens
Many of our staff will be traveling to Stevenson as early as Saturday, October 5, to prepare for Sirens. While we are in transit and when we’re on site unpacking and setting things up for the conference, we will not be able to monitor our emails as closely as we do at other times. If you have an urgent inquiry during this time, please send it to (help at sirensconference.org), and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

During the conference, the best way to contact us is in person! If you have any questions or would simply like to chat, please stop by our information desk in Skamania Lodge’s Baker room starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 10.

 

Sirens Shuttle Meet-Ups
Does your flight arrive early on Wednesday or Thursday, or are you driving to PDX and meeting the shuttle there? There will be meet-ups for attendees at Portland International Airport on Wednesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 10, for anyone arriving early who’d like to connect with other attendees. Once you have claimed your bags, please feel free to join us as we gather for a little conversation and perhaps a bite to eat before it’s time to board the Sirens Shuttle. There is no host for these meetups, and lunch is on your own.

Location: Beaches Restaurant and Bar, outside the security checkpoint for Concourses D and E at Portland International Airport
Time: Noon and later

Sirens Shuttle check-in point:
Seating area near Baggage Claim 2/Southwest Airlines baggage assistance desk/TriMet MAX light rail exit from the airport
Time: Please gather by 3:00 p.m. to ride the Sirens Shuttle.

 

Travel Tips
Packing and Weather
October in the Pacific Northwest generally ranges from the upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 7-17 Celsius), and there is always a chance of rain. Be sure to pack comfortable, casual layers to make the transition between indoors and outdoors—and the temperature that you prefer in your room and the temperature of the conference space—more comfortable. Sturdy closed-toe walking shoes are recommended, as is a raincoat or umbrella. For more packing tips, please check out the Travel page of our website.

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website.

Where to Eat in Stevenson
Skamania Lodge has two restaurants on site, both featuring locally sourced regional cuisine. River Rock, the bar and restaurant next to the lobby, is the more informal of the two and typically has slightly lower prices. The Cascade Dining Room, which is farther down the hallway past River Rock, is more formal and has fantastic views of the Columbia River. On Friday evenings and Sunday mornings, the Cascade Dining Room hosts a buffet (and while we haven’t tried the Friday night offering, the Sunday champagne brunch might make a nice splurge if you’re leaving late; be sure to make reservations in advance). The hotel gift shop is set to provide expanded offerings, including quick bites (and we’d tell you more, but as they didn’t offer food in years past, we’ll need to check it out first). The lobby offers free tea, coffee, and cocoa most hours of the day. Room service is available from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

The hotel will also offer grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Conference Center Lobby beginning with dinner on Thursday, October 10, and ending with lunch on Sunday, October 13 (excluding those meals that Sirens provides).

If you’d prefer to have a meal outside the hotel, the official Stevenson website offers a listing of area restaurants on their Dining page, and you can check the last pages of your program book for our list of nearby eateries. The hotel does not provide shuttle service to Stevenson.

 

Bridge of the Gods Closures
We’ve been informed that starting Friday, October 11, the Bridge of the Gods at exit 44 on Oregon I-84 will be closed between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. for maintenance. This is the closest Columbia River crossing to Skamania Lodge. The next nearest crossings are at Hood River (25 miles east) or Portland (40+ miles west, depending on where you want to cross).

This closure won’t affect most of you, and it will not affect the Sirens Shuttle; however, if you plan an outing beyond Stevenson during Sirens, you will need to take WA-14 to and from Skamania Lodge.

  • To get to Hood River, follow WA-14 East from Skamania Lodge; you will cross the Columbia River via the Hood River Bridge at White Salmon. (This is a toll bridge, like Bridge of the Gods; the toll for cars is $1 each way.) Going to Portland, follow WA-14 West to I-205 South or I-5 South.

