It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
No, silly, not the winter holiday season. I’m talking about Dragon*Con, where you too can be surrounded by forty thousand of the closest friends and acquaintances you never met before–like these charmers.
I’ll be doing my thing on five panels this year:
Friday, August 31, 1 p.m. (Hyatt, Fairlie Meeting Room) Talking Cats and Clever Rats–Animals as symbols and characters in SF and fantasy.
Panelists: Lynn Abbey, Diane Hughes, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator)
Saturday, September 1, 2:30 p.m. (Hyatt, Greenbriar Meeting Room) Good War/Bad War–How have recent conflicts shaped or influenced today’s SF?
T.C. McCarthy, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Michael Z. Williamson
Sunday, September 2, 5:30 p.m. (Hyatt, Greenbriar Meeting Room) Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading–Well-known and up-and-coming women writers read from their works.
Too many writers to count.
Monday, September 3, 1 p.m. (Hyatt, Fairlie Meeting Room) SF Win, Lose or Draw–The third annual Win, Lose or Draw competition comes to Dragon*Con. Put together a team or join one when you arrive.
Monday, September 2, 2:30 p.m. (Hyatt, Embassy D-F) Writer’s Wonder Panel–Writers discuss the wonders–good and bad–of being a writer.
Lynn Abbey, Carole Nelson Douglas, Nancy Knight, Jennifer St. Giles, Jean Marie Ward, Janny Wurts
For those of you who view clicking through picture galleries with the same horror our parents reserved for slide shows of Aunt Ermintrude's trip to the Catskills, today's post at Beyond the Veil is for you. I've cherry-picked some of my best photos of Dragon*Con 2011 and wrapped them in the lightest of all possible con reports. And there isn't a panel table anywhere in sight. Enjoy!
Cruxshadows violinist JoHanna Moresco demonstrates violin technique to a young friend before Monday morning's concert.
It’s been a challenging week here at Casa Ward/Uchrin. Days of rain succeeded in doing what earthquake and hurricane failed to do: postpone my work on my Dragon*Con photos and videos.
We’re still dealing with the aftermath of the flood, but the photos are sorted and posted at Flickr. I plan to post a Thursday Thirteen at Beyond the Veil in the near future, but Flickr’s the place if you want to see the complete set.
Meanwhile, Buzzy Multimedia has posted my interviews with authors Maria V. Snyder and Paolo Bacigalupi. We’re also tweaking my Tour of Tor. I’ll post the link soon.
Finally, I want to remind everybody that my story “Billy’s Monster” will be published in Hellfire Lounge II: Rat Pack Redux. The story leans more toward horror than my usual, but with a scheduled publication date of late September/early October, it’s certainly in keeping with the season.
One of the best things about being a writer is being able to post a convention schedule. Not only is it a measure of your achievement, it also means you’ll be seeing your long distance friends. And when the schedule happens to be for Dragon*Con, well, let the party begin!
Friday, September 1
11:30 AM: Just the Facts, Ma’am
Description: Non-fiction is a market that needs good writers. If this appeals to you, come listen to these pros tell you how to make it happen.
M Chapman, G. D. Falksen, John L. Flynn, Anya Martin, and Jean Marie Ward
Location: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
8:30 PM: New and Next Weird
Description: New weird, mash-up, slipstream, interstitial, crossover… what does the future of “genre” hold, especially for the darker fringes of fantasy?
Lou Anders, Stephen H. Segal, Ann VanderMeer, Jeff Vandermeer, and Jean Marie Ward
Location: Cairo – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
10 PM: Broad Universe Reading
Description: Quick cuts read by some by the women authors of Broad Universe
Gail Z. Martin, Jody Lynn Nye, Jean Marie Ward, Trisha Wooldridge (moderator) and many more.
Location: Greenbriar – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Sunday, September 4
1 PM: Broad Universe Reading Part 2
Description: More great reads by the women authors of Broad Universe.
Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward and many more.
