I just got back in from Readercon, and boy is my liver tired.
I had a great time with my friends Claire and Chang. My first reading (as part of the Beneath Ceaseless Skies author reading) went swimmingly. It was one of the bigger con suites, and there were probably 25 people in attendance. I didn’t make a complete ass of myself, so there’s that. Reading bedtime stories to kids every night for six years makes for decent reading-out-loud training.
I didn’t go to bed until 2:30am or so on both nights because it was just too much fun socializing with like-minded folks, and talking to old friends I hadn’t seen since Viable Paradise in 2008. As is typical at writer-type gatherings, the evenings just slowly dissolved in what can only be described as staggering amounts of alcohol. At one point, we were sampling some excellent home-brewed beers in a room that was meant to hold two guests, but filled to “standing room only” capacity with twenty people.
I met Mary Robinette Kowal, albeit briefly, and saw (but did not get to say hello to) Marjorie M. Liu and Neil Gaiman and his wife Amanda Palmer. The Gaiman entourage walked in just as we were checking out, and I didn’t have time to hang around and fanboy-stalk Neil Gaiman breathlessly, but Chang did and got some pictures to commemorate the deed.
All in all, it was an excellent weekend, even with the lack of sleep. I met old friends again, got to make a bunch of new ones, and had my first con experience as a neo-pro. And now, with my motivation tanks freshly refilled, it’s back to work.
In just a little while, I’ll be heading south into the Volksrepublik to attend Readercon. I’ll bring a laptop and a camera, but there probably won’t be major embloggenings happening from there. I’ll be busy hanging out with some fellow writer types, meeting new folks, reading a short story (Saturday at 2:30 in the NH room, for those of you who will be at the Con), and generally having a good time. In between readings and events, look for my merchandise table, where I will be selling smuggled tax-free hooch from New Hampshire.
(The short story I’ll be reading, “Ink and Blood”, will be in the next issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies.)
Now excuse me while I go through my bags and make sure I didn’t accidentally leave any loose rounds or (God forbid) empty brass cases in any of my pockets…
John Scalzi, who instructionated me greatastically at Viable Paradise XII, just sold the movie rights to his “Old Man’s War” military SF series of novels to Paramount Pictures. Wolfgang Petersen, of “Das Boot” fame, will direct the first movie.
Good for him! I hope he remembers his former students when he builds that solid gold mansion in Ohio with all the millions from the 10% of gross receipts his wife undoubtedly negotiated for him.
For my money, the high water mark for hard Science Fiction was the Muppet Show’s ‘”Pigs In Space”. Nothing will ever top its drama, character development, science fidelity, or special effects.
I’d like to return this week for a refund, please.
I’m now in Week Three of the Great Big Lower Back Kablooie. On Monday, I had to go to the ER, and on Wednesday, I got to take a spin in the MRI machine over at Dartmouth. Today I went in for a follow-up visit with the family doc, and it turns out I have not just one, but two disks bulging and intruding into areas usually taken up by nerve clusters.
It’s gradually getting better, and I’m doing OK most of the time thanks to some truly awesome prescription meds. I am, however, missing this weekend’s Readercon down in Burlington, which is a major bummer. I’ve been looking forward to Readercon for months, and having to sit it out at home while so many of my writer pals and acquaintances are having a geekfest down there really doesn’t much to lift my mood. To top it all off, I’m not allowed to drink because of the industrial-strength pain meds in my system, so I can’t even drown my sorrow. Stupid, treacherous body, I tell you.
Oh, well. There’s always Boskone next year, and Worldcon down in Reno. Also, one of my VP pals is going to come up to Castle Frostbite for a visit next week, and she can fill me in on all the juicy gossip from the Skiffy front. Until then, I’ll be burning through my Netflix queue and books-to-read stack while waiting for this spine to reset itself to normal operational parameters.
So it’s finally snowing outside again. We’re supposed to get 6-10 inches by tomorrow morning, which will give me a chance to dust off the poor snowblower.
Boskone was fun. I reconnected with some VP pals, and met a bunch of new people. In the end, I was bummed to have to leave on Saturday evening already. The next con in the area will be Readercon, and half a dozen of my fellow VPXII alumni will be there, so I’m planning on going there in July, and maybe staying overnight.
Readercon is on the weekend after Independence Day, which gives me a perfect deadline for two different projects I am currently tackling. The first is the MilSF novel I’m writing, which stands at 45,000-ish words right now. My plan is to have it finished and edited into good shape by the time I go to Readercon. The other project is the reduction of my gravity footprint–at my current rate of shrinkage, I should be at my target weight by then. (I left behind 13 pounds in the first six weeks of the year, and I continue to shed about two pounds a week.) So that’s the goal: show up at Readercon slim and trim, with Book Two of Three in the Space Kablooie series under my arm. (Not the actual title of the series, mind you.) The con weekend in Burlington will be my reward for meeting both targets.
In other news in the Social Events category, we’ll have another Northeast Blog Meet dinner on March 1st, which will have me trekking down into (or near) Menino’s Mordor again. There are also two German Stammtisch evenings coming up in the next two months. I have to watch this “hanging out with adults” business, lest I develop a social life…
I’m going into East Berlin by the Bay tomorrow, to attend my very first SF convention. I hear that Boskone is a particularly good con for a noob writer like myself, and there will be quite a few VP instructors and former students there, so I’m looking forward to it. On the way in, I’ll finally take the opportunity to stop at Cambridge Typewriter, our regionally famous typing machine shop, to drop off a Royal Deluxe Portable for overhaul and ogle the machines they have for sale there. And if I find that I have an hour or so to spare around lunchtime, I’ll stop by Bromfield Pen Shop for a bottle of Noodler’s ink or two, which will make the day thoroughly writing-themed.
I really should bring a camera, or better yet, buy one of those Flip video cameras, so I can bore the lot of you not just with written recollections of my thoroughly mundane outings, but present moving pictures as well. But don’t hold your collective breath for video blogs…that would require me to shave on a regular basis, and come to work in something other than my regular office wear, which is usually from the Whatever’s Clean line of writer couture. (“Irons in the dryer! Now With Some Matching Colors!”)
Anyway: extended Dadcation tomorrow, for the sake of networking and socializing with fellow writer types and skiffy geeks (and there is a lot of overlap in that particular Venn diagram.)