Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dragon*con Report, Part 2

First, the dark fantasy panels. Here are my impressions of selected authors who sat on one or more panels that I attended:

Laurell K. Hamilton
I don't want to offend anyone who really likes LKH, but she came off as a shrill, preening, self-aggrandizing harpy in the panel I attended. She has a huge chip on her shoulder and can't handle criticism. She seemed to really resent the readers who bought her Anita Blake books and then expressed their dissatisfaction with the later books in the series and the sex-saturated direction the series has taken. But LKH still cashed their checks, dontcha know. ;-)

Rachel Caine
RC was delightful. I saw her on at least three different panels, and she was funny and approachable and had a much better perspective on her work than LKH. She was very insightful about the genre, as a whole, and trends in bookselling. I also learned that Rachel Caine is a pen name, which I had not realized before. She recently contributed a story to an anthology called "Ripple Effect", and all the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the New Orleans public library system.

Selina Rosen
I've never read SR before, but let me tell you something. She's hilarious. Vulgar beyond my ability to share in polite society, but absolutely hilarious. She was on the same panel as LKH, and she provided comic relief and a little respite from LKH's endless polemic on people who have the temerity to read her books, but lack the judgment to adore her unconditionally.

As you can tell, I took a real dislike to LKH.

Suzy McKee Charnas
I've not read SMC before, but I have now ordered "The Vampire Tapestry", based just on hearing her speak at two of the dark fantasy panels. She's very intelligent and experienced in the genre, and it shows. "The Vampire Tapestry" has been re-issued in a new printing, and she is apparently going to write or has already written a sequel.

Elizabeth Donald
ED is a new author for me. I went to her reading, just to check her out, and I liked the excerpt that she read so much that I bought her newest book, "Abaddon" at the reading and had her autograph it. I have also ordered her two previous books, which are in a single volume called "Nocturne". She writes paranormal romance, primarily, and some horror. She also participated in the ghost fiction panel, which was very interesting.

Moving on to general sci fi...
I attended readings by Mike Resnick and Eric Flint. MR actually read three of his short stories (he gave me an autographed copy of the one called "The Boy Who Cried Dragon"). EF didn't do a reading, but he answered questions for over an hour.

MR and EF also appeared on the panel Politics in Sci Fi with the infamous John Ringo. JR is somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, gets a hard-on at the thought of heavy armaments, and is competely incapable of either moderation or diplomacy. Fortunately, he's funny. Otherwise, he'd be completely unbearable.

JR also appeared on the panel Women at War with several women writers of sci fi. However, I knew the panel was doomed, doomed, doomed, when they chose JR to be moderator. As my friend Vickie noted, more than once, "John Ringo is a session-killer". And he did it to this one, too. Before it was over, we had left the topic of women at war far, far behind, and JR was standing up in front of the dry erase board and diagramming the tactics of the Mongol heavy cavalry, just because he thought it was cool. The two women vets sitting next to me in the audience were not amused.

That said, one of the funniest thing that happened at the con happened at this panel. JR is a marginal sexist, in the way that only those who passionately romanticize the military can be, and he said something really questionable about women soldiers. I don't remember exactly what it was, but the audience ooooh'd, and someone called out, "Is anyone wearing the shirt?" At that point, two different guys stood up, one wearing a red T-shirt, and one wearing a blue T-shirt (and a leather kilt in which he looked verra hot). Both shirts said, in white lettering, "Oh, John Ringo. No."

It was hilarious. :-D

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What Min Is Reading on a Rainy Day

  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, Alan Bradley
  • A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny

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Nashville, TN, United States
If it was a perfect world, I'd be out of a job.