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Hello and welcome, everyone. This is my little corner of LJ where I blog about bug-eyed monsters, dragons and other imaginary critters, rocket ships, time travel, gaming, attending conventions, Southern fandom, zine-writing, editing, etc.

What you're likely to find: Posts about books, movies, games, conventions. Occasional posts about music--sometimes filk, sometimes just regular stuff that I like. The quotidian mysteries of an editorial assistant's life--the fact that the paper cuts you get from cover flats hurt 1000% worse than regular paper cuts, for example, or the knowledge that yes, shoving around 75 boxes of galleys does build upper-body strength. :) Every now and there there will also be posts about astronomy, space exploration, computers, and cats.

What you won't find: discussions of politics, religion, and sex.

Edit: Of late, there have been posts about my health.

Thanks, and happy reading.

DragonCon 2014 coincides with Baen's 30th anniversary, so we've got a ton of fun in store this year.

First, we're organizing a group to march in the parade this year--The Many Worlds of Baen. If you want to join the fun, head over to the Baen Parade Group FB page:

Second, for folks coming in early, we're hosting a Thursday night book launch at 8pm in the Westin, for John Ringo's Islands of Rage and Hope, and for the new David Weber-Timothy Zahn Honorverse collaboration, A Call to Duty.

More details on the launch party and costume contestCollapse )

We hope you'll join us for one or both. See you at the con!

Dragon Con prep, ahoy

Just two weeks, more or less, to the big Dragon.

Doing work and personal prep. Send caffeine and chocolate. :)
If you like Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International books, and you like role-playing games, check out this awesome Kickstarter -- you got MHI in my Hero System! No, *you* got Hero System in my Monster Hunters! Mmmm... tasty:

From the Kickstarter page:
"Vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other horrors have plagued our world unchecked for far too long. Now you can help put an end to these monsters, and many others, with The Monster Hunter International Employees Handbook and Roleplaying Game!

Based on the best-selling Monster Hunter International novels by Larry Correia, the MHIEHRPG is your official guide to Monster Hunter International and the world it fights monsters in.

Even better, it's also a roleplaying game that includes all the rules you need to create characters, play the game, and have amazing adventures in the MHI setting! The MHI Roleplaying Game uses the award-winning HERO System rules. They'll be included in the MHIEHRPG book itself so you don't need to buy any other books to play the game."

In less than 24 hours, the project is almost halfway funded. This is going to be an incredibly fun RPG, and I'd really like to see it succeed.


In two days, the madness begins (Dragon*Con)

In a little less than 48 hours, we'll be on the road for Dragon*Con, and by "we" I mean myself, paulcory, two of my cow-irkers (in a van together for the 6-hour haul to Atlanta), and about 60,000 of our closest friends.

We'll be there through Tuesday morning, when we'll do the trip in reverse.

So don't come to the house while we're gone, or you'll face the wrath of the 19-year-old cranky tortie. ;)

All of my stuff is on Saturday, so finding me on Saturday to do anything is going to be impossible. I'll either be in a panel, or a signing, or running to/from a panel/signing.

I have a panel on Fannish and Fit at 11:30am Saturday in the Fairlie room in the Hyatt, then I'm on the Truly Outrageous: Girl Heroes of the 1970s and 1980s at 5:30pm Saturday in A703 in the Marriott. This is for the track that sneezythesquid is co-director for.

I'm also basically on deck for all of the Baen author signings during the convention; thanks to scheduling requirements (some people not at the con all weekend, others with immovable schedule conflicts), most of those are on Saturday as well.

Baen author signing scheduleCollapse )

In other news, our kitchen fridge/freezer is slowly dying; we've been nursing it along for the past few days with periodic infusions of dry ice. And our dishwasher has been acting up, too. As in, not getting things clean.

Tonight, I have to do laundry so I can pack the stuff I'm wearing. One of the benefits of attending as a pro and not a fan is that I don't feel pressure to do costuming, so I just have to pack enough business casual stuff for a long weekend. And several pairs of comfortable shoes.

Con in Review: ConTemporal

This past weekend, paulcory and I attended ConTemporal, a new, local to us sf-steampunk convention.

As a mostly retired conrunner myself, the highest praise I can give them is this: it didn't feel like a first-year con.

From the perspective of a guest and attendee, everything seemed to go smoothly. The set pieces and decorations really added to the atmosphere. And when we checked in, the clerk seemed genuinely pleased to have us--not Paul and me per se, but the whole convention. The room was a shade on the small side for hosting a room party, but overall, it worked.

Also note: they had to expand their room block -- not once, but twice. Almost the entire hotel was ConTemporal attendees.

An exceptionally nice detail, IMO, was the availability of ice alongside the water. I like ice in my drinks, LOTS of ice. So to have it right there was a great touch, especially for a summer convention in the Southern US.

