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WorldCon Day 3, Friday

PhotobucketFriday started off with a quick breakfast of Egg McMuffin from Mickie D's (I needed fast and portable thanks to a late start), then I joined the 9 AM stroll that met at the Big Blue Bear in front of the conference center. Struck up a nice conversation with a woman who has relatives in LaGrange, and we chatted about a number of things as the group sauntered about a mile or so.
I made a quick stop at my hotel for my bag o' stuff, and then went to a 10:00 panel on The Use of Horses in Fantasy and SF: Doing it Right with Beth Meacham, Karen Miller, moderator PC Hodgell, and Tanya Huff (andpuff). I didn't really learn anything I hadn't known from personal experience or from reading e_moon60 and Doranna Durgin's SFF.Net newsgroups, but there were lots of nice horse anecdotes. And some good discussion on the problems of stallions as war horses, and how it can be dealt with. (Basically, if you don't have any mares around at all this will shut down the hormones of the stallions, which was explained as how the Spanish Riding School keeps 60 or stallions stabled and performing together. You must then hope your enemy doesn't have mares, either. That's the hard part....)

republishing panel11:30 was a panel on Re-publishing Classic SF: Paper or Pixels, with Erik Mona (small press), James Frenkel (Tor), Michael J. Walsh (Old Earth Books, which reprints classics that Walsh likes), Steve Feldberg (Audible.com), Priscilla Olson (NESFA), and Baen editor Toni Weisskopf moderating. I didn't take any notes at this one, and all my memory can bring up is that everyone was in favor of reprinting SF classics, and that they all had their niches with some overlap. Oh, and that Audible has a big new push for recording SF, which is cool, even though my particular pattern of audiobook listening probably won't make me a big purchaser. I tend to buy audiobooks that I know very well from print, so I can stop and start listening when my off-and-on listening opportunities are 'on'.

I left that one a little early which gave me time to find lunch, an excellent sandwich from Cook's Fresh Market on 16th Street. Then I ran to catch Lois's GOH speech at 1:00, which was on genre writing, different expectations of different genres, especially SF and romance, then a long Q&A session. The GOH speech has generated some good discussion over on romance venues. I think it was during the Q&A that she made the interesting comments about series structure, and how different structures are for different purposes. The Vorkosigan books are in the Hornblower model--each book is a semi-independent episode in a character's life, and the character grows and changes over the series (no "reset to zero", as in some mystery series for example). The Chalion books are a thematic series, which if Ista hadn't demanded her own book would have been independent stories in the same universe, tied also by the theme of 'one book for each god'. And The Sharing Knife books, especially the first 2, are "one story broken up into multiple books". Or better to say that the series tells a broader story than the individual books in it tell alone.

The GOH speech also had the great quote (slightly paraphrased): "The new Miles book is jam packed with politics and world-building...and chickens. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about the chickens."

Next I went to Reading Matter Migration on moving from paper to ebooks or other format changes, which was lightly attended. I left very early when it seemed headed in directions that didn't interest me at all (copyright debates, the values or lacks of PDF as an ebook format, with a couple of outspoken audience members intent on getting their points in, too). Killing time, I went to Dealer's Room, found growlycub and wandered with her as she shopped.

The two of us headed to "The ages of a writer's life: writing to get published, writing for fans, writing for posterity", with Connie Willis, Larry Niven, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robert Silverberg, moderated by Suford Lewis, where the predominant theme of these established writers was "write what you want to write". Then for contrast I went to "After the day job goes: writing full time to pay the mortgage" with Colin Harvey, Robin D. Owens, Russell Davis, Steve Miller (and Sharon in the audience)--4 writers in the midlist or maybe whatever one calls the "pre-midist" stage--and the theme was "write anything you can sell". And "don't give up the day job". Interesting sidelight: the horror expressed by Russell Davis when he discovered that Robin Owens' new contract for 3 books, signed the day before, will pay on publication instead of on delivery of the final manuscript. Very bad for writers struggling to pay the bills, but I gather Robin is trapped by circumstances into taking what this publisher offers, or at least feels she is.

We emerged, spotted mbernardi, and dashed for Arbys for refueling. Delayed by rain, but still got back for the start of the Masquerade. I was most impressed by the 2 velociraptors (OK, the geology degree never leaves you)--one man costumes, made of hand-painted fabric. Pictures (not from the Masquerade show where I was too far from the stage to do anything with my camera, especially with the no flash rule, but from the photographers' session afterwards):
Velociraptor 1
Detail of feet
Velociraptor 2
Comin' at ya

When that was over, growlycub and I set off to find the Baen party I thought I'd been told was Friday night. Found the Sheraton, endured the wait for an elevator to the (key-card controlled) 22nd floor, and discovered the Baen party was apparently Saturday night. Wandered through a few bid parties and one publisher party grabbing a few nibbles and looking at decor, then headed in for the night. Con parties, at least the ones held in hotels rooms (most of 'em, as far as I can tell), are not for the introverted, crowd-averse person who doesn't know any of those people anyway.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
That photo of Lois at the GOH speech is downright stunning! I've just made it my screen saver, where it is perfect--the icons fill up the background, leaving the two portraits of Lois to glow. Marvelous! Thanks for posting it.
Aug. 18th, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
That was from the official photographer's set. When I first saw them, I wondered why in the world he framed all his shots in the big room to include the projection screen--but sometimes, it does indeed give a nice effect. :)
Aug. 19th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
It's quite amazing how many panels we were both at where I didn't see you [g]. Horses, and writing stages, and so forth.

Con parties, at least the ones held in hotels rooms (most of 'em, as far as I can tell), are not for the introverted, crowd-averse person who doesn't know any of those people anyway.

Amen, sister. I had Plans to go to at least a couple of those parties in order to buttonhole agents and pitch my book, but the complete and utter panic attack I had stepping out of the elevator on the 22nd floor had me retreating to the con suite in utter ignominy. I guess if I'm going to sell that book, it'll have to be the old-fashioned way -- by query letter.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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