(Paul Genesse and Tom Carr)
My Recap of ConDuit 2010
I had such a great time at ConDuit this past weekend. ConDuit is a science fiction and fantasy convention held here in Salt Lake City. This was its twentieth year and the convention planners and volunteers did a wonderful job. Anyway, I got to hang out with friends and fans, which was a blast. Saturday, May 29 was also my 37th birthday, so that made it even better.
Here’s a public link to a few pictures and below I’ve written a little about the major events I was a part of.
A public link to the pics:
Friday May 28
Time Travel: Playing with the concept of time seems to be a fun and mind-bending plot device. But what about those pesky logic contradictions that pop up with alarming regularity in many time travel stories? Can there be time travel that works?
Panelists: Roger White, Julie Wright, Eric Swedin, Paul Genesse, Tom Carr.
This was a fun panel and we had an excellent discussion on the topic. None of us believed it is physically possible to actually travel in time, but we all agreed that the concept is not going away any time soon. We all love reading about it and writing about it. The concept of zeitstromen, (timestream) that I use in my Iron Dragon series is a lot of fun for me.
Exploring the Classics: Stories You May Have Missed:
There are certain books, movies, novellas and short stories that should be required knowledge for a sci-fi or fantasy fan, stories that form a base for all other stories in the genre. We all know about The Lord of the Rings and Dune, but what other classics are there that are often missed?
Panelists: Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Eric Swedin, Dan Willis, and Paul Genesse.
I’ve posted my notes on this panel here on my blog. Check out the list of authors and novels that I think are great examples of classic sci-fi and fantasy. The discussion was lively, and it’s hard to come up with a small list of books, as there are just so many out there.
Saturday May 29
Riding the Rocket: How to Handle the Career Blast-Off:
The New York Times best-seller list. Second, third and more re-printings; book tours and book signings; lighting has struck and your career went from zero to warp speed. How do you survive the pressure, expectations and distractions with your wits, not to mention future projects, intact? What should you watch out for, and what is normal (if anything) at this stage?
Panelists: L.E. Modesitt, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, James Dashner, and Paul Genesse
This was quite an interesting panel, featuring some amazing writer friends of mine. L.E. Modesitt has been writing for decades and has had such a great career. Brandon Sanderson is the biggest fantasy writer today, and his career seriously blasted off since he was selected to finish the Wheel of Time series. Dan Wells’ book, I Am Not Serial Killer is incredibly successful and it is one of the most disturbing novels I’ve read in years. I can see why he’s so popular and think he’s going to have a long career. James Dashner’s Maze Runner and Jimmy Fincher books have been big hits and I’m so happy that a nice guy has finished first.
My own career is taking off, as my first novel, The Golden Cord is the best selling novel my publisher, Five Star Books has ever had. It’s been reprinted six times, but in many ways, all of us felt that we still have a long way to go in our careers.
The Mike! Show
Do you have a question you want to ask CONduit’s guests? Come to the Mike show, a question and answer talk show hosted by Mike Oberg and featuring Barbara Hambly, Kevin Wasden, James Dashner and Paul Genesse as guests.
Mike Oberg was the host of this interesting panel that featured Kevin Wasden—the artist guest of honor, Barbara Hamby—the autor guest of honor, James Dashner and myself. We had a great time and Mike did a wonderful job with the questions.
Book Signing, 3:00-4:00 PM—My signing went pretty well and I got to meet a bunch of nice people.
Dungeon Crawlers Radio Interview: Malak, Revan and Bilf(spelling?) interviewed me on their internet radio show. We had such a fun time and getting to know them was fantastic. We’re all just gamer geeks at heart. I’ll post a link to the interview when they post it.
Barbara Hambly’s main address on Saturday was enlightening. She spoke about many things and I learned a few tidbits that I’d like to pass along. First, she is the most tattooed history professor in her department (she has a lot of tattoos! No kidding!); she plays World of Warcraft for two hours every Thursday night; she hasn’t watched TV since 1972 or so; she’s written 50 novels; she doesn’t read much fiction; she listens to heavy metal on her iPod on her way to work; she had been a full-time author for 25 years before recently joining the faculty at a community college in California; and she has performed as a belly dancer in the not too recent past. Who knew?
My birthday dinner with friends at Biaggi’s was fabulous. See the pics on Facebook. I got to hang out with some of my best friends, and we celebrated many things, especially the amazing recovery of author Eric Swedin, who almost died of a ruptured brain aneurysm less than six weeks ago. He’s doing great and is smarter than ever. How that man has recovered his intellect in such a short time is quite unbelievable. I was on several panels with him and if he hadn’t told me, I would have never known about his brain aneurysm. We’re all extremely fortunate to still have him with us.
Around 9:30 PM I was interviewed live on the Sector 5 radio show. Talk-Utah (local radio station 630 AM) had me on and we discussed my work. The show should be posted online at some point in the future. I’ll post a link when it is.
Sunday May 30
My reading went extremely well. It was standing room only as many people came to hear Tom Car and I. I read the first chapter of The Secret Empire, book three of the Iron Dragon Series—which is the first time that anyone has heard anything out of book three. I did the voices of the characters and did my best to read aloud from a work that I’ve never “performed” before. My preparation helped and it went great. Then I read the first three pages of No-Tusks, my orc story coming out in the Abyss Walker anthology at some point in the future. It was awesome and I’ve now decided that I have to read No-Tusks aloud whenever I can. The crowd loved it.
Then author and paranormal investigator, Tom Carr read from his book, Talking to Myself in the Dark. He was awesome and his book is so fascinating. See my review previously on my blog or on Amazon.com.
Then I had to run off to a panel. I was sad to have missed the next reading, as Larry Correia read from Monster Hunter International, my favorite book of 2009. I heard he did a fantastic job, and he read from Grim Noir, a book he has coming out in the future.
Different Dragons, Different Visions:
Dragons are a staple of fantasy, whether small or large, friend or foe. What do dragons represent to authors, and to their readers? Why are they given certain traits and characteristics in one story but not in another? A panel of authors discusses dragons, from their own stories, and others’.
Panelists: Barbara Hambly, Jessica Day-George, and Paul Genesse
We had a fascinating discussion regarding the different approaches that authors have taken on dragons. Both Hambly and Day-George have done some amazing things in their books. One of the stand-out authors we discussed is Naomi Novik.
ConDuit was a blast and I’m looking forward to next year, as author Tamora Pierce will be the author guest of honor.
Thanks for reading,
Author of The Dragon Hunters