Thanks to all who nominated…

September 9, 2009 in General Topics

…”Best in Class” for the Parsec Award in the nod for short fiction. And thanks for the judges and especially the listeners, too. I didn’t win the award, which is honestly okay. I would have felt guilty if Michael Natale’s excellent “Under the Bed” hadn’t gotten the award. Honestly, the story is really that good, and perfectly narrated by Michael Stackpole.

This makes the fourth straight year Variant Frequencies has snagged at least one Parsec. Warm congratulations, guys.

Dragon*Con was fun, and it was especially nice to see all the folks I don’t often get to, like the Drabblecast gang, Rick Stringer and everyone else. Rick’s son, Neil, is going to be a writer. He just doesn’t know it yet.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the great fun I’m having with a collaborative project with Gareth Jones. We’re enjoying crafting a hybrid fantasy/sci-fi piece together, and as always I’m impressed by Gareth’s talent.

Stay tuned.

Dragon*Con Wrap-Up

September 4, 2008 in General Topics

So I did have a great time at this year’s DC, even if I only got to go for a single day. There were some great moments from the ‘Con. For one, I got to spend some time with Anne and Rick Stringer, who were still in glow from their Parsec win for Best Magazine or Anthology, for Variant Frequencies. This means VF has won a Parsec three years in a row.

I think the VF crew are a great example that humility and decency can accomplish amazing things. Anne and Rick, and Matt Wallace, are some of the nicest, most laid-back people you can ever hope to meet. This is doubly impressive given their accomplishments. I also found out Anne has a hard time listening to her own work. Say what? But again, that does reflect that humility.

I also got the chance to hang out with Norm Sherman and Kendall Marchman (hope I got that last name right), 66.6% of the creative team behind my favorite paying Podcast market, The Drabblecast. Norm put up with my ridiculous schedule that week, and in the end I am very grateful he did. Once again, another laid-back, humble group of guys. Did I mention they ran a story of mine earlier this year?

I also grabbed a hand-shake from Steve Eley, whom I’ve never met in person, and whose trifecta of podcasts was somehow passed over for the Parsecs. I truly don’t understand that. I had thought some of their work was outstanding this year. Ah, well. Steve’s a very welcoming guy and a natural host, with a very friendly wife. And his kid is friggin’ adorable.

Interspersed amongst this all I got to shake hands with Edward James Olmos, Michael Hogan (who seemed tickled-pink that Michelle and I love his performances), a host of other fine folks, and generally wander around in and amongst a cavalcade of art, culture, and costumed hilarity.

All told, a fine day, and very energizing for my writing. Take care, all of you out there!

So I got to go!

September 1, 2008 in General Topics

So yes, I did get to go to Dragon*Con this year, effectively removing my need to wine and moan about not being able to make it. But a single day isn’t enough — next year, I’m going multiple days. I didn’t get enough time with the people I wanted to see.

I’ll post a true follow-up about my experiences at the ‘Con shortly. For now, let me just say it was a pleasure seeing all of you that I got to, and take care on your way home, and God bless.

Stuck out of the pool!

August 28, 2008 in General Topics

So Dragon*Con is ramping up, and I’m stuck out of the pool because I’m having a hard time getting some tickets. Never again will I not pre-register for this thing.

I really, really want to make it to the Con, but things just haven’t lined up this year, between trying to purchase a home and a injury I took a few months ago that has produced symptoms that are moving rapidly from annoying to chronic.

Re-diculous. Let me apologize to any of you out there that I wanted to see and have coordinated with. I’m trying, really. But this sucks.

Dragon*Con 2007

September 3, 2007 in General Topics

First: My legs are tired.

Second: Although I only got to go for Saturday, I had a BLAST.

I haven’t been to Dragon*Con in years. Ten years, in fact, as in “I remember the days when the entrance line wasn’t a half-mile long”. So much has changed, mostly for the better.

I had three objectives going into Saturday’s events. I wanted to meet and support some of the folks I owe a lot to, as some of them were up for awards, and I also wanted to interact with other industry professionals. Finally, I wanted to see if I was the type of guy that might enjoy myself at cons.

Stupid question. Other than the fact that single-day ticket sales aren’t available online, which is just stupid, my sole complaint the entire day was the totally illogical layout and management of the registration line. Two and a half hours is a fraking insane wait just to get in the door. You’d also think there would have been a separate line for cash and credit payments, but since there were only two payment booths total, I guess expecting reason to be at work is to much to ask.

Complaints aside, most of the rest of the Con is surprisingly well-organized, and I generally found it fairly easy to get where I was going. Marta was even easy to use to get there, as it deposited me right in the middle of the action.

Once I got my bearings and checked my schedule, I checked out the walk of fame and took time to greet Richard Hatch and Gates McFadden, both of whom were very approachable people. I tried not to have a geek-gasm over the presences of Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes. Spiner is probably one of the funniest guys on Earth. Amongst all the other signers, I was disappointed to see the Sci-Fi authors’ booths relegated to the back wall with a simple print-out with their name overhead. It looked like they would be literally sitting in the penalty box. None of them showed up for the 4PM signings, which is something I’ll leave the authors themselves to explain. I’m told it involves bad directions and disorientation, which is something I can understand.

I then attended a writer’s panel called “Places where man was not meant to go”, which turned out to be quite fascinating. In short, the discussion revolved around books that failed to hit it off for the authors present, and the small-but-active audience really gave some valuable info I was happy to digest. I knew most of the failings they put forward, but some I hadn’t considered. I also revealed my super-secret: I’ve never been able to finish Stranger in a Strange Land, due to the fact that the tale moves too slowly for my taste.

Finally came the Second Annual Parsec Awards, which stood as the highlight of the evening. I finally had the chance to support Matt Wallace and Rick Stringer, two guys I deeply respect, and who work with Anne Stringer on the excellent Variant Frequencies podcast. It was pleasure to sit in the audience and see these guys get their due when they won a Parsec for Wallace’s featured piece “No World for Warriors”. Afterwards, I grabbed a photo of the two of them:

Matt Wallace and Rick Stringer, part of the

I’m serious when I say I owe Matt and Rick big time. Matt is responsible for a lot of encouragement and for helping me out early on, and Rick has taken “Spired”, one of my dark science fiction pieces, for inclusion sometime in the future on “Variant Frequencies”. I knew Matt would hit it big a ever since I first started listening to him, and I think it’s only a matter of time before Rick gets similar recognition. Beyond that, they’re just damn good at what they do. These two guys were incredibly welcoming, and I had a pleasure talking shop with them. “Class” is an adequate description.

After grabbing an autograph and talking with Scott Sigler, (whom, like the other fiction podcasters, are people all speculative writers owe a debt too for starting this paradigm shift), I found myself invited to dinner with a group of podcasters and writers.

After some walking around, Mur Lafferty suggested Benihana’s, so we grabbed a bite while watching a very colorful Hibachi chef named Ricky regail us with his skills as a culinary pimp. I was pleased to share the table with Matt, Rick, Mur, Matthew Wayne Selznick, and Chris and Henry of the Adult Space Child Free Podcast. The conversation was good, and I had a feeling there were several potential friends sitting around me. It’s a credit to character that these folks were so down-to-Earth after their successes. I want to extend the public offer to all of you good people to stay in touch, and I also wanted to thank you again for letting me tag along and being so friendly. I’ll be checking out more of your stuff, too. If you send me a banner image, I’ll slap it on the plugs page.

And Matt: Don’t worry, I won’t post the umbrella shot. BWA HA HA HA.