About this site:
This page, my little outpost on the Web, has been online in one form or another since early 2003. I began blogging with an account at blogger, but soon migrated to a Movable Type setup, which I maintained at this address until sometime in 2005. Then I switched to WordPress, and have maintained the site here using that system ever since. My comment/site policy list is here.
I have in the past been active on other websites, but they’re all defunct now (even if some of them are still partly viewable online), so I won’t provide links to them all. In general, I post about writing, pop culture, music, science, culture, politics, South Korea, education… a real grab bag of topics. Though I do not consider myself a “Korea-blogger” my residency there and the frequency with which I discuss Korea has led others to consider me one. That’s fine with me.
About Gord Sellar–Very Short Version:
Gord Sellar’s work has appeared in many publications since 2007, and he has written screenplays for several award-winning short films. He was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2009, and attended Clarion West in 2006. Although a Canadian, he has lived in Asia since 2002—primarily in South Korea but also in Vietnam. He is currently working on a novel while living in the South Korean countryside. Visit his website at gordsellar.com.
About Gord Sellar–Short Version:
Gord Sellar is a writer, an educator, an avid homebrewer, and occasional musician. His work have appeared in many magazines, anthologies, and journals since 2007, and several of his screenplays have been made into award-winning short films. (See Brutal Rice Productions for more on those.) He was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2009, and attended Clarion West in 2006. Born in Malawi and raised in Canada, and having spent eleven years lecturing in South Korean universities and two years in Vietnam, he is now working on a novel while living in the South Korean countryside. Visit his website at gordsellar.com.
Here’s my about.me profile:
More links and biographical details available on the actual about.me page.
About Gord Sellar–Long Version:
- Born in Blantyre, Malawi, 1974. Emigrated to the Canadian Maritimes as an infant.
- Attended junior high school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and high school (mostly) in Saskatoon.
- First published poem(s): “Cougar Nights” in Waking Slow (1991).
- First published story: “touch,” in the St. Thomas More College In Medias Res literary journal. I think it was in 1996, but I don’t have a copy of the magazine on hand.
- Graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Double Honours BA: Honors in Music, High Honours in English Literature in 1998.
- Studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Concordia University, Montreal, from 1998-2001. Graduated with an M.A. in the subject. I was accepted into the program on the strength of my poetry, but in 1999 I read Maureen McHugh’s China Mountain Zhang and decided that SF of the kind I wanted to write could be written… and that I should do it, too. (Soon after, Bruce Sterling’s Holy Fire, and Greg Egan’s Diaspora, had a similar effect on me.)
- Started freelance editing and writing around 1999 or 2000. I’ve edited a lot of weird stuff, including:
- A pamphlet by the Korean Ministry of Justice, advising foreigners not to work illegally. (The irony being that editing the pamphlet for pay was also “illegal” work. The double irony being that I pointed it out to the Ministry of Justice, and was told that it wasn’t a problem.)
- English textbooks written by people who don’t speak English. (Here, edit means “extensively rewrite but receive no credit. Never again.)
- A ghostwritten petition for the canonization of a Quebecois priest who died in China. I’m not sure what was more bizarre–the accounts of so-called miracles, or the flagrant admissions made regarding the abuse of research funding. It paid well, though: after all, I was paid out of his research funding, too.
- Moved to South Korea at the end of 2001. Stayed until March 2013, and returned in January 2015.
- Attended Clarion West 2006, in part thanks to receiving the generous Susan C. Petrey Memorial Scholarship.
- First professional story sale: “Pahwake,” to Fantasy Magazine, in 2007. (First sold, though a subsequent sale was published sooner.) My stories, articles, and poems, as well as book reviews and columns, have since appeared in numerous anthologies, magazines, and collections, including Asimov’s SF, Clarkesworld, Subterranean, the Shine Anthology, and more. See my full publication history.
- Finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2009, and had the pleasure of attending WorldCon that year in Montreal. That was also the year that one of my stories appeared in a “Year’s Best” collection for the first time.
- Attended the Launch Pad Workshop in 2009. Thank you NASA!
- Began screenwriting in 2011, and co-founded Brutal Rice Productions with award-winning filmmaker Jihyun Park in 2012. Several of my screenplays have been made into award-winning films.
- Married Jihyun Park in February 2013.
- Relocated to Saigon, Vietnam in April 2013, and stayed there for two years before returning to South Korea.
