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So where I have I been for the last week and a half? Worldcon prep, and then Worldcon. Word to the wise: the Kansas City Convention Center is big. Like space and time big. Like walking forever big. My calves have not yet forgiven me.

I headed out to Kansas City with my pal, Jody Wurl (awesome fan and local librarian) at more or less the crack of dawn. Only later because there were cats to be wrangled and stuff. 6 or 7 hours of glorious chatting about everything and listening to music, we rolled into Kansas City (at rush hour, inevitably). Our hotel, the Aladdin, was all kinds of historical charming, including a tiny charming room with no space for the air mattress so we moved directly into the “first time road trip together to  first time sharing a room to  first time sharing a bed” phase of our friendship! Fortunately, neither of us is a night owl and we’re both relatively quiet sleepers so it worked out just fine. And author Martha Wells and her roomie Felicia were also in the same hotel, so we had amiable dining companions the first night.
 
Thursday arrived with a lively breakfast at the hotel restaurant, which featured sundry hijinks that were clearly the result of being short-staffed (it got better after this). But it also featured the charming company of Martha, Felicia, Jody, Steven Gould and Heather Rose Jones, so that made up for the other issues. After breakfast, Jody and I headed over and got our registration stuff taken care of, then I was off to the Dealer’s Room to drop off books at the DreamHaven table and help Elise Matthesen set up her jewelry both. I hung out there for a bit, generating good sales vibes (or so I’m told) before wandering the room. Then I was off to meet up with Jody and my friend Muffie for lunch. Muffie is a writer pal who I met at Sirens last year and we had a grand time chatting and hanging out. Then I was off, more or less, for my first panel of the weekend, "Knock on Wood, from Squirrel Girl to Lumberjanes."

You know, it was fun to do two YA panels at a con (I had an LGBT YA panel on Saturday too). I never get asked to do these, as a rule, so I hadn't given them much thought, but the discussions were lively and the panelists polite and enthusiastic. The audiences were pretty engaged too so the energy level was really good. For the comics one, we geeked about stuff we liked: Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Courtney Crumrin, Bone, My Little Pony, Lumberjanes, Nimona and such. Good times! I don't think we broke any new ground, but it was a fun, energetic chat. After that, Jody and I joined Martha and Felicia and another friend of theirs for dinner, which was even more fun than the night before, what with everyone having slept and all.

Thursday morning was two panels in a row, "The Joys of Running a Small Press," followed by "Living in a Cyberpunk Society." The small press panel was arguably my least favorite of the weekend. The moderator hadn't checked in beforehand and didn't seem to quite know what to do with me (the press is still in start up mode, rather than running) so she tried skipping me a few times on questions, which didn't go over well. I snagged the mike and started talking, which put an end to that issue, but it was annoying to have to fight for the space. She also added someone from the audience since one publisher was later, which also cut into the remaining panelist time. And to add to that, I was rushing to get to the cyberpunk panel at the end because I was moderating and it was not close by and people wanted to ask questions (and I needed to pee) so it ended fairly abruptly. The other panelists were fine though, so I didn't think it was a complete loss.

As for the Cyberpunk panel, when I say Pat Cadigan was a panelist and she opened with, "I'm Pat Cadigan, bitches.", do I need to say more? :-) 
Panelists Lyda Morehouse, Allan Dyen-Shapiro and Professor  Takayuki Tatsumi also got in some comments and thoughts (I need to go track down, Dr. Tatsumi's book on cyberpunk), but it was pretty much the P. Cadigan show everyone had come for. And it was a pretty entertaining one. It's easy to forget that when she and Gibson and Stirling and so forth were creating what we now think of as a genre, they were working largely independently of each other, without the benefits or burden of internet connections and so forth. She's also pretty funny so I recommend going to hear her if the opportunity presents itself.

I met with my former editor, Evan Peterson, and some of his Clarion classmates for lunch, then went tot he Art Show, then cruised the Dealer's Room buying sundry books (Japanese sf in translations! Art books! Sundry stuff) before helping Monica Valentinelli do prep stuff fro Build A World. Then I was off to dinner with editor and writer Julia Rios and her mom, where we were joined by one of Julia's former colleagues at Strange Horizons and her fiance. A jolly conversation about books and reading and Iowa and travel and stuff ensued before we had to to head back for evening programs. In my case, that was Build a World, the gameshow featuring writers attempting to do world building with audience participation. Unfortunately, we had been moved in both time and space and didn't draw a big crowd. But the folks who were there seemed to have fun, we had fun and we raised money for charity so a generally good time all around. we stopped by a few bid parties afterwards before crashing.

