Boskone bound!

Okay, it’s right in Boston, but still… very excited to be participating in my very first Boskone, Feb. 15–17!

What is Boskone? Boskone (February 15-17, 2019) in Boston, MA is New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. With over 300 program items, including panels, readings, workshops and special events, Boskone 56 is shaping up to be a weekend you won’t soon forget! It’s going to be a fun weekend filled with discussions of books, art, games, film, music, and more. For more information, visit the Boskone website:

I’ve already got a busy schedule (see below), but in addition to these events, I’m really looking forward to hearing Arwen Curry, whose film documentary Worlds of Ursula LeGuin premieres at the 44th annual Boston Science Fiction Film Marathon, the week before Boskone. (The Friday evening Q&A is free! Check out the schedule for details!) And there’s so much more….

Here’s my schedule. Come by and say hi! But please check out the full schedule. This is going to be amazing!

Friday, Feb. 15:

The Other Others in Urban Fantasy

15 Feb 2019, Friday 15:00 – 15:50, Harbor II (Westin)

Urban fantasy sections in bookstores are filled with zombies, werewolves, and especially vampires (sparkly and otherwise) almost to the exclusion of other entities. Indeed, too many times those creatures define urban fantasy. But there are a plethora of other fantastical beings from the myths and legends of Europe — and every other continent. Authors like Seanan McGuire and Laura Anne Gilman revel in the variety, using it to populate the back streets of their chosen cities. Let’s join them (and our panelists) to explore the road less traveled. 

With Elwin Cotman (Vanguard Classical East), Nicholas Kaufmann, Clea Simon, John Langan, and moderator Leigh Perry

Saturday, Feb. 16

Crossing Genres

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 11:00 – 11:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Some writers work in more than one genre — not just crossing the hallowed boundaries of our three genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but dabbling in mystery, romance, westerns, or even (gasp!) mainstream literature. Does working in one area influence the way you write in another? Also, some of those writers have the audacity to mix genres. When they do so, do they expose the readers of each genre to the other, or reduce their readership to those who love both? Are there mixes that work well, like rum and cola? Are there others more like oil and water?

James Moore moderates panelists Leigh Perry, Clea Simon, Craig Shaw Gardner, and Brendan DuBois

The Shadow of the City

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 12:00 – 12:50, Harbor III (Westin)

What are the challenges and benefits of using a real-world city in your urban fantasy or other spec fic? How accurate do you need to be before natives cry foul? Both London and New York have served as settings for innumerable novels. How would these stories change if the Tube were replaced by the New York subway, or vice versa? And if the setting were Paris, New Delhi, or Sydney, how different would the fiction feel?

I’m moderating this panel! With Mur Lafferty, Karen Heuler, Roberta Rogow, and Cindy Pon

Boskone Book Party

16 Feb 2019, Saturday 18:30 – 19:20, Galleria – Stage (Westin)

Come join the fun at Boskone 56’s Book Party — and meet the presses and authors who have new books coming out at the con! This is your chance to see what’s new from writers you already love, as well as those you have yet to discover.

Sunday, Feb. 17

Reading by Clea Simon

Starting the day with my WIP? Hmmm… 17 Feb 2019, Sunday 09:30 – 09:55, Independence (Westin)

Fantastical Crime and Punishment

17 Feb 2019, Sunday 10:00 – 10:50, Harbor III (Westin)

Must people with magical gifts or superpowers follow the rule of law? Or should new rules apply? How might the existence of special abilities require us to alter the criminal code? We’d probably need new ways to investigate, process, and punish magical malefactors or supercriminals. And prepare to take your moral compasses for a spin.

I’m moderating this one too! With Christopher Irvin, Bracken MacLeod, Leigh Perry, and James Moore

A SPELL OF MURDER out today!

Happy book birthday to A Spell of Murder! The first in my new “Witch Cats of Cambridge” cozy series from Polis books is out today. That means if you pre-ordered it (thank you!) it will ship (or appear on your e-reader) today. If you want a signed copy, please contact Harvard Book Store or Porter Square Books, which have signed copies on hand.(I’ll also be celebrating Clara and her sisters belatedly at Porter Square Books with a party on Jan. 3.)

What are people saying about A Spell of Murder? You can read full reviews here, but for a sampling:

“Delightful … You don’t have to be a cat lover to appreciate this paranormal cozy’s witty observations, entertaining dialogue, and astute characterizations. ”

“Simon’s witty way of sketching in characters and tight way with a plot serve her well, as she dishes up a charming story that’s never too scary but does have some actual menace to it.”
“A delightfully charming debut series” – Dru’s Book Musings

“Cats and magic – two of my favorite things! A Spell of Murder is a charming series debut.”

E-book sale!

Great news for e-readers! I knew that Severn House had partnered with the Open Road ebook initiative but I wasn’t sure what that meant till I got the notice that THE NINTH LIFE and INTO THE GREY were on sale for $1.99 each! I don’t know how long these sales will last or which of my books will go on sale next, but this is sweet! For those who don’t know, THE NINTH LIFE is the first in my dystopian black-cat Blackie & Care mystery series, featuring a homeless teen and the feline who loves her. INTO THE GREY is the most recent of my Dulcie Schwartz mysteries, but it works as a standalone, featuring a graduate student studying Gothic novels (and solving crime) with the aid of the ghost of her dear, departed cat, Mr. Grey.

Worlds enough?

I’m going to Boskone! Thanks to the readers who pointed out that my books – the Blackie & Care series, especially – count as speculative fiction, what with the magical cats, dystopian/futuristic worlds, and all,

“Cat-loving fans of grim post-apocalyptic tales will best appreciate Simon’s third Blackie and Care mystery … The disparate plot lines combine in a fiery finale.” – Publishers Weekly

I’ve reached out to the organizers of this science fiction convention and they’ve selected me to be a program participant. Not sure what role I’ll be playing, but look for me here Feb. 15–17! For years, other writers, gamers, and fans who’ve raved about this local (Boston) con to me, so I am thrilled beyond belief!