Gen Con, August 14, 2014–Worldbuilding 101

As the title suggests, this was an early panel at the 2014 version of Gen Con which dealt with the nitty gritty of worldbuilding in the speculative fiction genre.  Kerrie Hughes, Don Bingle, Erin Evans, Gabrielle Harbowy and I took a look at the nuts and bolts of the worldbuilding process, and although I’ve been on a number of panels like this I thought this was a good summary of some of the best aspects of those presentations.  (It was also one of the best-attended early morning Thursday panels I’ve ever been a part of–people really seem to like this topic!)

Readercon, July 10, 2014–Power Differentials in Reviewing

A really interesting (and somewhat outside the box) panel at Readercon on the real and/or perceived tension between reviewers, the work they’re reviewing, and the people who read and comment upon the reviews.  Kevin Clark, John Clute, Amal El-Mohtar, Lila Garrott, Alex Jablokow and I took on the topic from a variety of perspectives, and while there was some lively disagreement (John had a somewhat more Romantic perspective on the critic’s role than I do, for example!), it all contributed to a energizing and fun discussion.  As is often the case at Readercon, the audio here was a bit shaky, so be warned that this may at times be a little difficult to hear.

Origins, June 13, 2014–Podcasting

This was a solo chat I did on the subject of podcasting, somewhat reprising the panels I’ve previously done at Readercon and Norwescon the last few years, but developing it for a more nuts and bolts style presentation (and with two more years of podcasting experience under my belt).  There were some interesting questions I got to field from the audience as well–all in all, an enjoyable experience.

Origins, June 12, 2014–Werewolves, Vampires and Krakens, Oh My!

One of a number of panels and workshops I had at Origins this year, this was a really interesting panel which I was lucky enough to moderate. Aaron Rosenberg, Richard C. White and I had the chance to chat about the creation of monsters in speculative fiction–which ones have been the most terrifying influences upon our work (and what made them so), and how we’ve gone about constructing our own monstrous figures.

Hangout with Sword and Laser

This was an enjoyable video interview (and my first of this kind) with Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont on the Sword and Laser vidcast, who talked to me about the experience of moving my novel Icarus from written to graphic form and being part of a Kickstarter to make that happen…plus assorted other information about my writing, other work I’m involved with, and what comes next. I actually really enjoyed this format, and I suspect I’ll be doing a lot more of these sorts of interviews in the future.

Norwescon, April 20, 2014 — Non-Western Settings In Fantasy

One of several panels, workshops and readings I had at Norwescon this year, this was probably the most enjoyable–a generally thoughtful audience combined with some really intriguing subject matter. Brent Kellmer and I spent the better part of an hour working through possible reasons for the dominance of what has for much too long been considered “default” fantasy, revolving around largely white and Western cultures, and how (despite the strength of that “default”) fantasy has begun to turn in new, more diverse and more productive directions.

Worldcon, September 1, 2013–Fiction About Real Politics

One of two panels I had at Worldcon this year, this session looked at politics in speculative fiction in a number of interesting ways, though I’ll admit that I sometimes felt we were losing the “speculative fiction” part a bit. But overall this was an engaging and thoughtful panel to be a part of, with some good contributions from the audience and fellow panelists David Nickle, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Lou Antonelli and Madeline Ashby. Not audible is my family, one member of which said she loved the chance to see me “in my element.” If a science fiction and fantasy convention is indeed my element, I think I’m probably doing something right!

Gen Con, August 16, 2013–Career Building

I always have fun talking shop with other authors, especially when they’ve got such different experiences from my own (while sharing the same love for story and narrative that I do). So a panel like this one, the table for which I shared with Kerrie Hughes, Matt Forbeck and James Dashner, was particularly enjoyable. I’ll admit that a particular Tweet which came through during the panel made this even more fun–you’ll just have to take a listen for yourself to understand the context!

Gen Con, August 15, 2013–Literary Alchemy

I’ve done panels like this before (most recently at last year’s Gen Con), but it was interesting to take another run at what fuels the author’s interest in language with Brad Beaulieu and James Sutter from Paizo, who brought both an editor’s and an author’s perspective to the mix. On the whole, an interesting and fun panel.