onyxhawke: (Default)
( Apr. 26th, 2009 03:46 am)
I had a lot of fun at the Q&A panel today, and was shocked by the number of people who showed up and were a very entertaining crowd to work with.

The mil-sf panel was killer, Julie Cochrane, Bud Sparhawk, Mike McPhail, Chuck Gannon and myself along with an assist to several great audience members had one of those fun panels that could have gone two hours and no one would have noticed. We touched on the aspects of Mil-SF bleed over to and from real world military, how units of various sizes will call for different psychological profiles.

Lastly, if you are ever in the area, go to eat at Vietnam 1, it is a killer eatery not even three blocks from the hotel the convention has been in the last two years. I had a fab differ with some very cool people there. 
Those who were at Lunacon will be unsurprised that the Good is by far the longest section.

The good:
I arrived just before seven pm Thursday, having not eaten since mid day, I was merely famished. Dave & Barb Freer were in the lobby ready to start eating anyone who stopped moving, or was wearing an attractive cologne not having had a chance to eat since very early in the day. Eric Flint was there, as well as the Hoyt Collective. Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon arrived not to long after I did. We finally departed a bit after nine when it became noticeable that the Freer's and I were possibly not joking about which people would taste best with teriyaki and which with mango and papaya slices. Read more... )

Next Con:
Sightings and hug-bys:
Mary Robinette Kowal, Ian Randal Strock, Joshua Palimatier, Lawrence Schoen, Bob Eggleton, Kate Paulk, Jeff Warner, Gail Martin and of course all the Guests.

Oh, and Mercedes Lackey reccomended http://moonedit.com/

More later.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Mar. 19th, 2009 11:36 pm)
One of the more important early sites is:

a fan with great tasted

More throughout the Con
I'm not sure I'll ever figure out the publishing industry. Leaving aside some of the arcane intricacies of how things are paid for, and the interesting paths a book may take from writer to publisher to book stores, there are all sorts of weird things going on. The latest and at least to me most perplexing are the recent decisions by two name game creators to start and discontinue their non gaming publications. Wizards of the Coast started their imprint, and not long later it went poof. Games Workshop started their imprint a bit longer ago, and has had some really entertaining series and works, and yet they've decided that despite being a money earner, It just isn't something they wish to continue. So, Solaris is up for sale.

Because of the "credit crunch" that has precipitated the whole economic slowdown around the world, If someone wants to buy them they will probably have to pay in cash or have an enormous amount of brownie points stored up with some bank. Given the number of publishers who have official, or unofficial buying freezes, this probably makes for a very short list. Either way, this likely means either a major change, or extinction of a brand that is entertaining, and well run.

Given the well documented layoffs, and reorganizations of major publishers, i can't see anyone who has an SF/F imprint taking on Solaris and doing the right thing by making it mostly or completely autonomous. It's just not enough a part of human nature for someone to make a purchase that large and then leave it alone. Either favors will be called in, or some bean counter will wish for a more profitable editorial team (read less expensive) or they will decide to move the imprint to the US or Germany, or Russia or wherever and lose people that way. On a small team that already lost a key person to Angry Robot recently, those one or two people lost could have a huge impact on the product.

Who knows, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and someone will buy them and take a hands off approach, or Games Workshop will decide that as good as the goose might taste the eggs are a nicer thing to have overall. Either way I wish the Solaris team, and their authors good luck wherever the land.

It is your last chance to vote in the P&E polls.
Dave Freer & Eric Flint are ahead in the Best SF/F Novel and Dave is currently near the top of the best Author ranks. Go vote!

In the other categories, friends of mine that I'm told were nominated included Sarah Hoyt, James Enge (for a short), Toni Weiskopf, Eric Flint,  and a few others who's names escape my feeble mind.

And I got my Arisia schedule:

272 Making Tropes Interesting Paul Revere B Literature   Sat 5:00 PM Duration: 01:00
308 Mirror Neurons, Empathy, and "Theory of Mind" Paul Revere A Science   Sat 8:00 PM Duration: 01:00
635 Bad Contracts and Publishing Scams Room 201 Literature   Sun 12:00 PM Duration: 01:00
4 Bioethics in Theory and Practice BU Suite (Regency Club) Science   Sun 1:00 PM Duration: 01:00

506 Grok, Hobbit! Paul Revere A Literature   Mon 12:00 PM Duration: 01:00

The rest of the time i'll probably wander through the dealers areas, the bar, the con suite, the bar, the green room, the bar, the lobby, the bar, the room parites, and i may remember to sleep...

