I have the pleasure of being a guest panelist at this year’s Penguicon convention for the third time in a row. Hard to believe it has been that many times already. Penguicon is a computer/software/sci-fi and fantasy fan convention at a hotel in metro Detroit. It draws a rather large crowd each year (and keeps growing).
Here’s a tentative run down of the panels I’ll be on, as like any convention, my schedule is subject to change. Penguicon is Apr. 30th thru May 2nd.
We Made It to the Oscars!
2009 had an unprecedented number of sci-fi films nominated for Academy Awards. Does this mean sci-fi is going mainstream?
Daniel J. Hogan (m), Doselle Young, Catherine Shaffer
I’m looking forward to this one and it looks like I’m the moderator. It should be a fun chat and hopefully all in good fun. I like that they are listing moderators ahead of time. Since I’m modding this one, I had better come up with some questions or notes ahead of time.
Humor in Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Science Fiction is about Serious Things. Fantasy is about Causes and Quests. Wait, you mean they can be funny too? Puns, jokes, and running gags abound on this panel that pokes fun at works that take themselves a tad too seriously.
Daniel J. Hogan, Jim C. Hines, Brian Briggs (m)
Jim, Brian and I were on this same panel last year and it was a hoot. I’m very much looking forward to this one as well. I think this would be the third time Jim and I have been on a panel focusing on humor in sci-fi and fantasy.
You have a book coming out and a shoestring to promote it on. What’s an author to do?
Daniel J. Hogan, Cherie Priest, Patrick Rothfuss (m), Brian Briggs
I certainly know a lot about this. The Internet and social media has made it easy and affordable to market yourself and your work.
Adapting a Novel to a Podcast
With our constantly-on-the-go culture, why not make your work even more available (and safe!) for our commuter-based society! Two veterans of aural performance help you get started.
Mary Robinette Kowal, Daniel J. Hogan
I like that I’m described as a veteran of aural performance. That made my day right there. But, I guess with over 20 podcast episodes under my belt, that is an honest description. Heck, how many dozens of character voices have I done? Too many. But I love it. I was on a few panels with Mary last year and I’m looking forward to chatting with her again.
I’m only on four panels this time around (unless something changes) but that’s fine by me. I tend to over do it at some conventions and it’ll be nice to have time to relax (and I don’t have to worry about rushing down there on Friday either). Plus, I’ll have a girlfriend in tow and it wouldn’t be much fun for her if I was on panels all day and night.
I’ve scaled way back on how I do conventions vs. one and especially two years ago. I’m not even bringing any books this time. It is just isn’t cost effective any more and I feel I’m better off burning a bunch of podcast CDs and giving those out. I typically get a few online sales after any convention I’m a guest at, so I’m hoping that trend continues. I’ll confess that I’m always a bit nervous about being on panels with well-known writers and I kind of feel out of place at times, but typically everyone is very friendly and my worries are for not.
I really enjoy conventions. They are a great recharge to the creative batteries and I get to meet folks who have bought my book and/or listen to the podcast in person. Nothing in the world tops a stranger stopping you in a hotel lobby and saying how much they loved your book. Nothing.