We did have a great time. I spent about 40% of the time at various creative writing panels, on everything from writing accurate military characters to the different factors that affect whether or not a book becomes a bestseller.
Here are some of the authors who conducted the panels I attended. There was a whole lot of talent and experience packed in every room, folks who've been in the writing industry since the day before forever.
- Charlaine Harris: Author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, aka the basis for HBO's awesome show True Blood.
- Mike Mignola: Creator of Hellboy.
- Timothy Zahn: Author of a gazillion Star Wars universe books and other sci-fi novels.
- Kevin J. Anderson: Author of the Dune prequels (along with Brian Herbert).
- Richelle Mead: Author of the Succubus series. I've never read them, but my wife and sister are huge fans.
- Peter David: Author of over 70 novels and 1000 comics in a ton of different markets.
And, I had a walk-by encounter with The Guild's Felicia Day in the Art Gallery. Even though I'm not an MMO player myself, I love her web series (and of course Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog). She is so very, very cute in person.
For the sci-fi fans out there - and not that bullcrap SyFy thing....eck - we went to a Babylon 5 panel and a Battlestar Galactica panel. The B5 one was fantastic, with five of the major stars of the show in attendance. If you've never seen the show, once you get past the corny mid-90's 3D graphics and focus on the story and characters, you'll find one of the best dramas ever written in any genre. It actually took me until about episode 20-something to realize how good it was. Unlike Star Trek's crappy standalone "alien of the week" episodes, B5 is all about an ongoing storyline and fully realized character arcs.
The BSG panel was hella fun as well. The actors who played Laura Roslin, Saul Tigh, Ellen Tigh, Tom Zarek, "Dee" Dualla, Kat, Sam, and Felix Gaeta were there. Great group of people, and they dropped some hints about the upcoming BSG movie The Plan.
The only problems - with both the BSG panel and the B5 group - were the few audience members who insisted on asking some seriously ridiculous questions and making outlandish comments. I was reminded of this clip from William Shatner's famous SNL skit, directed at detail-obsessed Trekkies who seem to think the show was real. It was really, really just like that. It's like, "People, it was a show - a great show, yes - but nonetheless, just a frakking show..." Seriously guys, did your parents not socialize you? Did you spend the past 20 years in grandma's basement?
*Sigh*. Sci-fi convention stereotypes exist for a reason, I guess. Galaxy Quest does tend to be pretty accurate.
But anyways, I'm going to hit the sack. My wife doesn't have to work tomorrow. I do. Meh. Let's see how I feel in the AM. I'd rather not be sneezing all over the ARTS keyboards. They're disgusting enough as it is...
Heck, that's probably where I got this bug. There isn't enough hand sanitizer in the world to clean up after using those keyboards.