I know most of you live (much) too far away to consider attending Archon, the small just-outside-St-Louis convention coming up in early October. I always go because it’s an hour and a half away and thus easy to attend.
Actually, my schedule right now constitutes a mad scramble, it’s just that most of that revolves around dogs, not SF conventions, so I don’t mention it here (much). In case you’re interested, this year it goes like this:
September 7, 8 — showing Leda at a local-ish show (an hour and a half drive) because though that show won’t offer a major, Leda can use single points. (She got reserve, so not even a single point, alas.)
September 15 — ditto
September 21, 22 — ditto
September 27, 28, 29 — showing Leda and Conner at an Arkansas show, where I hope there will be a major (and especially hope that Conner will get Winners Dog at least once and thus finish his championship) (and it would be nice if Leda picked up another major win as well).
October 4, 5, 6 — Archon
October 25, 26, 27 — a show in TN, which I will enter if and only if Conner still needs a major
November 15, 16, 17 — WindyCon (Chicago)
So, even if I don’t add any other dog shows in there, you can see that it’s a mad rush till after Archon. So I better prepare for Archon right now, since I’m on six panels and moderating four of them!
Here’s my Archon schedule:
Friday 3:00 PM Writing With a Deadline
Some people thrive on time pressures, others find it stifling or even disabling. Some of our professionals discuss how they deal with it.
It’s fine that I’m not writing to a deadline and have been moderately stuck on everything for months now, right?
Actually, it is fine. I’ve done plenty of writing to a deadline previously, so I have stuff to say here. Plus I’m moderating, so my job is mostly to get everyone else to say relevant things and stick to the topic.
Friday 5:00 PM Animal Traits Straight Out of Science Fiction
Find out about traits that some animals have evolved that are so crazy they seem to come from a science fiction story!
What to choose, what to choose …. so many great possibilities that no one will ever, ever have heard about. I’m inclined to focus personally on unexpected behavior, but again, moderator, so once again I’ll be drawing out the other panelists. And sticking to the topic, but that will not be difficult, I expect.
I anticipate categories: physically weird, metabolically weird, behaviorally weird … other? What other categories suggest themselves?
Saturday 12:00 noon Dragons!
A look at these awesome mythological creatures, and their origins in the East and West.
That seems very straightforward. Probably it would be okay to take a few minutes of the panel from the history of dragons to just mention a handful of the Best Dragons Ever In SFF Fiction and explain why they’re the best?
Saturday 1:00 PM, Young Adult Books: Not Just For Teens Anymore (or Ever?)
You’ve walked past the teen section so many times, and you see book titles that you’re almost interested in. But are you too old to enjoy such fantasies? Lets talk about how you’re never too old to read these titles.
This is fine, though in fact it might be nice to have a teen literature category driven primarily or solely by the tastes and preferences of actual teenagers. But that is mostly a different discussion.
Saturday 4:00 PM As You Know, Bob…
What are some creative ways to fill the reader or viewer in on background to the story?
I am currently reading Lake Silence by Anne Bishop. It is fine, I like it, it’s fun to read, but Anne Bishop sometimes provides pretty good examples of how not to work background into your novel. In some books in The Others series she gives background to the reader in huge chunks during some kind of prologue. She didn’t do that in this book, but the first person narrator does pause to explain things to the reader in a way that is pretty overt.
I think Barbara Hambly does a particularly good job of working in background and worldbuilding without overtly pausing to tell the reader about the background. Marta Randall does this beautifully in The River South. Martha Wells is another. I’d say I do it well myself. Who else occurs to you as being particularly good at sliding background into the story?
Sunday 10:00 AM Lesser Known or Forgotten Gems
What authors or stories are wonderful, but no one seems to know about them?
This panel is always effortless. Everyone has a thousand examples of lesser-known gems they would love to suggest. One and a half minutes of looking at my shelves will certainly provide ample books I’d love to press on everyone whose tastes are at all similar to mine.
But sure! What ONE lesser known or forgotten gem would YOU especially love to put in everyone’s hands? I’ll do my best to pass all those suggests on to the panel attendees at Archon. I can say, this year I’ll certainly remember to mention Mapping Winter and The River South.