Day Three started before I even left the house with the discovery that one of the panel guest was now following me on Twitter. Maybe not much in the big scheme of thing but certainly put a smile on my face.
I began the day with a reading by Connie Willis, from her new novel Cross Talk. Maybe not my usual cup of tea but it was funny as well as interesting enough for me to consider it when it gets released in October
Next was the Guests of Honour Presentation. This year, the guests were Rachel Caine and David Gerrold, with Joe R. Lansdale acting as Toastmaster. Funny, as you can hopefully tell from the photograph. There were several anecdotes about ups and downs of the writing business, both in books and for TV. And the handy hint that if if you ever get dropped by a publisher, you can always change your name and start over.
Rachel Caine, David Gerrold & Joe R. Lansdale
The Wonder Women of the 20th & 21st Centuries panel was next, or as I like to think of it, Everybody Loves Ripley. And Buffy. And Firefly. A discussion of what makes good female characters, mainly
Susan Krinard, Caroline Spector, S.M. Stirling, Cathy Plesko & Jeffe Kennedy
I then went to a reading with Melinda Snodgrass, who was having some vocal issues due to a sore throat. But she carried through, reading from two of her books, The High Ground & The Edge of Dawn. My main familiarity with her work was through the Wild Cards series, that and other Bubonicon appearances but I certainly liked what she read. She also rather generously gave away a copy of each of the books plus one each of the first two in the Edge series and offered to personalize them. I really should have been more forward there but I missed my chance.
The Sub-Genres That Won’t Die
Another funny one, which made me wish I’d seen more of Walter Jon Williams. Other than the signing sessions, this was the only time I heard him speak and I’m glad I got at least that. Turns out there aren’t that many dead genres, mainly lost world/tribe one, and most others keep going back in in slight variations. Oh, and John Jos Miller likes the Anno Dracula series. 🙂
Rachel Caine, Walter Jon Williams, Darynda Jones & John Jos Miller
Con Connections: Collegues as Family. Possibly the funniest panel of the three days. Plenty of banter between David and Joe, George baiting Connie over the time he won a Hugo ahead of her, Connie pointing out she has more overall wins, George & Melinda’s Love Bandits story (maybe you had to be there for that one) and tales of various other conventions visited. Apparently conventions for romance writers tend to be the most impersonal and sales obsessed, while horror writers are usually quite congenial.
But the main topic was the community spirit between fantasy/sci-fi authors and the relationships between them. Who would have expected that George would be considered the crazy old grandpa of the group?
David Gerrold, Melinda Snodgrass, Connie Willis, Joe R. Lansdale & George R.R Martin
After that, all that was left were the closing ceremonies, thanking everyone who attended, helped out and announcing some of the guests already arranged for next year. Which I will be attending, barring illness or accidental dismemberment.
I had a great time over the three days and I think I got a lot from it; not least of which, two of the panel authors following my Twitter account (hey, it made me insanely pleased). I think the main thing that illustrates that is that when I got home that evening, Britt told me that as far as she was concerned, it was worth three times as much to have me excited, energized and eager to be writing. I think that says it all really.