Balticon 48: The Return to Hunt Valley and Revenge of #GymCon

Last year, Pip and I were not in attendance at Balticon, the premier weekend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We had been given Featured Guest status at Up in the Æther (now called Steamtopia) so we figured after years (a decade for me!) of attending Balticon, it was time for a change of pace. Detroit was a fantastic town with awesome people, and it was a good weekend all around…

…but yes, it was weird not being in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on Memorial Day Weekend.

b48_banner_1

 

This year, Pip and I are excited to be returning. Unlike other literary events, Balticon offers a track specific to New Media (blogging, podcasting, Facebook, etc.), originally started up by Paul Fischer back in 2005. From that single panel on what a podcast is, the New Media track (which covers production, fan discussions, and live recordings) grew, even earning the nickname “The Other Balticon” which I think is a bit unfair as some of the most talented people — not just the writers, but the creative artists that also speak on the track — I’ve met are all on this track. Over the years, though, Balticon’s amazing staff have integrated the New Media track with other tracks; and this year’s 48th incarnation of the event promises to be a fantastic time!

Here’s where you can find me this weekend… Continue reading

RavenCon 2014: A Homecoming in April (Hail, Hydra…)

This week has been one temptation after another to rant a bit on topics ranging between Game of Thrones to pretentious nitwits in steampunk, but I have chosen a different direction for my weeks blogpost:

10156131_863690256990440_8513196601253937619_n

That’s right — RavenCon! Finally, after years of trying to make my hometown event happen, I am finally coming back to the weekend in April that I helped kick off seven years ago alongside Con Chair Michael Pederson. I, for one, am looking forward to the weekend!

It’s been a little frustrating not being able to make it, mainly on account of things like the lack of a day job; but after balancing the books and making sure the numbers weren’t misleading me, I can finally come back to my hometown (the second time within the month!) and enjoy some good old-fashioned geekery alongside such terrific people like Bill Blume, Gail Z. Martin, Michael A. Ventrella, the Geek Radio Daily crew, and Guest of Honor (and all around great lady!) Elizabeth Bear!

Want to know where I will be this weekend? Continue reading

Stranger on a Train: New York Comic Con

And awwwaaaay we go!!!

Between the surprise priority video job at work, our child getting sick, the drama of getting out of Manassas, and WordPress for the iPhone borking on me and devouring my post, it is hard to believe we are on the way to New York Comic Con and yet here we are, chugging through New Jersey…

The recent crisis at work this week brought about an epiphany: some people are under the impression that video editing is the same as putting together a PowerPoint presentation. Thing is, you can’t do in PowerPoint what I put together in Final Cut Pro. You want more than you average slide presentation. Yes I get that. But as Jimmy has learned under The Commodore’s tutelage: You don’t get anything for free.

Boardwalk Empire. That’s some incredible storytelling there.

I am taking some cold comfort in that I did something no one else could do. It’s what my friend Al Garnett calls “the price of being a badass” — you raise the bar and people expect you to go Superman at a moment’s notice; but then again, no one does what I do there. No one could. That’s fact, bro. Straight up.

So now, Pip and I head for NY ComicCon. We want to get a hardbound copy of Phoenix Rising to Felicia Day, and I’d like to get Mark Hammil to sign my copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Funny thing — even with being pro, I’m still the fanboi.

I can live with that.

20111014-143757.jpg

The Latest Guest of New York Comic Con (Seriously? Seriously.)

When Pip and I first got the email from Harper Voyager asking if we would be interested in speaking at ComicCon, I thought it was a longshot. We’re talking about ComicCon, right? The East Coast’s biggest popular culture convention. This weekend is two Dragon*Cons in one convention center. The show floor plays hosts a who’s who of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, and media. The panel, autograph sessions, and screenings feature all feature A-Listers of Hollywood and Geek Culture.

And they want us to speak on a panel?

We were asked to wait to go into detail, and today we were given a green light.Turns out I was wrong.

New York Comic Con 2011 wants us to speak on two panels. And have a signing session.

Ummm….okay. Continue reading

Worldcon — Where I’ll Be

 

Next week, at this time, I will be kicking off a few days of panel appearances at Renovation: the 69th Annual World Science Fiction Convention in lovely Reno, Nevada. If you are out west for the extended weekend, here is where I will be appearing during the weekend:

  • Social Media for Writers (moderating), Fri 11:00 – 12:00, A03 (RSCC)
  • Introduction to Steampunk: What Is Steampunk and Why Is it so Popular? (moderating), Fri 13:00 – 14:00, A13 (RSCC)
  • Writers Collaboration Panel, Sat 11:00 – 12:00, D05 (RSCC)
  • Steampunk versus Alternate History (moderating) , Sat 13:00 – 14:00, D03 (RSCC)
  • Autographing: Sat 14:00 (with Pip Ballantine) , Sat 14:00 – 15:00, Hall 2 Autographs (RSCC)
  • KaffeeKlatsch: Sat 17:00 (with Pip Ballantine), Sat 17:00 – 18:00, KK1 (RSCC)

Saturday night may very well be an all-nighter for Pip and myself as we are scheduled for an early Sunday flight out of Reno (the only flight we could get out of Reno that returned us to DC at a decent time…), but grab us anytime between Thursday and Saturday as we will be there at WorldCon!

The Ministry MAY-hem Wrap-up at Balticon 45!

So, I’m all rested up and recovered from an amazing weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair (review in the works). What’s next?

Why, another con appearance, of course…

Concluding The Ministry MAY-hem Tour (at least, this part of it) is an old favorite of mine — BALTICON. It was nearly ten years ago when I first arrived at this event with Morevi.  I looked something like this back then…

This was before the time of facial hair, before the days of podcasting, before the days of Facebook, Twitter, and Social Media. Right now, I’d love to go up to that guy and say “You have no idea what’s in store for you, bro.”

What a long strange trip it has been. And with the premiere of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, it may just get a wee-bit stranger at Balticon 45 as tea parties, time traveling dances, rock-and-roll courtesy of Ditched by Kate, and panels-panels-panels are all in store! Here’s my schedule for the next few days… Continue reading

Returning to Philcon

It’s been a while, but as I step back into the arena of promotion (alongside Philippa Ballantine), I am planning to get back into the habit of letting people know where I’ll be. This weekend it is Philcon, Philadelphia’s premier Science Fiction convention…held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Blame the Martians. Continue reading