cons

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Small ponds.

So Conflux was this weekend and I went and did things and so on and so forth but, mostly, some general observations:1

  • The SFF con scene is not very big.
  • That includes both fans and pros.
  • Big name pros.
  • Internationally.
  • No one is more than two or three degrees of separation away from anyone else.
  • Even if people aren’t directly BFFs, they know each other by reputation.
  • You want to have a good reputation. Especially with the people you aren’t BFFs with.
  • I really, really mean that.
  • And not just for “opportunities” and “career advancement” (though it will help that), but also because you just… don’t want to get the reputation of being That Guy.
  • If you’re ever That Guy, it’s really, really difficult to ever not be That Guy.
  • People notice who Gets Things Done; who organizes events, volunteers time and resources, who goes out of their way to help other people.
  • They really notice the people who are only there for themselves.
  • Not to mention the people who are never there for—to put it delicately—specific demographic segments within the broader community.
  • I mean it is an SFF con, so it’s likely a good number of the attendees are awkward, shy, weird, or all three. Particularly if they’re new.
  • So people are fairly forgiving.
  • But not eternally forgiving.
  • And, like I said, the scene really isn’t that big…

Just… something to keep in mind.

  1. Not, it must be said, directed at anyone likely to be reading this… []
2019-10-09T08:12:57+11:009th October, 2019|Tags: conflux, cons, fandom, sff|

Adventures in booth manning.

So last weekend was GAMMA.CON, and for my sins I ended up manning the CSFG‘s booth through most of Saturday. We had a shared table with Conflux and it was, uh. An experience. Part of it was possibly the placement; we were up in the back corner near all the sword and prop manufacturers, when we’d probably have been more suited to being in the author’s alley segment. And part of it was straight-up lack of planning; our notification was very, uh. Short. So it was definitely a last-minute scramble to organize things to actually put on the table. We did okay—anthologies were sold, tentaplushies were squeezed—mostly thanks to the arrival of Kaaron Warren, who’s much better at this sort of thing than yours truly.

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2019-08-05T09:03:20+10:005th August, 2019|Tags: books, cons, csfg, fandom, gamma.con, sff|

Two quick updates!

Update Ye Firste: Print books

Because I finally got around to it, print versions of Liesmith and Stormbringer are now available for direct-from-me ordering, for those of who who don’t want to/can’t/whatever buy the Amazon versions.

Update Ye Seconde: Continuum

Apparently Continuum is, like, next week? Yikes.

As per usual, I will, indeed, be there. I’m currently scheduled on between zero and two panels:

  1. Superhero Burnout, Friday 9:30pm.
  2. Post-Capitalist Societies, Sunday1 5pm.

I say “between zero and two” because there’s currently contentious around both of them for various reasons, but failing massive… failing, that’s where I’ll be, if anyone feels like listening to me blather in public.

Update: Okay, not so much with the superheroes. The tl;dr is the panel was split between people who agreed with the premise (i.e. yours truly) and those that didn’t. I was interested in the panel in the context of it being a place to gripe about the genre in general, and the hyper-commodification of it in e.g. the MCU in particular, but in the end that wasn’t where things were going, and it felt like keeping things as they were was just going to get… emotionally fraught for all involved. So that’s a peace out from me on that one.

  1. I know it says Saturday in the program, but it got moved. []
2019-05-31T08:24:02+10:0030th May, 2019|Tags: book news, books, cons, continuum, continuum 15, wyrdverse|

Conference Tips: Writer Edition.

Given that Conflux is apparently this weekend (yikes, where did the month go?), it seems portentous to have stumbled across this list of Hot Tips for Writers At Conferences

2018-09-27T07:31:07+10:0027th September, 2018|Tags: agents, conflux, cons, publishing, writing|

Wyrdverse, Conflux, and Kickstarters (oh my)!

Oh no. It’s That Time of the Year again, the time when… (looks around nervously) … things happen.

Thing #1.

I formatted a book! Wyrdverse: Tales of the Wyrd is an anthology of short stories from the, well. Wyrdverse. These aren’t new—you may have previously read them on my website—they’re just now… collated better.

Wyrdverse is currently available super-cheap from Amazon, although if you’d like to snag yourself a free copy you can do so from the princely sum of your email address, by signing up to my book news mailing list.

Oh, and because the whole purpose of this exercise was to practice using Indesign, a print version of the book (in all its extensive, 80-page glory) should be available sometime in the next few weeks. So… keep an eye out for that.

