Posts tagged with "convention" - Faerye Net 2010-11-09T18:02:43+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Ambercon Northwest FAQ 2010-11-09T18:02:43+00:00 2010-11-09T18:18:42+00:00 <p>In my new vein of <a href="" target="links">attempts at unusual con reports</a>, here is a report on what I&#8217;ve been doing since last Thursday (since I&#8217;ve not been blogging, or even reading twitter, or responding to many emails&#8230;) I was at <a href="" target="links">Ambercon Northwest</a>, a gaming convention dedicated to the worlds of <a href='' title='More info about this book at' rel='powells-9780380809066'>Roger Zelazny&#8217;s Amber</a> and the <a href="" target="links">Amber Diceless Roleplaying System</a>. It is held at McMenamin&#8217;s <a href="" target="links">Edgefield</a> and it is <em>awesome</em>. Only read ahead if you care at all about Amber and/or gaming.</p> <h1>Questions most often asked of me at my first Ambercon Northwest</h1> <p><em>Questions not asked: I can&#8217;t recall fielding any questions about my hair, which is unusual. Even at World Fantasy I got questions about my hair, and out in the workaday world, it&#8217;s almost daily.)</em></p> <p><strong>Aren&#8217;t you a little young for Amber? How&#8217;d you get into this?</strong><br /> At the first meeting of my critique group, <a href="" target="links">Dave Goldman</a> prefaced a comparison to Amber with &#8220;This would only occur to someone of my generation&#8221;, and I had to show him the margin note where I&#8217;d written the same thing. I think I&#8217;m an honorary member of the sci-fi-reading class of 1971, since the way I read science fiction as a child and even as a teen was to go to my father and ask for a book. Sometimes I even held my hands out in a ritual gesture, waiting to receive the next Science Fiction Book Club hardback. This is why I&#8217;m Generation X/Y (cusp!) and my childhood SF favorites were by Asimov, Simak, and Zelazny.</p> <p><strong>How did you find out about Ambercon?</strong><br /> The fabulous <a href="" target="links">Lee Moyer</a>, illustrator extraordinaire, posted his latest <a href="" target="links">Tarot-inspired T-shirt design</a> for Ambercon Northwest on Facebook. I was immediately mad to know more. Amber? Con? <span class="caps">NORTHWEST</span>? (As it happened, Lee ended up coming to <span class="caps">ACNW</span> for the first time this year himself, after years of designing their shirts, and we saved the universe together at least once.)</p> <p><strong>You&#8217;re from Portland?</strong><br /> Oh yes.</p> <p><strong>How did you not know Ambercon existed then?</strong><br /> I DON&#8217;T <span class="caps">KNOW</span>. I&#8217;m starting work on a theory of geek insularity, though, thankee very much!</p> <p><strong>Which was your favorite game?</strong><br /> <em>(Look of slack-jawed indecision)</em><br /> I think next year I&#8217;ll do even more Amber games. There are non-Amber games that Amberish people would enjoy &#8212; mostly using the system or diceless &#8212; and those were fab as well, but there&#8217;s something about Amber. Still, I didn&#8217;t regret signing up for a one, even the one I found out afterwards was a <span class="caps">LARP</span> (my first.) That one, trying for a <em>Princess Bride</em> feel, was <strong>hilarious</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Are you enjoying your first Ambercon?</strong><br /> Ambercon was a busy, fabulous, full four days of top-notch gaming. I can see why people cross continents and oceans to get to it. I want to come next year, and run games, and stay at Edgefield so I don&#8217;t have to drive home every night, and come the next year, and help the organizers out&#8230;I&#8217;m sort of in love. May all roads <em>always</em> lead to Amber!</p> World Fantasy 2010 2010-11-04T12:32:49+00:00 2010-11-04T12:33:28+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m not one for con reports, as a rule. For one thing, after a con I generally collapse and sleep for two days. For another, it makes me feel bashful to list all the fine people I met and so forth. Bad enough that going to a con perforce involves (at least for we people of relatively restricted acquaintance) a certain amount of the middle-school sensation of standing in the cafeteria with a tray, scanning the tables. Having to list everyone publicly afterwards adds an added layer of anxiety-dream to that.