Location: Fairlie – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Monday, September 5
11:30 AM: Win, Lose or Draw – SF and Fantasy style
Description: A replay of our popular game show where your job is to draw sf and fantasy names and phrases to get others to guess them. Prizes available.
MC: Jean Marie Ward
Location: Fairlie – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
RavenCon isn’t the only thing on my calendar this month. Monday, April 12, barely hours after I return from Richmond, I’ll be reading at the Library of Congress in downtown Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress! You can’t see it, but I’m grinning so hard my cheeks are aching.
The reading resulted from a collaboration between the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum and Broad Universe, an international organization dedicated to exploring and promoting the work of women writers in science fiction, fantasy and horror. It will take the form of a four-person Rapid Fire Reading featuring Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sarah Avery, fellow BtV blogger Christine Norris and me. You’ve already seen the poster I prepped when the reading was announced. Now you can read the bios, too, in the hand-out I’ll be using as our program.
I signed With Nine You Get Vanyr at the Turn the Page spring mega-signing in 2007. Nora and the top names sell hundreds of books, and even small fry like me sell in the dozens. This time, there are some new rules. For example, the writers can only sign books purchased at the event. Trust me, that’s a relief. Yes, you sign that much.
Back from DragonCon. I had such a fabulous time I’m way to tired to write coherently about it, but I thought I’d post a few (a very few!) of the highlights as a teaser of things to come–as soon as I finish sorting the 570 photos I took. Until then, this will have to do:
- FINALLY getting to see a panel with James Marsters (with green hair, no less) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones in Torchwood).
- Running into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years directly afterwards.
- Hanging with friends like artist/writer Marianne Plumridge and her husband, artist Bob Eggleton, Jana Oliver, Teresa Patterson and my roomie Dorie. Also ran into the old Press Room gang–Star, Leigh, Kelly, Dave & Phyl. (Randi couldn’t make it, but I did talk to her and the new bambino.)
- Dinner with Crissy Brashear (owner and publisher of Samhain Publishing), Jacob Hammer (Samhain’s office manager), Alex Ross (Jacob’s girlfriend) and writers Ally Blue and Rosemary Laurey/Georgia Evans and her husband George at Nikolai’s on the Roof, the extraordinary restaurant on the top of the Hilton. The company was fabulous and the dinner… Well, let me put it this way, the meal started on plates with gilded images of Faberge eggs and ended with the presentation of a single red rose to all the ladies.
- The amazing historical and Steampunk costumes, and dressing up in my own less amazing Steampunk outfit (see Marianne’s great picture of her husband, artist Bob Eggleton). At least the hat, the rose from Nikolai’s, and all of Marianne’s DragonCon pics were splendid.
- Sitting back-to-back with William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew and Leonard Nimoy at the DragonCon Awards Banquet. (BTW, they’re actually serving meat now–the banquet, I mean, not the stars.)
- The Cruxshadows concert. (Duh!)
- Surviving a four-panel Sunday running from 10 a.m. (after the Cruxshadows concert–ow!) to 11 p.m., after the “sex panel”: “Sex in SF/Fantasy–Too Much or Not Enough?”
- The Lost Boys concert at the Pirate Ball followed by costume watching at the Marriott Starbucks, which has replaced The Perk as the ultimate people-watching destination since the Hyatt has gotten pissy about photos in the lobby.
- Sitting next to Rogue on my last panel, “Under Raven’s Wings: 200 Years of Poe”, listening to three of his dramatic readings, including the awesome “Annabel Lee”, and having him autograph this year’s Cruxshadows single for Bree and me when the panel was done. And day-um, he smelled good. White musk, I think. (Made me wish I’d packed my favorite Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scents, but I’ve been afraid ever since my hand lotion triggered Barbara Hambly’s allergies at World Fantasy Con.)
- Drinking 12-year-old Glenlivet single malt in the Green Room at the Hair of the Dog Party (i.e., the clearing of the Green Room after the Dead Dog Party). I didn’t even know they had Glenlivet in the Green Room.
