Got back from Reno on Sunday night, after hanging out with some fantastic folks, and making new friends, at Worldcon.
But, as anybody who knows me even the tiniest bit will know by now, I’m useless when it comes to writing up convention reports. So let’s not insult ourselves by pretending I’m likely to do that. Instead, let’s just take it for granted that it was a hell of a thing. I met a ton of awesome people, including Alex Brown, Lauren Beukes, Saladin Ahmed, Katy Stauber, and Courtney Schafer; caught up with other convention pals like Corry Lee, Chuck Gannon, Dany Kollin, and Cory Doctorow; and watched GRRM dance the Time Warp.
But now that I’ve just about recovered from Worldcon, it’s time to prepare for Bubonicon 43!
This year, Bubonicon runs from Friday, August 26 through Sunday, August 28. Given the steadily growing attendance levels of the past few years, it’s not unlikely that the convention will hit its registration limit of 650 participants. (That cap comes from the fire marshall, based on the size of the hotel.) So if you’d like to join the fun but haven’t registered yet, it’s recommended you try to hit the registration desk soon after it opens at 3pm on Friday.
Friday, 6:00 pm: Opening Ceremonies
There’s a bit of programming prior to this, but this is where the convention officially gets underway with clapping and hooting and many introductions all around. It’s also where I assume the mantle of toastmastership from the previous toastmaster, Mario Acevedo. Rumor has it this involves eating a raw human heart. I feel badly about this; Mario is a pretty nice guy, and he did a great job last year. And on a tangentially related topic… so not looking forward to Bubonicon 44.
Friday, 7:30 pm: The State of the Art
Daniel Abraham, Mario Acevedo*, Melinda Snodgrass, Sam Sykes, Ian Tregillis, John Picacio (M)
“Industry professionals [and me] and the audience discuss their favorite recent SF/F cover art pieces, as well as some not-so favorites. Each panelist talks about their selections—why they work and why they don’t—with a focus on recent cover art.”
This will be a great panel. It was suggested by our Artist Guest of Honor, John Picacio, and promises to be a lot of fun John has been corresponding with us over the summer as we sent him our suggestions for various covers to discuss. I’m looking forward to this.
Saturday, 10:00 am: Information Apocalypse: Dark Ages Again
Daniel Abraham, Craig Butler, John Maddox Roberts, S. M. Stirling, Ian Tregillis (M)
“What happens if the internet crashes? What resources exist to go around any blockage by a government or terrorist group? With most info only on electronic formats, are we entering a new Dark Age if nothing is printed out? Or is that Luddite thinking? Will we become the next lost civilization if computers are gone? Why does it seem the higher the tech, the sooner the format is obsolete?”
Here I bask in the conjunction of my powers of toastmaster AND moderator, which is akin to playing solitaire with a cursed tarot deck on Easter morning during a total solar eclipse. There will be lightning*.
*There will not be lightning.
Saturday, 1:00 pm: Reading
The concom kindly gave me a luxurious 50-minute slot all to myself! I think I’ll read a bit from The Coldest War, and then an excerpt from my new in-progress novel. But I might change my mind. That’s right: this hour is subject to my whims. The power!
Saturday, 4:00 pm: Mass Autographing Session
Here I twiddle my thumbs and try to not look awkward. For an hour and a half. And when I’m not doing that, I’m going to pester Steve Leigh for about a million autographs.
Saturday, 5:30 pm: Ebooks to the Rescue? The Future of Reading
Doranna Durgin, Stephen Leigh, Pati Nagle, Ian Tregillis, Steven Gould (M)
“A growing number of authors are re-publishing their out-of-print works via online options, or even making original fiction available. What are the logistics and challenges? As bookstores file bankruptcy or go out of business, what is the future of publishing? Will it be the convenience of eBooks or brick-and-mortar stores? Do younger readers mean more eBooks? Where do authors go to meet fans and sign electronic books?”
I am guaranteed to be, by far, the least erudite person on this panel.
Sunday, 11:00 am: Guest of Honor Presentation
George R. R. Martin interviews our Writer Guest of Honor, Stephen Leigh. Assuming, of course, there is any time left after I deliver my lengthy and extensive introductory remarks, which will focus largely on Freemasonry, the Federal Reserve, and government-mandated medication for violent schizophrenics.
Sunday, 4:45 pm: Closing Ceremonies
Here my successor is named, and given one year to complete his or her quest prior to beheading me at next year’s Bubonicon (much like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight). Or not. I’m a little unclear on this.