Monday, February 15, 2010
Life, The Universe & Everything, a destitute recap
The LTUE is a 3-day symposium with panels, workshops, presentations and papers on writing, art, literature, media, science on aspects of speculative fiction.(To cut and paste from their own page)
3 days I went to one, Saturday and now I'll tell you about it.
I went with a couple friends. As we walked in I saw a tall man preparing one of the first panels, turns out it was the "A Guys take on Writing Romance" now I had no intention of listening to that panel, especially since there was another couple dudsicles in there complaining that "how come at this con you can't dress up?"
Tough Break guys.
But the tall man was John Brown author of Curse of a Dark God. I haven't finished the book yet but what I have read is good. He and I have been conversing somewhat via e-mail and it was nice to meet him in person. And that's why I decided to stay and listen to that Guys Romance Panel and I am very glad I did. Largely because with John were Clint Johnson, Dan Willis, and L.E. Modesitt jr.. I haven't actually read a book by Mr. Modesitt yet but I will now solely based on how much I liked his answers and advice during that particular panel.
He said things that made think about character such as "Values are not people and people are not values," "Men fight all battles and women pick their battles," and "Some characters have rough edges about them but don't forget that some are so polished they cannot be touched,"
I am probably failing to inspire with my retelling here but his many answers and such moved me. I will read his books because of those insights---inspite of their Darrel K. Sweet covers.
I then listened to a Soft Science SF panel mostly so I could hear Larry Correia and though I am anxious to read his novel Monster Hunter International,( he seems like a real cool guy) I didn't get a lot out of the panel. Though I will admit Roger White was very interesting too-lotta life experience there.
Between things I briefly talked to Sarah Eden, she thought I looked familiar, I said it must be the hat.
Then was the Keynote Address by Brandon Sanderson. He talked about how 90% of everything in the speculative genre is crap-or is it?
No, it isn't.
No one reading spec-fic really thinks 90% is garbage (Eragon) and he went on to explain why we don't think so and even though there are things we don't like-at least people are reading and IF they read this-perhaps you can get them to read something else you think is good.
Yes, I thoroughly butchered his presentation in the retelling.
I meant to go to the Horror and Dark Fantasy panel to hear and speak with Michael Collings but got distracted along the way talking with Dan Willis about the E-book revolution and all that it entails. I regretted missing Collings presentation but at the same time I got so much from speaking to Willis that it all balanced out. I spoke with Collings shortly afterward anyway and bought his poetry volume In The Void (good stuff I'll review it soon) Oh, I meant to go to the Worldbuilding/Religion panel too but I was still talking to Willis.
Then I spoke with Candace Salima and Tristi Pinkston a little about Valor Publishing their newer company, because the Regional Publishers panel was about to start.
There were Stacy Whitman of Tu Publishing Lyle Mortimer of Cedar Fort Publishing and no they aren't even based out of Cedar Fort, nor even located within a cedar fort. And then also on the panel was Tristi with Valor and Lisa Mangum with Deseret Book (you don't need a link). It all started kinda ho-hum until an old guy said with a little bit of venom-"With the way we can all do self-published books on the Internet now-What do we even need all of you for?"
*(read Tristi's comments below for another view)
Now at first, the panelists tried to respond pleasantly enough with the usual you have a team with a publisher, editing and design, marketing etc etc. This old dude was having none of it-"You're not answering my question!" So then it turned into a self-pubbed can't get into a bookstore/low quality debate versus the established route type thing. At one point the old man got up 3-quarters of the way (not quite fully erect) and gave a good hand shake scolding that they were liars and stealing all the royalties from authors because making e-books cost nothing but the authors time. He was pretty upset and gave them the Grandpa Simpson "frowning of a lifetime" I thought Tristi was the most gracious at saying you could get self-pubbed books into stores if you put enough effort into them; while Lyle Mortimer almost seemed ready to fight the old dude. I would have paid money for that. Because did I mention this whole symposium was free? I will have to go longer next year.
Other authors I talked to there-Nichole Giles, Elizabeth Mueller, Jenni James, Michelle Teacress, Heather Justesen, Karen Hoover, Rachelle Christainsen, and then I meant to say HI...but didn't to Jenn Johansson, Kasie West, Kimberly Job, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Dan Wells, James Dashner, Julie Wright, and some pasty faced guy who looked like Stephen King at 20 years old? Who was that guy? All in all a pretty good con, considering I missed 75% of it.