Monday, January 7, 2013

Come see me at Illogicon II in Cary this weekend

This coming weekend, starting January 11, a new local SF convention, Illogicon II, will materialize for three days in the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle.  I was out of town during last year's version 1.0 of this con and so missed it, but this year I'm not only going, I'm the Toastmaster.  So, as you might expect, they're keeping me busy.  If you get a chance to attend, please buy a membership, then come by and say hi.  You'll be able to catch me at all of the following events, as well, of course, in the hallways and maybe the bar.

Friday, 3:00 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies, Smith room

At this first event of the con, I'll introduce the other guests and join them in kicking off the con.  I may tell a few jokes, do a dramatic reading, or enlist audience members to carry me around the room while I toss bon-bons to the crowd.  You won't know unless you show up. 

Friday, 6:00 p.m.:  Reading, Crescent room

Scenario one: I sit alone in a room, sipping a glass of Coke Zero and staring forlornly at the rows of empty seats until I can't take it any longer, reach into my bag, pull out a lovely Retro 51 pen, use it to saw open my veins, and bleed out alone in authorial sadness.

Scenario two:  A huge crowd fills the room, cheers me on as I read a piece of fiction I've never publicly read before, the crowd goes crazy, and they carry me from the room in triumph as I toss the last of my bon-bons to the worshipful onlookers. 

You have the power to make either one happen. 

Friday, 8:00 p.m.:  The Liars' Panel, Reynolds room

Three fellow authors and I will answer ten questions of my choosing.  Seven of each of our answers will be the truth; three will be lies.  You can challenge us--call us liars to our faces!--but it'll cost you a buck.  Each of you who wants to challenge has to pay that buck; no sharing the challenges.  If you're right, if we're lying, we'll put ten bucks in a basket.  If you're wrong and we're telling the truth, all of your dollar bills will go into the basket.  When the panel ends, the money goes to Hopeline, a local crisis helpline, so in addition to having a good time laughing at our weird answers, you'll also be doing good.

I've done this panel at multiple other cons, and it can be a great time.  Bring some money, come prepared to laugh, and we'll have a blast.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m.:  Finance for Beginning Writers, Smith

Saturday morning two hours before I even consider getting out of bed.  The truth about money in publishing and how to handle the meager scraps you'll earn--if you're lucky.

Come learn the truth from our expert panel, which I'll be moderating.

Wrap your dreams in armor before you enter the room. 

Saturday, 1:00 p.m.:  Science Fiction and Ethics, Smith

Is the fact that a situation makes good fiction enough of a reason to use it in a story or novel?  Can we go too far in our fiction, or let our characters make decisions too easily?  We'll talk about how authors draw their fictional lines in the sand. 

Saturday, 3:30 p.m.:  Baen Traveling Road Show, Smith

Folks from Baen will show you pictures of the art and covers for upcoming books, give away free books, and generally amuse you.  I'm not a formal part of the presentation, but if the presentation runs in its usual way, they'll ask me to speak at some point. This is definitely a fun one to catch.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m.:  Ebooks, Smith

You've seen 'em and probably own some.  We'll talk about where they're going and how they're likely to affect writers, publishers, and readers. 

Sunday, noon:  The Books That Changed Our Lives, Smith

We all have some, those special volumes that made us want to write, or that cemented our love of science fiction, or simply that stuck with us for years and years. Come talk with us about those books that earned special places in our hearts and minds.

Sunday, 6:00 p.m.:  Closing Ceremonies, Smith

I'll lead the closing of the con and, if the Illogicon folks have replenished my bon-bon stash, do a final lap around the hotel on the backs of fans, throwing out those chocolate treats to the assembled masses.

Or, we'll just say good-bye.

It could go either way. 

You can read more about all of these events on the con's programming page.

I hope to see you at the con!

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