Dragon Con Virtual is underway this weekend! As a scheduled program participant for the torpedoed-by-pandemic real-life con, I was asked to shoot a two-minute video greeting about why I love science fiction and Dragon Con. It’s probably up on their site somewhere, but blast if I know where, so I’m posting it here.
In the course of shooting the video, an imp appeared in the corner of my screen during one take. Where’d she come from?? It wasn’t my best take, but the imp was too charming not to keep. So here’s the Outtake—with Imp:
What was originally intended as a bookstore event at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA, has morphed into an online event, so you can attend no matter where you live! Even the ISS, if their wifi is up to the task. I’m not saying that the astronauts will attend, but I’ll bet they could if they wanted to.
I’ll be zooming in with two of my friends and colleagues in the science fiction trade: Steven Popkes and L.J. (Lisa) Cohen, for a conversation about the writing life, our newest books, and what about our writing life led us to write our newest books. Questions from the legume gallery will be encouraged.
This weekend, Boston’s long-running Boskone science fiction convention, will be running in the Westin Hotel on the waterfront—same location as Arisia, a month ago. Where Arisia was somewhat media oriented, Boskone is more focused on the literary end of science fiction. It also usually boasts one of the best art shows among SF cons.
I’ll be there Friday evening, Saturday, and for a little while on Sunday. If you see me, stop and say hello! I’ll also be selling autographed books during the Boskone Book Party, Saturday evening. Come buy some books! (Or just say hello.)
I’ll be attending my first Philcon this weekend. By all accounts, it’s a great convention. I look forward to seeing friends, making friends, and taking a little time to myself for the trip. I’ll be autographing Saturday, and moderating several panels. Here’s my schedule. Please say hi if you see me!
Saturday, November 9
11:00am — Autographs: Daniel Kimmel, Jeffrey Carver, Keith R.A. DeCandido
So, the last couple of weeks were pretty hard, with my brother’s passing—and thank you all for your kind thoughts and wishes. Now I’m trying once more to get up a head of steam. The Reefs of Time launches in just three weeks!
What I’m focusing on now is proofing and correcting the print edition of Reefs, and yes, this is getting close to the wire. (And any corrections I make that are not just formatting, such as bad hyphenation, uneven spacing of justified text, and so on—meaning word or punctuation or italicizing corrections—all those have to be copied into the ebook and the source file, as well. It’s an incredibly finicky business.)
Due to unavoidable scheduling conflict with my brother’s memorial service in August, I have canceled plans to attend Worldcon in Dublin. That hurts, because I picked the launch date specifically to have the book out in time to promote it at Worldcon. Well, family first, and no regrets about making that choice; I just wish it hadn’t happened. And I mean that in every possible sense.
Okay, this 460-page book isn’t going to proofread itself. See you later.
Worldcon ended on Sunday, and as a way of saying farewell, I thought I would post this picture of the welcome sign.
I had a Kaffeeklatch on Sunday that was well attended, and included attendees of various ages from countries all over the world. They had come to drink coffee and ask me questions, so that meant I did a lot of talking. They all seemed to enjoy it, and I know I did. One local fan (I think he said he was Finnish, but it all blurs) did a little video interview with me afterward. I suppose that might end up on youtube someday.
And here’s a picture of one of the highlights for me in terms of programming I watched from the audience. It’s NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren giving a presentation on space medicine based on his experiences on the International Space Station.
Dr. Lindgren is a wonderfully entertaining speaker, and a gracious ambassador for the space program, based on a brief chat we had in the corridor. He’s also a science fiction fan. (At the Spokane worldcon, he presented one of the Hugo awards via Skype from the space station.)
Here’s a picture of him zipped up in his zero-g sleeping bag. Cozy!
Thursday through Saturday were good days for me at Worldcon.
But first, congratulations to all the winners of the Hugo and associated rewards! You can see the full list on tor.com. Women once again dominated in the trophy winning, which might have made some people unhappy, but I thought it was great. It’s about time some of our fantastic female writers got their due. And I’m also glad to see lots of young fans, from many nations, of all and sundry genders.
The convention ran into problems with serious overcrowding, because attendance wildly exceeded expectations. Tons of people registered at the last minute, or showed up without preregistering or hoping for day passes, which they had to stop selling. Combined with this, the local authorities strictly enforced the fire laws, so that no standing room was permitted in any of the rooms. The result was crazy long lines, lots of folk not getting into panels they wanted to see, and plenty of hair pulling. The con committee rallied, worked with the convention center, and got some of the more popular events moved to larger rooms, and even added additional panels at the last minute. It was a tough recovery, but I think they did a good job under difficult circumstances.
My own panels over the last few days included one on keeping yourself motivated in writing, a topic that drew plenty of interest. Friday we were on for writing space opera and writing collaboratively, and both were well attended and fun discussions. I was moderating both, so I was revved up keeping things moving.
Today I had two big panels that I was not moderating, one on the future of physics, and one on world building. Both were a lot of fun. Here’s a sort of blurry picture of the world building panel, with (from left to right) Jon Oliver, Alex Acks, me, and George R.R. Martin. The audience for this one was huge, as you might expect. It was a lively and interesting discussion, I thought.
There were lots of camera flashes, so if anyone out there has a clearer picture and would like to send it my way, please do!
We arrived in Helsinki, Finland, early this morning for Worldcon 75, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention. At the moment, sleep deprivation and jetlag are making things somewhat of a blur. (Finland time is seven hours earlier than Boston time.) I think half the people on our flight from Iceland to Helsinki were on their way to the con.
Tomorrow, I start things in earnest, with a signing session at noon, and a panel on how to motivate yourself when writing is tough at 15:00. (Everything is on the 24-hour clock here.)
Friday I’ll be moderating a panel on space opera, and another on writing collaboratively. Saturday, I’m the one non-physicist on a panel on the future of physics (I guess I’m the wild card in the deck), and participating—in my last panel—on one on world-building, a panel that might or might not include George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, depending on what listing I believe.
Once the worldcon is over, we’ll be taking a few days to see Helsinki and Finland, and then a couple in Iceland on our way home.
I’ll try to post some updates, but don’t hold me to that. Things can get pretty crazy at a worldcon. I’m looking forward to seeing many friends!
Okay, I’m coming in a little late with this (but that makes me smart; see here)…
I will be at Readercon on Friday evening of this week, and Saturday. Doing a signing on Friday at 7 p.m., and leading a panel (“Life, Love, and Robots”) on Saturday at noon! Quincy Marriottt, Quincy Mass.