I missed both the Masquerade (which I was sorry to miss) and the Tor Party, which I was less bummed about. We had done some bar conning the night before and it had been as fun as bar conning gets for me (I'm working up a post on what it's like to be a sober pro in con culture to follow this one) so I felt like I'd had that particular experience for the weekend. In any, case, I was up the next morning for a surprise (as in unplanned) breakfast with author Jeannette Kathleen Cheney, who I'd met at Chicon, before going off to moderate the
"Complexity of Character: Coming Out in Teen SpecFic" panel. This was one of the two best panels of my con - great panelists, lively discussion, good suggestions, enthusiastic audience. Big thumbs up, all around.

Then I got to meet up with Dr. Nick Wood, who's been doing some great critical and promotional work on African science fiction and fantasy as well as writing his own stories. Really enjoyed our lunch and hope to repeat it again at a future con. There followed a moment of truth in which I had to go sign at a table next to Pat Cadigan. Which involved some thumb-twiddling, some chatting with friends, the signing of the following: one poster, two book plates, three actual books, and some impromptu bonding with my table mate, Star Trek (and other works) author David Dvorkin and his amiable spouse. Pat also signed my copy of Patterns with a massive flourishing, informing me that I was "cool." :-D

I went on to do a panel on Aging in SF/F with Connie Willis, James Patrick Kelly, Eleanor Arnason and Bud Sparhawk after that. My second favorite panel, in part because the panelists, particularly Willis and Kelly were entertaining, and Kelly was a good moderator. I mentioned my bibliography project briefly, as well as some of my other projects on aging in tech and so forth but I think those may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
But from there, Jody and I went off to catch the trolley and get barbecue at Jack Stack Barbecue, which was a fun trip off site. We wandered back and went to the SFWA Suite for the Hugos (which we ended up watching on line anyway). Lots of cheering and enthusiasm for the various winners and speeches (particularly Nnedi, Nora and Michi), which was lovely. Then it was farewells at bar con and sleep.

Somewhere in there, I caught readings by Martha Wells, Amanda Downum and Rosemary Kirstein, talked to a bunch more people than I remembered to note above, briefly met Ken Liu and the folks from China organizing another Worldcon bid via the redoubtable Crystal Huff, chatted with Jason Sizemore of Apex. chatted with book dealers, artists and a number of total strangers, chatted with Jason Sanford, Naomi Kritzer and Pamela Dean and missed connecting with dozens of people I had hoped to see at the con. Overall, I had a fine time though and am glad I got to go, exhausting drive, lengthy walks, occasional weirdness and all!.

catherineldf: (Default)
Comics, aging, cyberpunk, small presses, queer YA, a game show and autographing! They're going to keep me hopping.

Knock on Wood. From Squirrel Girl to Lumberjanes
Thursday 5:00 PM, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)
What the junk?! In the last couple of years we've seen the growth of comics that might superficially appear to be aimed at a YA audience, however these titles are hitting the mainstream with a vengeance. Marvel are leading the pack with Squirrel Girl, Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel, but there's also a vast amount of Indie work coming through such as Lumberjanes, Space Dumplin', Kaos Komics and Footloose. Our panel discuss why these titles are so popular, and what they have to offer both new and established audiences.
Tom Galloway, Jason Sanford, Adam Rakunas, Rebecca Schwarz (M), Catherine Lundoff


The Joys of Running a Small Press
Friday 10:00 - 11:00, 2205 - A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)
The old joke is that the way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start out with a large fortune.  Small publishers fill an important niche in the world of science fiction, even in this era of self-publishing.  Some of the foremost small publishers talk about the trials and tribulations of finding their place and surviving.
Eric T. Reynolds, Catherine Lundoff, Beth Meacham (M), Mr Paul Starr, Jason Sizemore

Living in a Cyberpunk Society
Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)
We may not be able to jack in directly, but we are part of the Cyberfuture. When technology thrives but society decays, seemingly dystopic worlds arise. To what extent is our world a cyberpunk universe and what more can we expect to happen to take us there?
Ms Pat Cadigan, Lyda Morehouse, Allan Dyen-Shapiro, Takayuki Tatsumi, Catherine Lundoff (M)

The Build-A-World Game Show
Friday 9PM-10PM, 2503A - A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)
The Build-a-World Game Show is a live action worldbuilding game designed and run by Monica Valentinelli. Two teams of panelists compete to build a fantastic world in under an hour for fun and prizes. The Build-a-World Game Show incorporates audience participation, takes place in three rounds, and results in a fan-voted winner! This year, Martha Wells, David McDonald, Catherine Lundoff, and Tex Thompson will be competing.
 Ms. Monica Valentinelli (M), Tex Thompson, Mr David McDonald, Martha Wells, Catherine Lundoff