</p> <p>But one of the people I met at this World Fantasy was Ferrett Steinmetz, whose story &#8220;Under the Thumb of the Brain Patrol&#8221; appeared in the October/November <em>Asimov&#8217;s</em> with my &#8220;Termite Queen of Tallulah County&#8221;, and <a href="" target="links">his con report</a>, focusing on events rather than lists of people, inspired me. I think a smattering of events would give a better idea of the experience, anyhow. So: this is not exhaustive. I met many people and had many conversations, experiences, and plates of flaming cheese which I shall not mention here.</p> <p>So:<br /> <h1>Things that Happened at World Fantasy.</h1></p> <p><strong>Sheila Williams Lunch:</strong> Finally, I got to meet the editor of <em>Asimov&#8217;s</em> in person! This allowed for far more chatting than e-mail does &#8212; yes, I know e-mails can be long, but they constantly confront you with their growing length, which is somewhat inhibitive. Sheila was just as kind and gracious as I had always suspected. And I promised her I will try to finish this novel I&#8217;m writing so I can get some more short stories finished. (No goal could be closer to my heart, to tell you the truth.)</p> <p><strong>Locus stuff:</strong> A Locus booth in the dealers&#8217; room gave me the opportunity to put my <a href="" target="links">March resolutions</a> about subscribing into effect (plus I got a free issue! Beat that, internet convenience!) Plus I got to meet some folks from Locus, and I got my photo taken by a Locus photographer. They were taking pictures of &#8220;up and coming&#8221; spec-fic writers. Does this mean my photo will appear somewhere? I don&#8217;t know! It&#8217;s a mystery! I also got to meet Gardner Dozois, who gave me that review mentioned in March. He is very affable and we had a great chat.</p> <p><strong>Practiced introducing self:</strong> This is a big deal for me: introducing myself with the slightest of openings (&#8220;Hi, you said you liked my T-shirt when we shared an elevator car earlier.&#8221;) or no opening at all (&#8220;Hi, you are Gardner Dozois.&#8221;). I tried to encourage myself with a spirit of inquiry, but since it went well each time, my experimental data condemn me to wander the world, forcing my acquaintance on new people. Curse you, science!</p> <p><strong>Ellen Kushner Reading:</strong> I went to a reading by <a href="">Ellen Kushner</a>, where she read part of a story from the upcoming <a href='' title='' rel='powells' target="links"><em>Welcome to Bordertown</em></a> anthology and half of a very artsy chapbook story a friend of hers published in a limited edition. Of course, I had to buy one of the lovely things in the dealers&#8217; room so I can find out what happens (and drool over the illustrations.) Somehow I&#8217;d managed not to previously connect the dots that Ellen Kushner is the host of <a href="" target="links">a show on <span class="caps">NPR</span></a>, which explains (although causality could go either way here) why she&#8217;s the most graceful conversationalist I can recall.</p> <p><strong>Made important travel mistakes:</strong> My sadder but wiser conclusions include: travel earlier in the week rather than early in the morning. Book hotel rooms well in advance so you don&#8217;t have to leave while the con is still in full swing. Set an alarm for 24 hours before any Southwest flight so you can actually check in in a timely fashion.</p> <p><strong>Made pact to take over the world:</strong> One of the fabulous new people I met, <a href="" target="links">Emily Jiang</a>, is a fellow <a href="" target="links">genre-warrior</a> with every intention of continuing to write on both sides of the imaginary literary/speculative border and breaking down the wall between. We decided to team up and take over the world. You&#8217;ve been warned.</p> Awards Eligibility 2009 2010-01-16T14:49:05+00:00 2010-01-16T14:49:19+00:00 <p>Apparently it&#8217;s an accepted practice to post lists of your Nebula- and Hugo- eligible pieces for the delectation of passing voters, but it&#8217;s a dashed awkward sort of thing to do, especially when you have no pieces to list. I didn&#8217;t publish any spec-fic during 2009.</p> <p>However, this is my second (therefore, last) <a href="" target="links">year of eligibility</a> for the <a href="" target="links">John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award</a>. If you register for an attending or supporting membership at <a href="" target="links">AussieCon</a> before January 31, or if you attended/supported last year&#8217;s Worldcon, you could <a href="" target="links">nominate me here.