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Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD ('13) & Emerson College ('08).

What's more romantic than spending Valentine's Day hearing me perform bad songs I wrote as a teen?

That's right, I'm doing another round of performances for the Boston Chapter of Mortified, showcasing the worst of the worst romantic songs I ever tried to write as an angsty/horny teen.

This year, we're doing 3 different shows — but fair warning, they're all selling out pretty fast!


Alejandro & the Fame at the Cantab Lounge!

That's right folks, everyone's favorite all-male hard rock Lady Gaga (+ other female pop artists) cover band returns to Boston — this Thursday night at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge! Be there, or be having less fun than the rest of us.

And here's a little taste of the tunes...

My ARISIA Convention Schedule

I'll be at the Arisia sci-fi / fantasy convention in Boston this coming weekend, speaking on a few panels and generally hanging around. I've never been to Arisia before, nor have I ever been on any convention panels, so I'm doubly excited (and very much hoping that I don't say anything too stupid).

Anyway, here's where you can find me. Come say hi!

  • Neurodiversity in SF/F
    Saturday, 11:30am-12:45pm in Marina 2 (2E)
    How are autistic and other neurodiverse characters presented in SF/F? What works handle this subject well, and which do not? Who are some neurodiverse authors whom we should all be reading? And how, as a genre, do we move beyond stories only focused on a “cure”?
    with Don Sakers, David G. Shaw, and JoSelle Vanderhooft
     
  • DC Comics on the Small Screen: 2015 Edition
    Saturday, 5:30-6:45pm in Marina 2 (2E)
    For all of DC’s much-disdained recent lack of creative success on the big screen, they’ve put together a string of received cartoons going back over twenty years ranging from episodic (Batman) to serialized (Young Justice) to goofy (Teen Titans Go). They’ve also launched multiple TV series, including Arrow, The Flash, and Constantine, even as their actual comics have become a pit of creative despair. We’ll discuss DC’s success (and occasional flop) over the years on television.
    —with Nomi S. Burstein, George Claxton, Jaime Garmendia, Dan Toland
     

  • Behind the Bristol Board: Comics as a Profession
    Saturday, 7-8:15pm in Marina 4 (2E)
    If you’re a comics fan, odds are you’ve thought about what it’s like to actually work in the comics industry. This panel will feature working professionals explaining the ins-and-outs of everything from writing and drawing, to editing and publishing. It’s everything you ever wanted to know about being a comics pro, but were afraid to ask.
    —with Ken Gale, Bettina Kurkoski, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley, Mercy E Van Vlack
     

  • Superman and Religion
    Sunday, 11:30am-12:45pm in Burroughs (3E)
    Superman remains an enigmatic figure in American mythology. Created by two Jewish kids from Cleveland, perhaps as a metaphor for Jewish assimilation, Superman also represents a Christlike figure in many stories, and the screenwriter of Man of Steel consulted, among other sources, the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh. Does the wide cast of Superman’s religious influences render him a defender-of-all-faiths? Can any religion claim him as one of their own? Come explore this thorny issue with Arisia 2015.
    —with Michael A. Burstein, Ken Gale, Alex Jarvis, Daniel Miller
     

  • Story Autopsy
    Sunday, 2:30-3:45pm in Alcott (3W)
    Our group of panelists takes a few well-known works of genre fiction and picks them apart to show you how they work, why they work, and in some cases point out the parts that don’t work at all. If you don’t like spoilers this is probably not the panel for you.
    —with M. L. Brennan, James L. Cambias, John P. Murphy, Ian Randal Strock
     

  • The Medium and the Message
    Sunday, 5:30-6:45pm in Hale (3W)
    A story can be told in a multitude of formats. Anything from short stories and epic poems to graphic novels and screenplays can be used to convey a narrative. How do the various formats compare? Do certain genres work well in one but not another? What about translations from one medium to another? How can you tell which works best for your story?
    —with Heather Albano, Alexander Feinman, John G. McDaid
     

