Reading no. 3 — Van Aaron Hughes, Wayne Faust, & Mario Acevedo

Van Aaron Hughes, writing, reading, BookBar, J.L. Forrest

The Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Series has continued to grow, gaining momentum with another installment at Denver’s BookBar. This special evening was in dedication to longtime beacon of the Front Range writing community, Edward Bryant, who passed away in February of 2017. He was an alum of Clarion who then founded the Northern Colorado Writers Workshop, where he influenced generations of this region’s writers, from beginners and amateurs to lauded, internationally bestselling authors. Award-winning storytellers Van Aaron Hughes, Wayne Faust, and Mario Acevedo read from their short fictions in Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence, a collection assembled and edited by Chuck Anderson and Jim LeMay. As it has before, BookBar gave us the most marvelous home for the evening. Many books were sold and signed (and signed, and signed), and we had a great time. Go to BookBar, buy books, and support local and independent booksellers. For every book you buy at BookBar, a fairy gets its wings.1

Be sure to RSVP for Reading no. 4 on 12 May 2018, at BookBar, 7pm. May’s reading will feature James Hunter and Michael Haspil. Check back for more information, follow developments on Facebook, or join the Meetup. Learn more about the Reading Series.

Reading no. 2 — K.B. Wagers & Davyne DeSye

The Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Series continued its success, bringing a great crowd of writers and readers to Denver’s own BookBar. Orbit author K.B. Wagers read from the first in her Indranan War series, Behind the Throne, and Davyne DeSye from her poignant and thought-provoking Carapace. As it has before, BookBar gave us the most marvelous home for the evening. Many books were sold and signed, and we had a great time. Go to BookBar, buy books, and support local and independent booksellers. For every book you buy at BookBar, a fairy gets its wings.1

Be sure to RSVP for Reading no. 3 on 10 March 2018, at BookBar, 7pm. March’s reading will feature storytellers from Edward Bryant’s Sphere of Influence, an homage to the great Ed Bryant, longtime giant of the Rocky Mountain science-fiction community, who passed away last year. We’ll have readings from Van Aaron Hughes, Mario Acevedo, and Wayne Faust. Check back for more information, follow developments on Facebook, or join the Meetup. Learn more about the Reading Series.

Reading no. 1—Carrie Vaughn & Laurence MacNaughton

Carrie Vaughn, Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading No. 1

The inaugural installment of Denver’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Series was a resounding success, bringing a great crowd to Denver’s own BookBar. New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn read from her newest novel, Bannerless, and Laurence MacNaughton read from his outrageously funny A Kiss Before Doomsday. The BookBar gave us the most marvelous home for the evening. For every book you buy at the BookBar, a fairy gets its wings.1

Here are some pictures so that you can relive the night or, if you weren’t present, so that you feel horribly bad about missing the event. Either way, be sure to RSVP for Reading No. 2 with Connie Willis and K.B. Wagers on 13 January 2018, at the BookBar, 7pm. Check back for more information, follow developments on Facebook, or join the Meetup. Learn more about the Reading Series.

Pet Peeves of Style: Quotation & Punctuation

Do you know when punctuation should appear inside quotation marks? Do you know when it shouldn’t? For quotation marks, usages differ between American and British standards. These differences are not limited to the employment of single versus double quotations, and they include expectations about the usages of punctuation inside and out of the marks. That said, when in doubt, English usually demands that you place any final punctuation inside the closing quotation mark. Most casual writers will remember their teachers telling them something of the sort at one time or another. Frequently, remembering this rule will lead to the correct end result; sometimes, it’ll mark you as amateurish.

Here’s how to avoid that:

Many of the exceptions relate to technical writing, especially to expressions which refer to computer-programming languages and code. Here, for our purposes, I couldn’t care less about them. If you quote computer code or logical expressions, in your writing, simply remember: place any punctuation outside the quotations. The likes of programmers and mathematicians should, at once, understand why; the rest of us needn’t bother to ponder to it.

More importantly, one common error often appears in prose. It is less optional than the Oxford comma and almost makes me scream as loudly as the Oxford’s omission.

In English, speech and related phrases appear inside quotation marks, even when denoting irony. In such cases, the terminal punctuation always goes inside the marks:

  • “Yesterday, we went to the moon,” said the boy.
  • “Ye’ll larn a pretty smart chance of things ye never did know, before I’ve done with ye!” said Legree.1
  • Billy asked, “Do you know that hippopotamus?”
  • Trump used “quotation marks,” though he clearly misunderstood their purpose.

English also uses quotations for some titles: episodic television shows, article titles, short stories and films, poems, chapters, songs, and essays.

  • My stories include “Reboot”, “Sapience Signified”, and “Cut Adrift”.
  • My favorite episodes of Firefly are “Out of Gas”, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”, and “Shindig”.
  • Never: He wrote an excellent essay, “The Joys of Wine and Pigs,” which changed my life forever.

In the last case, the inclusion of the comma inside the marks changes the title itself. The name of the essay is no longer “The Joys of Wine and Pigs”, but “The Joys of Wine and Pigs,”. Notice now the offending comma?

Dear writers, never do this, and you’ll make this grammarian a smidgen happier.