First off, for those of you attending Philcon, here’s my panel schedule as it exists at the moment. This is where you know you’ll be able to find me, and find me in full blatheration mode.
Fri 8:00 PM in Freedom Ballroom
MILITARY SF: IS PACIFISM DEAD OR HAS IT JUST STOPPED SELLING?
Does this trend reflect something deeper in our society?
Notes: Leaving aside the issue of military science fiction entirely, has pacifist-oriented SF ever sold?
Fri 9:00 PM in Seminar A
EARNING A LIVING BY GIVING IT AWAY
Free give aways tend to get attention. But is it worth it? What kind of free samples do you want to give away and how?
Notes: Interestingly, by the time I’m on this panel, I’ll have another piece of data for this topic. No, I won’t tell you what it is yet. Wait until next week.
Sat 11:00 AM in Ballroom A
HAS SCIENCE FICTION SWUNG TO THE RIGHT?
Or is this merely some liberal paranoid delusion?
Notes: Liberals? Paranoid? That’s unpossible! This should be an interesting discussion in the aftermath of the 2006 elections.
Sat 12:00 PM in Logans 1
IF IT’S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE JUPITER: A TOUR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM (192)
Panelists will discuss the most up-to-date knowledge about each planet in our Solar System, what missions are presently exploring the planet, and what missions are planned. Earth will be included. This panel will have to be 2 hours or we will have only about 5 minutes to spend on each planet with no time for questions.
Notes: Ooooh, this could be a lot of fun, as long as we have a moderator who moves things along nicely. Hopefully we won’t get too bogged down in the Pluto thing. Or, perhaps, hopefully we will! Give the audience a thrill.
Sat 3:00 PM in Salon 1
WEBSITES FOR WRITERS
What a writer needs to do to set up a website: domain names, site hosting and design or hiring a professional.
Notes: I’m not sure why anyone thinks I would know anything about this.
Sun 10:00 AM in Seminar B
THE WORLD NEXT DOOR: PARALLEL UNIVERSES
Do other universes exist? Can we ever contact them?
Notes: And will they buy Girl Scout cookies from my daughter? She has a quota to meet, you know.
Sun 11:00 AM in Logans 2
THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENCE FICTION
How do we go about recruiting new readers?
Notes: Personally, I suggest blackmail.
In addition to the panels above, I may also do a reading, or I may not; apparently the readings schedule will be provided to us when we get there. The rest of the time I’m sure I’ll be in the lobby or bar or dealer’s room, poking Charlie Stross with a spoon to keep him awake. Philcon will be my last convention appearance of 2006, so if you’re really itchin’ to see me in my natural habitat with other geeks before this year slides off into the slag heap of history, this is where you’re going to have to do it.
As for 2007, here are the SF conventions that at the moment I strongly suspect I’m going to be at: ConFusion, Boskone, Penguicon, Wiscon and the Heinlein Centennial. These are all conventions I’ve been to before, so this year I’m also hoping to add a few new conventions to the mix, particularly in places I’ve not yet been. I kind of want to go to a Minneapolis-area convention, for example, because it occurs to me there are a lot of folks in that general area I wouldn’t mind seeing, both in the SF community and outside of it. I’d also like to attend an SF convention in the South and/or the West; I really haven’t been out in those directions, notwithstanding last year’s Worldcon.
Speaking of which, I’m sort of holding my fire about Worldcon this year. On one hand I’d like to go, because everyone I know raves about Japan and what a lovely country it is, and I’d like to see it, and by that time (hopefully), the Japanese version of Old Man’s War will be out. On the other hand, it’s a whole lot of money and unfortunately I’m not likely to have a lot of time this summer to take a week off to sightsee in Japan outside of the convention. So there’s the question of whether it’s worth thousands of dollars to travel to another country just to spend five days mostly staying inside a hotel. Basically, I’m going to punt making a decision on that until some time next year.
If I don’t go to Worldcon I may try going down to Dragon*Con and seeing what it’s like. I understand it’s fairly insane. I’m not sure I want to bother with next year’s NASFIC (Archon 31), because apparently the Holiday Inn at which it will be is making attendees do fairly ridiculous things to reserve a room, like send a photocopy of both sides of their credit card; also the hotel is charging the cards for the reservation when the reservation is made, not after one has stayed at the hotel. And apparently the hotel folks are maintaining this is standard operating procedure for all hotel, which is of course a contemptible lie. I feel sorry for the Archon folks, since it’s really not their fault the hotel is suddenly acting like dicks. However, I think if the hotel is giving them that much trouble now, that they’re not going to be much more helpful at the time of the actual convention, and I’m not sure I need to spend several hundred dollars to go somewhere I’m not wanted.
Aside from conventioneering, I’m giving some thought to attempting some sort of tour thingie around the release of The Last Colony, which would mean sometime in May or June. This is all very nebulous in my head at the moment, and among other things I would need to talk to the Tor folks about it. And it would require me to be organized, and we all know how that goes. So, really, you should kind of ignore this paragraph entirely. It’s just me typing random brain squeezings.
Back on the convention front, I did have a nice thing happen last night, which was that I was invited to be the Guest of Honor at a science fiction convention of some note. Rather unfortunately the convention is happening on one of the only two weekends in 2007 in which I can’t wiggle out of my plans. So I had to turn down the offer. But still: Cool. Nice to be wanted, you know?