A Reader's Comic Con wrap up!

Friday, August 1, 2014
Comic Con was a blast -- a fast and ferocious blast! I had a wonderful time, as always, and it seemed too short, as always. :) It seems like I've spent the whole week recovering. My face was pretty much exactly like my daughter's (picture to the right) the whole convention.

In terms of reader-related updates:

On Saturday, I ended up attending two great book panels: Sci-Fi, Robots, and AI, Oh My! and Rulers of the Realm. Both panels ended up being great -- kudos to the moderators for each as they both managed to ask some questions that sparked a lot of discussion. 

For the sci-fi panel, I had only read something by one of the authors -- Andy Weir (the Martian) -- but I left the panel pretty certain I would want to read all the other authors. Specifically, I am planning to read something of Daniel H Wilson soon -- he had this hilarious tangent about how he has been thinking about what would happen if a robot/AI went feral (to which Andy Weir offered to give him a cat). Maybe I've been reading too much weird sci-fi lately, but I am really looking forward to reading something by an author who spends time thinking about things like wild robots! 

At the fantasy panel, I was again really impressed by all five panelists. I have read a novel by every author there except Diana Gabaldon (although I did read her short in the Dangerous Women anthology), but now I am certain I have to read more of each -- and start reading Gabaldon's Outlander series. They discussed their writing processes, and Gabaldon took a minute to outline her process which was funny and insightful (it starts with staring at items in a catalogue and involves a lot of writing and then deleting and writing again).

That panel also had a great discussion about maps -- George RR Martin pointed out that many authors take the time honored tradition of creating a map of a known place and turn it upside down (Westeros is upside down Ireland, Hobb's Six Duchies is upside down Alaska). Lev Grossman made a great point when answering a question from the audience that ultimately fantasy has to have honest real emotion or it fails. (He admitted that writing the Magician's series has been uncomfortable at times.) For new writers, the authors all had some great tips -- write what you geek out about (Tolkien was a language geek, Rothfuss admitted to being an economics geek, GRRM a geek on heraldry), and write for yourself first. Overall, I was really impressed by how down to earth and hilarious the authors all were. 

Books! So many books!
All giveaways from the convention floor
Over the course of the con, I also got lucky in a big way -- while exploring the convention floor, I happened to walk by when the big publishers had giveaways / author signings, multiple times. This has never happened to me before! I met and got books signed by Joe Abercrombie, Pierce Brown, and John Jackson Miller.

As a result of the great panels and giveaways, my to-read list has just exploded past any hope of being tamed in the near future. Maybe I can reign it in before next year's Comic Con? :)

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