  • Writing and Racial Identity 
    Monday, 1-2:15pm in Hale (3W)
    What does your race have to do with what you write? Depending on your race, are certain topics forbidden to you? Obligatory? None of the above? If your race matters, how do you know what it is? By what people see when they look at you, or by what you know of your genetic background? By your cultural upbringing? By what you write?
    —with John Chu, Mark Oshiro, Victor Raymond

Music To Soothe Your Jangled Innards

Quick update about a few events I've got coming up. One, I'll doing a show THIS Friday, December 14 at the All Asia in Central Square, Cambridge with my / Boston's premiere all-male hard rock Lady Gaga cover band Alejandro and the Fame. These shows are always a blast for everyone involved, and are almost always guaranteed to sell out, so make you get there (lookin' at you, People On The Other Side Of The River Who Missed Our Last Show Because It Was Allllllll The Way In JP Oh BooHoo). Admission is a scant $6, and we hit the stage around 10:30pm! I'm also excited to announce that I'll be performing a short set for MORTIFIED at Oberon on Saturday, December 22. For those who haven't heard of this, MORTIFIED is a night of performance in which real-live grown adult humans read horribly horribly embarrassing things from their high school journals / AIM transcripts / etc, and hilarity ensues. And so, during my set, you'll be treated to some particularly painful gems that I dugout from my high school and middle school songwriting notebooks. Ever wonder what kind of angsty tunes I wrote when I was 14 (including "Dot of my 'I'" and instant never-classic "Fuck You Hotchkiss Lane")? Here's your only chance to hear them live! More information to come when I got it.

And finally, I was asked to write up a few scripts for the 2nd Annual Boston One-Minute Play Festival at the Boston Playwrights Theatre, January 5-7. I believe the evening as a whole contains about 100 one-minute plays (yes, really, but c'mon, that's barely an hour and a half!), so I'm sure there's going to be some great variety. And if you don't like a play, well, just wait one minute! I will say that writing a play, complete with a status quo, conflict, rising action,and denouement is remarkably more difficult than you might expect it to be, but I'm pretty pleased with what I came up with (and I should be blogging a bit more about it soon over at their website).

That's all for now, folks! See you Friday!

In the News!

It's a good week for being me! I opened up a print copy (on newsprint! Gets on your hands!) of Boston's Weekly Dig, only to find that they reprinted my tweet to them about my Haiku Beer Reviews from last week's Beer Summit (for which I had tickets from the Dig), and they even printed one of the haikus (for ZOMBIE KILLER Meade from B.Nektar) in their pages. This marks the second time that the Dig has printed one of my silly poems (the last time being in October, 2010 in their "Oh, Cruel World!" column, wherein I expressed my violent rage about a bicycle accident in verse) which all just makes me think that they should give me a job as "Official Writer of Silly Verse" or something. Vagabond Theatre Group, who is the producing the upcoming reading of my play True Believers, posted a lovely and thoughtful blogpost about my play, and the trend (or lack thereof) of comic book-related stories in theatre. It's a brief but flattering piece, that you should check out if you have the chance!

Coming up: even more news that I can't quite officially announce yet. Hollerr.

Upcoming Gigs with The Backyard Committee

My good friend Mike Sembos (of The Alternate Routes) has recently recorded and released a new full-length album under the name The Backyard Committee:

The Backyard Committee is a band based out of New Haven, Connecticut that blends genres ranging from Americana to punk rock into a jam-friendly framework. Singer/guitarist Mike Sembos (The Alternate Routes, superfallingstars, Kennesaw) writes the songs, and they’re played by a rotating cast of his musical friends. Each member of the “committee” is encouraged to bring his or her own unique voice to the project, be it on stage, on tape, in the artwork or in the crowd. The group’s debut self-titled album was released in December 2010, and it’s posted indefinitely for free download on their website below. All music ever released by the band will be made available for free in digital form in an attempt to make the band experience less of a business venture and more of an art collective.

The album is an excellent collection of indie/Americana tunes, and I'm excited to say that I'll be joining him onstage for a few gigs this winter on keyboards. Catch us at Daniel Street in Milford, CT on January 17, and then again at New Haven's own Cafe Nine on February 24.

And download the damn album! I mean, c'mon. It's free. Sheesh.