Archive for the ‘conventions’ Category
Warning: massive photo dump ahead.
Continuing my post from yesterday about the awesomeness of ConText26, on Saturday afternoon we went to a few more panels:
What Editors Want, with Faith Van Horne, John Joseph Adams, Jason Sizemore, and Scott Sandridge. This was one of my favorite panels. They talked about common errors seen in manuscripts (such as not following submission guidelines, the story submitted doesn’t match the style of genre of the publication, bad grammar), the author-editor relationship, and how the anthology editor decides what order the stories should in be. Frustration with not being able to take great stories came up more than once, where an editor was putting together a themed anthology and had to reject an excellent story simply because it had nothing to do with the theme.
A big part of the discussion was What Do Editors Really Want?
- how did you put a different spin on the idea?
- how is your approach different to everyone else who has used the same device?
- originality is better than polish
- how is your character different? what do they care about? Why should the reader be interested in them?
- humor is a plus. Just make sure you are laughing because the author wrote it as a humor piece!
During the Q&A time I asked how they each got into editing, and what steps someone who is interested in that aspect of the business should take. The advice was to volunteer as a slush reader to get a taste for it.
Non-Human Characters, with Elizabeth Bear, Matthew Cook, Linda Robertson, Dave Creek, T. Lee Harris, and Scott Sandridge. Another excellent panel! Be the character an animal, alien, shapeshifter or humanoid who isn’t human, they can’t just be the classic Star Trek “dude in a rubber suit”, or the person with nose ridges and lots of ear piercings. The authors talked about their techniques for writing non-human characters, which included tossing a lot of questions out to the audience. What sensory experiences does your character have (maybe they depend on smell?)? just because we are base-10 doesn’t mean other creatures will be, especially if they don’t have 10 fingers. What about symbiotic relationships? If you are on an alien planet, the environment of that planet will affect everything about the creatures who live there, everything from their physiology to their economy to their moral culture.
well, I’m off to ConText, in Columbus OH. electronic gizmos have been charged, car has been washed and gassed up. Friends will be met, new friends will be made, books will be drooled upon and purchased (you drool on it, you buy it). Also, there will be beer. Copious quantities of beer.
While I’m enroute to C’bus, you should totally enjoy my latest Convention Attention post over at SFSignal! Con curious? Want to go to one but aren’t sure what to expect? Not sure if there are any near you? The goal of this series of columns is to shed some light on what Cons are all about and what happens there. And hey, if you’re at one in the MidWest, and you see a short redhead running around, give a good loud shout of “Andrea!” and see if she turns around.
apologies in advance if your comments get stuck in moderation. Blog, e-mail, and twitter access will be limited for me this weekend.
We have returned, victorious from GrandCon! A new gaming convention in Grand Rapids, MI, GrandCon featured pre-scheduled gaming events, a ginormous gaming library you could sign games out from, a Pathfinder competition, table top roleplaying, game demos, a really nice dealer room, seminars, and more. I’m happy we got there early in the morning on Saturday, as the registration lines only grew and grew into the afternoon. I heard at one point that over 1200 badges were printed and that they ran out of programs. I think they’re gonna need a bigger hotel/convention location next year!
There was also an adventure to a brand new comic/gaming shop in the city, and an unintentionally SFnal dinner involving LED lights in a sushi presentation.
While I write up a longer post about the super cool World building panel that was presented by Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, Steven Schend and Jeff Grubb, you should enjoy these photos.
photodump commencing in three. . . . two. . . . and we have lift-off/photo dump!
These huge cardboard monsters were set up in the lobby, they were part of an oversized gaming demo for King of Tokyo
The game comes with regular sized dice, and regular sized cardboard characters that go on a regular sized board, but throwing big plushy dice is so much more fun!
Today I’m over at SFSignal talking about Conventions. It’s a new column over there, Convention Attention!
oh, also, this.
btw, this is just the beginning of a kick-ass awesome week. stay tuned!
