This weekend is my annual trek to Kansas City for our local science fiction convention, ConQuest at the Downtown K.C. Sheraton. Guest of Honor is Robert J. Sawyer and Toastmaster Jonathan Maberry, and I will be spending time when not on panels at a dealer room table selling their books. So here’s where to find me outside the dealer room which is open as follows:
Special Guest: Amelie will be accompanying me much of the time.
A discussion of humorous tropes and stories down through SF history. Who are the key writers? What should you be reading? and more. Moderators: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Speakers: Robin Wayne Bailey, Selina Rosen
A discussion of the alien encounter trope through SF history in various media from literature to film and beyond. Moderators: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Speakers: Robin Wayne Bailey, James Gunn, Robert J. Sawyer, Ken Keller
Well, ConQuest 45 – Noir has come and gone, and I am calling it a great success. This is the one Con I try to make annually, because it’s local and put on by my local fan group, which is a great group of people. Glen Cook has been attending as a dealer for years, but this year we also honored him as Guest Of Honor, and that was a blast. I panelled with Glen several times including a Spec Noir panel with Mark W. Tiedemann (shown), a live GOH interview which neither of us wanted to end but did, and a military fantasy panel also featuring Kij Johnson and Robin Wayne Bailey.
On Friday night, Robin Wayne Bailey, Todd Hunter and I threw an impromptu launch party for Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For A New Age, which released last December after funding on Kickstarter the previous March, and which features stories by Todd and Robin as well as many others, including Seanan McGuire, David Farland, Brenda Cooper, Sarah A. Hoyt, Allen M. Steele, and A.C. Crispin. The party was hopping for several hours and a Who’s Who of the Con stopped by, later voting us Best Party at the Closing Ceremonies. I also sold out of copies, for the first time ever, selling 19 and giving away 2. So I had to order more for the next Con. I call that a success./
Once again, the Basic Editing 101 For Writers panel that my editing partner Claire Ashgrove and I initiated last year was a hit with really strong attendance, including Artist GOH David Lee Pancake, who told me it was the best, clearest panel he’d seen on basic issues like passives, telling vs. showing, etc. I hadn’t encountered David yet, due to my busy schedule, so afterwards I headed down to the art show and wound up buying one of his beautiful works.
I also did a panel on Heroes and Heroines with Kij Johnson and others, a Writing For Young Audiences panel with Chris McKitterick and K.D. McEntire, and several others. Only my Abraham Lincoln Dinosaur Hunter reading drew interest as my first reading was Friday night during check in time, so I got an extra hour of rest pre-Con.
An Editor’s Are Not The Enemy panel with Selina Rosen, Deanna Sjojander and Rich Horton was lively, and brought up interesting issues about publishing traditional vs. self-publishing vs. small press which I hope were helpful.
The Con Suite, which I made extensive use of this year, unlike last year, was also well stocked and managed and I relied on it for most of my meals outside a Friday dinner with Dennis and Diane Barr and Saturday dinner with Rich and MaryAnne Horton.
Altogether, a delightful time and well worth attending, even though I arrived tired and not sure I was not sure I was ready. I quickly slipped into a different frame of mind and really enjoyed myself. Thanks to the Con Comm, and the party group especially for helping make this such a delightful experience.
After the Con, I came home and announced an upcoming Kickstarter anthology I’ve really been looking forward to. And I know it’s going to be a real special and fun project to complete. A fitting way to close the Con, with inspiration.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. His first children’s books, 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Books For Kids and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter- Land Of Legends appeared from Delabarre Publishing in 2012. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. He edited the anthologies Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press,Beyond The Sun for Fairwood Press, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age for Every Day, and Shattered Shields with coeditor Jennifer Brozek for Baen Books (forthcoming). He is currently working on Gaslamp Terrors and Mission Tomorrow: A New Century Of Exploration. He hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter,
Well, for the third year in a row I am a panelist and moderator at CONQUEST 45, the local Kansas City Con on Friday May 23rd through Sunday May 25th. Well attended, with, as usual, a great lineup of guests and panelists, CONQUEST is the largest local Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror convention. And it’s always a blast, but also always hectic for locals like me, especially those of us who are members of the local fan club KacSFFS.
