This weekend I’m attending the 8th ConDFW Science Fiction Convention, in Dallas, at the Crowne Plaza near the intersection of I-75 and LBJ. Blogging from my hotel room now, actually.
It’s my first science fiction convention. There’s panels about writing, writers giving readings, signings, art shows, charity book swaps, a Spelling Bee, a computer gaming room — you name it. Pretty nerdy, ‘smatter fact. Definitely interesting.
I don’t know anyone here (yet), although an intense man from The Luna Project told me about his (local) organization’s goal of leaving for the moon by 31 July 2012. I hope they make it.
Thus far I have sat through three panels: “Big or Small: Novel vs. Short Story Writing”; “Selling Yourself for Fun and Profit”; and, “The Aspiring Writers Panel.”
Here’s a picture I snapped at “The Aspiring Writers Panel.” From left: Jim Butcher, Paul Black, Patrice Sarath, and David Weber. The eternal debate about art vs. commerce arose, floated around loftily, and crash-landed somewhere in the parking lot back behind the hotel. Enjoyable to watch, that one.
Mostly I heard stuff I’ve heard before, but it’s nice to be reminded of good advice from time to time. At one panel Teresa Patterson suggested a strategy for writing a short story (and I paraphrase mightily): find the climactic moment, figure out who’s present, and then work backward from there. Sounds like one good way to construct a tribal lay, as Kipling might say. The best line from all three panels: It’s true, a panelist said, “I committed space opera.”
I should go meet people now!