Random thoughts and information about the 2010 World Fantasy Con; summaries of sessions to come later.
Biggest inspiration to write more: I found out that my niece, who is majoring in genetics and has a double minor in psychology and English, still finds time to write every day and is doing NaNoWriMo this month.
Biggest awkward moment: Shortly after I and a friend had interrupted Guy Gavriel Kay's dinner to tell him how much we loved his books, I found myself in a "what do I do or say now?" moment, standing by the elevators waiting for an elevator with him. What is the proper follow-up behavior to gushing?
Best news for writers: Although many big publishers are in crash mode, I talked to several spec fic micropublishers who have survived and are expanding. They seem to be looking for a somewhat wider variety of books than the mainstream publishers, too.
Total number of free books: I already took a heavy box of books to the post office, so I can't count them yet, but I would guess about three dozen.
Best free book scored: the new Brandon Sanderson book, The Way of Kings
Free book I most want to read after The Way of Kings: Hell Can Wait by Theodore Judson. This book attracted my attention with the Roman soldier cover and kept it with its back-cover copy about a Roman soldier who finds himself 1800 years in the future trying to survive in modern-day America. This is a publication of mmicropress Edge.
Best career decision ever: Being a Clarion grad gave me credibility and instant rapport with all the Clarion and Clarion West grads I met.
Most discouraging statistic: A slush reader for Clarkesworld magazine said that its six slush readers each get 25 to 30 manuscripts per day to review. The magazine publishes only 12 short stories a year.
Best "I'm really a writer" moment: LOCUS magazine took several pictures of me! (And of many other people too, I have to admit.)
Worst feature of con hotel: One thousand writers on the Internet simultaneously overwhelmed the system and made it as slow as I remember 300 bps modems being.
Worst "I wish I'd known that earlier" moment: The con suite provided free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I didn't find out until Saturday night.
- more steampunk (but not nearly as much more as I expected)
- more zombies
- fewer vampires
- continued darkness in almost all spec fic books
- better covers on small and micropress books
- more authors at the booksigning
- more readers, browsers, and buyers at the booksigning
- more panels that dealt partially or entirely with humor
- fewer parties than last year
I found out that my niece, who is majoring in genetics and has a double minor in psychology and English, still finds time to write every day and is doing NaNoWriMo this month.
Is it okay to hate people like that...? Just for a second? No? I guess I'll settle for envy, then. [wry smile]
Hell Can Wait by Theodore Judson
Sounds interesting -- I added it to my to-buy list.
A slush reader for Clarkesworld magazine said that its six slush readers each get 25 to 30 manuscripts per day to review. The magazine publishes only 12 short stories a year.
Not at all surprising. Ten cents a word, dude. O_O I was sort of expecting that everyone and their sister-in-law was subbing there first. Tough market, but awesome if you can break into it.
One thousand writers on the Internet simultaneously overwhelmed the system and made it as slow as I remember 300 bps modems being.
Yikes! Sounds like a good weekend to set your alarm for 3am, and maybe take a nap right before dinner or something. :/ I remember those days too, when you could read faster than your com program could print the text it was displaying; those were not great days.
Sorry you didn't know about the food. That's a bummer, for sure!
What is the proper follow-up behavior to gushing?
Nice summary, thanks.
All in all, sounds like a very successful con. Now get some sleep! Then write.
I missed all of this! Ah, trying to keep up while in Columbus was impossible.
GG Kay was there? He WAS??? Argh! That's what I get for loitering in the bar all weekend.
I only had ONE lunch in the consuite. ONE. And the night the hubs and I (and a bunch of HRBers) went to Boca du Bepe, that's where the FREE food came from. Now if that isn't a kick in the ass, I don't know what is.
It's nice to hear that more readers were at the convention. Not particularly helpful when it's all writers trying to sell to one another.
I've really enjoyed reading about your World Fantasy Con, Shauna! I learned a bunch, so I don't even feel bad that I really should be writing because my daily page quota isn't met yet ;)
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