We’re heading into the busy Con season for Yours Truly. The huge Con season is actually during the summer, but I was off in the wilds of Oregon (well, a small town) getting the big mofo novel for hire written and also enjoying highs of 78 while Las Vegas was, apparently, on fire at 116 degrees in the shade.
Pictured: Vegas shade.
I went to the Tampa Bay Comic Con with Brutha of Anutha Mutha Sean Conner, an excellent Con pal who understands my need for frequent naps. He also understands that I bring earplugs for him to make it through the night of my toilet-flush-gurgle-from-hell snoring. His snoring is more jackhammer-like, even and so something one is able to get used to. Mine, on the other hand, “isn’t even rhythmic! You can’t get used to it!” These are his actual words from a Con in New Orleans. My wife has not stopped laughing since I told her.
“Ha ha! Ha! HA HA! HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
In any case, the Tampa Bay Comic Con was lots of fun and I had great crowds at my talks. The “Advice to Young SF and Fantasy Writers” panel went well. The only snafu was when an upset mother complained to the organizers that, in my “History of Zombies” talk, I compared black people to zombies and, apparently, when I talked about Duane Jones’s ironic demise in Night of the Living Dead, I was “making fun” of police shootings. Sigh. (Neither one of these is remotely accurate.) That panel will be labeled “13+” from now on.
But all went well. I got back home after 7 weeks away, and our beloved fat cat, Felix, joined the choir invisible three days later. Welcome home! Anyway, September has four exciting (no joke) Cons coming up BANG-BANG-BANG-BANG, where I shall be peddling my wares! Last year I had seven products on offer; this year is at least eighteen. Check it:
First, from the awesome folks at Moran Press:
- Three for the Money (A thriller for the cynical, the bitter, and the doomed. Once titled Ain’t That America.)
- Know When to Run (Eight years after the Zombocalypse, a former poker champ plays for a shot to live in the last safe city … Las Vegas. Once known as Reviva Las Vegas!)
- Deadtown Abbey (An early-20th-century English manor house is overrun by supernatural creatures of all kinds.)
- Darwin’s Dreams (Exploration of the two men of the HMS Beagle, interspersed with Darwin’s dreams of different kinds of evolution.)
- Inappropriate Behavior (A collection of really ill-advised short stories.)
- PENNY DREADFULS!
- Nikola Tesla vs. The Daylight Vampires (Our hero fights fanged fiends.)
- Nikola Tesla vs. The Shadow Man (Our hero fights an entity that is much like the copyright-protected “Slender Man.” SO MUCH LIKE.)
- Absinthe in Arkham (Lovecraftian decadence.)
- Lovecraft Cackles (Lovecraftian laffs.)
- Inappropriate Behavior, with more to come later in the year!
And from the scary antipodean publisher Severed Press:
- Cthulhu Attacks! (Old One rises, people die. Book 2 due later this year.)
- Spinosaurus (Crytpid hunter finds a ravenous dinosaur in the Congo jungle. Written as “Hugo Navikov.”)
- Space Explosions! Pew! Pew! Pew! (Space Navy SEALs rock and roll on alien scum. Written as “Hugo Navikov” under the title War Thug.)
- Space Explosions 2: Pew Pew Boogaloo (Those same SEALs on the run. Written as “Hugo Navikov” under the title War Thug 2.)
- Prehistoric Beasts and Where to Fight Them (What if a certain famous movie director went to the bottom of the ocean … and discovered dinosaur predators? Written as “Hugo Navikov.”)
- Cthulhu Attacks!
- Space Explosions! Pew! Pew! Pew!
- Space Explosions 2: Pew Pew Boogaloo
Honestly, please feel free to use this meme with me as much as you like.
Con #1: Salt Lake Comic Con, September 1–3
This is the granddaddy of Cons for me, and considering I was personally invited by organizer Dan Farr, it’s the closest to my heart. Also, people in SLC know how to attend a CON, by jiminy! I usually sell out (of books, stop it) at this Con, no matter how many I bring. So I am psyched. And I will be participating in a couple of cool panels that you must come see unless you suck, or are not attending SLCC, which amounts to pretty much the same thing. Alas, no solo talks here, but drink deep of the nerdity:
CHARACTER CREATION: HOW TO WRITE BELIEVABLE, LIKEABLE, AND INTERESTING CHARACTERS
Saturday, 5 pm, Room 255B
MASS CONSUMPTION OF BRAINS: HOW HORROR REFLECTS THE CURRENT STATE OF THE WORLD
Saturday, 8 pm, Room 255B
Attendance at either of these is guaranteed to get you laid at a Comic Con. (Offer valid for female cosplayers only.)