To arrive during the closure time:

  • If you’re coming from the east on I-84 in Oregon, cross at the Hood River Bridge and follow WA-14 West to and through Stevenson, turn right on Rock Creek Drive, and left at Skamania Lodge Way.
  • From the north via I-5, take exit 1B to WA-14 East (or take I-205 to exit 27 to WA-14 East), and shortly after the Bridge of the Gods, take a left onto Rock Creek Drive, and a left at Skamania Lodge Way.
  • From I-5 in the south, or Portland International Airport, follow signs to I-205 North, and take exit 27 to WA-14 East, then a left onto Rock Creek Drive, and a left at Skamania Lodge Way.

When on WA-14, please use extra caution—you may encounter wildlife, slow-moving vehicles, rain, and a multitude of sharp corners.

 

What We’re Excited About This Month

The Summer Prince, by guest of honor Alaya Dawn Johnson, is on the long list for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature.

Vanity Fair has an article on the “girls” behind some of Disney’s early animated fantasy films.

Terri Windling talks about the Handless Maiden.

Nalo Hopkinson and Lesley Livingston are 2013 Copper Cylinder Award winners.

More August and September book releases that we didn’t celebrate last month:

August 27:
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

September 3:
The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

September 17:
Delia’s Shadow by Jamie Lee Moyer

September 24:
Inheritance by Malinda Lo
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

September 26:
Shadows by Robin McKinley

Some October book releases:

October 2:
Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente

October 22:
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

October 29:
Parasite by Mira Grant
Horde by Ann Aguirre

 

Twitter Schedule
Beginning on Thursday, October 10, we will be posting the conference schedule on our Twitter. If you prefer not to receive these reminders, you may want to mute or unfollow @sirens_con until Monday, October 14. (The schedule will not be posted on Facebook, though a few highlights might be.)

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens is just over a month away! Don’t forget…

The deadline to register for Sirens is September 7. All registrations, Sirens Shuttle tickets, and Sirens Supper tickets must be made by this date.

Hotel reservations at Skamania Lodge must be made by September 12. After that date, the rest of our block is released and you won’t be able to get our conference room rates.

We have a few tickets left for the Sirens Supper. If you are arriving on Wednesday, we’d love for you to join us for our annual pre-conference dinner. It’s a great way to meet a few new people.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 10 (August 2013)

August’s newsletter includes registration deadline reminders, calls for used books and volunteers, notes about our schedule, and some exciting fantasy book news.

 

Registration Deadlines
Sirens is less than two months away! If you haven’t purchased your registration yet, including Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets, please make sure to do so before registration closes on September 7. If you have any questions, please contact us at (registration at sirensconference.org).

All payments for registrations and tickets are due no later than September 13, 2013.

 

Hotel Reservations
If you haven’t yet made your hotel reservations, please do so as soon as possible. Skamania Lodge is a resort, and so some reservation and guarantee policies are different than standard hotel policies, including a requirement to reserve rooms well in advance. Please see the hotel page on our website for more details. Hotel reservations must be made no later than September 12, 2013.

If you’d like a roommate (or two or three), please check out our Facebook page and website message boards.

 

Author Signings
Sirens hosts author signings on Friday and Saturday afternoons. If you are a published author attending Sirens and you’d like to participate in our author signings, please email us at (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible. We’d love to have you join us.

 

Used Book Donations
Beyond the selection of new books that we’ll be carrying by attending authors and others that we think you’ll enjoy (like the ones featured during Books and Breakfast, for example), the Narrate bookstore will sell some used books as well. If you have fantasy books written by or about women that you’d like to donate to the used section of our bookstore, and they are in good used condition, we’d love to have them. You don’t need to attend to donate; anyone can send books by regular or media mail to the following address:

Sirens
c/o Narrate Conferences
P.O. Box 149
Sedalia, CO 80135

Be aware that media mail has restrictions, and that we must receive all packages and mail by September 12, 2013, in order to get your donations to Skamania in time for Sirens. And make sure to stop by and see us at the bookstore this fall! We’ll have plenty of recommendations.