I had four panels, and they all went well. The first was on Friday, and was the Nerdiquette 101 panel with me, Danny Birt, Allegra, and last-minute addition Jennie Breeden of The Devil's Panties. I hope we shared some useful tips with people; we had around 15 or so in the panel.

Then I had to call it a night and drive home, thanks to my klutziness the previous weekend at DeepSouthCon, which had resulted in a rather banged-up right shin and ankle (nothing broken, but lots of bruising and some swelling).

Paul and I loaded up the SUV and headed back to the con on Saturday morning, where I, plus Mark Van Name and Jennie Faries, gave the Baen Traveling Road Show--honestly, Mark and Jennie did almost all of the work, while I sat in the front row beside David Drake, with my foot propped up. I tossed in relevant commentary and bits of information as needed.

ConTemporal generously gave us a two-hour block of time for it, which was fantastic. Most cons only give it an hour, and that's not enough time to cover everything. We gave away lots of Baen swag and lots of free books and ARCs.

Then off to check into our two rooms (one for sleeping, one for party). Checking in, and then just wandering around catching up with old friends and new, took up the rest of the afternoon until the 5pm "Preparing your manuscript for submission," with Sam Montgomery-Blinn moderating Allen Wold, lee_martindale and me. Lee and I have been wanting to be on a panel together for years, and ConTemporal made it happen. :) We had a small but dedicated audience, and I think we provided helpful advice and suggestions, sprinkled in with a few horror stories and "Don't do this!" examples.

Let me just take a moment to admire all the people in costumes. The convention I was at the previous weekend didn't feature nearly so many folks in costumes, and it was a treat to see everyone's creativity on display at ConTemporal. I'm really a newbie when it comes to the whole steampunk scene, so maybe this is a feature of all steampunk events? Regardless, it really made just walking around, or even sitting in the lobby talking, a fascinating affair.

Paul and I and missingvolume prepped for the RTSFS 15th Anniversary party for awhile, then sat around and ate and drank and waited for people to show up.

And they did! Folks came in, sat for awhile, ate and drank, visited, then wandered out. Party started at 8pm, then I had to dash off from 10-11pm to do the Geek Dating panel, which by all accounts turned out to be one of the more popular panels at the con. Danny Birt moderated, and sitting on the panel were Allegra, Jennie Breeden and me. The two guys from the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron were a big hit as well, and that's all I'll say about that. ;)

Came back to the room party, which was still going strong. We finally shut things down around 2:30am on Sunday.

Having a noon check-out on Sunday really helped us not have to be rushing around trying to get loaded up. We ate breakfast, packed our bags, and donated our party leftovers -- sodas and M&Ms and some beer -- to the con suite, and they seemed appreciative, as they were starting to run a bit low on soft drinks. We were happy to see the stuff go to a good home.

Then we went and made a last tour of the dealers' room, which as you all know, can take at least an hour, if done properly. ;)

We talked with the Foglios for a bit.

Bought something from the nice ladies at Mad Girl Clothing.

Being a sucker for glowy lights and blinky things, I also bought a copper walking stick with a screw-off top so that you could put a glowstick in it. It was the last one the merchants had that was suitable for my height.

We lingered a bit longer, talking with friends and dealers, but finally left around 1pm to come home and feed our cranky, 19 year old tortie.

I'm already looking forward to next year.

Attendance estimates I've seen for this year put it at around 500 people, which again is excellent for a first-year con.

Announcing Nerdiquette 101

After having one too many "that guy"* encounters at sf conventions, friends and I have banded together and created a NERDIQUETTE 101 page on FaceBook.

I'm also moderating the Nerdiquette 101 panel at RavenCon in Richmond, VA this weekend.

We've likewise proposed Nerdiquette panels to ConTemporal and ConCarolinas.

Another friend has told us that we're just shouting into the wind, but I can't sit by and do nothing anymore.

*Yes, women can be "that guy," too.

Hero System Kickstarter: Mythic Hero

Longtime game writer and Hero Games developer Steve Long is doing a Kickstarter to fund a new Hero supplement book on world mythologies; it's called MYTHIC HERO. It looks like it'll be a great book -- if it gets funded. He has a little less than 10 days to go. Check it out here:

And hey, I get to dust off my Hero System lj icon and use it...


(crossposted, forgive the duplication)

Baen's Webscrption has posted the e-ARC for A Rising Thunder:

Please spread the word.

Sorry there's no commenting on this post; it's public and the spam-bots are finding it and trying to post to it.

When Fandoms Collide (or, ARGH)

So, the UNC men's basketball team plays Duke, at home, in the final game of the regular season, at 8pm on March 5th. During StellarCon.


Note: to get a good idea of the depth of feeling between these two schools, read Will Blythe's To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry (link goes to Weekend America radio interview).

In case it's not clear from previous posts like this one, I'm a Tar Heel. In both senses of the word.