That was a very busy weekend! I was lucky enough to meet a number of writers who I admire, several very lovely and kind fans of Generation V, and quite a few interesting and kind-hearted people who listened to my spiel and professed themselves very interested in checking out Generation V.
Now, as fast as I was handing out my cards and info, people were handing great cards and info back to me. Check out my collection!
Pretty nice, right? I know I have two of Taylor Anderson’s cards, but that’s because I ran into him twice – once at a party, and once at breakfast. What a great guy, with an absolutely fascinating skillset!
Definitely take a close look at the flier at the bottom – when I was doing my autographing session (which, actually, went very well – a combination of everyone’s love of free books, plus being seated next to the amazing Cat Rambo) I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah, and they told me about their newest project – it’s a Kickstarter for a story-driven RPG that’s set in their Sime~Gen universe! Gamers, particularly the gamer ladies, this one is definitely one to take note of. You can check it out in more detail at
I’ll talk about the con (so much fun!) and San Antonio (seriously, San Antonio, what the hell is going on with that river? it looked like Chtulhu’s bathwater!) in a bit more detail later, but for now, I’m going to tell you about something important.
A quest that happened when I suggested to my hard sci-fi loving brother that he check out the list of WorldCon attendees to see if there was anyone that he really liked, because I’d be happy to get a book signed for him. Well, it turned out that there were quite a few of my brother’s SF heroes at the con, and we entered into some fairly intense negotiations about exactly how many books I was willing to shlep down for him. (I drew the line at bringing David Brin’s entire Uplift series. Yes, I am heartless)
So my brother managed to narrow it down to his top five picks, which he then mailed to me from San Francisco. Here’s what that stack looked like:
I packed them into my bag, and took them down. Something to keep in mind – first, I made my brother prioritize them, just in case I had only a chance to get one signed and not another. Then he took it a little further and wrote up a post-it note for each one so that I could read it to the author to explain just why this book was beloved.
Okay, so I set myself up to go – firstly, I didn’t get down to WorldCon until Friday afternoon, which means that the first thing that happened was that I completely missed Joe Haldeman and David Brin’s signings. Nuts. Now, they both had programming later in the con, but the problem there was that I’d scheduled myself pretty tightly for most of the con and I actually didn’t get to go to many panels. (‘cuz I was there to, you know, *work*) And then I couldn’t find Greg Bear anywhere on the programming, and was told that he’d had to cancel at the last minute. Whoops. But that still left Gregory Benford, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Alistair Reynolds. And Alistair Reynolds was actually on my panel, so that seemed very doable!
So, the quest began. (impressive music) I flew down to San Antonio, got to the hotel room, and packed my shoulder bag for the day. Off I went to pick up my badge – and guess who was in front of me at the programming table? DAVID BRIN! And I was all, “FUCK, I left the book back in the room!” (which is probably something that David Brin is not un-used to hearing when people meet him) But he was absolutely lovely, and had a stack of fliers for his new book on him, so he personalized one of those for my brother. And then even let me take a photo with him. Awesome!
And then I realized about forty minutes later that I’d actually had the book in my bag at the time, and I screeched obscenities at myself for about five minutes. Good times! (seriously, the moral of this might be – I kind of suck at this thing) And I really tried, but I never saw David Brin again.
Which, in all honesty, isn’t surprising. I mean, somewhere a deity was just shaking Its head, all, “Seriously, ML? I arrange it so that the very first person you bump into at WorldCon is David Brin, who is your brother’s personal SF hero because of the Uplift series, AND that he’s in a good mood, and you completely fumble the moment? Forget any favors in the future.”
But after that I went the solid route – autographing lines. And I learned a few things – firstly, that autographing lines are actually a good way to meet some pretty neat and nice people. Secondly – there are people who are kind of in the business of getting autographs. There were people with *carts* of books! And lists! (at one point I was at the SFWA table, and after I introduced myself to a very nice woman, she pulled out her list to see if I was on it – it turns out that I was, but only sort of. She’d actually put *Marie* Brennan on her list, because she thought we were the same. This actually turned out to be kind of a theme, so I’ve made an adjustment to my FAQ sheet.)