Long story short – It was ah-maz-ing. another weekend of my geekgirldreams brought to us by the very hardworking folks at Stilyagi.
but, in case you are interested in the short story gone overly long, here ya go:
Last year at ConFusion I was about authors, authors, authors, and just for good measure more authors (also, one particular author, but that’s a different story). But this year I wanted to branch out a bit and see what else was going on. Luckily, the programming made that even easier for me. The sheer variety of programs and panels was amazing. There was an entire Science track, a Doctor Who track, lots of guest artists doing artwork in the hotel atrium, and a Studio Ghibli movie marathon on top of all the amazing author readings and “such-and-such in Sci and Fantasy” panels. And the best part? I was totally cool about this year. A little bit less of the running up to authors and babbling ohmygodIloveyourbookssomuchwillyoucomehomewithmecanicookyoudinner going on. Also, I cosplayed for the first time. Now that I’ve worn a tail, I can see why people don’t want to take them off.
Friday afternoon was saying hi to friends, hitting up the dealer room, finding the consuite (on the first floor, down the hall from all the panel rooms = WIN) and playing “spot the famous person” (omg, there’s John Scalzi! and he has a ukelele!). I made it to 2 panels on Friday, Fun with Liquid Nitrogen, and the Opening Ceremonies of the Con.
Liquid Nitrogen with Dr. Jennifer Skwarski. I always thought if the stuff touched you, that part of your body would shatter off. not so! (wait, scifi movies lied to me??) Apparently you can splash it all over your hand and be OK, although I don’t recommend trying that. Also, it makes a really neat snapping noise when splashed all over the floor. Demonstrations included the amazing whirring around ping pong ball, frozen vodka, frozen soap bubbles, crunchy expanding balloons, and of course making ice cream!
Not too much to say about the Opening Ceremonies, except that Mary Robinette Kowal had the best ever marionette story. I’m hoping she posted it on her blog somewhere, because if I try to tell it I’ll mess it up, and also it’s not my story to tell. And, Yes, she had her Hugo. Perhaps it was a prop for this? Also, Charles Stross has a really cool accent.
This weekend is WorldCon, in Chicago. I hear there were a record number of Hugo ballots received this year, and it’s expected to be a pretty big crowd, due to Chicago being a fairly accessible and get-to-able city for most folks in America. Twitter is afire with messages from my favorite authors and editors saying things like “heading to the airport!”, “ready for WorldCon!”.
I DEMAND blog posts from ALL OF YOU when you return, you hear me? I want photos too. Tweets are also appreciated.
In return, I agree to finally finish book reviews and post them of Maureen McHugh’s After the Apocalypse, and Steven Brust’s Jhegaala.
And while all the cool kids are chillin’ in Chi-town, I’ll be at a pizza party. But not just any pizza, it’s the third annual pizza cookoff, hosted every year by some foodie friends of mine. Hubby and I have been experimenting with different pizza toppings and sauces, resulting in a possible cook-off winner (we knew it was a contender because we fought over who got to finish the leftovers), and one pizza that was so disgusting it went right in the trash after the first bite.
if ya’ll post WorldCon photos, I’ll post bizarro pizza photos. equal trade, right?
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Oh was there a lot of cosplay, and it was awesome! I saw at least two Inuyashas, a spot on Doctor Who and River Song, two Tardises (Tardisii? Tardisae?) two Jesuses (again, Jesusi? Jesii? Jay-Z’s?), What I thought were Mokono hats (you know, from xxxHolic and Tsubasa?), possibly some furries, at least one The Dude, a Hunter S. Thompson, a few Trekkies, some Star Wars aliens, Doctor Frankenfurter, buckets of top hats and other crazy hats and goggles and random victoriana, and quite a bit of cross dressing. Husband and I played “guess the gender” a few times.
I learned something very important during this con. I learned that I haven’t a freakin’ clue how my stupid digital camera works. So most of my pictures came out like crap. Here are a few badly taken pics, and some links to much better image libraries.