- Getting back home to Greg and the Duz. Gotta recover in time for next year, after all.
DragonCon, the world’s greatest summer camp for wayward adults (2009 edition), starts in five or six days, depending on whether you count the Alternate History Track Meet & Greet at Max Lager’s brew pub and the concerts Thursday night. (I do.) I’m pumped. I’ve got my postcards (for Fantasy Art Templates, the art book slated for release in March 2010). I’ve got bookmarks for Master of Crows, Grace Draven’s fabulous fantasy romance. I will have postcards and bookmarks for the spouse’s web site, Intravenous Caffeine as soon as they arrive at home of an Atlanta-based friend.
But I don’t have a thing to wear!
Actually I’ve got quite a lot. I need it, because in addition to the Meet & Greet, the Time Travelers Ball (Friday, September 4) and the Pirate Party (Sunday, September 6), I’ve got eight panels! And once again, The Powers That Be have blithely assumed that I will be conscious and capable of carrying on intelligent conversation with the likes of Peter David and Katherine Kurtz at 10 a.m. on the morning after the Cruxshadows’ midnight concert. They are so insane. I am so doomed. Of course, I’ll be worse at 1 p.m., Monday, September 7, when they’ve scheduled me on a panel with Rogue, the Cruxshadows’ lead singer. Get your earplugs now. Given the fan girl squee that’s building, you’ll need them.
There will be photos.
Eventually. Hope to see you there!
You Say Religion, I Say Magic – An examination of the use of religion and magic systems in science fiction & fantasy. What is their place and why? Panelists: D.A. Adams, Linda L. Donahue, James Palmer, Stephanie Souders (Moderator), Jean Marie Ward. 1 p.m., Greenbriar Room (Hyatt)
They SHOULD Be Movies! Books You Want to See on Film – Indulge your fantasies. Talk about the books you most want to see on the big screen…and who’d you most like to see do them. Panelists: Van Plexico, Jean Marie Ward. 4 p.m. Fairlie Room (Hyatt)
Where Do You Go When You Need…? – The pitfalls and benefits of doing research for your writing. Panelists: Peter David, Katherine Kurtz, Terri Osborne, James Palmer, Jean Marie Ward. 10 a.m. Fairlie Room (Hyatt)
Beyond Binaries – Gender Roles in Science Fiction & Fantasy – What fantasy and science fiction literature has gone beyond traditional gender definitions? How successful is it? Does this require aliens or magical creatures? Panelists: Lee Martindale, Jean Marie Ward. 2:30 p.m., Greenbriar Room (Hyatt)
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading –The broad-minded science fiction and fantasy writers of Broad Universe bring you a buffet of snack readings just when you need it most. Unlike most other DragonCon panels, this one will run two and a half hours to accommodate lots of writers, including some not listed on the guest list. Panelists: Marcia Colette, Kathryn Hinds, Gail Martin, Racheline Maltese, Sandra Ann McDonald, Tee Morris, Jean Marie Ward, Trisha Wooldridge and more. 7 p.m., Fairlie Room (Hyatt)
Sex in Science Fiction & Fantasy: Too Much or Not Enough? – With the rise of paranormal romance, sex seems to have become de rigueur. Is this right or wrong? Why or why not? Panelists: Sandra Ann McDonald, Van Plexico, Jean Marie Ward. 10 p.m. Greenbriar Room (Hyatt)
The Future of Urban Fantasy – Where does the genre go from here? Panelists: Jennifer Heddle, Althea Kontis, Heather Osborn, Jeanne C. Stein, Jean Marie Ward. 11:30 a.m., Montreal/Vancouver Room (Hyatt)
Under Raven’s Wings: 200 Years of Poe – Poe’s influence on popular culture – sometimes in unexpected ways. Panelists: John Everson, C. Gilbert, Kat Richardson, Rogue, Stephen H. Segal, Jean Marie Ward. 1 p.m., Montreal/Vancouver Room (Hyatt)