This was my first trip to Dragon*Con, and it was a first for my lady as well. My Livejournal will have more information on the con as a whole, but I wanted to bring up the more writerly aspects of the conference and the panels I attended.
“The Wacky World of Writing” – Er, I actually can’t disclose what happened at this panel. Seriously, they swore the whole audience to secrecy.
“Magic and Mayhem: Witches in Urban Fantasy” – Featuring Laura Anne Gilman, Faith Hunter, Mercedes Lackey, Linda Robertson and Jeanne C. Stein this was an excellent panel covering the development of magic systems, portrayal of witches in urban fantasy millieux and also how to ensure what magic you have in your world adds to the tension and story possiblities, rather than acting as a cop-out. It had me thinking of my magical systems in greater depth.
“Fighting and Writing” – Featuring Jim Butcher, Kevin D. Dockery, Faith Hunter, Sabutai Musashi and John Ringo, this was the 14th incarnation of this panel and the levels of discussion ranged from favorite fight scenes in film, least favorite fight scenes in film, etc. to very frank discussions of combat, trauma, horror and what happens to a person when they are hit, struck and stabbed. John Ringo was amazingly naughty, playing off of Kevin Dockery’s straight man, but there was a lot of genuine affection there. And some real dark corners. I took copious amounts of notes when it came to reference books and good places to ask questions.
Also, Jim Butcher was quite gracious when he signed my copy of Storm Front
“Tor to the Future” – this was a presentation on upcoming TOR book releases, but they let me grab an uncorrected proof of Jo Walton’s collection of essays on rereading SF novels. I’m going through them now.
“Why Men Should Friggin Love Fantasy Literature” featured Larry Dixon, Lev Grossman, James Tuck, Peter S. Beagle and many questions on the perceived divide of SF is a man’s thing and Fantasy is a woman’s thing. But it grew into something greater, into a discussion of the power fantasy holds to tell stories of trauma and healing, and to give us license to explore deeper myths and emotions. I wish this panel could have gone on longer, especially listening to Larry Dixon and Peter S. Beagle talk.
It was the last panel where I had an unasked question. So I’ll ask it here: How many of these divisions are created and perpetuated based on a perceived need to feed this beast called “The Market?”
Wish I’d done more with the writing track at D*C.