Report on MillenniCon, which took place March 18-20, 2011:
One thing I really like about going to an established Con is the fact that everything is very orderly, and you don't run into a lot of surprises. Millennicon is definitely one of those types, and has some great hard-working folks that have consistently put on a solid event. This year was no exception!
I arrived early on Friday in Cincinnati, as I had a table in the dealer's room and wanted to get set up early.
My neighbors were James Barnes of Loconeal Publishing, TammyJo Eckhart, and the writing tandem of Tracy Chowdhury and Ted Crim with their epic Shandahar series.
TammyJo is one of my favs on the Con scene and a genuine friend who I couldn't say enough good things about. She's brilliant and an outstanding writer, but I always appreciate how she watches over me at Cons and makes sure I don't go too far off track with forgetting to eat and things like that. I made some Chocolate Cult buttons for TammyJo, as well as some others with her newest book At Her Feet. I was thrilled to see that she really liked them, as did Fox, her co-writer on the book and a special member of her family.
Needless to say, having good neighbors is imperative at a Con, as it makes things much more enjoyable, and you get a little help when you have to leave the table for a panel or other activity. Day one of the Con didn't have any scheduled panels, so I mainly attended my table, greeted friends as they arrived, and talked to new individuals.
Day Two was the big day, involving a panel on Science Fiction and Television and a Swordbearer Screening. The panel involved quite a surprise, as one of the guests was none other than Robert Sawyer...yes, that Robert Sawyer, Hugo winner, author of Flash Forward and many other brilliant science fiction novels. Robert was a fun co-panelist, gracious, and the kind of guy that makes a fellow like me (who is not nearly so far along on the writing path)very welcome. I appreciate that a great deal, and it is the kind of thing you don't forget. I'm a Robert Sawyer fan from here on out for sure. It was really cool hearing him talk about the television version of Flash Forward, the things that took place in the casting and development, and other aspects. I know he is looking forward to doing more television in the future.
(Dan Young, Robert Sawyer, myself, and our wonderful moderator Julie at the Science Fiction and Television panel at Millennicon)
The Swordbearer screening was well-attended, had a nice discussion afterwards, and seemed to be well received. Had a little challenge getting the projector to cooperate at the beginning, but the image and sound were good, and it was nice to share the film with some friends who have heard me talking about this for awhile.
Saturday night I got to be a "fly on the wall" for a World of Darkness (Masquerade) game hosted by TammyJo Eckhart. I'm not an experienced gamer, so I wanted to see more about what it was all about, and it was really compelling and interesting to watch the group role-play and interact. It involved some good improv acting, and the chemistry of the players involved, including Fox and Ted Crim, was excellent. I had a blast and appreciated them letting me observe. I just might play sometime!
Sunday was a shorter day, involving more dealer room time and a panel on small press publishing, where Steven Saus and James Barnes of Loconeal were my co-panelists. Again, a great panel, with two fellows that really know their stuff. Steven's becoming quite the eBook expert and has a great anthology project going with Paul Genesse (The Crimson Pact). James has a very promising small press with some excellent writers. One of them, Ren Garcia, was in the booth alot. Ren's quite a character and a nice guy, who even set up a remote with an illustrator involved with his books, where people stopping by the booth could watch the illustrator's progress live on a sketch. very cool stuff.
One of the best moments of the weekend came to light on Sunday, when I found out that James picked up the Shandahar series from Ted and Tracy. This was fantastic news! I'm always stoked when author friends land a publisher, and similarly when publisher friends land a good author or authors, and in this case I got the best of both worlds. Ted and Tracy pour a lot of passion into their work, and it is fantastic to see it get a chance to take a big step forward with publisher support.
(Here's Loconeal Publishing's James Barnes and me in the dealer room. James has style!)
As always though, I was really elated to meet some new reader friends and reconnect with some that I have known for a little while...Martha L., who has been extremely supportive of me and my writing,Stephen Kendall, who brought me into InConJunction and has become a friend and reader of The Rising Dawn Saga since, and Steven Saus' son Chris (who we didn't know the identity of until AFTER he was interested in getting The Exodus Gate). It is the people like Martha, Stephen, and Chris who are the primary reason I will make every sacrifice, endure long hours, and put every ounce of effort into my path.
(Martha L., a dear reader friend and myself, in the dealer room at Millennicon)
(Stephen Kendall and me at Millennicon)
(Here's me with Chris, Steven Saus' son, after he picked up The Exodus Gate)