I picked up the usual load of helpful hints at the Con - although, since the GOHs were Patrick and Theresa Neilsen Hayden, not as much as I might have otherwise. They're great people, but they're book editors, and I'm doing short stories now. I took a lot of notes I may need later, though - it should be years before I write novels.
Most aspiring science fiction writers must want to write a great book. There was a panel on how to escape the short story slush pile that was scheduled opposite the Haydens' discussion on how to find a good agent, and it died. So I went to the Haydens instead.
Truth be told, my attitude for now is that I'd rather write short stories forever - but I'm sure the exposure and money will eventually drive me to novels.
I met Hilary Ralles again. I first met her at ConDFW in 2003. She's a YA author, and I told her she was my inspiration to write a YA story - the story that just sold to Beyond Centauri. She remembered me and was happy that my story was a hit.
I picked Lee Martindale's brain about the pros and cons of joining the SFWA. She's very knowledgeable about the outfit and her insight was very helpful. Her reading was the only one I attended. She read stories of hers from "Turn the Other Chick" and "Bubbas of the Apocalypse" and I nearly died laughing.
The rest of this post is a repeat of one I did at the Asimov discussion board, so please excuse me if you read it there, also:
As it turned out, there was a book dealer at ConDFW this weekend who had a huge selection of old paperbacks (mostly beat up, but I prefer them that way - I bought a copy of "Rocket to the Morgue" by Anthony Boucher off e-bay a couple of years ago and I've never had the heart to even take it our of its plastic cover because it is in mint condition).
I bought 20 paperbacks. I am particularly happy with this collection. What do you think?
Beyond the End of Time - Fred Pohl, ed. 1952
Star 2 -Fred Pohl, ed. 1953
First Flight: Maiden Voyages in Space and Time - Damon Knight. ed. 1963
The 6th Annual Edition: The Year's Best Science Fiction - Judith Merrill, ed. 1961
Mind Partners, and Other Novelettes from Galaxy - H.L. Gold, ed. 1961
12 Great Classics of Science Fiction - Groff Conklin, ed. 1963
Beyond Belief - Richard Hurley, ed. 1966
An ABC of Science Fiction - Tom Boardman. ed. 1966.
Nebula Award Stories - Damon Knight, ed. 1967
World's Best Science Fiction 1970 - Donald Wollheim, Terry Carr, eds. 1970
Nebula Award Stories 10 - James Gunn, ed. 1975
The 1980 Annual World's Best SF - Donald Wollheim, ed.
Years Best Science Fiction #10 - Terry Carr, ed, 1980.
The Seven Deadly Sins of Science Fiction - Asimov, Greenberg, Waugh, eds. 1980
Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories (4 Volumes - 1944 through 1947) - 1981 through 1983
Ray Bradbury - The Golden Apples of the Sun, 1952.
Twice Upon a Time by Charles Fontenay, and The Mechanical Monarch by E.C. Tubb, 1958.
This is a record for the most books I have ever hauled away at one time - at least from a con. N.B. This list probably indicates where my tastes generally lie - nothing later than 1980.
I skipped the whole cyperpunk era. If the cyberpunks weren't loose in the 1980s, I might have tried to start writing in my 20s and 30s, instead of my 40s.
Well, nothing you can do about trends.