Capclave is a fine little literary SF convention held near Washington DC, which this year will be on the October 9th weekend. Come and join us and meet some of your (and my) favorite authors, including but not limited to Gordon Van Gelder, Alistair Reynolds, James Morrow, Alex Shvartsman, Lawrence Schoen, Catherine Asaro, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Allen Wold, Walter Hunt, and many more (including me!)
Here’s my current schedule (subject to change):
|Friday 10:00 pm: Improv Story-Telling (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Salon A
Panelists: Charles E. Gannon, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Hildy Silverman, Michael A. Ventrella
The audience names three things for the writer to include in an improv story and a cliffhanger to turn it over to the next author (who in turn gets three more things named to include.)
|Friday 11:00 pm: Why Do Good People Do Bad Things? (Ends at: 11:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists: Alan Loewen, C.S. MacCath, James Morrow, Michael A. Ventrella
What are the motivations for having otherwise-heroic people do villainous things in fiction? How can an author strike a balance between making an evildoer’s actions believable and somewhat sympathetic without turning them into an antihero?
|Saturday 2:00 pm: The Epic Blockbuster (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists: Sarah Avery, Alma Katsu, Dina Leacock, Michael A. Ventrella
In the 1950s and 60s, 200 page novels were common (and told a complete story). Today my bookshelf is groaning under Weeks (800 pages) and Sanderson (1000), and these doorstoppers are only part of a series. What changed? Do readers prefer long books and longer series? Are authors using these longer page counts to tell a deeper story with multiple points of view and better characterization? Or is much of this padding and a lack of editing? What books are worth the extra page count?
|Saturday 6:00 pm: Building Your Audience (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists: Kate Baker, Scott Edelman, Will McIntosh, Michael A. Ventrella
Now that you finished your book and found a publisher, how do you get people to read it? What promotional devices work and what turns potential readers off? And, after you’ve published three or four books, what can you do to expand your readership and get readers of your newest book to look at your older ones?
|Saturday 11:00 pm: The Eye of Argon (Ends at: 11:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists: Charles E. Gannon, Michael A. Ventrella
A dramatic reading, with audience participation, of one of the most notorious fantasy works ever.
|Sunday 2:00 pm: Climate Change in SF (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Frederick
Panelists: James Morrow, Gordon Van Gelder, Michael A. Ventrella
What is the best approach to discussing climate change in SF? What does the modern attitude towards whether this is really science say about SF writing that features human action changing the natural environment?