Eerie Con 2012
I went to Eerie Con 2012 where I participated in many panels. My new novel, Nukekubi, was and will be available at Eerie Con. As always this was a wonderfully friendly con with generally nice people. The pizza and wings on the Saturday, and the Friday night party were both spectacular and I look forward to attending in 2013.
8 panels, reading.
- Free-for-all Friday 7 pm
Panelists duke it out on their pet subjects and peeves. Audience may join in. Always a lively panel.: Asaro, Gresh ,Pearl, Gardner, Schweitzer, Stephenson, Mod: Frederick.
- Immortality; it started out pretty good! Saturday 12 pm
Stem cell research holds a real possibility of organ replacement and growing new body parts. Is a day near when death from old age is a thing of the past? If so, what effect can we expect in an overcrowded world? Bodek, Garland, Stephenson, Mod: Pearl.- Rainbow B
- The villian - male view Saturday 1 pm
What makes a good villain? Did you create any you thought readers would love or hate, but was met with indifference? D. Clink, Gardner, Pearl, Mod: Leslie.
- Did you really write that? Saturday 2 pm
Has political correctness changed how you write? Are there stories you changed due to political concerns? Pearl, Gresh, Garland, Price, Mod: Schweitzer.
- Weapons and armor Saturday 3 pm
Examination of the historical and ongoing technological race between weapons and the equipment that makes them obsolete. A historical perspective for Fantasy and SF. Asaro, Pearl, Price, Mod: Stephenson.
- SF and fantasy are so different Saturday 4 pm
I cast the circle, Milord, but it won't hold for long! I've fixed the shields Captain, but they won't hold for long. Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic. How have authors played with this? Garland, Pantaleev, Merrill, Mod: Pearl.
- What line's mine? Saturday 5 pm
Our most popular panel; hosted by Amy Kauderer and crew. Can guests recognize their own writings? C. Clink, Pearl, Gresh, Price, Asaro, Giron, Schweitzer, Leslie, Bishop, Gardner. Top 10 by John-Allen Price.
This one is fun.
- My God, they're slamming you again! Sunday 12 pm
Minority religions worship many gods that most consider myths. How much sensitivity is appropriate to show in using these figures in fiction? Are the gods of another fair game for slander? Is it fair to portray them as myths or better to avoid them entirely? Merrill, Pearl, Gardner, Mod:Price.
Eerie Con 13, 2011
5 panels, 1 reading, masquerade.
Lucky number 13:) My blog has the details about my activities at Eerie Con 13 in Niagara Falls, New York, USA. I spent most of my time in the dealer's room, selling my books, and on panels, discussed below.
This is a small, friendly, intimate con emphazing literary works. I liked it. Larry Niven was really nice and interesting to talk to. Here are the panels I did.
- This is Huge!!!! Saturday 10 am
Not many authors had works as big in print and on screen as the Rings and Harry Potter. Why did it happen? Can it happen again? Name some likely candidates and your reasons. Niven, Pantaleev, Pearl, Kaye
This was fairly well attended. Larry Niven was to my left at the Panel table. In short, the message can be summed up as: if anybody knew what the next huge thing was going to be, they'd write that and make a mint. So why the heck are you asking us? : One of the audience later told me that he was quite taken by my view that the lust for the ring in Lord of the Rings was an allegory for addiction, with golem as the burnt out junky and Frodo as the still functioning addict. It's always a big smile for me when something like that happens.
- Reading by Stephen B. Pearl Saturday 1 pm
Three people attended, which was three more than my last reading. I read the first chapter from my upcoming book, Nukekubi and the first chapter of Tinker's Plague. I will mention that an associate who critiqued a book for me in the Critters Writers group was at the con and attended the reading. It was really great to meet a person I worked so closely with in the flesh. Now if I'd only had the presence of mind to write down his contact information. Sorry.
- Diversity in S-F and Comics Saturday 3 pm
Despite claims to be liberal and colour-blind, the S-F business has few writers from minority groups and the comics industry is killing off characters from human minority groups. Why are white male Liberals declaring war on minorities? Niven, Price, Pearl, Mak.
This was well attended by a somewhat racial mixed-group. It started out as a typical, oh why do they not include racially diverse characters, bitch and whine, until I had a go at giving some possible answers for why people might be a little gun shy about using ethnic characters. Things such as, the changing nature of PC speak. Let me say this again.
Proper English must be the safe fall back from PC.
I also said that whenever anybody writes a character of a different ethnicity than themselves, they have to fake it. Now to me faking it means you research something, find allegories in your own life, then bring them to the page. Some of the panel placed a different semantic interpretation on the phrase. This kind of points out another aspect; that you can't win. Include ethnically diverse characters and you get lam basted for not doing them right. Frankly, I think the difference between growing up on a farm or growing up in the city will have more impact on how a character behaves than where their great grandfather came from. The topic got a little heated but in the end no harm was done. I think, in the end, the adage folk are folk and just try to ignore inconsequentialities while showing a degree of respect to all is a message audience and panelists alike could agree on.
- Predictions Saturday 4 pm
What will the world look like in 2100? What will be different? What will be the same and why? Stephenson, Pantaleev, Martineck,Clink, Pearl.
This was scary. I got in a touch late and was at one end of the table. The interesting dynamic was that the people who were optimistic about the future were on the far side of the table from we realists... umm, pessimists. My end of the table agreed that human stupidity has made a mess and will make a bigger mess. The major issue is the fact that we are running out of energy and doing very little to shift our society over to sustainable energy generation. This and the fact that human population is still escalating. If you read Tinker's Plague you'll get a view of what I consider one potential future. Interestingly enough, no one tried to challenge my assertion that unbridled capitalism will invariably become feudalism.
- The Masquerade and Japanese Drumming Saturday evening
You can view the Masquerade on You Tube by searching for Stephen B. Pearl.
- I Can't Believe You Said That! Sunday 10 am
How do you handle all the social networking; Facebook, Twitter, Blogs? What if someone gives you a bad review? Gresh, Pearl, Harlacher, Leslie
This went off topic and no one minded. We really just talked about using the internet to promote yourself. My list of sites.
- Vampires Sunday 12 noon
They are hot now; panel discusses what the next hot theme might be, and past ones. Crow, Pearl, Schweitzer, Kaye.
This kept steering off topic and being dragged back on. Two of us agreed that wizards would be a good one for the next hot topic. Another possibility are the Fay.
Vampires in modern fiction are an amalgamation of mythical vampires and the incubus / succubus. Mythical Vampires are nasty walking corpses.
The modern vampire represents teenage sexual repression and are attractive because it's the sexy, older, powerful being that makes no demands on the mortal in the relationship. Thus they form a transition between father and lover.