Con #2: San Francisco Comic Con, September 4
I finish at Salt Lake at 9 p.m. on Saturday, and then at 7 a.m Sunday, I jump onto a plane for the San Francisco Comic Con, where I will give no fewer than SIX solo talks in a row on the last day of that Con. I’ll be selling my books between talks, so please do give me your money if you happen to be there. And what are these talks? Take a gander at these beauties:
STEAMPUNK DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS
11:00am – 11:50am | Pacific J
Teaching “Defense Against the Dark Arts” in the Harry Potter universe dealt with good magic vs. evil magic. This seminar will explore how Steampunk heroes can fight otherworldly antagonists with SCIENCE!
DEATH-RAYS AND DYNAMOS: THE DREAMS OF NIKOLA TESLA
12:00pm – 12:50pm | Pacific J
This presentation will investigate the blueprints and ideas Nikola Tesla left behind, some of which might have worked if Tesla’s funding hadn’t been cut off. Everything from the luminiferous aether to particle beams that never have to be recharged will be discussed!
ARE YOU A FICTION PANTSER OR A PLOTTER?
1:00pm – 1:50pm | Pacific J
Some fiction and screenplay writers plot their story by the seat of their pants only as they’re writing it. Others meticulously plot everything out before writing a word. This presentation examines which way is better, or whether somewhere in-between might be the sweet spot for writers.
GODS AND MONSTERS: H.P.LOVECRAFT’S HORRIFYING CREATURES
2:00pm – 2:50pm | Pacific J
From Cthulhu to Yog-Sothoth, from Dagon to the Elder Race, H.P. Lovecraft write about creatures from immortal evil Egyptian priests to all-powerful alien gods. We’ll discuss his bestiary of nasty entities and why they’re so good at making us shiver.
WRITING MYTHICAL PLOT STRUCTURE USING STAR WARS
3:00pm – 3:50pm | Pacific J
The original Star Wars trilogy has long been discussed as a great example of Joseph Campbell’s mythic hero structure. But what does this mean? This presentation will show you exactly how Star Wars hooked audiences—and how you can, too!
DON’T LET THE ZOMBIE WIN: HOW TO BUILD AN ELITE ZOMBIE-FIGHTING FORCE
4:00pm – 5:00pm | Pacific J
From the first professor ever to teach a for-credit college class on zombies, this presentation shows you what you need to fight the zombie hordes, but even more importantly, identifies the half-dozen specialists any group needs in order to fight one more day.
Yep, that’s six talks in six hours after flying in that morning, and then I fly out that night.
“Oh, look, there’s snacks in the Green RooZZZZZZZZZZZZ …”
But to where shall I fly? Back to my home away from home, Oregon! Portland this time, but I had an awesome retreat in Salem. I’ll have five days in which to recover and, I hope, record one more audiobook that I can peddle at the next Con:
Con #3: Rose City Comic Con, September 10–11
I do love Portland. It stays weird, and embraces everything I like except for not seeing the sun for months at a time and killing yourself in the hopes you’ll become an angel and break through the goddamned endless cloud cover between Portland and the sun.
But they also have fantastic Comic Cons! The Wizard World in Portland was loads of fun, and then … I’m getting goosebumps, or possibly I need to bathe … ROSE CITY COMIC CON!
As they say in my brain after three martinis, there is so much of good here yes! I will have a lovely Artists Alley table here, and they have me slated for some juicy-good solo talks:
WHAT IF CTHULHU REALLY ROSE?
Saturday, Panel Room 7
BUILDING THE SCENE: STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR FANTASTIC FICTION
Saturday, 5 pm, Panel Room 7
GHOSTWRITING FICTION FOR
FUN AND PROFIT
Sunday, 11 am, Panel Room 7
GODS AND MONSTERS: H.P. LOVECRAFT’S HORRIFYING CREATURES
Sunday, 1 pm, Panel Room 9
Panel Room 7 became unavailable for my last talk after a rather contentious My Little Pony Q&A.
I’m hoping to have videos of these talks available on my YouTube channel for everyone to ignore shortly after the Rose City event.
I hope that if you are in a geographically favorable location or are related to someone in the airline industry, you’ll come to one or more of my talks or panels and see all the cool stuff I have on offer at my table.
Two weeks after Rose City, I am off to Austin for their Wizard World! On the way I shall be making major stops at Lubbock, Texas and Clovis, New Mexico on my Buddy Holly Tour 2016, doing research for a new book which I shall talk about in my next blog post!