This year’s Guests of Honor are Glen Cook (Author GOH), David Lee Pancake (Artist GOH), Bridget Landry (Science GOH), Ray and Barbara Van Tillburg (Fan GOH), and also Caroline Spector (Toastmistress). Also attending (besides myself) are local professionals like Robin Wayne Bailey, Kij Johnson, Rich Horton , K.D. McEntire, Mark W. Tiedemann, Rob Chilson, Selina Rosen, Claire Ashgrove, Bradley Denton, H.G. Stratmann and Chris McKitterick. A full list can be found here.
Returning to downtown this year, CONQUEST 45 takes place at the Downtown Marriott, just off the famed Power and Light District, pretty much the center of Kansas City’s nightlife.
Room assignments are not final, but here’s the panels, panel descriptions and list of panelists in which I’ll be participating. As you’ll see, it’ll be a really hectic weekend for me. I also hope to have books on sale at Glen Cook’s dealer table, and we are working on a possible Raygun Chronicles party. When details on room assignments and the party are final, I’ll do another post, closer to the Con.
Here’s the schedule as it stands now:
Friday – May 23, 2014
Reading (Big Joe Turner A) Friday 1400
Author/Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt reads from his forthcoming epic fantasy series The Dawning Age.
SpecNoir (Count Basie Ballroom A) Friday 1700
Speculative fiction and noir mix particularly well in many subgenres and forms. What is noir and what are some examples of who’s writing what and good reads out there?
Moderator: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Panelists: Glen Cook, Mark W. Tiedemann
Raygun Chronicles Launch Party Friday 2130 (Room 619)
Authors Todd Hunter and Robin Wayne Bailey join me to celebrate our pulp-style space opera anthology, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For A New Age. Party with snacks, drinks and giveaways.
Saturday – May 24th, 2014
Military Fantasy (Lester Young A) Saturday 1000
What is it? Who’s writing it? How does it differ from high fantasy? What are some examples?
Moderator: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Panelists: Glen Cook, Kij Johnson, Robin Wayne Bailey
What makes a hero/heroine? (Jay McShann A) Saturday 1200
A discussion of what defines heroism today and what qualities we want to see in our heroes and heroines that make them heroic. And how are definitions evolving in the modern age.
Moderator: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Panelists: Dennis Young, Gera Dean, Kij Johnson
Writing for younger audiences (Jay McShann B) Saturday 1300
Writing for adults and writing for YA, MG and Children differ. Authors and Editors discuss the differences, the approaches, and fine examples.
Moderator: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Panelists: Chris McKitterick, Deanna Sjolander, K. D. McEntire
KID’S READING: Bryan Thomas Schmidt (Big Joe Turner A)
Children’s author Bryan Thomas Schmidt reads from his chapter book series ABRAHAM LINCOLN DINOSAUR HUNTER, a humorous, action adventure, alternate history for all ages.
Self-Editing 101 For Writers With Finish The Story (Mary Lou Williams A/B) Saturday 1600
Editorial team Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Claire Ashgrove discuss tips for basic editing of manuscripts, how to get perspective, common issues, and more.
Moderators/Panelists: Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Claire Ashgrove
Sunday – May 25th, 2014
GOH Interview: Glen Cook (Count Basie Ballroom A)
Come here me do a live SFFWRTCHT-style interview with the amazing Glen Cook. And you can ask questions, too!
Moderator: Bryan Thomas Schmidt Panelist: Glen Cook
Editors are not the Enemy (Mary Lou Williams A/B) Sunday 1100
What editors do, why it matters to writers, and why writers should consider them an asset not an enemy. An exploration of author-editor relationships.
Self-Publishing — Taking the Leap! (Mary Lou Williams A/B) Sunday 1300
Considering self-publishing your novel? It isn’t as easy as publishing a book and reaping the royalties, nor is it for every author. Discover pros and cons of the Indie market, tips to launching a successful book, and whether you’re prepared for the business demands.
Moderator: Claire Ashgrove Panelists: Karin Gastreich, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Brett Williams
Hope to see some of you there. Be sure to come by and say hello!
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut science fiction novel, The Worker Prince, received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases of 2011, and was followed by two sequels The Returning and The Exodus (forthcoming).His children’s books include 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter–Land Of Legends. Schmidt has edited edited anthologies Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6, Beyond The Sun, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age and, with Jennifer Brozek, coedited military high fantasy original anthology, Shattered Shields. Several more anthologies are under contract and forthcoming. Schmidt hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter.