Convention Weekend, November 2022

philcon_logoNext Friday starts my last scheduled sf convention on the calendar year (though I’m always open to more, if you’ve got any to suggest). This time, it will be, once again, Philcon (at the Doubletree by Hilton in Cherry Hill, New Jersey [that’s the same hotel it’s been at the past bunch of years, but under a new name]).

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be fairly easy to find. I’ll be at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room Friday (4–7pm), Saturday (10am–6pm), and Sunday (10am–3pm). But I’m also scheduled to be on a bunch of programming. Note especially the first item:

Friday at 9pm in the Grand Ballroom: “The Eye of Argon: The Play” co-starring Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gregory Frost, Peter Prellwitz, Hildy Silverman, Michael A. Ventrella, and Jean Marie Ward. This will also be the official launch of the anthology The Eye of Argon and the Further Adventures of Grignr the Barbarian.

Saturday at 12n in Crystal 2: “Space Colonies ‘Rhyme’ with Space Westerns” with N.E. Lilly, Peter Prellwitz, Tom Purdom, and Kathryn Sullivan.

Saturday at 2pm: “Apocalypse How?!” with Eric Blair, Anton Kukal, Hildy Silverman, and Richard Stout.

Saturday at 3pm: “Flash Fiction Challenge!” with Storm Humbert and Anton Kukal.

Saturday at 8pm: “Foundations of Worldbuilding: Past Political Tensions and Turmoil” with Dee Carter, Storm Humbert, Michael A. Ventrella, and Simone Zelitch.

Sunday at 12n: “Meet the Editors!” with Neil Clarke, Margaret Riley, Ann Stolinsky, and Michael A. Ventrella.

I hope to see many of you there!

Convention-plus-plus fornight

Yep, this weekend I’m back on the road for another science fiction convention. This time, it’s Capclave, in Rockville, Maryland. If you’re looking for me at the convention (as usual), look for me in the dealers’ room at the Fantastic Books table. The dealers’ room is scheduled to be open from 3 to 6pm on Friday, 10am to 6pm on Saturday, and 10am to 2pm on Sunday.

I’ll also be on programming. Check out:

“Grammar Wars and Pedantry” on Saturday at 1pm in Washington Theater. With K. Ceres Wright, Mary G. Thompson, Morgan Hazelwood, and Sarah Avery. If arguments over the serial comma, split infinitives, or the evolving definition of “literally” gets you riled up, then this is a conversation for you. Panelists discuss their favorite pedantic hills to die on and whether language is evolving too quickly or too slowly for their liking.

“In Defense of the Standalone Novel” on Saturday at 2:30pm in Washington Theater. With A.C. Wise, Craig Laurance Gidney, Irene Gallo, Natalie Luhrs, and Ursula Vernon. In a sea of book series, the standalone novel can be a breath of fresh air. What are the virtues of the standalone novel and what makes for a good one? Might there be a resurgence of the standalone novel in the near future?

As much as I love going to sf conventions, that seems almost a distraction to me at the moment. That’s because there’s a much bigger trip coming very soon.

A few days ago, the Chairman of American Mensa resigned. I’ve been serving the organization as Secretary since last summer, and continue in that position. But I’ve also been an alternate for our national representatives. With the resignation, I move up from alternate to one of the national representatives. And in a bit of calendrical synchrony, the next annual international board of directors meeting (which I’ll be attending in my new role) is October 6–9 in Budva, Montenegro. So I’ve spent this week in a frantic planning for my first international trip this millennium, and my first ever trip out of North America.

I’m pretty much booked from departure here to the end of the meeting and my departure from Montenegro. But on my way home, I’ve got a lay-over in Vienna, Austria. I’m scheduled to land there on Monday, October 10, at 4:20pm. My flight home from Vienna is scheduled to depart on Tuesday, October 11, at 4:30pm. So (other than extra hours in the airport coming and going), I’m going to have most of a day in Vienna (well, other than probably sleeping a few hours at night). Do I know anyone there, or anyone who has been there, who has wonderful suggestions for what to do in those few hours so I can really get a feel for having been there?

In Montenegro, the host group has planned a tour or two, so I’ll get at least a little flavor of the country outside the meeting hotel, but in Vienna, I’m on my own. I’m very excited, and a little trepidatious. Looking for suggestions.

Convention day

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, I’ll be at a one-day show in New Jersey. Not a typical science fiction convention, and not a Mensa convention, I’m not really sure what it is or how it’s going to go. But if you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by and experience it with me.

I’ll be at Freaky Mutant Weirdo 2022: The Steampunk Variant. I’ll be there as one of 30 or 40 vendors, at the Fantastic Books table. The program schedule is performances and concerts (check out the website from that link). The event is in Hackettstown, New Jersey, in Vasa Park (1 Vasa Drive), starting at 11am.

Hope to see some of you there!

Convention Weekend

Once again, convention weekend is upon us! This time, it’s Balticon, in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. For more information on the convention, see http://www.balticon.org/wp56/

As usual, I’ll be spending most of the weekend at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (come see me, even though the dealers’ room is frequently hidden behind something they call Artist Alley, which looks suspiciously like a dealers’ room, in the atrium). UPS-willing, I may have a few advance copies of our new anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… with me (and at least three authors in the book are scheduled to be at the convention: David Gerrold, Gail Z. Martin, and Hildy Silverman). The dealers’ room is scheduled to be open Friday, from 2 to 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 7pm; and Monday, from 10am to 2pm.

I’ll also be on four panels during the convention:

Saturday at 2:30pm, room 7029: “Writing Characters with Agency (In-person)” with Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Gail Z. Martin, and Mark L. Van Name.