Reading a good submission by someone I'm not familiar with take waaaay more time than reading a published novel by someone I'm not familiar with.

onyxhawke: (Default)
( Jan. 5th, 2009 01:43 pm)
Perhaps the most interesting balancing act in the world is that of balancing the world's view of you as articulated in nuance, deed, and word by those around you and your own view of self. Sometimes, the world has a more accurate view of you than you yourself can claim, or will admit to. Sometimes the world, or at least a vocal portion has a view of you that just defies logical interpretation, history and observed current events. In entertainment we often see this angle worked for good laughs or to teach a moral. In philosophy it is sometimes used to make a case for something many would consider indefensible, simply to remind observers that it is not usually possible to know how others think, even if you know what they think. Some segments of the field of psychology state that perception is reality and that even the appearance of agreement between multiple parties perceptions does not prove that a thing is objectively real, simply that the individuals involved perceive an agreement.

For the purposes of fiction, when all the points of view on a given thing, person or event are the same it is usually not worth repeating it over and over from each point of view as often happens in real life. But bringing out the different perceptions about something are often as revealing about the point of view character as they are about whatever is being described through their mind. I found this article and more importantly the map inspirational for this piece, which while it says something about me that I find it mostly laughable says tons about the mind behind the map, and his supporters.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mzmadmike for pointing me at this posts catalyst.


First up was Amsterdam by the redoubtable Elizabeth Bear. I really liked this one, it has an episodic feel with each chapter leading into the next, but semi distinct. The first chapter feels like The Orient Express which I suspect is as accidental as pulling your own teeth. The main characters are fun, and the settings, dialogue and language have that fell that instantly lets you know who the writer is.


Next up was a book I bought half expecting to hate just based on the cover. Sorry, but it’s true, I mostly hate the cover art on books. Children of Chaos I mostly picked up because I noticed the number of titles on the shelf by David Duncan who I’d never before read. David Duncan has the unforgivable habit of doing things I hate, and doing them well enough to make me overlook those things. Epic, multigenerational, ensemble fantasy is very difficult to do and do well. I will be reading more.


Liberators: Latin America's Struggle for Independence is one of the best pieces of history I’ve read in a long time. It has the ease of reading of a good novel, includes writings by the principals, and discusses how various historical actions were perceived at the time, and since. For understanding foreign cultures this is hugely valuable. I already knew from other readings that Simon Bolivar was an interesting character and almost a living caricature, this fills in more of the forces that shape him, and the other men who helped break the various colonies free. Anyone who wants something good to read or people to base characters off of should read this. Robert Harvey has done a truly masterful job with this.

 And last,

 Draw One in the Dark was a fun book and had a small number of the inherent edges a first book is gifted with simply by its birth. Gentleman Takes a Chance, shows the coherence of character and world that normally takes an author at least four or five books to achieve. Tom and Kyrie grow more, take their odd relationship into new ground, and in general are just fun people to read. We learn more about the world, more about the characters, and about how good a writer Sarah Hoyt is.

onyxhawke: (Default)
( Nov. 19th, 2008 01:39 pm)
John Scalzi, he of the internet Mecca the Whatever blog has posted about Dave Freer's latest book. He mentions that it is an idea book, and much like his Old Mans War it has real character development, and real live plot. Go see what other people have to say.
I asked a couple of the writers in the Better off Undead anthology about their stories,  

Dave Freer says: "If you are writer who has ever wondered just how some works of 'literary genius' escaped the toilet, and adore the taxman, read this."

Jay Lake says of his story:  Zombie chef searching for an out of this world taste

Kate Paulk says of hers:  It's a vampire who works the graveyard shift in a convenience store and has to deal with a wannabe vampire slayer.
and: Just an ordinary guy trying to get along who happens to be a vampire.

Sarah Hoyt: It's a story about a murder, a goddess and (Chinese) hell(s) to pay.

Well, as some readers know World Fantasy Con isn't like most other cons. In fact it's not like any other convention I've ever been too. It's probably the only gathering in the industry where the professionals out number the fans. It's also one of the largest gatherings of pros, with the least programming to get in the way of schmoozing, and catching up with friends. So the short list is real simple. I wish i were there to make contact with some of the editors i know, and the would be pros looking for an agent. I wish i was there to congratulate Mary on her Campbell win in person since I don't think i saw her in Denver after the award ceremony. I wish I were there to see my friend and client Glynn for the first time in more than half a decade. I wish to meet Calie, another client who got me to say yes to the first Urban Fantasy since i opened the agency.

