- March Book Club - Catfishing on CatNetLink visible for attendees
Meet online to discuss this month’s book. As a writers group, we are particularly interested in looking at how these books can inform our own writing.
Be ready to share what you think about the book as a reader and what you think about it as a writer. If you wish, also bring ideas of books for future sessions. While the classics are great, we plan to focus on more recent works.
This month’s book is Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (who lives in St. Paul!). The novel won the 2020 Loadstar Award, essentially the Hugo for YA. Set in the near future, it features emergent AI, the struggles of teen life, heartwarming friendships, and a dash of suspense.
From the back cover:
Because her mom is always on the move, Steph hasn’t lived anyplace longer than six months. Her only constant is an online community called CatNet—a social media site where users upload cat pictures—a place she knows she is welcome. What Steph doesn’t know is that the admin of the site, CheshireCat, is a sentient A.I.
When a threat from Steph’s past catches up to her and ChesireCat’s existence is discovered by outsiders, it’s up to Steph and her friends, both online and IRL, to save her.
For bonus points, you can check out Naomi Kritzer’s Hugo-winning short story Cat Pictures Please, which serves as the basis for the novel.
EDIT: Trigger Warnings: domestic abuse, stalking.
- Michael Merriam - Guest of Honor at MarsConHilton Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, Bloomington, MN
Michael Merriam, MinnSpec co-founder and long-time organizer, will be Guest of Honor at MarsCon in Minneapolis, MN.
Michael is an award-winning author, performer, playwright, and screenwriter. He is the author of the steampunk and Weird Western series Sixguns & Sorcery, and his essays and stories have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Cast of Wonders, and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. His latest novel from Queen of Swords Press is Last Car to Annwn Station. He has published a dozen books and over 100 pieces of short fiction and poetry. His scripts have been produced for stage and radio, and he has appeared in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Not-So-Silent Planet, StoryFest Minnesota, and over the air on KFAI and Minnesota Public Radio. Like most artists, he has worked a variety of odd jobs over the years, including short order cook, late night radio disc jockey, international freight specialist, rock-a-billy bassist, and manager of a puppet troupe. He lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife, housemate, an elderly dog, and two exuberant cats. Visit his website at www.michaelmerriam.com.
MarsCon (https://marscon.org/2024/index.php) is a fan-run science fiction convention for all ages held every March in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. At MarsCon you’ll find multiple programming tracks, parties, Guest of Honor presentations, science and science fiction, our art show, film/anime, gaming, and dealers rooms, charity auction, and masquerade. Online registration for MarsCon 2024 is at www.eventbrite.com/e/marscon-2024-tickets-582342119957.
- March 2024 MinnSpec Critique GroupLink visible for attendees
Remote streaming will be available with Zoom. (Please RSVP to see the link.)
How to submit:
- A. Send your manuscript to: email@example.com.
- B. Leave a comment on this page what you submitted.
- C. RSVP to this event. (No RSVP, no critique.)
Max 4 manuscripts
Max length 10,000 words
Manuscript submissions open when this Meetup event goes up (no submissions two months ahead). They remain open until March 3rd.
Priority is determined based on:
- Whether or not you RSVP
- When we received your manuscript.
- When you left a comment. (This is for visibility to others.)
- Whether or not you were critiqued in the previous month.
- If you submit and then must submit a revision, you will have to go to the back of the line. So submit a polished manuscript!
How to download submissions:
Request to join our Google Group by sending an email to:
Subject: Join Request
Body: Your name as it appears on Meetup.
Tips on how to give an effective critique: http://critters.org/c/whathow.ht
More info: https://www.meetup.com/MinnSpec/messages/boards/thread/51072805/