Complexity of Character: Coming Out in Teen SpecFic
Saturday 10-11AM, 3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)
Young adult speculative fiction is doing a fairly good job of featuring a diverse and varied cast of characters, but books that feature LGBT, asexual, and nonbinary characters are still not always easy to find. Let’s talk about what books and characters are out there, and what themes and identities are still underrepresented in YA SF? What challenges do spec fic authors face when writing and publishing books about teen sexuality and love? Beyond the main characters, what roles do the secondary and tertiary characters play in helping to advance the conversation about teen sexuality?
Catherine Lundoff (M), Mark Oshiro (Mark Does Stuff), Lyda Morehouse, Jaylee James

Autographing: Pat Cadigan, David Dvorkin, James Gunn, Catherine Lundoff, Megan O'Keefe, John Picacio
Saturday 1PM -2PM Kansas City Convention (Autographing Space)

Aging in Speculative Fiction
Saturday 3:00PM-4PM, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)
One day you wake up with a new ache, another day you notice you have more grey hairs than brown, another you realise people on the bus ask if you would like their seat. Despite all of this you are still 30 inside and just as lively as ever (well, almost). Is the process of aging ever covered in science fiction and fantasy or is it one of the last great taboos?
Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Lundoff, James Patrick Kelly (M), Connie Willis, Bud Sparhawk


midamericon2.org/
catherineldf: (Default)

So, my Worldcon schedule is so very full of awesome. Everything looks so interesting! Squirrel Girl! Build a World! A panel on aging! A panel on building a small press (and yes, starting to get back on track with stuff. Again)! And OMG, I'm moderating a panel on cyberpunk with Pat Cadigan on it. She's justifiably considered to be one of the great cyberpunk writers, for those just tuning in, and she's one of the GoHs this year. I'm going to be doing a fair amount of prep work for this con, that much is clear.

So who's going to be there?



Knock on Wood. From Squirrel Girl to Lumberjanes

Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)

What the junk?! In the last couple of years we've seen the growth of comics that might superficially appear to be aimed at a YA audience, however these titles are hitting the mainstream with a vengeance. Marvel are leading the pack with Squirrel Girl, Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel, but there's also a vast amount of Indie work coming through such as Lumberjanes, Space Dumplin', Kaos Komics and Footloose. Our panel discuss why these titles are so popular, and what they have to offer both new and established audiences. 

Tom Galloway, Jason Sanford, Adam Rakunas, Rebecca Schwarz (M), Catherine Lundoff

The Joys of Running a Small Press

Friday 10:00 - 11:00, 2205 - A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)

The old joke is that the way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start out with a large fortune.  Small publishers fill an important niche in the world of science fiction, even in this era of self-publishing.  Some of the foremost small publishers talk about the trials and tribulations of finding their place and surviving.

Eric Reynolds, Catherine Lundoff, Beth Meacham (M), Mr Paul Starr, Jason Sizemore

 

Living in a Cyberpunk Society

Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

We may not be able to jack in directly, but we are part of the Cyberfuture. When technology thrives but society decays, seemingly dystopic worlds arise. To what extent is our world a cyberpunk universe and what more can we expect to happen to take us there?

Ms Pat Cadigan, Lyda Morehouse, Allan Dyen-Shapiro, Takayuki Tatsumi, Catherine Lundoff (M)

The Build-A-World Game Show

Friday 21:00 - 22:00, 2503A - A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)

The Build-a-World Game Show is a live action worldbuilding game designed and run by Monica Valentinelli. Two teams of panelists compete to build a fantastic world in under an hour for fun and prizes. The Build-a-World Game Show incorporates audience participation, takes place in three rounds, and results in a fan-voted winner! This year, Martha Wells, David McDonald, Catherine Lundoff, and Tex Thompson will be competing.
 

Ms. Monica Valentinelli (M), Tex Thompson, Mr David McDonald, Martha Wells, Catherine Lundoff

Complexity of Character: Coming Out in Teen Spec Fic

Young adult speculative fiction is doing a fairly good job of featuring a diverse and varied cast of characters, but books that feature LGBT, asexual, and nonbinary characters are still not always easy to find. Let’s talk about what books and characters are out there, and what themes and identities are still underrepresented in YA SF? What challenges do spec fic authors face when writing and publishing books about teen sexuality and love? Beyond the main characters, what roles do the secondary and tertiary characters play in helping to advance the conversation about teen sexuality?

Saturday, 10:00 am. Catherine Lundoff (M) - last minute addition, will add panelists when I know who they are

Aging in Speculative Fiction

Saturday 15:00 - 16:00, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)

One day you wake up with a new ache, another day you notice you have more grey hairs than brown, another you realise people on the bus ask if you would like their seat. Despite all of this you are still 30 inside and just as lively as ever (well, almost). Is the process of aging ever covered in science fiction and fantasy or is it one of the last great taboos?

Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Lundoff, James Patrick Kelly (M), Connie Willis, Bud Sparhawk

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