Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Post Ravencon

Drove to Richmond from Washington D.C. to attend RavenCon on Friday. The traffic on I-95 was the worst thing I ever saw in my life. At one point I went ten miles in an hour. I could have walked faster. I left four hours early for what should have been a two-hour drive and only got to my first event with 15 minutes to spare.

This was my first time at this convention,and I have to say I was impressed. None of the panels I had had less than two dozen people, even one that started at 10 p.m., except the very last one at 2 p.m. Sunday, and that still had a dozen people. People were friendly and relaxed. There was no fallout from the ongoing Hugo controversy, which was great. I know one writer who told me his wife would have attended but didn't want to get caught in the crossfire and stayed home.

My reading Friday at 6 p.m. went well, then I attended the opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. My first panel, on "The How and Why of the Short Story", was at 10 p.m. but still had two dozen people. Bud Sparhawk was the moderator, and I was joined by Warren Lapine and Kristin Mehigan. The panel went very well.

My first panel Saturday was at 10 a.m. on "Writing Dialogue".  Karen McCullough was the moderator, and the other panelists were Kate Paulk, Noah McBrayer Jones and Lawrence Schoen.

That was followed by "Tips for Aspiring Writers" at 11 a.m. with C.A. Adams, Ellie Collins, and Paula Jordan (moderator). My signing was at 1 p.m. at a table in the dealers' room. As I have seen to be the case when there's a signing in the dealers' room at any convention, it was a waste of time. People will not go back into the dealers' room for a signing.

My last panel Saturday was on Plotting and Pacing a Story. I was joined by Warren Lapine and Kristin Mehigan. Although I was not designated the moderator for any panel, both moderators for this and my next panel were no shows at the convention and I was drafted for the honor.

Here's a joke I told at the alternate history panel Sunday: I'm doing an alternate history about a German immigrant who comes to America after World War I. He flopped as a painter in Germany, and he has no luck here, also. One day, after taking a job flipping burgers in desperation, he finds he enjoys the business, and over time works his up to become the greatest hamburger mogul in the country.

Know what it's called?

The Man in the White Castle

My fellow panelists were Chris Nuttal and Steve White.

It was nice to see Bud Webster again, and I've was finally able to meet Ian Randal Strock and Warren Lapine of Fantastic Books. I met some people I've only known in myth and legend, such as Bud Sparhawk, Allen Steele, Kate Paulk, Gray Rhinehart, Jim Minz, John C. and L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, among a few (and serve on panels with some of them). I did my bit as a Fantastic Books author and helped Ian Randal Strock at his table in the dealers' room when he needed to take a break.

1 comment:

  1. I hear your burgermesiter later went into the furninture business; his memoirs were entitled 'Mein Kampfy Couch'

    ReplyDelete

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"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

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