</a></p> <p>Well, that wasn&#8217;t so bad. I managed to get through it all without hopping from foot to foot and babbling in manner of Bertie Wooster. Maybe by next year it won&#8217;t feel so very uncomfortable. Toodle-pip!</p> Orycon 31 2009-11-28T10:12:40+00:00 2009-11-28T10:12:40+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m back home from a Thanksgiving filled with piemaking and nephew-chasing, and right back into the thick of things: <a href="" target="links">Orycon 31</a> is, unlike other Orycons, happening Thanksgiving weekend. I&#8217;m a panelist as I was <a href="" target="links">last year</a>, so if you&#8217;re coming, you might want to know <a href="[]=288&time[]=any&day[]=all#search_results">my schedule</a>.</p> <p>It&#8217;s surprising to think that Orycon 30 was only a year and a week ago. Some of the people I met there are now good friends! I&#8217;m a lot more confident now, walking into a con on the first day, and I have some idea of what to expect. It&#8217;s quite exciting to be able to go to a con and tell people <a href="">my story is out right now!</a></p> <p>And of course, I am keeping an eye out for <a href="">the nice woman with long hair and bangs</a>.</p> Disruption in service 2009-10-31T13:54:57+00:00 2009-10-31T13:55:38+00:00 <p>I apologize for the delay mid-Terminator Week. I am at World Fantasy Convention and have not yet been able to wrest working wireless from my hotel (I type from my phone.) Rest assured two features are still planned for Terminator Week and sooner or later they will appear. I only wish I could send them back in time to prevent this pause!</p> Shaking hands is illogical 2009-10-22T22:58:41+00:00 2009-10-22T23:14:15+00:00 <p>I&#8217;m going to the <a href="" target="links">World Fantasy Convention</a> in San Jose this month. I&#8217;m excited. My mom isn&#8217;t though, because she&#8217;s worried about her offspring traveling and picking up <a href="" target="links">the dread H1N1</a>. While I try to allay her influenza fears as much as I can in general, I can see her point here. One of the main things you do at conventions is meet people. And here in America, when we meet, we mostwise shake hands.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve seen some people try to sidestep the handshake this year, but it&#8217;s difficult. You have to explain why you don&#8217;t want to shake, and some people take it personally. You&#8217;re basically deleting a major social ritual that communicates goodwill. It&#8217;s in the fabric of our culture, and it&#8217;s hard to rip out.</p> <p>That&#8217;s where my idea comes in.</p> <center><img src="" width="413" height="413" alt="a hand performing the Vulcan salute" title="Live Long and Prosper this Flu Season" /></center> <p>You see, at science fiction conventions, people share far more than a single culture. Even if you hate <em>Star Trek</em>, if you&#8217;re at a sci-fi con, you&#8217;re going to understand the gesture and its meaning. It fills the void left by handshaking. It doesn&#8217;t insult the recipient &#8212; most of us would love to live long and prosper &#8212; and hey, if you&#8217;re worried someone will think you&#8217;re a geek, you&#8217;re in the wrong place.</p> <p>I&#8217;d love to go to World Fantasy and Orycon this year and see people keeping their hands germ-free and their greetings classic and cordial, so if you think this is a good idea, please pass it along!</p> <p>Here are some tools you can use:</p> <p>Images (as seen above, all .png format)</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="images">Small image</a> (207 pixels square, 19K)</li> <li><a href="" target="images">Medium-sized image</a> (413 pixels square, 50K)</li> <li><a href="" target="images">Large image</a> (825 pixels square, 146K)</li> </ul> <p>Flyers (.pdf format, image plus &#8220;Shaking hands is illogical.&#8221;)</p> <ul> <li><a href="/media/flusalute1sheet.pdf">One 8.5&quot; x 11&quot; flyer</a></li> <li><a href="/media/flusalute2sheet.pdf">Two flyers on one 8.5&quot; x 11&quot; sheet</a></li> </ul> <p><font size=1>Feel free to use these images and flyers under <a href="" target="links">Creative Commons Noncommercial-Share Alike</a>. Please link back here if you post derivative works online. (If you make a pin, flyer, or other offline derivative work, you don&#8217;t have to mess it up with my info. I&#8217;ll live!) Thanks to my dad for his photograph, and his hand.