Changed my Mind

This week I was a guest on the Changed my Mind podcast, hosted by Luke T. Harrington, the award-winning author of Ophelia, Alive: A Ghost Story and Murder Bears, Moonshine, and Mayhem.

As you might guess from the name, the podcast is devoted to interviews with people who’ve changed their minds about something important. In this episode, Luke and I talk about why I left the Lutheran church. I’ve discussed this publicly a few times before, most notably in a speech I gave at the 2010 Calvin College Festival of Faith & Writing, but for a lot of fans I suspect this will be new, and may give some additional insight into why and how I write the kinds of novels that I do.

If you enjoy my conversation with Luke, I’d highly recommend you check out his other podcast episodes. The “loss of faith” interviews — such as the ones with Ryssa Marshall, Yons, and Calvin Moore — tend to be particularly interesting. I also really enjoyed the Halloween episode with Christian Tiews, a Lutheran exorcist, which I did not know was a thing (though having discovered that it is, I am unsurprised to learn that Lutheran exorcists think their version of the rite is superior to the Roman Catholic version).

88 Names season 2, episode 4: Dr. Todd P. Chang

On this week’s episode of the 88 Names podcast, Blake and I talk with Dr. Todd P. Chang, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Chang has done extensive research into the use of VR and other immersive technologies in medical training, particularly as it relates to his specialty. This was a great discussion, and as I mention at one point, prepping for the interview led me down some fascinating internet rabbit holes.

On our next episode, we’ll be talking to Locusium founder Drew Stone.

88 Names podcast season 2, episode 3: the Dungeon Dudes

On the latest episode of the 88 Names podcast, we speak to Kelly McLaughlin and Montgomery Martin, aka the Dungeon Dudes, whose YouTube channel offers advice and role-playing tips for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. They also have a weekly Twitch stream on which they broadcast live sessions from their Dungeons of Drakkenheim campaign. If you like their work and want to support them, you can do so through their Patreon, or through their forthcoming Dungeons of Drakkenheim Kickstarter.

On our next episode, we talk to pediatric emergency physician Dr. Todd Chang about his research into the use of VR in medical training.

88 Names podcast season 2, episode 2: Sasha Samochina

On this week’s episode of the 88 Names podcast, we talk to Sasha Samochina, an award-winning technologist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

You can learn more about Sasha’s work at her website. This YouTube playlist contains 360 and VR videos that Sasha has produced for NASA JPL. This video gives a brief overview of the OnSight mixed-reality software, developed by JPL, that lets scientists take virtual walks on Mars. And the Access Mars WebVR experience lets you use your browser to make your own virtual visit to Mars.

On our next episode, we talk to the Dungeon Dudes, Montgomery Martin and Kelly McLaughlin.

The Return of the 88 Names podcast: Mike Pondsmith

The trade paperback edition of 88 Names will be published next Tuesday, March 16, and to celebrate, my friend Blake Collier and I have recorded some new episodes of the 88 Names podcast.

To kick off this second season of the pod, we talk to legendary game designer Mike Pondsmith, founder of R. Talisorian Games and the creator of the Cyberpunk roleplaying franchise, which includes the recently released Cyberpunk RED and the video game Cyberpunk 2077. You can listen to our conversation here.

On our next episode, we talk to Sasha Samochina, an award-winning creative technologist from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This weekend: Crypticon, Christopher Moore, and Lovecraft Country

I’ve got a bunch of online events scheduled this month (full list here), including two this weekend that I wanted to spotlight:

On Saturday, October 17 at 8 PM Pacific Time, I’ll be reading from and answering questions about Lovecraft Country as part of Crypticon Seattle’s 2020 online convention. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased here.

On Sunday, October 18 at 5 PM Pacific Time, I’ll be in conversation with my friend and fellow author Christopher Moore, as part of San Francisco’s 2020 Litquake. Admission to this event is free, but with a suggested donation of $5-10. You can sign up here.

And immediately after the Litquake event, I’ll be tuning into HBO for the season finale of the Lovecraft Country series. If you’ve got things you want to ask about the show or the book, and you can’t make it to any of my live events, I’m still taking questions over at Goodreads.

For All Nerds

Last week I was a guest on the For All Nerds podcast with Tatiana King and DJ Benhameen, talking about Lovecraft Country (my appearance starts at the 33:30 mark). This was my second visit to the ‘cast—I was previously a guest back in 2017, when they were known as the Fan Bros Show—and just like last time, I really enjoyed myself. For more Lovecraft Country conversation, be sure and check out the weekly “Safe Negro Podcast” editions of For All Nerds, where they go in-depth on each episode of the HBO series (starting with “Sundown,” here).

In other news:

* I am still answering reader questions over at Goodreads.

* On October 2 at 5 PM Pacific Time, I’ll be making a remote appearance as part of Novel Nights, a fundraiser to support Seattle’s Hugo House. If you’d like to contribute, you can buy tickets to individual events—other featured authors are Erik Larsen, Pramila Jayapal, Jess Walter, Sharyn Skeeter, and Neal Bascomb—or get a full series pass to all six Novel Nights.

* As of today, Lovecraft Country is on the New York Times bestseller list for the fourth week in a row!

Second Life Book Club video

Here’s the video of my recent appearance on the Second Life Book Club. My host, Draxtor Despres, came up with the idea of having me read a short passage from each of my seven novels, to create a sort of “tasting menu” of the Matt Ruff canon. I thought it worked out pretty well, and the discussion was a lot of fun, too.

Also, just a reminder, if you’re interested in catching me live, there’s still time to register for this evening’s Zoom event hosted by Powell’s City of Books. My friend Christopher Moore and I will be chatting about 88 Names. The event starts at 5 PM Pacific Time and you can sign up here.

And if you’re busy this evening, you’ll have another chance to see me on Zoom when I do a solo appearance for Sunriver Books & Music on Saturday, July 25 at 5:30 PM Pacific. Details here.

Powell’s online event with me and Christopher Moore this Thursday, 7/16, at 5 PM Pacific Time

This Thursday, July 16, at 5 PM Pacific, I’ll be appearing on a Zoom event hosted by Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon. Joining me online will be my friend, the author Christopher Moore (Shakespeare for Squirrels). We’ll talk about 88 Names and whatever else comes to mind, and then take questions from the audience.

You can register for the event here.