I’m home after a great time at FantaSci. This con is in the Research Triangle in North Carolina, so it’s a bit of a hike from Kansas City, but it’s well worth it. To put it this way, I have already bought my pass for 2023.
I got to the hotel on Thursday afternoon, and began the hanging out almost immediately. The best part of cons isn’t really the con, though all of it is necessary for my business, it’s the people.
The first afternoon at cons is therefore a great time of re-connecting. Then, Thursday evening we went to Trali Irish Pub for a group dinner. Then, there was drinking at the bar.
I got to bed far too late.
Friday, I had some errands to run for the CKP Party on Saturday night, then I was back for three straight panels.
First, we had the release panel for Keen Edge of Valor. In this, we get as many authors who are in the anthology to come to the panel and talk about their story. It’s fun to share all the cool stuff in an anthology, and we had a great time because it’s a great anthology.
Get it here, by the way: amazon.com/dp/B09W91TP24/
Then we had a panel on Killing People and Breaking Stuff, including Mark Wandrey as moderator, Joshua Palmatier, Monalisa Foster, and William Joseph Roberts. This went over how much combat and violence to put in a story. The basic answer is that each of us have to develop a style that works with whatever genre we’re writing in.
Last on Friday night was perhaps my favorite panel on the week, talking about making books into movies. Carolyn Kay did a great job as moderator. Chaz Kemp, Cathy DeMott, and I went over a wide variety of topics and it was a hoot.
I had a bit of a break then before going into a panel on podcasting. There weren’t many people in the hall, but that became a good thing as Ian J. Malone sort of turned it into a roundtable. It was a blast, especially because Nicole Givens Kurtz is a hoot, and very, very sharp. Plus there was Kevin Steverson. Really good panel.
Immediately after, we had a great panel on overcoming Writer’s Block with Mark Stallings and Mark Jack Stoumbos. There are tools we can use, but one thing I want to emphasize is that we need to differentiate between those times when writer’s block has to do with the story and times when it has to do with fatigue, frustration, depression, and other things with the writer.
Then I had another panel on alternate history. I didn’t prepare for this as well as I should as moderator because I didn’t find out about it until Saturday afternoon. This is all on me because it was in the program, I just didn’t notice it.
Anyway, I had a Chuck Gannon and Dave Butler on the panel, along with Jason Cordova and Chris Kennedy, so I didn’t have to do much. They just got to riffing on stuff back and forth. At least I’m smart enough to sit back and let them go.
That was my last panel of the day, but then there was a huge evening of socializing. The Four Horsemen Dining Out that FantaSci hosts is unique, as far as I know, and an amazing experience.
Side note: Nick Steverson started the Dining Out off with a bang.
Anyway, then we had the CKP party, which went well as far as I could tell. All I know is I spent Saturday night chatting and schmoozing until late in the night.
This last part was an issue, because on Sunday morning at 9am I hosted the New Mythology Press year ahead panel. I was really impressed with how many we got to come out on Sunday morning, because I for one wouldn’t have minded sleeping in.
The big announcement was the cover reveal for Deadly Fortune by Aaron Rosenberg. This is a swashbuckling private eye novel with swords and intrigue and pirates.
Then there was time to hang out until Closing Ceremonies. I got to announce the winners of the FantaSci Short Story Contest.
The four finalists were C.M. DeMott, Nathan Balyeat, Chris Hepler, and Jonathan Miller. The winner was Chris Hepler, with his story “The Torturer of Camelot.” A great story that was at the top of my list from the start.
I also announced next year’s anthology theme. It will be entitled Bonds of Valor and while the primary theme of deeds of valor remains unchanged, we’re also adding a subtheme of bonds between characters.
This includes characters in a romantic relationship, buddy adventures, oaths sworn to others, and any other bond between characters.
The submission details are:
Deadline: November 30th, 2022
Word Count: 7-10,000 words
Specifics: Times New Roman, 12 point, and 1.5 line spacing.
See you there!