I’ll be a guest at Mysticon this weekend in Roanoke, with Guest of Honor George R.R. Martin. (My wife, award-winning artist Heidi Hooper, is also a guest and will be one of the judges for the masquerade competition.)
Mysticon is a fun little convention which is completely sold out this year for some reason. But if you’re there, here’s where you can find me!
Anthology Don’ts (Friday 3:00): There are always rules for submitting in anthologies: length, subject matter, etc. Our panelists discuss the common errors they see (or have been guilty of) in anthology submissions. With Alexandra Christian, Tera Fulbright, and
John G. Hartness
Opening Ceremonies (Friday 4:00): Welcoming and introduction of guests
Fantasy Worldbuilding (Friday 5:00): Whether it’s creating entire new worlds or integrating your story into everyday life, fantasy writers can find inspiration in the smallest things that can lead to a whole new world of mystery and magic. How they do it, how they choose, how they are inspired, what fans love or hate, etc. With R.S. Belcher, Ashley Chappell, Alexandra Christian, Anthony St. Clair, and Richard C. White
First Contact Improv (Friday 9:00): The panel consists of a moderator and 3-4 panelists, preferably writers, and preferably with a good sense of humor. The panelists are charged with designing a human-alien First Contact scenario on the fly. The twist is that the moderator has over 100 improv prompts on cards that are drawn by the panelists and audience members. With Jim Beall, Steven Hancock, Emmy Jackson, Peter Prellwitz, Todd Roberts and Abigail Wallace.
The Eye of Argon (Friday 11:30): The worst science fiction story ever written gets a reading by our brave panel as they compete to go the longest without tripping over a misspelled word or laughing uncontrollably. Audience members are also encouraged to take a chance. Can you keep a straight face, especially when the panel begins acting out the story? With Gail Z. Martin, Michael Pederson, Peter Prellwitz, and Gray Rinehart
Match Game (Saturday 10:00): An annual MystiCon tradition – relive the glories of classic game shows, now with a Sci-Fi/Fantasy twist. Contestants from our audience will match wits with our guests. With Billy Flynn, Tally Johnson, Ben Mirabelli, Rich Sigfrit, John Watts, and Nicole Zoltack
How Much Worldbuilding Does an RPG Need? (Saturday 7:00): A game setting can be no more than a dungeon and a tavern-or an entire world with landforms, languages, plants and animals, and a history stretching over millennia. How much world-building do you do? How much does a game need? Is there a sweet spot for world-building, or do different games have different needs? With Bob Flack, Steve Long, John Watts, and Richard C. White
Building Your Brand (Sunday 9:00): Done properly, self-promotion is an important part of building a career. Poorly executed, self-promotion can do more harm than good. Our panelists will discuss what works and doesn’t work along with these common questions: Do book-signings really help a small author? Are bookmarks and/or postcards effective at garnering attention? Does a blog help or hurt an author? Does an author have to have a website? With Alexandra Christian, Pamela K Kinney, and Jim Lavene
No More Evil Priests in Red (Sunday 10:00): Understanding faith in a secular world. It’s easy to depict organized religion as evil, led by greedy rapist scumbags and followed only by the drones and sheeple, but this trope hasn’t been cutting edge for the past forty years. In setting up evil priestly straw men for our postmodern heroes to blow away, authors too often overlook why brilliant people like Boethius could walk smiling to execution, St. Francis could try to protect the animals everyone else wanted to eat, or Hildegard von Bingen could write awe-inspiring music and plays. Let’s talk about books that depict the complexities of religious faith in interesting, insightful ways. With Tony Daniel, Gail Martin, Peter Prellwitz, Gary Rinehart, and Abigail Wallace
Black and White (Sunday 11:00): Not TVs, but the role of absolutes in literature, movies, and life. Jedi/Sith, good/bad, often SFF is dedicated to these simplistic views. Is it a reflection of our society or has our society come to reflect our literature. What about the reality of Grey? (Politics and Religion Warning) With William Lawhorn and Brian Sunderlin