</font></p> <p>Live long and prosper this flu season!</p> Orycon 30 2008-11-23T21:03:46+00:00 2008-11-24T15:50:56+00:00 <p>So it&#8217;s over, my <a href="" target="links">first con appearance</a> as a writer. I loved it. That&#8217;s even though I was initially terrified that I would be expected to arrive full of wisdom and pithy jewels, and even though my first panel was so poorly attended I considered closing my eyes and trying to levitate to make sure it wasn&#8217;t an anxiety dream. I learned (or sensed) that I am what I&#8217;m expected to be: full of opinions and odd scraps, self-deprecating jokes and nonsense; and that I know more than I realize. All my subsequent panels were well-attended, and even at the first one, I learned something. It&#8217;s an odd thing, a convention panel. It arrives sometime after you do, assembled from audience questions and bits of every person at the front of the room. You go partially to find out what it is you&#8217;re going to say.</p> <p>I met splendid people, and in general, everyone was radically friendly (even by Northwest standards.) I made new friends and bought new books. I haven&#8217;t assimilated everything yet &#8212; that will require time, and quite a bit of sleep.</p> <p>But one thing I think I will remember forever. It&#8217;s both a shining moment and a little bit of a regret. After a panel I was on where my story, <a href="" target="links">&#8220;Burgerdroid&#8221;</a>, was relevant, I was taking the escalator down to the main meeting floor. A woman leaned over the railing and called, &#8220;Felicity! I just wanted to tell you I loved your story.&#8221; I very nearly started running backwards up the escalator. I did not want to miss this. But I decided to err on the side of caution and confined myself to grins and thanks. &#8220;Have you got anything else coming out?&#8221; she said.</p> <p>&#8220;No sci-fi,&#8221; I replied.</p> <p>&#8220;Too bad. It was the most badass story I read all year.&#8221; (this is of course reconstructed. She may have said &#8216;kickass&#8217;, for example, but the emotion of the hearer is unaffected by such details.)</p> <p>I really wanted to find out who she was, but the few times I saw her again, she was deep in conversation, and her nametag was always flipped the wrong way. (If you ever read this, nice woman with long hair and bangs, leave me a comment and introduce yourself.) Maybe I&#8217;ll see her again &#8212; Orycon is a pretty cozy convention, and I hope to return next year. But if I don&#8217;t, I&#8217;ll chalk it up to fate: maybe it&#8217;s a good thing to have an anonymous reader in mind who loved your work and wants you to keep writing.</p> <p>Enough blogging! The page calls. Some nice woman with long hair and bangs is waiting for more stories.</p> Orycon 30 appearance 2008-11-10T12:58:10+00:00 2008-11-10T12:58:27+00:00 <p>As my <a href="" target="links">literary godmother</a> <a href="" target="links">predicted</a>, appearing at a convention proved to be a less remote possibility than I had thought. Time to rejigger the <a href="" target="links">Fame-o-Meter</a>, I guess! I made some inquiries about attending <a href="" target="links">Orycon 30</a> in a professional capacity, and <em>voila!</em> I&#8217;m on the schedule. Orycon 30 is November 21-23 in downtown Portland.</p> <p>Orycon 28 was the first (and thus far only) sci-fi con I ever attended, as a guest of one of my other good fairies, <a href="" target="links">the scintillating Leslie What</a>. It was a blast, dampened only by the necessity of making coffee drinks for $8.50 an hour miles away during some of the festivities. Well, that and the parking ticket, but I underwent that parking ticket knowingly in order to stay around awesome people for another half an hour! Orycon 28 was a grand old time, and I look forward to Orycon 30 with great excitement. And a little trepidation, but I tell myself not to worry. After all, it&#8217;s mostly talking to people, and I talk to people <em>every day</eM>. Sometimes I even talk to cats!</p> <p>Anyway, I&#8217;ll be on four panels and host one round-table conversation (schedule <a href="" target="links" >here</a>.) Wish me luck, and perhaps I&#8217;ll see you there!</p>