My Philcon 2022 Schedule

It’s time for Philcon, Philadelphia’s oldest literary convention. It’s in New Jersey.  (Look, it was cheaper, okay?)

This year’s Guest of Honor is my good friend Keith DeCandido! Keith even asked me to write his introduction for the program book, and let’s hope he’ll still be my friend after he reads it! (Joke! That’s a joke!)

I’ve been a guest at Philcon for years, and it’s always great to go back there and see so many of my friends. This year’s event will be on the weekend of November 18-20.

Here’s my schedule:

The Lure of Secret History (Friday 8 pm) with Darrell SchweitzerElektra HammondChuck RothmanMichael A. VentrellaJean Marie Ward: We all love to be in on the secret, and sometimes magical explanation of what really happened, and why. We’ll talk about secret histories such as Tim Powers’s The Anubis Gates and Tom Doyle’s American Craftsmen series.

The Eye of Argon: The Play! (Friday 9 pm) with Michael A. Ventrella (moderator)Ian Randal StrockKeith R.A. DeCandidoGregory FrostPeter PrellwitzHildy SilvermanJean Marie Ward: This performance of the adventures of Grignr the Barbarian is drawn from The Eye of Argon by Jim Theis. It’s the world’s worst fantasy story, acted out by a bunch of non-actors who haven’t practiced. Should be hilarious!

Magic Systems and How to Use Them (Saturday noon) with Michael A. Ventrella (moderator)Dee CarterElektra HammondAaron RosenbergMichelle D. Sonnier: Brandon Sanderson’s concept of Hard vs. Soft Magic Systems is one way to look at how magic works in fantasy fiction. Others look at the source of the magic, from supernatural beings to rituals to the elements.  When should details be included and when can the author handwave?

My First Time (Getting Published) (Saturday 3 pm) with Michael A. Ventrella (moderator)Christine NorrisJennifer PoveyAnn StolinskyEric Blair: Your name! In print! Next to a story you wrote! OK, you might not have gotten paid much (if at all), but every writer has a story of how they managed to get their first story published (or first novel), and what it was like to see their words shared with the universe. Let’s get some authors together to talk about that process, what advice they have for up-and-comers, and what outlets are friendliest to the new (and often unagented) writer.

Separating the Art from the Artist (Saturday 5 pm) with Lisa HertelMichael A. VentrellaJeffWarnerCharles Urbach: Is it OK to like an artist’s work while finding the maker objectionable or even worse? Wil Wheaton posted a lively defense of doing so — in part, as he notes, because the work may be made up of so many other creatives aside from the problematic maker. Is this theory put to the test when the artist is an author? 

Foundations of Worldbuilding: Past Political Tensions and Turmoil (Saturday 8 pm) with Michael A. Ventrella (moderator)Dee CarterIan Randal StrockStorm HumbertSimone Zelitch: How does the history between the countries in your story shape the present of your world? When was the last time anyone declared war, and why? Are those old conflicts truly healed, or do the wounds still fester?

Autographs (Sunday 10 am) with Kathryn SullivanMichael A. Ventrella: Signing anything you want to put in front of us (except contracts in blood).

Reading (Sunday 11 am) with Michael A. Ventrella: Reading a short story probably

Meet the Editors! (Sunday noon) with Michael A. Ventrella (moderator)Ian Randal StrockNeil ClarkeMargaret RileyAnn Stolinsky: Magazine and small press editors discuss what goes into creating their publications, from the economics of staying viable in the electronic age to getting appropriate submissions.


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