Monday, March 17, 2008

Lunacon 2008: Part 1 (Heat and Panels)

Lunacon was HOT! Yeah, really, really hot. I mean it.

Even if hubby told me beforehand that he read a review of the hotel that said it tended to have air conditioning problems, I wouldn't have taken much notice. After all, this is March, and it's still technically -- and evidently -- winter. So, had I heard, I would have just forgotten it. And maybe I did. There's a good chance that he mentioned it and I totally discarded what I considered to be irrelevant info. And, of course, I didn't pack a tee shirt or short-sleeved shirt -- after all, this is WINTER, oil prices are high, and I thought I lived in an environmentally-aware part of the country. Maybe the Rye Hilton is in another universe?

But enough about the hotel. How about the con? I attended a some great panels, ate some great gnocci in a nearby restaurant, and picked up some good books.

I've never seen so many choices for panels! Okay, so I really haven't been to that many cons, but this con certainly had the most panels and most diversity of panels that I've seen so far. Hubby was even able to find a few he found interesting. Writer Dan Robichaud from w was on a couple of good panels, including "The Carpetbaggers" (a discussion on why some genre terms aren't used in literary circles) and other differences between the two worlds, and "Gaming on the Dark Side," a panel I thought I'd have no interest in since I don't game, but which held hubby and I rapt. Also on those two panels was Adam Nakama, soft-spoken, but always with something interesting to say. I met Adam on the ride to Lunacon when we both bummed a ride from Dan and Trista because our significant others wouldn't be able to get away until late. (Speaking of interesting programming, Adam taught Tango on Saturday, but I was just getting lunch about then.)

Rosemary Edghill moderated a great panel called "Fantastic Females," a discussion of writers who wrote strong female characters in their fiction. More than one panelist and audience member mentioned that they used to read boys' adventure stories as a child because the ones with female characters just weren't interesting. Rosemary herself writes strong, believable characters and it was a pleasure to hear her thoughts and knowledge on the subject.

Jeanne Cavelos, fellow New England Horror Writer and HWA member, and director of the Odyssey Fantasy workshop, also contributed much to that panel. I caught her on an earlier panel, "Horror in the Escher Hilton," which I found interesting, especially the very brief discussion on torture porn's place in horror, and some insights that Jeanne and another panelist had on "The Blair WItch Project." (I'm one of those people who couldn't understand what the fuss was about. Now I'm wondering that if I had read their website first, would I have had a different experience?)

And finally I got to meet fellow HWA author Jonathan Maberry, but, darn, I forgot to get a copy of his Vampire Universe! Jonathan and urban fantasy author Mark del Franco were on a panel on "Social Networking for Writers" and not only did I get some good tips, but got to hear a lot of interesting related chatter on writing in general.

Whew. Gotta stop here. There's lots more to tell, including what, exactly, is the "Escher Hilton," but I'll have to hold that until later.


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