Saturday at 4:00pm in the Homeland Room: “What Do Editors Want?” with Rigel Ailur, Scott H. Andrews, Joshua Bilmes, and Nancy Springer.

Sunday at 1:00pm in Room 7029: “Don’t Show Me the Money: Cashless Societies” with Elektra Hammond, Shahid Mahmud, and Christie Meierz.

Sunday at 4:00pm in Room 7029: “Fix that Episode!” with Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Andy Love, Ryan O’Nan, and Hildy Silverman.

I hope to see a lot of you there!

And if you can’t make it to Balticon, the next appearance on my schedule is Freaky Mutant Weirdo 2022: The Steampunk Variant, on June 4, outdoors in Vasa Park in Hackettstown, New Jersey. For more information, see https://www.freakymutantweirdo.com/.

Monroe, Tyler, and Ravencon

You may have noticed I’ve been kind of quiet for the last week or so. I’m on the road, currently in South Carolina, and having a wonderful time. A full report and photos will probably appear here sometime after I return home. But for the nonce, on Thursday I’ll be driving up to Richmond, Virginia, for Ravencon. I’ll probably arrive in the early evening, if anyone is around and looking for a dinner companion.

Early Friday morning, I’ll leave the hotel for Hollywood Cemetery, to visit the graves of Presidents Monroe and Tyler, and possibly several of the other famous folk there. The cemetery opens at 8am, and my plan is to be there at or shortly after that time. If you’re interested in joining me, let me know before I leave the hotel (or meet me at the cemetery: 412 South Cherry Street in Richmond). I expect to be back at the hotel by 11am, so I can unload the car and get set up in the dealers’ room. After that, it’ll be a standard weekend science fiction convention for me: tethered to the table while the dealers’ room is open, and on several panels, if you’re looking for me.

I’m scheduled for:

Friday, 6pm, Brunswick: “The Business of Independent Publishing,” with John G. Hartness and Gareth B. Johnson

Saturday, 11am, Brunswick: “Business Planning for Writers,” with James P. Nettles and Bud Sparhawk

Saturday, 7pm, Dinwiddie: “Space Opera: Does It Still Have a Place in Present-Day Literature?,” with Michael D’Ambrosio and Kathryn Sullivan

Sunday, 11am, Henry: “How to Work with an Editor/The Writer-Editor Relationship,” with R.S. Belcher, Samantha Heuwagen, and Chris A. Jackson

I hope to see many of you there!

Going to Virginia, hoping to not sleep in my car

Looking at my upcoming trip to Virginia, and yeah, I know, I waited way too long to do this.
I’ll be attending Ravencon in Glen Allen, Virginia, the weekend of the 29th. I’ve got the dealer table, I’m on programming, I’m all set… except that I don’t have a place to sleep. The convention hotel has been sold out for several weeks (I keep checking) and the overflow hotel, likewise, has been sold out for at least a month. So now I’m doing the serious find-a-place-to-stay stuff. Priceline is offering me a 2.5-star hotel somewhere in the Glen Allen area for $79 a night, though of course I’d be much happier in the convention hotel, if anyone is looking for a roommate. On the other hand, if anyone else is in the same situation as me, I’m willing to split that room once I reserve it.
Also, I’m planning to get into town Thursday, the 28th, kind of late, so that early Friday morning, before setting up at the convention, I can go to the Hollywood Cemetery to visit Presidents Monroe and Tyler (and possibly Jefferson Davis), if anyone wants to join me.

Trepidatiously returning to the convention scene

It occurs to me that, in the before-times, when I had a scheduled convention upcoming, I would tell my followers about it: where I was going to be and when, in case any of my stalkers were interested in seeing me in person. The last convention I attended was Arisia in January 2020 (there was also a Mensa Gathering, Snowball, in March 2020). Well, I’m fully vaccinated, and the convention is requiring all attendees to be vaccinated, so I’m going to take my first steps out into the world next weekend at Capclave (https://www.capclave.org/capclave/capclave21/), a science fiction convention in Rockville, Maryland. I’ll be spending a lot of time at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (there are a bunch of new books to show since the last convention), which is open Friday from 3 to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. In addition to that, I’ll be on several panels, all of which are scheduled for the Truman room:

Friday at 6:00 pm: “Seductive Evils” with Martin Berman-Gorvine, Carolyn Ives Gilman, and Larry Hodges

Friday at 8:00 pm: “Why the Bumbling Sidekick?” with Suzanne Palmer, Karlo Yeager Rodriguez, and Hildy Silverman

Saturday at 5:00 pm: “Power and Social Structures” with Carolyn Ives Gilman, Darrell Schweitzer, Caias Ward, and A.C. Wise

Saturday at 11:00 pm: “Eye of Argon” with Walter H. Hunt, Hildy Silverman, and Michael A. Ventrella (unplanned, it’s an all-Fantastic Books authors event)

I hope to see a bunch of you there, to help me reintegrate with society (at least, as much of “society” as one might find at a science fiction convention).

Virtual Convention Weekend

Virtual convention weekend: Philcon has moved most of the con online, and I’m doing four panels for them (the most I’ve had at any virtual convention this year). One of them was already this evening, but the two tomorrow and one Sunday I thought I had are actually three on Saturday (November 21):

10am: “Heinlein’s Third Rule of Writing” with Barbara Barnett, Lawrence M. Schoen, Michael Swanwick, and Elektra Hammond.

2:30pm: “Kickstarting Your Next Project” with Keith DeCandido, Danielle Ackley-Mcphail, Neil Clarke, and Alex Shvartsman.

8:30pm: “What Else Might Have Changed?” with Simone Zelitch, Miriam Scheiber Seidel, and Tom Doyle.

The panels are on Zoom, with after-panel discussions on Discord. Details on the Philcon web site.