Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Tag: philcon


This weekend, I’ll be attending Philcon, a local science fiction convention. This year’s guest of honor is Clarkesworld regular, Catherynne M. Valente. I decided not to get a table in the dealer’s room (health reasons), but I will bring some Clarkesworld chapbooks on the off chance someone there wants some. 🙂

I had hoped to be on an ebook panel (I’ve been having fun on those lately), but it looks like that won’t be the case. Here are the panels you can find me at:

Fri 10:00 PM in Plaza III (Three)—Meet The Editors
Danielle Ackley-McPhail (mod), Neil Clarke, Marvin Kaye, Gordon Linzner, Bill Olver 

Magazine and book editors tell us about what they buy and what they are looking for. If you’re interested in selling your story, this panel is where you need to be!

Sun 2:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two—It Came From the Slushpile
Gordon Linzner (mod), Neil Clarke, Neal Levin, Alex Shvartsman

Editors describe really strange things they have received in unsolicited submissions. Some are funny, some are awful, and some are just plain sad.

I’ll be wandering aimlessly the rest of the time. Maybe I’ll run into some of you in the lobby, bar or dealer’s room!

Philcon this weekend

It seems like I have so much to write up and post here (World Fantasy Con, Clarkesworld 50, our NYRSF reading, submissions, the SFWA NYC Reception, life in general) but instead I’ll just list my schedule for Philcon, which just happens to be this weekend in Cherry Hill, NJ.

Sat 4:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)

Panelists: Lois J. Wickstrom (mod), Jared Axelrod, Neil Clarke, Ef Deal, Rebecca Maines
How has electronic fiction changed the relationship between the reader and the author.

Sun 3:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)

Panelists: Hildy Silverman (mod), John Gregory Betancourt, Alyce Wilson, Neil Clarke, Brian Koscienski
Killer toilets. Vengeful roadkill. What stories keep getting submitted to editors? Are there any hot new trends hiding in the rejection pile.

There are a lot of names up there that I’m unfamiliar with, so I should be forced to meet some new people this year. Speaking of which, I didn’t get a table in the dealer’s room this year, so I’m go to make an effort to be more social. I’m doing my best to undermine my introvert tendencies. If you see me sitting around, feel free to stop and say hi.

Since there isn’t a guest or attendee list, who else will be there?

My Philcon Schedule

I have the privilege of being a guest at Philcon this weekend and will be on the following panels:

  • Sat 11:00 AM in Plaza IV (Four)—The Editors Panel (Short Fiction) (54)
    Hildy Silverman (mod), Darrell Schweitzer, Gardner Dozois, Neil Clarke, Danielle Ackley-McPhail

    Professional Science Fiction editors of magazines and anthologies explain what they are looking for and discuss the nature of the Science Fiction and Fantasy short fiction market.

  • Sat 3:00 PM in Plaza II (Two)—Agents And Editors Panel (48)
    Hildy Silverman (mod), Ty Drago, Neil Clarke, Neal Levin, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Brian Koscienski

    You know the drill — find out what they are looking for in the current market.

  • Sun 11:00 AM in Plaza IV (Four)Is The Short Story On Its Way Out? (71)
    Neil Clarke (mod), Larry Hodges, Lawrence M. Schoen, Dina Leacock

    There have been dramatic declines in magazine subscriptions in recent years. Is the short story medium on its way out or is it an essential part of the genre? Or is it all going digital?

  • Sun 12:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom TwoThe New Generation Of SF Writers (59)
    James Daniel Ross (mod), Neil Clarke, Stephanie Burke

    These are writers who grew up in a science fictional world of computers, space travel, virtual reality and robots. How does this affect their approach to the subject matter and technique of their work?

  • Sun 3:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three—The Future of Print Genre Magazines (45)
    Alan Beck (mod), Gardner Dozois, Thomas Nackid, Tony DiGerolamo, Tom Purdom, Neil Clarke

    The major print magazines have suffered a large loss of circulation and many smaller magazines have gone out of business altogether. Is there a future for genre fiction magazines or are they going the way of the dinosaur?

I’ll also have a table in the Dealer’s Room, where I’ll be selling surplus from Clarkesworld Books and the latest books from Wyrm Publishing. If you’ll be joining us in Cherry Hill, NJ, stop by and say hi! Oh and if there is something you want me to bring for pickup there, you should order before Thursday night at 8PM EST.

My Philcon Schedule

I’ll be at Philcon this weekend. No table in the dealer’s room, but I have been assigned a few panels:

Sat 10:00 AM in Plaza IV (Four)—What is the Final Taboo? (51)
Is there any topic that no one will ever write about in the field?
Neil Clarke (mod), L.A. Banks, Cortney Marabetta, Genevieve Iseult Eldredge, Stuart Jaffe

Sun 11:00 AM in Crystal Ballroom Three—Meet the Editors Panel (27)
Magazine and book editors tell us what they are currently buying.
Hildy Silverman (mod), Neil Clarke, Marvin Kaye, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Ty Drago

Sun 1:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three—So You Want to be a Publisher (85)
How to start a small press.
Hildy Silverman (mod), Neil Clarke, Chris Logan Edwards, Scott Christian Sava, Gordon Linzner

I’m not on the Free Online Fiction panel (odd that I’d get assigned to Taboo instead of this one), but I’ll certainly be in the audience. That one is scheduled for Saturday at 7pm. The guest of honor is Tim Powers, so I should be able to find many more interesting panels to fill out the rest of my  time there.