I also wish I were in Calgary, because if i had known i was going I'd have planned to sneak out to the Flames vs Bruins game tonight.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Oct. 29th, 2008 09:58 pm)
It's that time again. I'm missing a con, and so are some of my friends. I mentioned to one or two of them directly that I'd be doing it. A couple said they'd toss up a post or three as well.

Topic's I'll be writing about sometime this weekend:
Why I wish I were in Calgary.

What to leave out.

Feel free to talk about those or anything else. I'll post a jump off post sometime mid day (eastern time) tomorrow.
Conjecture has wrapped and i met some fun people. Getting to meet [livejournal.com profile] sartorias , [livejournal.com profile] shweta_narayan ,[personal profile] gregvaneekhout and half a dozen others was fun. I got to catch up with old friends, and was saved the wrath of a con chair when someone else brought up a topic i was told not to mention. Conjecture was a smallish fairly laid back con. The hotel wasn't bad, in fact for the cost of the rooms you got a real nice place to leave your things while you wandered around to parties, panels and other events.

The Darkcon party was a blast and had some interesting mixed drinks. I may some day be forgiven for assisting my friends and other party goers in trying some of them.

It's sorta funny how all cons have their own vibe and how much or little the vibe changes year year. I've been lucky enough to get to Ravencon is a quietly intense literary con that is moving strongly towards being more of a general SF con. Right now it has a feel that is remarkably similar to Boskone despite the lack of cross over.

Arisia, which is only a month and half a city away from Boskone is very different. Arisia is very much a general con, and a great place to make friends across the sf/f fandom spectrum. Costumes are probably as high as 1 in 10 people, where as i don't recall seeing anyone at Ravencon or Boskone in costume.

Pi-Con is higher-than-most-energy con, with a much younger base than the others I've mentioned and is heavily into gaming, with strong filk, fannish, and literary elements.

Conjecture, which was about the same size as Raven had a good mix of interesting people, but I think it needs more people from outside the immediate area to get it from a fun con to a great con. Myself, Jason Cordova, and David Drake seemed like the only real "outsiders" at the con. Everyone else seemed to know each other. This can be fun, and it was but there was a lack of spark that you get when new elements are mixed in at the right proportion. I do intend to go back some day because I did enjoy it, and i'll probably decide to make a real vacation out of the trip.

One thing I won't be doing if I go back is visiting Hunter's Steakhouse. We had reservations, got their at 8:45 Saturday night, and it wasn't too busy. We got sat pretty much right away. It took 15 minutes before our drink order was taken. The two tables that were sat after us, one by fifteen minutes, one by thirty both got their food before we did. In fact when the first of them was sat, the waitress had our drinks in her hands, put them down on an empty table, took their drink order, walked back by the drinks and our table like none of it was there. She then came back with something for the new table, and again walked by our drinks three times.

This is when one of the people i was with got up and got our drinks. The waitress came back as we are all drinking and apologized, saying that she was coming back to give them too us. Ten minutes had elapsed while our drinks sat there. Were now almost forty minutes into our window to eat and get back for one of the party of six to get back to a panel.

Time goes by...

Our orders come, I looked at the steak of the person who had ordered medium well. Generously speaking it was medium, honestly speaking it was too red for a lot of people who like medium rare. Not surprisingly she sent it back. About three minutes later the steak is brought back, it's still medium. Again it goes back. On the third try it was close enough to medium well for this person to eat. I've eaten with this person before, and never seen her send anything back. I've cooked and waited tables, and getting it wrong once is sad, but forgivable getting it wrong twice is about the time you should start worrying if the pooch is on birth control. It took us almost two and half hours to get in and out at a half full restaurant.

Conjecture was the last con of the year for me, and much as I wish i could go to WFC, Calgary is just too far to when I've been to Denver and San Diego already this year. I should be at WFC next year, and in Montreal. Ravencon and Lunacon are the only definite dates at this point. I'd like to go to Arisia, Balticon, and Boskone this year but other events might push them down the scale.

Don't forget [livejournal.com profile] davefreer's Slowtrain is available in hard cover on 10/1, and the paperback of Pyramid Power is now available. It should be noted that the Slowtrain review up does contain spoilers.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Sep. 27th, 2008 06:45 pm)

I had two panels today, one with Stoney Compton, and a couple others whose names escape me. And another that I'll cover later.

This is a video of some of the performers from last night.

Special note for the people who were annoyed at the performers. I am much meaner than they are.

