June 2nd, 2009

Qui-Gon/Forever on Quest

"I meant Gandhi"

Happy early birthday wishes to nakeisha, ebonange, and shelled_avenger! I hope all three of you have fantastic years to come.

ConCarolinas was a terrific experience. It was wonderful to see shiny_elfriend, hinluin, witchcat07, arymetore, davidbcoe, madkestral, Gray Rinehart, and Mike Pederson, and to meet sittingduck1313 for the first time in person. The con moved to a new hotel this year, and it was a great success with more than 1,000 attendees (a new record for the event).

I was pleased with the attendance and participation at my panels. The Lost discussion was very fruitful. I shared my thoughts on how the series unfolds the "state of nature" debate from the history of political thought, and I heard some compelling theories (especially about the nature of Jacob and the problem of good and evil) that I'll be pondering until the next season. The reaction to the Star Trek film and what it means for the franchise (and science fiction more broadly) was overwhelmingly, if not unanimously, positive. The Hobbit panel was more speculative than informational, but it was fun to discuss both our "wish lists" and our concerns about the forthcoming film. We reached no conclusions on the "Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy" panel, but I found some useful insights in the conversation about the state of the industry and the demands of readers, especially about anti-technological sentiments and how they may or may not be influencing the trends toward YA fantasy and dystopian fiction.

I attended a number of other fascinating panels on everything from "Science as a Political Tool" to "The History of Paranormal Studies," and I worked in some great one-on-one conversations as well. I ran into a particularly impressive Qui-Gon Jinn costumer who was kind enough to let me take his picture, as you can see. One of the highlights of the con included sitting in a packed room and singing along with Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, which was doubly fun since I was seated next to arymetore, who was in complete (and excellent!) Dr. Horrible costume. I'm already looking forward to next year. My next con appearance will be at Anticipation/The 67th World Science Fiction Convention in Toronto in August.

In other news...

* The finalists for the 2009 Mythopoeic Awards have been announced. It's a particularly great year for Myth and Fantasy Studies, I'm happy to say.

* MentatJack has posted an incomplete but interesting Reading List for the New Weird.

* Check out the Apex Author Lottery throughout the month of June, which features signed books, limited editions, and other goodies!

I'll be having some rather extensive oral surgery tomorrow, so I may be quiet for a few days. I look forward to catching up with everyone soon!


Dr. Horrible: I wanna do great things, you know? I wanna be an achiever, like Bad Horse.
Penny: The Thoroughbred of Sin?
Dr. Horrible: (pause) I meant Gandhi.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
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