Back from Philcon

I’ve been doing a lot of last minute con-going lately. This past weekend was a quick trip down to Philcon. I had a lot of work to catch up on, so I skipped Friday and drove down on Saturday. No traffic, but the hotel’s directions put me blocks away from where I should be. Fortunately, I had a second set of directions from MapQuest and still made it there in a little over 2 hours.

While registering, I ran into E. Sedia (squirrel_monkey) and Paul Abbamondi (pabba). We’d exchanged email, but never met and recognized one another from photos or name tags. A moment later, Joshua Palmatier (jpsorrow) popped in, which was convenient, since I had to find him to get my room key. Things were off to a good start.

I had never been to Philcon before and I’ve been told it’s a con on the decline. I’ll have to admit to not recognizing the names of a good number of the guests, but I still had a good time and it was well-worth the trip. The worst part of the con was the elevators. One would apparently eat people (door sensors not working), others would skip floors, and you could end up waiting 10 minutes for a ride. The big plus was the cost of the hotel, which worked out to about $100 a night after taxes and such. I can live with bad elevators if that’s the price to pay for an affordable con hotel. (Hey Boskone, are you listening?)

The dealer’s room had a good assortment of stuff, better than most of the recent cons I’ve attended. Not being a dealer this time, I had more social time and even attended a few panels. The readings and signings were tossed together at the last minute, so they were poorly attended. It was also a trick finding them. I stopped by Joshua’s reading, which turned into a conversation between Joshua, Barbara Campbell, and I.

Outside the dealer’s room, I ran into Gary Frank, Doug Cohen (slushmaster), Jenny Rappaport, Chris Cevasco (Paradox Magazine), and a few other people. (Sorry, I’m blanking.) Talked to Doug for a while about magazines and Chris told me to keep an eye out for a new issue of Paradox. That’s always good to hear.

The first panel I dropped in on was about websites for authors. Given that I do a lot of web design in my other life, I thought this could be interesting. All I have to say here is that it was a good thing John Scalzi was on this panel. He was the main voice of reason when odd assertions about what should and shouldn’t be done were made. By the way, if you haven’t been reading his blog, you need to check it out sometime. Yes, even discussions about toast can be made appropriate for a writer’s site.

The next panel was about mistakes writers made. Peter Heck did an excellent job of moderating and focused the discussion around Heinlein’s five rules. Everyone on the panel had some useful insight and personal stories. I’m not an author myself, but I did find it amusing, particularly when they spoke about reading the guidelines and not pissing off the editor. I just kept having flashes back to Nick’s journal posts about editing at Clarkesworld.

To my surprise, I stumbled upon a last minute signing by Charles Stross (autopope). We had some time before dinner, so I dragged some books down from the room and he was nice enough to sign a stack for me. If you’re looking for signed first editions of The Jennifer Morgue or Glasshouse, I have them. 🙂 I wish I’d had more time to talk with him.

On the way back to my room, I ran into John Scalzi. We were supposed to meet up later that evening so he could sign some copies of The Android’s Dream for me. He had a few minutes, so we went back up to the room, chatted and took care of some books. There was some talk of ninja children (our own), books, and such before we headed our separate ways for dinner.

Dinner with Barbara and Joshua was fun. We found a nice place, secured a quiet table in a corner of the back room, and relaxed. Conversation from earlier in the day continued to spin off into more concrete ideas for a con panel based on the stories written by authors when they were 9-12 years old. We thought it would be fun to see some of these pop up at group reading or online somewhere. And then there was the fish stick incident, but I’ll let Joshua or Barbara explain themselves… Oh and any rumors about the next trilogy from Joshua being a prequel featuring a magic stool, are just that, pure rumor.

Back at the room, Joshua signed copies of The Cracked Throne and The Skewed Throne for me. I also picked up the prizes for our Cracked Throne contest winners, so those will go out shortly.

The SFWA party was apparently the place to be on Saturday night. I spent most of the evening there. John Scalzi was quite entertaining, especially when a young author stumbled into our section of the room. He was caught completely off guard when John asked who he looked like: Ashton Kutcher or Nathan Fillion. A few people (myself included) didn’t recognize the second name, but when it was explained that he played Mal on Firefly, the lights came on. He was a dead-ringer for a younger version of that actor. After the initial shock wore off, he joined us and was soon followed by his agents. All an all, a lot of interesting discussions ranging from what the robot on John’s shirt was about to do to that giant orange (you don’t want to know) to distressed furniture (a sales pitch for Joshua).

I wanted to get back home to my wife and kids, so Sunday was a short day for me. I dropped in on a panel about generating interest in the genre in young people and then headed home. I didn’t hear any new ideas, but an observation did stick with me. These three genre books are geared towards young adults:

What do they have in common? They aren’t typical genre covers. In fact, they are more likely to be seen in teen magazines. Someone in marketing knew what they were doing. I certainly wouldn’t have thought of doing that. How about you?

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