 

Volunteers
Would you like to help out during Sirens? Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most are low-key, and you’re always able to ask a staff member for assistance if you encounter a problem. Most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations; you might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off, give presenters their five-minute warnings, and gather lost and found items. See the volunteers page on our website for more details. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for email from the Google Group. Many thanks in advance!

 

Schedule
If you’ve seen our recently released programming schedule, you may have noticed some changes to accommodate a fourth keynote presentation this year.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
If you’re arriving on Wednesday and joining us for the Sirens Supper, we’ll email you about where to meet for dinner. If you’re riding the Sirens Shuttle, we’ll email you with the pickup point information in early October.

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Conference registration pickup opens at 3:00 p.m. (If you’re arriving early, please feel free to meet up at noon in the River Rock at Skamania Lodge for lunch.) We’ll have spaces where you can meet, chat, play games, and enjoy an afternoon tea. Look for your Sirens Shuttle email in early October for details on when and where to meet if you’ll be using it for transportation to Skamania.

Friday, October 11, 2013 and Saturday, October 12, 2013
Books and Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m., followed by our three programming tracks at 9:00 a.m. Keynote luncheons begin at noon, followed by author signings at 2:00 p.m. (And if you’re an attending author who would like to participate, please get in touch at (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible.) Presentations resume at 3:00 p.m. and continue until evening. On Friday, we’ll begin Bedtime Stories at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, the keynote reception begins at 7:00 p.m., with the Reunion Ball and Murder Mystery to follow.

Throughout the weekend, we’ll have spaces near the information desk and the Narrate bookstore for casual chats, auction book page creation, and write-ins. At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, you can join our exploratory programming team if you’d like to go hiking on the resort golf course trails or go swimming/hot tubbing with other attendees. It’s also a good time for borrowing a bike at the fitness center, visiting the gift shop, squeezing in a pedicure, grabbing that forgotten item from your hotel room, or just relaxing in the main lobby.

All of that said, we’ve squeezed in some free space for meet-ups and those discussions that just weren’t ready for programming proposals yet. Please check the website schedule for available space. You can reserve a room and time once you arrive at Sirens.

Sunday, October 13, 2013
We’ll start the morning early to ensure that attendees catching mid-day flights to the East Coast have plenty of time to get through security lines. (Our tips: Bring your luggage to breakfast, and use the business center in the conference area to print your boarding pass for free before you leave.) If you’re not taking the Sirens Shuttle, we’ll provide meet-up points for creating and crafting with others, or squeezing in a few last minutes outside (in Washington, that means rain or shine) or in the pool until it’s time to check out.

 

What We’re Excited About This Month

Heiresses of Russ 2013, The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction was released August 10, and includes stories by Malinda Lo, Carrie Vaughn, and others.

Kate Elliott on worldbuilding.

Janni Lee Simner concludes her excellent series of posts on Writing for the Long Haul.

Blood of Tyrants, Naomi Novak’s latest Temeraire novel is out August 13! Read the first 50 pages on Suvudu.

The World Fantasy Awards ballot for 2013 can be viewed here. Maybe something new for your reading list?

“Fantasy… makes up worlds and cultures, but it doesn’t do this in a vacuum.” Read more of this interview with Kari Sperring here.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is out August 20.

The paperback edition of Under My Hat is out, and according to reviews, it’s “an enjoyable witches’ brew of tales.”

Sherwood Smith’s short story collection, Whispered Magics, is out; get more information here.

 

If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, news, announcements, or something else that’s of interest to Sirens attendees—we welcome them! Please send them to (help at sirensconference.org) at any time.

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 9 (July 2013)

July’s newsletter includes news about the Sirens Bookstore, author signings (published authors wanted!), the lineup for this year’s Books and Breakfast, and more!

