Gen Con–August 16, 2012–Writers’ Symposium–Painting with Words

Another great panel from Gen Con, this one on how to write lyrical and not purple prose, with fellow panelists Pat Rothfuss, Richard Lee Byers, and Brad Beaulieu. This was an interesting panel with some really good discussion, and it was one of the ones which I thought about most after the convention was over.

Gen Con–August 16, 2012–Writers’ Symposium–Characters with Character

One of a number of panels I participated in at Gen Con 2012, this one on creating and developing characters in speculative fiction, with fellow authors Elizabeth Vaughan, Dylan Birtolo, and Erin Evans. This was well-attended and a lot of fun, and set the stage for a lot of great panels to follow.

Readercon–July 14, 2012–Teaching and Doing

My second panel at Readercon 2012 (and the second one I was lucky enough to have proposed and have accepted), this was a really interesting panel on those who both write and teach, with Veronica Schanoes, Jack Haringa, Michael Cisco, John Kessel, and me. We had a great turnout, and the conversation about the connection between academic and creative worlds in speculative fiction (a topic about which I’ve been interested in a while) was lively and thought-provoking…I left with a lot of new ideas about the subject, and some possible new ways to approach both writing and teaching going forward.

Readercon–July 13, 2012–Podcasting for the Speculative Fiction Author

My first of two panels at Readercon 2012, this one on podcasting (and which I proposed based on the article I wrote for the SFWA Bulletin on the same subject) was a lot of fun. C.S.E. Cooney, Mike Allen, Alexander Jablokov, the inimitable Jim Freund and I got a chance to talk about some of the nuts, bolts and benefits of podcasting in the speculative fiction field. A fun panel with a fun audience.

Origins, June 1, 2012–The Art of the Short Story

This was one of my favorite panels from my first time at Origins, focusing on the short story–which, since my first real one is due out in two months, is very much on my mind of late. Daniel Myers, Jean Rabe and I took a look at the construction and commercial value of the short story, and we got some interesting discussion among panelists and audience members (how does one get that final punchline to have punch?) in the bargain.

Ad Astra, April 14, 2012–Villains 101

Kind of a follow-up to last year’s panel on heroes (and with most of the same participants), this panel focused on the construction of a compelling villain, including examples of the characters we love to hate in speculative fiction–like Satan, Grendel, and Darth Vader, to name just a few. David Clink, Ed Greenwood, Gabrielle Harbowy, Rob St. Martin and I tackled the subject for nearly an hour, with some interesting contributions from the audience as well. Not recorded: the “villain” who demanded we start the panel or risk him destroying the world. I think he was kidding.

The Night Before Christmas–A Skyrim Tribute

A very brief tribute to a fun cast I’ve been watching of Skyrim (it’s great background for grading and watching)–in part because the caster, Katabasis, has been playing a version of my character Sarrtax from The Third Sign.  This will only be up for a day or so, so enjoy it (I hope you do) while it lasts!

Worldcon, August 19, 2011–Reboots of TV and Movie Series

My third panel at Worldcon 2011 and second one as moderator, this one about the increasing trend of reboots in TV shows and movies. Lawrence Person, A.C. Crispin and I took around an hour to talk about franchises from Superman to Star Trek and everything in between, alternating between admiration and despair at various attempts to take another bite of the apple. This was both good fun and instructive, with some surprising information I didn’t know about reboots currently in the pipeline.

Worldcon, August 19, 2011–Consistent Magic Systems in Fantasy

A second great panel at Worldcon 2011, this one with some serious star power. I’m not usually intimidated by these things, but I’ll admit to having been a little awed at the prospect of sitting on a panel with Jo Walton, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Pat Rothfuss and Tim Powers. As you might expect with that kind of group, the discussion on magic in fantasy was both illuminating and entertaining, and having a phenomenal turnout (probably close to two hundred people in the room) helped too.

Worldcon, August 18, 2011–The Lord of the Rings: Assessing the Movie Trilogy

One of a number of interesting panels I was lucky enough to be on at Worldcon in 2011, this one asked the panelists to assess the impact of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy ten years later (without being overly staggered by how much time has already passed since then) on the genre of fantasy specifically and film more generally. Since I’m on record as being both deeply influenced by the books, which first fired my imagination as a child and has continued to do so ever since, and a huge fan of the films, which did such a good job of bringing the spirit of the books to the screen, I was really excited to be moderating the panel. It didn’t disappoint; Arthur Chenin, Stephen Potts and Norman Cates all had interesting things to say during the discussion, and having someone in Norman who actually worked on the films (and the upcoming Hobbit movies) talk about how moving he still finds them was, for me, worth the price of admission by itself.