- Currently living in the South Korean countryside, where I teach at a satellite campus of a major local university.
- Am currently working on a novel with the working title The Company of Distillers which is probably the first book of trilogy called something insane like The Zymurgic Singularity… but I have something like ten other novels in various stages of development, each waiting for me to get around to them.
I Am Not:
- The Gordon Sellar who was a bassist for the Prog Rock Band Beggars Opera. (He left the band before I was ever born!) We might be related, and probably are, distantly–the Sellar side of my family hails from Glasgow, as does he, and how many Sellars can there be, really? Incidentally, I have played the bass–contrabass and electric bass guitar alike, though mostly the former–though never in a rock band… only in string orchestras. I am pleased, however, to see that Beggars Opera played songs that remind me of one of my favorite fusion bands–The Mahavishnu Orchestra–and which had an SF theme:
- The Gord from Acts of Gord, who was into RPGs, ran a games shop, worked in Korea, and now recruits teachers for Korean hakwons. I suspect we would have gotten along, had our paths crossed, since we have so very much in common, but we’ve never met, and my acquaintance with him has solely been though the website. Which is hilarious, by the way.
- I am also not (as far as I know) related to the Brigadier-General Gordon Sellar, commander of the Black Watch at Gagetown, and decorated veteran of WWII.
- My reasons for taking up the saxophone were a little silly… at first. But hey, motivation is motivation. I mostly played in jazz groups in Canada, but spent almost three years playing with an indie rock band in South Korea, named Dabang Band. (I have a little sub-site about the band here.)
- However avid I was about playing the saxophone, I was just as avid about RPG games. The path as I remember it now was D&D, AD&D, Gamma World, Wraith: The Oblivion, then a long hiatus that has finally ended with Dread, Fiasco, and Stars Without Number/Labyrinth Lord. (More memories here.)
- I speak Korean, but I’m definitely not fluent. I’d put myself at an intermediate level for speaking, but low-intermediate for reading and writing, though the rust has begun to set in since I left Jeonju. Still, my Korean is much better than my French.
- I’ve been teaching in one form or another since 1990. I started out with giving saxophone and jazz theory lessons to high schoolers and retirees, and proceeded on to university essay-composition courses, worked as a pedagogical content developer, and then went back into teaching itself when I moved to Korea. The range of subjects covered during my stint in the Korean university system has been bewilderingly wide. I’m currently just teach EFL, though: rudimentary writing, conversational English, and courses in presentation and debate.
- I’m an award-winning homebrewer. Not tons of award, and nothing major, but then, I’ve only competed in local homebrewing competitions in Seoul. Mind you, but there was stiff competition. I started homebrewing and meadmaking in 2010, and was both very active and very well-known in the Korean homebrewer scene. I’ve brewed or co-brewed a few prize-winning beers in the years since. My toughest success? 3rd place in the IPA Category at South Korea’s Brew Your Hops Off competition, 2011… with a “Belgian IPA.” (But my proudest win was for a sour pale ale named “Sour Kiss” which got the Audience Choice Award at the last homebrewing event I was able to attend in South Korea.)
- I didn’t always want to be a writer. I started out drawing and sketching pictures, though I only have a few of the things I drew back when I was a kid; then I moved on to writing poems and the occasional short story or Ghostbusters fanfic; then I got a copy of D&D Basic and tabletop RPGs took over my spare time until I got serious about playing (and later writing) music. I only ever got around to writing fiction seriously after all that.
Several of my avenues of interest are too bulky to fit here. I’ve given them subpages of their own:
- Stuff to Read: A small, but growing, collection of my short stories, poems, and song lyrics.
- Music: My musical background, in a nutshell, with a bunch of clips, soundtracks, compositions, and albums available for download.
- I’ve also just put up a memorial site for Dabang Band (다방 밴드), the (now-defunct) South Korean indie rock band I played in from 2002-2004.
- Filmmaking/Drama: I’ve been active in filmmaking/screenwriting for the last few years. My personal profile in this area is here, but see also Brutal Rice Productions for some projects in which I’ve been involved.
- RPGs: Gaming played an important part in my youth, and I’ve recently returned to the hobby (though not very heavily).
- Photography: I’m without a proper camera (besides my smart phone) these days, but in days gone by I was avid about photography. A lot of stuff is up at flickr.com.