 

Programming Update
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the accepted programming page on our website. Many new presentations have been added over the past few weeks. We’ve also just released our schedule! We know it’s going to be very difficult for everyone to choose between so many fantastic offerings. Thank you again to everyone who proposed a presentation this year. We appreciate your willingness to participate in programming! Once again, we know we’ll all wish we could manage to be in multiple places at once.

 

Author Signings
If you are a published author, please let us know! We’d love to include you in our author signing times and have new books on hand. We have access to many books from major publishers; for those we don’t have access to, like out-of-print titles or books that aren’t available through a major distributor, we have suggestions for how to make sure that your books are available at Sirens. Please let us know if you’d like to take part in the author signings by writing to (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible.

 

Book Donations
Narrate Conferences, our presenting nonprofit, will again run a new and used bookstore during Sirens. For everyone attending, and friends of women in fantasy literature as well, we hope you’ll help us stock the used section of the bookstore. If you have fantasy books written by or about women that you’d like to donate, and they are in good used condition, we’d love to have them. You don’t need to attend to donate; anyone can send books by regular or media mail to the following address:

Sirens
c/o Narrate Conferences
P.O. Box 149
Sedalia, CO 80135

Be aware that media mail has restrictions, and that we must receive all packages and mail by September 12, 2013, in order to get your donations to Skamania in time for Sirens. And make sure to stop by and see us at the bookstore this fall! We’ll have plenty of recommendations.

 

Auction
We are starting to gather donations for the Sirens auction! This yearly fundraiser has gone a long way toward covering conference costs in the past, and we are always deeply grateful for our community’s participation and support. All sorts of items are welcome—past auctions have included artwork, crafts, character names in new works, signed advance reading copies, jewelry, and more.

If you’d like to donate an item or if you have questions, please shoot us an email at (help at sirensconference.org). We’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Also, for those of you with bulky items, we can give you a shipping address, if you’d like. And, of course, thank you in advance for your support!

 

Books and Breakfast
Books and Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 11, and Saturday, October 12. For those of you who are new to Sirens, this is where we invite you to bring your own breakfast and join us for informal chats about books before presentations begin in the morning.

This year, our reading list includes tales that are new and different takes on the themes of years past. Some of them are new, some of them were game-changing or controversial books, and some we just loved and wanted to share. We think it’s a pretty good start for a summer reading list. It’s perfectly okay to join in if you haven’t read any of the books yet, but if you’d like to come prepared, the schedule is listed below.

Friday, October 11, 2013
Prophecy by Ellen Oh
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Saturday, October 12, 2013
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi
Bronze Gods by A. A. Aguirre
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

 

Sirens Supper
If you’ll be in the Portland area on the evening of Wednesday, October 9, perhaps you’d like to join us for dinner. Each year our conference staff hosts a dinner for a limited number of attendees, and you’re welcome to come. We love having a chance to chat before the conference starts!

We hope to have news about our Sirens Supper menu soon—but you might not want to wait to buy your tickets, as there are only a handful of tickets still available.

Tickets for the Sirens Supper are $60, and may be added to a new or to an existing registration. Attendees may purchase additional tickets for the Sirens Supper for others who are at least 18 years old as of October 9, 2013.

 

Sirens Shuttle
Tickets are still available for the Sirens Shuttle. You can add them to a new or to an existing registration even if you don’t have your flight details yet. A round-trip ticket on the shuttle, at $75 per rider, is less than half the cost of a commercial van service. The Sirens Shuttle is also a great chance to meet others, decompress, and enjoy the beautiful Columbia Gorge scenery. Your trip to Skamania on Wednesday or Thursday will include a brief stop at Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River. Don’t forget to bring a camera!

 

Deadlines Approaching
The last day to pre-register for Sirens, to purchase a ticket for the Sirens Shuttle, or to purchase a ticket for the Sirens Supper is September 7, 2013. Between September 7 and the conference, we close registration so that we can finish ordering materials and making arrangements. We will have only a limited number of registrations available for purchase at Sirens, so we recommend that you register in advance.

