I arrived Saturday and headed off to the Children’s Fantasy panel. I don’t read much children’s fantasy, so I thought it would be informative. Several names were mentioned, but what I found interesting was the discussion of adult readers of children’s fantasy and how they tend to be the primary readers of some of the older children’s fantasy. Hadn’t really thought about it, but based on a what I see kids reading, it makes sense.
After the panel, I caught up with yuki_onna and she signed a stack of books for me. We talked a bit about the new book (mentioned in the day 1 report).
By the time I was done getting the box of books out to the car, it was time for the next panel, Creating Fantasy Characters with Virginia McMorrow and Alma Alexander (anghara). I find the process of how people come up with their stories fascinating and these two writers develop characters and let the story happen around them. This seems to be the case with a lot of authors I’ve spoken to recently. This panel was actually in one of the cafe rooms, so it was a bunch of people sitting on the two beds. Very different.
I ended up hanging around the dealer’s room for a while and ran into C. J. Henderson and Patrick Thomas at a table C.J. was manning. They had copies of their new anthology Hear them Roar on hand, so I picked up a few for the store. Several contributors were at the con, so my copies ended up with a bunch of signatures. I talked with Patrick for a while about his Murphy’s Lore books, so I’ll be in touch with Padwolf Publishing soon to catch up on what I missed. He also reminded me that I have to try to get more issues of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination for the store.
The next panel was The State of Small Press Publishing. I deal with a lot of small press publishers, so I always find these panels interesting. The panelists were a mix of editors and authors with small press connections. It didn’t deal so much with the state of things, but it did hit upon a number of the common issues, like POD, self-publishing, and pros and cons of being with a small press. Someone in the audience tried to get them to turn to the zine side of the small press, but this was a bit outside their experience. Turns out it was the editor of Sybil’s Garage, a zine I sell, so I introduced myself afterwards and found out that the new issue is coming soon.
Humor in SF/F was next up. I went to this panel to laugh, and I did. I think the people with most amusing stories to tell were Jim Butcher and Esther M. Friesner. Jim revealed the origins of Bob the romance novel loving skull. Turns out that a teacher once told him to avoid two things: talking heads and “well, Bob, as you know”. He took them literally and made Bob. (Bob is a character in the Harry Dresden books.)
I scavanged some food from the con suite and went to the SF Poetry Reading which was not where it was supposed to be. I don’t write poetry. I rarely read it, but I discovered at ReaderCon that I enjoy listening to it. It was a small group, all talented, and there was a brief discussion about the markets that take and pay for poetry.
I decided that I’d go to jpsorrow‘s panel, The Language of Accomodation, next. This panel was interesting but much more scientific than it was billed. Two panelists did most of the talking, while two authors said the least. I think I would have enjoyed it more the other way around, but it was still holding my attention. The two primary speakers were Gregory Feeley and klingonguy, the latter being a linguist. (I didn’t realize it was him until much later.)
The rest of the evening was spent playing games with Joshua and Jennifer. Sam joined us on our search for food by way of the con parties. It wasn’t bad if you can live on chocolate, cheese and crackers. I can.
Yeah, those were quite the panels, weren’t they? [grin]