Monday, June 30, 2008

ApolloCon Report

I'm mildly more coherent now, having had a chance to catch my breath and recover. Staying the extra night was definitely worth it, as I got a good night's sleep in an incredibly comfortable bed and now have the energy to drive home. Since I didn't have so many panels at Apollocon this year, I had a chance to go to more panels, which was highly educational. It's nice to listen to other people talk, for a change.

One panel I thought was interesting involved artists and an editor talking about what works on book covers. I may joke about the "shunning" covers where the characters have their backs to us, but I actually do like not getting a good, full view of the characters. I like the more impressionistic covers that convey the mood or tone of the book rather than something that's supposed to represent the characters. I like getting my own mental image of what the people are supposed to look like.

I also went to a spinning demonstration (as in wool, not exercise bicycles), which is something I've always been kind of fascinated with but haven't ever seen up close.

People came to my Kaffeeklatsch (and there was tea!), which was reassuring, though I suspect most of them were just in search of a chair and some coffee rather than a talk with me, but I guess they got more than they bargained for. (Mwa ha ha! All part of my grand scheme for world domination.)

The panels I did involved archetypes in speculative fiction and urban fantasy, two things on the "don't get me started unless you've got hours" list. You know how I can go on about archetypes. I even had one of those fun little mindblowing moments from something someone in the audience said, and now I shall have to do a little more research for a whole fun new theory. Look for a post to come.

The urban fantasy panel got pretty lively and turned out to be the occasion for my giggle fit for this con (but I was told I was provoked and not at fault for that one. And the thing that sparked it falls into the "don't go there" category, so it will have to remain a mystery if you weren't there). I've already posted my own rant about that and how most of what's published as "urban fantasy" today isn't what I look for to read as urban fantasy. That's pretty much what I said on the panel (more fantasy stuff in a modern setting, less vampires, werewolves and other "horror" elements, please). I guess it boils down to the fact that I want someone else who's better than I am to write more books that are kind of like what I write so I can have something to read without having to write it and so I won't know how it ends when I read it. I don't know if the fact that there isn't a lot out there that falls into my particular niche is a good sign or a bad sign. On the up side, it means I own that niche. On the down side, it could mean that there's not really that much of a market for it.

I was up really late both nights of the con going to various room parties, where there were lots of good conversations and a game of what got dubbed "volleyboob" (don't ask, please).

Now I'm actually looking forward to getting home and getting back to work. But first I guess I'd better get packed and on the road so I can hit Dallas before rush hour. And then I have Doctor Who and Robin Hood to catch up on. I think other than this post, today counts as a vacation day (though I suppose the drive time counts as work because it's transit time from a business-related event, and I was doing more than full-time "work" all weekend).

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