The last day to make a reservation at Skamania Lodge at the Sirens rate is September 12, 2013. If you require a room with two beds, we recommend that you make a reservation soon; the lodge is a popular destination year-round, and last year, we used all of the rooms set aside for Sirens. Please see the linked page for complete details.

 

What We’re Excited About This Month

Disability in Kidlit posted Haddayr Copley-Woods’s review of Among Others. –SRG

Mette Ivie Harrison posted 12 tips on writing about grief. –Amy W.

Book Riot spotlights 10 Recent & Upcoming Queer Reads, including Malinda Lo’s Inheritance, the sequel to Adaptation! –Anonymous

Cool: The trailer for Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, which comes out on September 3. –Michelle

Romance Novels for Feminists discusses 1980s Feminism in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Shards of Honor. –Anonymous

Tanita Davis writes about revisiting Red Sonja and a comic book adaptation. –-Anonymous

Girls of Summer interviews Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

Check out the 2013 Mythopoeic Awards.

Check out the 2013 Locus Awards.

Here’s some nifty cover art for Marie Brennan’s upcoming Tropic of Serpents.

Cover art for Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Nalo Hopkinson shares discussion questions for Sister Mine. If you missed her guest appearance last year, you might be interested in her talk at the 2012 National Book Festival.

SF Signal shares the covers of 178 science fiction, fantasy, and horror books out this month. (Perhaps not necessarily “all,” but interesting to look at.)

Kate Elliott talks women in epic fantasy at RT Book Reviews.

Thirty years of King’s Quest, designed by Roberta Williams. I loved playing as Rosella and Valanice! –Hallie

 

If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, news, announcements, or something else that’s of interest to Sirens attendees—we welcome them! Please send them to (help at sirensconference.org) at any time.

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 12 (October 2012)

Checking In at Sirens
You can pick up your registration (and a snack) starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, in the Conference Center Lobby. Remember to bring a photo ID and a copy of your registration. If you’re a presenter or a volunteer, you’ll also check in with our programming and volunteer coordinators for any last-minute communication and a copy of your schedule. Starting at 4:00 p.m., we’ll open the Rainier room nearby for chatting, informal games, and relaxation.

If you have a ticket for the Sirens Supper, we’ll bring your registration to you on Wednesday night.

 

Registering at Sirens
We have very few on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Thursday, October 11, when the Information Desk opens at 3:00 p.m. If you have been thinking about coming and don’t yet have a registration, you might check the message boards; there are a few still for sale by people who can’t make it this year.

 

Volunteering During Sirens
We still have many openings for volunteers, and we’d love to have your help! The shifts range from 2-2.5 hours long on average, but we do have a handful of shifts that are only an hour each.

Claiming even one shift would be a huge help to the conference, and it’s easy! For instance, if you’re already planning on attending the programming during a particular shift, you can sign up to cover that room. Room monitors typically stay in the room during presentations, help the presenters get situated, and keep things running on time.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please take a look at the schedule on our Volunteer page at http://www.sirensconference.org/connect/volunteers.html and e-mail us at (volunteers2012 at sirensconference.org) with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!

 

Bookstore
Thank you to everyone who has donated books! We really appreciate your support for our mission to support both Sirens and female fantasy authors, and we hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to browse and maybe find a new (or new-to-you) book to add to your collection. We will also continue to accept donations on site; if you have a moment, please contact Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) with what you plan to donate.

 

Auction
Just a reminder–our auction format is changing a little this year, and because of this we’ll need to have a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of the day on Thursday, October 11. All sorts of items are welcome! If you’d like to donate an item or you have questions, please e-mail Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Midnight Ball
On our last evening of Sirens, we invite you to our very own Midnight Ball! Ballgowns are always fun, as are glass shoes, but fantasy creations, cocktail dresses, jeans, and fuzzy bunny slippers are also welcome. Dancing is de rigueur, of course, but our Murder Mystery and our silent auction will run during the Midnight Ball as well. The ball will begin at 9:00 p.m. in Stevenson Ballroom B, and will end at the stroke of midnight.