Oh yes, i spoke to the con chair for Lunacon things will be moving on that site soon. Dave Freer, the GoH for Lunacon has two  books coming out you probably know about. One is the paperback of Pyramid Power . The other is the hardcover release of Slow Train.

For those were at the Writers Group panel, here's the link to the writers checklist i did last summer and was talking about.

onyxhawke: (Default)
( Sep. 27th, 2008 11:23 am)
Howdy ho!

I'm here, you should be too. Today i have two early panels, one at 10am "Science and the Art of Logistics" followed immediately by a panel on writers groups at 11:30.

David Drake i believe has three back to back panels this morning. He is braver than I.

Jason Cordova has brought his lovely girlfriend, and he and i will be on a panel with David Drake on Sunday.

Sherwood Smith aka Sartorias is do to arrive sometime this morning.

My pitch session last night was fun, and the Zombie-Ninja-Monkey-Pirate-Robots panel turned out to be very interactive.

I actually attended filking for the fist time, and the performers were good. I'll have to get the links to the videos they say are up on the web at some point when I've got two braincells firing in the same half hour.

Travel-fu coming in was just short of perfect, I got to the shuttle and airport later than i wanted to. My flight from Boston to JFK was good and managed to take off and arrive on time despite the light rain in both cities. The flight from JFK to San Diego was as pleasant as six hour flight can be. I watched the History Channel and got three and half or so of my non hockey ten hours of tv for the year. And my flight got in early.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Aug. 31st, 2008 09:06 pm)
Dave Freer posted two interesting things that i thought I'd mention.

http://davefreer.livejournal.com/73720.html on his feelings after finishing something. And http://davefreer.livejournal.com/74253.html what he wants to write in the future.

Editors and publishers interested in the latter should call me immediately.
onyxhawke: (cookie)
( Aug. 22nd, 2008 12:36 am)
While this is probably old news to everyone other than me, Pyr in their wisdom has decided to add the sensational James Enge to their blog. So when you aren't worshiping his words at his LJ, or Black Gate, or Flashing Swords you can join him and some moderately well know folks blogging at the Pyr blog.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Aug. 16th, 2008 03:56 pm)
For those of you craving a dose of short fiction, another edition of Darwin's Evolutions has been released for your enjoyment..

I just got an auto call from the airline saying my flight has been canceled. I'm now on a flight that was scheduled earlier, but now leaves later and (in theory) arrives earlier. I should probably call my ride...

For those who missed it, Sartorias held a Bittercon over the weekend, and DaveFreer posted and JamesEnge commented on during it.
onyxhawke: (Default)
( Aug. 10th, 2008 05:54 pm)
Despite not getting more than four hours sleep between the end of day three and when realized I needed to move to make it to my 10am panel, I did make it.

I have no idea if we made any sense, i have no idea if i made any sense. The panel to me spent a lot of time on music theory, buy some on all sorts of stuff.

Sitting in the green room with Kate Paulk, David B, Jeff, and a rotating cast of others we probably came close to getting tossed out for a rather raucous and ribald conversation that occasionally soared its way into the gutter.

The Appeal of Urban Fantasy panel was hilarious. As much as I wish Anton Strout was able to attend, having Sarah Hoyt on the panel with myself, David Boop and Ann Aguirre was a ton of fun. Sarah and I have a sense of humor that is much a like, David I'd met earlier in the con. We discussed the trends and various major series in urban fantasy. This was also the last panel of the night in that room, and while I'm sure the audience was entertained as they were frequently laughing as hard as the panelists, the phrase "Are any of us going to get out of here with our careers intact?" was uttered more than once. I hope to run into Ann and David again some time.

Later, more parties. The nice folks at Baen had a party in which after four days in the same town as Lois Bujold i managed to do more than say "Hi" to her. From what she said the forthcoming Miles Vorkosigan book has about four chapters done and Miles is now 39.

Back in the SFWA suite I ran across the news that Mary Robinette Kowal had won the Campbell Award. Mary is one of my fave people in the business and is sharp as hell.

I sat around int he SWFA suite for much of the night talking to Carol Berg, The Hoyt Collective Peter Heck, Jeremy Lassen, Becky and Alan Lickess, Ginjer and one or two others who's names escape me.

Dan Hoyt had a panel at 11 on writing vampires, none of the panelists had ever written a vampire story. One of the participants got lost and they roped me into it, I had the fun of plugging T.R.'s books, pretending to be T.R., plugging Ravencon, causing trouble and winding up Sarah about some some of her vampires. :-)

edited to add mention of the AoUF panel.


onyxhawke: (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags