It’s been an utter whirlwind these past several days here at DragonCon, so I’ve been leaning far more on Twitter than the blog to get my thoughts and impressions down. But now that it’s Monday morning, and I don’t have any more events or programming, I thought I’d share some overall thoughts and impressions. And photos, of course.
When you try to organize events at a con with 50,000 people, something is bound to slip. Unfortunately, my books are that “something” at this DragonCon.
I had hoped to have a couple dozen copies of The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis to sign and give away at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America booth today.
But…dude, where are my books?!
Sadly, we can’t find them. Don’t know if they left the warehouse, got lost in transit, eaten by woodchucks, whatever. Not here.
So. I’ll still be at the SFWA booth at 3 pm today, and I’m happy to say hi. My books are on sale at Missing Volume and Larry Smith Books in the vendor hall, and I know some of them are signed. If you didn’t get a signed one, or want it personalized, you can still find me.
Sorry gang. I might do a giveaway online in lieu of this…especially if all those extra books ever show up.
Meantime, DragonCon is wonderful. I’ll do a wrap up later on, but suffice to say, I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Except for the missing books.
Phew. Already DragonCon is tiring me out, but it’s been an incredible experience. I’m hugely pleased with the quality of the panels and the programming overall, and I’m proud to have been a part of it. I also want to thank everyone who turned out yesterday for my first DragonCon reading. It was a blast!
Today’s schedule is light. Here’s my only “official” appearance. (And yes, I’m amused writing that.)
- 3 p.m., signings and giveaways at the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) booth. Yes, you could get your hands on free signed copies of The Daedalus Incident and/or The Enceladus Crisis, but only while supplies last. And if you miss that…you get a bookmark. Hey, it’s something. Unless they’re gone, too. Outside the Comics Alley and Art Show, Hyatt Regency.
I’ll also be manning the SFWA table after my signing slot, so feel free to stop by after. But if past conventions are any indication, it’s very likely there won’t be any free books available after…oh, let’s say 3:15 p.m., and that may be pushing it. So get there fast!
Other than that, I’m planning on spending the day as a fan. There are a couple great panels on governments and conspiracies I’ll be hitting up as part of some early research for future projects, plus the fanboy in me will probably check out Colin Baker’s presentation about his time as the Doctor, along with the Ghost Hunters panel because, well, ghosts.
Once again, I’ll be active on Twitter, so check out my feed if you want to see what I’m up to.
I haven’t done any of the late-night events here, primarily because I’m being greedy about my time. I’ve taken to holing up in the hotel and working on The Venusian Gambit, which has been lovely and really rewarding. I can’t wait for you guys to read it next spring!
So this whole DragonCon thing is intense. It’s easily the biggest con I’ve ever been to, and it rivals the size of both Comdex and the Consumer Electronics Show, both of which I regularly attended in my former life as a technology journalist. This, of course, is much more fun.
Yesterday’s panels were awesome, and I met a ton of folks. I also met writers whom I’ve long admired, which was a real treat. Really, it’s been quite a lot of fun.
Here’s my schedule for today:
- 11:30 a.m., I’m doing a solo reading! Plus, I may do some giveaways while I’m there. Yes, I’ll probably read from The Enceladus Crisis, and field some questions about my work, writing in general, publishing, you name it. I may also drag out a piece of The Venusian Gambit to read as well. Marietta room, Atlanta Conference Level, Hyatt Regency.
- 7 p.m., “Race and Gender Issues in Alternate History” panel, which is pretty much as described and should be awesome. Augusta 3, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
I’ll also be manning the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America booth for an hour starting at 5 p.m., though that’s not my official signing time; I’m there to answer questions about the organization and help promote my fellow members’ work. Because that’s always a good thing.
The only other thing I’ve scheduled for myself in the handy-dandy DragonCon app is the “Star Trek TNG: ‘All Good things'” panel, because…well, hell, it’s Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden. I have no idea whether I’ll even be able to get in the door; maybe my “attending professional” badge will give me some kind of super-powers in that regard.
As always, I’ll be on Twitter regularly through the day, so check out my Twitter feed. It’ll also be the best way to reach me during the madness.
I’m here! And it’s…incredibly hot and humid outside, which is making me wilt. Thankfully, there’s air-conditioning inside the various venues for DragonCon. And other than the heat, Atlanta has been great so far.
