Saturday, October 22, 2011

MileHiCon Days 1 and 2

Last night, I was too exhausted to blog after getting back from Day 1 of MileHiCon here in Denver, so here's a brief rundown of the first two days.

Friday: I attended panels on Exploding Writing Myths, world-building, Why Anthologies are Important, Conspiracy Theories and Earth Science, and Carrie and the Midnight Hour. That last one has become somewhat of a con tradition in recent years, in which Carrie Vaughn stands in her for heroine Kitty and hosts a radio show to help callers (i.e. people from the audience) with their paranormal problems. Most of what I got out of the other Friday panels was validation for what I already knew: the writing profession is difficult and unglamourous; anthologies serve as a sample box that can introduce readers to a new favorite writer; 2012 will not be the end of the world (and neither was Friday, btw). I also got many books signed and had a short chat with Carrie Vaughn about Doctor Who.

Saturday: My dad joined me for the day, and it was fantastic to have company. He even sat through 90 minutes of Buffy musical/Doctor Horrible singalong. The best panel today was on collaborative writing, featuring the husband and wife team of Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta; brothers Dani and Eytan Kollin; and Jeffrey Lambert (minus his wife Anne, who had been double-booked for another panel). Going into the panel, I had no idea how writing collaboration works. For Anderson and his many writing partners, they outline the book, divide up the chapters and write their portions on their own, before merging the two halves and smoothing out the rough edges. It's best to collaborate with a writer whose knowledge base and writing method compliments your own. From what the Kollin brothers said, it seems they do as much arguing as they do writing.

There was also a panel in which Connie Willis, Gardner Dozois, James Van Pelt, Van Aaron Hughes and John Stith shared their lists of the top 12 short stories published before 1980. I took down a lot of names and titles and now have a long reading list. Some I've read: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes; The Man Who Lost the Sea by Theodore Sturgeon; Third Level by Jack Finney; Air Raid by John Varley; and There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury. On Sunday (tomorrow), another panel will tackle stories since 1980.

Maybe tomorrow, I will remember to bring my camera so I can post some photos here with my wrap-up.


Aaron Hughes said...

I knew I shouldn't have let them schedule my reading opposite the sing-along!

Jennifer Campbell-Hicks said...

No kidding! I hope your reading went well, regardless.

The video room was packed to the point where people were standing along the back wall. Here's my geek side coming out: I've been attending Buffy sing-alongs at conventions going back almost 10 years. The best ones are when there are 1,000+ fans in attendance.