Do you have a request for the music playlist? Please send it to (help at sirensconference.org) by October 8 and we’ll pass it on to the playlist organizer.

 

Contacting Us During Sirens
Many of our staff will be traveling to Stevenson as early as this Friday, October 5, to prepare for Sirens. While we are in transit and when we’re on site unpacking and setting things up for the conference, we will not be able to monitor our e-mails as closely as we do at other times. If you have an urgent inquiry during this time, please send it to (help at sirensconference.org), and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

During the conference, the best way to contact us is in person! If you have any questions or would simply like to chat, please stop by our Information Desk in Skamania Lodge’s Conference Center Lobby starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11.

 

Sirens Shuttle Meet-ups
Does your flight arrive early on Wednesday or Thursday, or are you driving to PDX and meeting the shuttle there? There will be meet-ups for attendees at Portland International Airport on Wednesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 11 for anyone arriving early who’d like to connect with other attendees. Once you have claimed your bags, please feel free to join us as we gather for a little conversation and perhaps a bite to eat before it’s time to board the Sirens Shuttle. Lunch is on your own.

Location: Beaches Restaurant and Bar, outside the security checkpoint for Concourses D and E at Portland International Airport
Time: Noon and later
Please note there is no event host!

Sirens Shuttle check-in point:
Seating area near Baggage Claim 2/Southwest Airlines baggage assistance desk/ TriMet MAX light rail exit from the airport
Time: Please gather by 3:00 p.m. to ride the Sirens Shuttle.

 

Travel Tips
Packing and Weather
October in the Pacific Northwest generally ranges from the upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 7-17 Celsius), and there is always a chance of rain. Be sure to pack comfortable, casual layers to make the transition between indoors and outdoors more comfortable. Sturdy closed-toe walking shoes are recommended, as is a raincoat or umbrella. And don’t forget your identification! For more packing tips, please check out the Travel page of our website at http://www.sirensconference.org/travel/gorge.html#packing.

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website at http://www.sirensconference.org/travel/transport.html#driving.

Where to eat in Stevenson
Skamania Lodge has two restaurants on site, both featuring locally-sourced, regional cuisine. River Rock, the bar and restaurant next to the lobby, is the more informal of the two and typically has slightly lower prices. The Cascade Dining Room, which is farther down the hallway past River Rock, is more formal and has fantastic views of the Columbia River. Room service is available from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

The hotel will also offer quick grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Conference Center Lobby beginning with dinner on Thursday, October 11, and ending with lunch on Sunday, October 14 (excluding meals that Sirens provides).

If you’d prefer to have a meal outside the hotel, the official Stevenson website offers a listing of area restaurants on their Dining page at http://cityofstevenson.com/dining.html.

 

You’re Excited About…

Sirens is next week!!! –Amy

Both The Crimson Crown, the last book in the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, and Beautiful Redemption, the last book in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, are due out October 23rd. –Sabs

Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith sold Stranger to Viking Childrens. –J.

2011 Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death won the Carl Brandon Society Kindred Award for Best Speculative Fiction Dealing with Race/Ethnicity, and she has a new novella out called African Sunrise. –KP

The Guardian has a piece on Phillip Pullman’s new book: retellings of 50 of the stories of the Brothers Grimm. –Simon

Seen on @nalohopkinson: The #audiobook of my novel Midnight Robber is out, narrated by the extraordinarily talented Robin Miles http://t.co/Wwm3Ks93

 

Twitter Schedule
Beginning on Thursday, October 11, we will be posting the conference schedule on our Twitter. If you prefer not to receive these reminders, you may want to mute or unfollow @sirens_con until Sunday, October 14. (The schedule will not be cross-posted to Facebook, though a few highlights might be.)

