I’ve been trying to pull together my thoughts on Capclave since returning. Sean (oldcharliebrown)put me up at his place for the weekend and he also had the table next to me in the dealer’s room. Given how slow the dealer’s room was, we had a lot of time to talk. In short, now I have a small pile of Sean stories to use at my discretion.
On Saturday, Sean and I were scheduled to be on the Future of Small Press Magazines panel. Edmund R. Schubert, the new editor at Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show and fellow panelist, dropped by the dealer’s room before the panel. The three of us had a very interesting conversation about business models, online fiction, and all sorts of related things. In a sense, we had the panel without our audience. Not having had enough, we decided we leave for the panel.
The final panelist, Lawrence Watt-Evans from Helix, arrived and I was amazed to see the room start to fill. By the time we started, there were close to 20 people in the audience. I expected about 5. Sean was quickly appointed moderator and we spent most of our time discussing the models our four magazines were using, pay rates, story length, philosophy, etc. The audience was involved and aside for a few unnecessary tangents to the topic, (I’m not sure how we hit the whole romance novel thing) it went well. Unsurprisingly, the online magazines see their territory as expanding and evolving in the future with print still present in its traditional form. My only regret is that we didn’t have more time to speculate on the future and get some audience input on that topic.
More time in the dealer’s room. More sitting around and talking. I did get to see the new cover design for Weird Tales, which completely abandons their old logo in hopes of appealing to a wider audience. I’ll have to post an image sometime. Fantasy Magazine also had a refreshed look starting with issue #4, which just arrived. I also managed to get a stack of the new issues of Weird Tales and H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror (also sporting a new look).
It’s always a pleasure to get some time to talk to Catherynne M. Valente (yuki_onna), who stopped by our tables for a little while. She had an advance copy of The Orphan’s Tales with her and I’m impressed. The publisher obviously spent a lot of time on this. It’s just a very nice looking book and based on the readings I’ve heard, this is likely her best work yet. I’m actually disappointed that I’ve been unable to get an ARC on this one. If you’re in the market, I did confirm that she’ll be signing copies for us. Speaking of signing, all our copies of The Grass-Cutting Sword are signed now too.
It wasn’t long before the convention was over and done. Sean and I cleared our tables into my van and headed back to his place. A big thank you goes to Sean and his wife (and the two cats) for putting me up for the weekend. Absolutely no thanks will be given to the state of Delaware. Due to several lanes being closed on I-95 and the bridge (Delaware, I believe) back into NJ, a four hour (max) trip turned into a seven hour crawl home.
Overall, I was happy (not thrilled) with the way things went in the dealer’s room. I’ve already reserved my table for next year and Capclave will added as a regular addition to my con schedule. As for my future on panels, who knows, I may do one again sometime. It was fun.