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Balticon and Beyond

Well, I survived another convention. This one was a little different than usual, since my family and some friends attended with me. I've been so used to just wandering amok at these shows over the past ten years, it's hard to remember to coordinate what everyone's doing and where to meet. It was also strange not attending any of the room parties or hanging out in the bar swapping stories with other guests, but then again, it's not bad doing something different once and a while also.

I had my two panels on Saturday and I thought they went pretty darn well. The research one I thought went VERY well, although after listening to Catherine Asaro discuss how she'd figured out a way to get around Einstein's Speed of Light limits for a story (and how she'd gotten her concept posted in a scientific journal along with using it in one of her novels), I felt my brain melting. I knew she was brilliant (after all she holds a Ph.D. in Physics), but to hear her just toss stuff off like that so casually, it's a little intimidating.

The Anime panel went very well. Good audience participation as well as some very interesting panelists. I originally thought this was going to be a "beginner's" panel on Anime/Manga, but as usual, the audience was fairly well versed in the field, so we went into more detail in a few areas rather than doing a broad discussion of the genre. I was fairly pleased with how everything went and no one threw stuff at us, so that's always a good sign.

Sunday started out slowly for me. After attending the panel that wishweaver, dzeytoun, mollymorrison, and perivane did on Harry Potter fanfiction (and a very nice panel it was), I went upstairs to the dealer's room to do a book signing. Me and the Crickets. . . ;) I had a nice discussion with Rich Burlew, who does a pretty cool webcomic called "The Order of the Stick. It's a spoof of role-playing gaming (one system in particular), but it's a real hoot. I found myself not only laughing but nodding my head in agreement in several places. I think that frightened me most of all. (O.K. I am a geek, I admit it.)

After the mass of non-people who came for my signing, I was really nervous about my reading, but I had five people attend. I did a reading from Assault on Avenger's Mansion, which appeared in the Ultimate Hulk anthology that Steve Roman and I wrote. Had some interesting questions afterward and 80% of them stayed the entire 30 minutes, so I count that as a major victory.

The next panel (The Effect of Anime on American media) got a slow start since our moderator was unavailable, but one of the panelists jumped in and got things going. The three of us had a pretty good conversation and the audience (minus one knucklehead) was very involved in the conversation. One of the panelists was an expert on U.S. Animation, but not anime, so he had some very good takes on the phenomena from the outside as opposed to us who're maybe a little too close to the subject. All in all, it was one of the better panels we had at the show.

My last panel on Sunday was "Books to Film". Now, I've done media tie-in work, and I am working on a Star Trek novella, but I've certainly never had anything optioned to Hollywood (well, that's not exactly true, but it was only optioned by an agent, not a producer). But, once we started discussing the best (and the worst) adaptations of books into movies, and then got the audience involved, I think it worked out very well. (And never let it be said, the SF community doesn't have strong opinions on what makes a good (bad) movie.

I also attended a few other panels (Tribute to Andre Norton, State of Publishing, Whose Responsibility is it (quality control on books), World/Alien creation and a few others. I really wanted to go to the Atlanta Nights panel as well as the "Chicks in Chainmail" panels, but I was doing panels at those times (sigh).

I had a few minutes to harass . . . I mean, visit with kradical about Coventry and will be finishing the last edits tomorrow before submitting it for pre-pub review. (Gotta love working for/with the government.) Also met Victoria Strauss from Absolute Write. She runs Writer Beware on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America site with A.C. Crispin. Also visited with Tee Morris and Tony Ruggerio and found out they're involved in putting together a new convention down in Richmond called Ravencon. It'll be held next April and I'm looking forward to participating.

However, now that the convention is over, it's time for a little BIC. I worked on Harbinger tonight, finishing 1273 words. It was a little tough with everyone sitting here at the table playing the Star Wars Trivial Pursuits game, but progress is progress. Besides, I know I don't know enough about the Star Wars series to avoid getting sucked into that game again. (I'm still smarting from the whuppin' wishweaver put on me the last time. Sad thing is, I bought it for her.)

Current Harbinger status
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
49,992 / 125,000
(39.0%)


Music listened to: Jethro Tull - Aqualung

Web site of note: The Order of the Stick

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