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Registration, Tickets, Hotel, and Volunteering Reminder

Registration for Sirens ends three weeks from today. (We’re getting so close!) The deadline for registration is Friday, September 7, and we very much recommend registering by then. Though we’ll have a few registrations available at the door, it will be only a few, and they will be sold to the first buyers who request them. If you’ve been waiting to register, please don’t miss the deadline! Our at-the-door costs are higher, and yours will be too.

Also, we’ve got a handful of Sirens Supper and Sirens Shuttle tickets remaining. We’d love to have you join us for our pre-conference staff dinner or on our shuttle trip to and from the airport. All payments for registrations and tickets are due no later than September 14.

Hotel reservations for Skamania Lodge can be made until September 18. And, of course, if you’re looking for roommates or travel buddies, please feel free to visit the forums and to post on the Sirens Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SirensConference

If you have a little time free during Sirens—or just time when you’re planning to be in one room for a couple of sessions in a row—we’d love to have you join our volunteer team for 2012. Typically, volunteers stay in a room during presentations, help the speakers get situated, and keep things running on time. You can find out more on the Sirens Volunteers page.

Questions? Please feel free to ask them here or via (help at sirensconference.org). See you in October!

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 9 (July 2012)

Programming
Have you checked out the accepted programming page lately? Many new presentations have been published since June 1. The deadline for presenters to register and confirm their participation at Sirens was July 1, so the complete list will be available soon. Then, we’ll publish this year’s schedule, which will be packed with fantastic presentations.

 

Presentation Sponsorships
If you–or your group, or your website, or your business–would like to sponsor a presentation, we welcome your support! To help defray the cost of Sirens, including the cost of providing audio-visual support for presentations, we are always accepting general donations at http://www.sirensconference.org/support/. This year, you can also show your support of specific presentations. To sponsor one, visit the accepted programming page, and follow the link to donate. You’ll select the presentation to sponsor (if it’s not on the list, it’s been claimed), give us the sponsor name you’d like to have listed publicly, and follow the instructions. We’ll list your name on the website and with the presentation summary in the program book.

 

Book Signings
Narrate Conferences, our presenting nonprofit, will run a new and used bookstore during Sirens. Our goal is to support both Sirens and female fantasy authors by selling new and used books, and we hope you’ll help us out.

If you are a published author, please let us know! We’d like to include you in our author signing time and have new books on hand. We have access to many books from major publishers; for those we books don’t have access to, like out-of-print titles or books that aren’t available through a major distributor, we have suggestions for how to make sure that your books are available at Sirens. Please contact Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) to take part.

 

Book Donations
For everyone attending, and frankly, friends of women in fantasy literature as well, we hope you’ll help us with our used bookstore, because all proceeds will go to Sirens. If you have fantasy books written by or about women that you’d like to donate, and they are in good used condition, we’d love to have them. You don’t need to attend to donate–though you’ll need to attend to buy all the amazing fantasy works we’ve already collected for sale. We’ll have information on getting your books to us available later this summer.

 

Auction
Last year, we were so overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of those donating auction items and those bidding on them. It was a great fundraiser for Sirens and went a long way in covering our conference costs–so let’s do it again! We’re changing our auction format a bit this year, so we’ll need to have a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of Thursday, October 11, and all sorts of items are welcome. If you’d like to donate an item and you have questions, please write to Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). (She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have.) Also, for those of you with bulky items, we can provide a shipping address, if you’d like. And, of course, thanks in advance for your support.

 

Sirens Supper
If you’ll be in the Portland area on the evening of October 10, perhaps you’d like to join us for dinner. Each year our conference staff hosts a dinner for a limited number of attendees, and you’re welcome to come. We love having a chance to chat with folks before the conference starts!