Thing #2.

Speaking of awesome books you should buy (or, rather, back) right now, Crossed Genres’ Resist Fascism speculative fiction anthology is in the final days of its Kickstarter. From the official description:

RESIST. ANY WAY YOU CAN.

The world is in turmoil. The world is always in turmoil, but in recent years, people have seen violence and hatred become proud instead of ashamed. What meager rights we’ve fought for are being deliberately eroded. And the vulnerable have any help stripped away. All of this is happening openly and without fear of reprisal. And the worst perpetrators are some of the largest governments of the world.

Resisting the spread of fascism is as important now as it was 75 years ago. And there are many effective ways to resist.

For full disclosure, friend-and-all-round-awesome-person Rivqa has a story in this anthology, and I have read it and it is boss. So if you, too, would like to read a boss story about found family and Jewish jujitsu IN SPACE, then you should go smash that pledge button, as the kids on teh YouTubes say.

Thing #4.

Oh, and while you’re in the spending money mood,1 Mother of Invention is on sale! From the blurb:

Knit robots, build spaceships, and shape the future.

Extraordinary short stories about gender, artificial intelligence and the art of building something new. Mother of Invention features the work of Seanan McGuire, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Nisi Shawl, John Chu, Justina Robson and more.

Awesome? Yes. So what are you waiting for? Buy like a hundred copies and you’re set for presents to give out to all your friends, enemies, and loved ones at every birthday, anniversary, and culturally appropriate religious celebration for the indefinite future. Let’s all knit a softer, warmer robotic future together.

Finally… Thing #5.

Conflux! It’s coming, and I will be there. You can even come hear me blather on about narrative in the panel Play to write: what tabletop and video games can teach writers of fiction. And by “me” I mean “Rivqa and Elizabeth“, and by “blather” I mean “make interesting and intelligent points while trying to ignore their drooling co-panellist (i.e. me).”

Sound great? Of course it does! See you there.

  1. … I know, I know. []
2018-09-12T08:15:44+10:0012th September, 2018|Tags: book news, books, conflux, cons, fandom, gonzo author stories, sff, wyrdverse, xp|

Oh, WorldCon, no.

Foz Meadows has a write-up of the current WorldCon 76 drama.

This all feels very much like people used to running a small-town parochial con1 with an established member-base suddenly getting in a twist because they have to accommodate (gasp) outsiders.

I do think it’s maybe indicative of the fact that WorldCon is finally starting, in the last few years, to live up to the “world” part of its name. In other words, you can’t just have your local con grab the host spot and expect to be able to run things in the same way you always run them…

Edit: Another write-up.

  1. I know San Jose has a million or so people in it… but on the other hand, Melbourne has about 4 million and it took me like two years to feel like I knew, at least by sight, most of the regulars at Continuum. []
2018-07-25T13:45:50+10:0025th July, 2018|Tags: cons, fandom, sff, worldcon|

Continuum XIV!

I’m back! I survived!

So this is my third Continuum in four years, and even in that short time the con has changed quite a bit… for the better. The programming this year was especially excellent, moving into more meaty takes on topics and the “Deep Dive” stream, which was basically two twenty-minute single-person presentations back-to-back, followed by a Q&A.

For panels this year I decided to combine my habit of sketching during the talking with my general desire to take notes/livetweet. I’m not entirely sure the end results are legible in any way, but I’ve included them below, with advanced apologies to all the panelists I attempted to draw…

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2018-06-26T13:50:10+10:0012th June, 2018|Tags: cons, continuum, continuum 14, fandom, sff, xp|

Continuum XIV TTRPG night!

It’s become something of a tradition that a bunch of us (Rivqa, Elizabeth, Lyss, and Alex) get together to play a tabletop RPG at cons. We started with Elizabeth running Dungeon World at Conflux 12, then Alex with Feng Shui 2 at Continuum 13, and Elizabeth with Monsterhearts at Conflux 13. We also had an out-of-season get-together (minus Alex, who was a piker for reasons I don’t recall) to introduce Rivqa’s daughter to the Wonderful World of TTRPGs, with Elizabeth running another session of Dungeon World.

Anyway, at Continuum 14, I dobbed myself in as GM, with the original intent of running a Changeling: the Dreaming game. Except the actual story I got into my head was designed for D&D, so I switched tracks to a 5e game.

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2019-07-31T08:34:43+10:0011th June, 2018|Tags: cons, continuum, continuum 14, gaming, rpgs, tabletop rpgs, xp|