Today I’m busy with panels, and I hope to see you there if you’re in attendance. Here’s my official schedule:
- 2:30 p.m., “Bending Historical Tradition” panel, in which we’ll discuss “everything from blood herbivores, water pistol protection from blood drinkers to vampires herding humans in a post-apocalypse world.” Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
- 5:30 p.m., “Building Alternate Worlds and Times” panel, in which “creators of alternate worlds discuss their secrets for building brave new worlds in this Q&A. From research to deviations in history and much more.”Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
- 7 p.m., “Critique Groups and Beta Readers” panel, where we’ll tackle “the pros and cons of critique groups and beta readers – and how to use them to your best advantage.” Embassy D-F, Hyatt Regency.
Yes, I’ll be doing the mad dash from the Westin to the Hyatt to make my last panel of the day. It’s not a bad problem to have.
In addition, I’ll likely stop by the big Alternate HIstory Track introductory panel, “The Wide, Wide World of Alt History” at the Westin at 11:30 a.m., because Doctor Q and the gang have been really good to me with regard to panels, and I want to support them.
Other than that, I’ll probably wander the Westin and check out the exhibitors and vendors next door at AmericasMart. I tend to tweet a lot during these sorts of events, so check out my Twitter feed for photos and info. And if you want to say hi, that’s probably the best way to track me down.
Everyone recovering from LonCon and GenCon? Yeah, I missed those, but I’m very excited about next weekend’s DragonCon down in Atlanta. I’m going to be a busy fellow, which is good. Are you going? I hope you’re going. It’ll be awesome.
Here’s my schedule:
- Friday, 2:30 p.m., “Bending Historical Tradition” panel, in which we’ll discuss “everything from blood herbivores, water pistol protection from blood drinkers to vampires herding humans in a post-apocalypse world.” Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
- Friday, 5:30 p.m., “Building Alternate Worlds and Times” panel, in which “creators of alternate worlds discuss their secrets for building brave new worlds in this Q&A. From research to deviations in history and much more.” Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
- Friday, 7 p.m., “Critique Groups and Beta Readers” panel, where we’ll tackle “the pros and cons of critique groups and beta readers – and how to use them to your best advantage.” Embassy D-F, Hyatt Regency.
- Saturday, 11:30 a.m., I’m doing a solo reading! I’ll likely read from The Enceladus Crisis and I may even read something from the final book, The Venusian Gambit, which doesn’t even come out until next May. There will be a Q&A, witty banter, you name it. Come say hello! Marietta room, Atlanta Conference Level, Hyatt Regency.
- Saturday, 7 p.m., “Race and Gender Issues in Alternate History” panel, which is pretty much as described and should be awesome. Augusta 3, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
- Sunday, 3 p.m., signings and giveaways at the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) booth. Yes, you could get your hands on free signed copies of The Daedalus Incident and/or The Enceladus Crisis, but only while supplies last. And if you miss that…you get a bookmark. Hey, it’s something. Wherever the booth is, because I’m not entirely sure.
Aside from that, I’ll be in the audience at other panels and occasionally helping to man the SFWA booth. I’ll likely be on Twitter quite a bit, broadcasting where I am and what I’m doing, so you can find me that way. Also, I heartily recommend the DragonCon app, which I’m using for my own scheduling purposes. I’m listed along with all the other presenters, and all you have to do is bookmark the events for them to show up in your own schedule.
This is going to be my first DragonCon and, in fact, my first convention of this size. So if I’m wandering about looking lost, feel free to point me in the right direction or, failing that, have a beer with me.
So yes, there was this thing where a whole heap of authors got together to sign a letter protesting Amazon’s tactics in its spat with the publisher Hachette. That letter, after circulating on the Internet for quite some time, ran as a two-page ad in The New York Times on Sunday. My name was on it, along with 908 others.
Here’s why I signed it.
While I’m not published with Hachette, I have friends who are. These friends are not best-selling authors, but simply folks trying to make a go of it as a writer. Some are doing it full time. And let me tell you, it’s rough sledding being a full-timer. You rely on those book sales. And you rely on Amazon because it represents – literally – a majority of the sales you’ll make in the United States.
I’m sure it’s not an actual policy, but Amazon customarily discounts nearly every single book in its inventory. The list prices for my novels are $15.99, but on Amazon, they go for less than $12.50 in print and $9.99 in ebook. Those discounts are attractive to a lot of consumers, obviously. They keep my books competitive with other works, both on Amazon and among other vendors.
In its ongoing dramatics with Hachette, Amazon has done a number of things that have directly impacted authors published by Hachette. They’ve also impacted consumers. As the Authors United letter pointed out: Continue reading