We’re thrilled to finally be able to share our Pacific Northwest menu for the Sirens Supper: house green salad with Northwest organic greens, heirloom cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, and housemade herb vinaigrette; forest mushroom soup with almond milk vermouth; wild rice and Hood River cherry pilaf; roasted asparagus; tenderloin of pork with pear-brandy demi-glace; grilled salmon with lemon butter sauce and tomato-artichoke ragout; tofu and vegetable curry with coconut milk; rolls and butter; huckleberry crème brûlée; three-berry cobbler; and coffee, iced tea, and lemonade.

Tickets for the dinner are $60, and may be added to a new registration (http://www.sirensconference.org/registration/) or to an existing registration (http://www.sirensconference.org/registration/changes/). Attendees may purchase additional tickets for the Sirens Supper for others who are at least 18 years old as of October 10, 2012.

 

Sirens Shuttle
Tickets are still available for the Sirens Shuttle. You can add them to a new or existing registration even if you don’t have your flight details yet. A round-trip ticket on the shuttle, at $75 per person, is less than half the cost of a commercial van service, and your trip to Skamania will include a brief stop at Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River. The Sirens Shuttle is also a great chance to meet others, decompress, and enjoy the beautiful Columbia Gorge scenery.

 

Books and Breakfast Reminder
Books and Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13, first thing in the morning. You can grab a to-go breakfast from the River Rock restaurant—they’ll have light items on hand—and join any of these discussions. It’s perfectly okay to turn up if you haven’t read any of the books yet, but if you’d like to come prepared, the schedule is listed below.

Friday, October 12
Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue (HarperTeen, 1999)
The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (Spectra, 2006)
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Doubleday, 2008)
Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales and Secrets by Francesca Lia Block (HarperTeen, 2010)
Sailor Moon manga, being re-released as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi (any release of Acts 1-5, which was released in the U.S. by Tokyopop in 2003; other versions also available)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011)

Saturday, October 13
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Scholastic, 2008)
The Dark Wife by Sarah Deimer (Createspace, 2011)
Mella and the N’anga: An African Tale by Gail Nyoka (Sumach Press, 2006)
Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse (Random House, 2012)
The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi (Archaia Entertainment, 2011)
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (trans. Keith Gessen and Anna Summers) (Penguin, 2009)

 

Spotlight: Guest of Honor Kate Bernheimer
Kate Bernheimer has been called “one of the living masters of the fairy tale” by Tin House, and is the author of four books of fiction, most recently the final novel in a trilogy, The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold (FC2 2011), and Horse, Flower, Bird, a collection of stories with illustrations by Rikki Ducornet (Coffee House Press 2010). She has edited three anthologies including the World Fantasy Award winning My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales (Penguin 2010). Her fiction and critical essays have appeared in The Los Angeles TimesFence MagazineBookforumPuerto del SolBomb MagazineMarvels & Tales: The Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Arizona, and is founding and acting editor of Fairy Tale Review.

Nifty:
Her website can be found at http://www.katebernheimer.com/.

Her blog is at http://www.katebernheimer.com/news.php, where you can find out the story behind the AIANY Unbuilt award for Baba Yaga’s house.

Hear her “loving homage to and deconstruction of Hansel and Gretel” at http://catranslation.org/blogpost/two-voices-a-night-of-fairy-tales.

And a few beautiful book covers…

 

Volunteering at Sirens
Sirens will be here before you know it, and we’d love to have your help. Typically, we need people to be the point of contact during presentations—they welcome and introduce presenters, help latecomers find a seat, collect forgotten items, and call for help when audio-visual equipment goes on the fritz. (Some folks choose to volunteer for presentations to ensure that they have a seat for their favorite items!) We can sometimes use extra hands to direct traffic, carry boxes, and so on as well. If you’re interested, please visit this page to join the volunteers group (if you’ve joined in the past, no need to re-apply). You’ll be the first to know about volunteer opportunities! Many thanks in advance.

 

Travel
Diana needs a roommate. Do you? Visit the message boards to join her or to post your own request for a share.

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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