I also learned that it’s usually kind of important to get to the autographing line a little early. That way you can save some time. But on Friday I was able to get two of my brother’s books signed!
Then on Saturday I went to my panel on writing horror. It was very fun, very sharply moderated, and there were some pretty cool questions from the audience. One interesting thing that came out was that all five of the authors sitting on this panel were completely obsessed with non-fiction accounts of Himalayan mountain climbers – particularly when someone loses fingers or a nose to frostbite and then keeps climbing. Make of that what you will, but to those of you who like getting writing advice? Apparently you should be reading Into Thin Air and watching some documentaries.
Anyway, it was lots of fun, and then at the end Alistair Reynolds was very lovely and signed my brother’s book!
That was basically the end to the quest. However, my brother did have one specific desire to make his nerd life complete, and that was a photo of Benson, Brin, and Bear all together. And I completely delivered.
Is great! Seriously, I had a good trip to Newport, and an amazing time at ConnectiCon!
I’ll start with Newport – it was low-key, I was able to get some solid outlining work done, and I took some good reference photos for the books. Great ambiance, pleasure to visit there again, and I had a lot of meals at the Newport Creamery.
Oh, and for anyone who has wondered what Madeline’s mansion looks like, here was what I used as a reference:
I got home on Thursday, meeting up with my good friend John, who was nice enough to agree to ride shotgun on my first convention. Let me tell you – ConnectiCon was a shit-ton of fun. For one thing, this happened at the first panel we attended:
I ended up being on three panels over the weekend – Worldbuilding 101, Crossgenre Writing, and The Ten Things You Need To Know About Writing (on that last one, I don’t know what our final tally was before we went to questions, but a few people taking notes said that we were about fifteen-ish – even without counting how often we were expanding on what the person before us had just said). Each one was so much fun – the first two I was lucky to be with Michael J. Sullivan, Leona Wisoker, and the incredible Joseph Bruchac. All so lovely. Big kudos to Michael J. Sullivan, who managed to avoid looking horrified the third time I showed up on a panel with him (seriously, he was not only wonderful, but also graciously served as defacto moderator for two of the panels – Leona Wisoker made a heroic moderator stance in the second panel when the topic completely dried up on us). Last panel included Margaret Killjoy, who was such a pleasure to meet, and who very graciously began peppering his speech with profanity to make me feel less conspicuous after I accidentally broke the curse barrier. I am reading through his thoroughly delightful choose-your-own-adventure book What Lies Beneath The Clock Tower and I’m really enjoying the writing, the goblins, and the presence of absinthe.
I also got to meet wonderful people! Rob Durand and Rachel Sasseen were incredibly nice and cool for the whole weekend, and so much fun to hang out with! We talked, we had dinner, we played games, they introduced me to the fantastic Cam Banks, and then they even did me the *huge* solid of helping me with a very inconvenient and stress-inducing box.
Oh, and the gaming. Seriously, I had so much fun. I got to play 3-person Puerto Rico (fast, too – John and I played with a guy who apparently plays Puerto Rico in tournaments – and, yeah, I totally tied him on points, but he beat me by three coins), I learned Revolution with John and my husband (thanks Steve Jackson game instructor!), Gloom (which Cam very nicely taught me how to play), and Rob and Rachel taught me and John how to play 7 Wonders, which is so good that I’m probably going to have to buy it now.
Also amazing? The artists’ area. Stunning, stunning artwork – if I was single and I didn’t have to compromise on my choices in wall art, I would’ve come home with so much stuff to frame. But I did pick up a few small things – one whimsical print of sheep having a tea party by Anne Hoffer, and a set of the most glorious postcards by Cari Corene. Yeah, I’m not sending those postcards – I’m going to frame them.
I also was able to hand out a lot of my business cards, talked with many aspiring writers, and hopefully some more people will check out Generation V. And, in Generation V news – I’m up to 25 reviews on Amazon.com, so thanks so much to everyone who has done that! If you haven’t written a review for them yet, please do! I was very lucky to get wonderful coverage by two fantastic bloggers – shewolfreads posted a review and an interview, and Civilian Reader also posted a review and an interview. All are well worth checking out – I really enjoyed these ones!
For this week – just working hard and trying to stay cool in the monstrously hot temperatures.