Random Thoughts

On the transitory nature of things:  So I’ve mentioned Project Wonderful on here a couple of times.  Well, after over a decade of great adverts at low prices, they’re closing their doors.  It’s like going in to check on a great restaurant you used to frequent…only to find that they’ve been closed for several weeks.  Yes, feelings of guilt may be involved.  However, it sounds like the advertisement market is just going through some serious change.

On eternal arguments:  I work in a building with several other air enthusiasts.  This includes a gentleman who has been in the Commemorative Air Force almost as long as I’ve been alive.  Well, if there’s one discussion you can expect to have with a fellow flight fiend, it’s “What do you think is the best fighter of World War II?”

I think I threw him for a loop when I came back immediately with, “Where am I flying and what’s my mission?”

“That’s overcomplicating things, don’t you think?”

“Not really.  If I don’t have to go above 10,000 feet and ground fire isn’t that much of a problem…”

“Fine, what’s your favorite fighter of World War II.”

*without missing a beat*  “P-47, all day, every day.

“So you don’t think it’s the best fighter of World War II?”

“There I was over the Philippines when my only engine conked out.”

“Okay, good point.”

On nerves: No matter how many cons I do, I still have those moments where I’m afraid the whole thing is going to be like the scene from Carrie, i.e., “They’re all going to laugh at you!”  (Except, you know, hopefully I don’t get that homicidal surge to go with my previously largely nascent telekinesis.)  It’s silliness–I actually like going to cons and getting to meet new fans.  Plus the dealer room closes early at GENCON so vendors can game.

Speaking of gaming, I’ve been playing a lot of D&D 5th Edition.  While I grew up with 2nd Edition and played a bit of 3.5, I think 5e has hit the sweet spot between “Having a d20 system that keeps folks honest…” yet being simple enough that you can teach someone to play well in a matter of hours.  Even better:  The Better Half has started to apply her talents to preparing game sets:

Haunted House

Anyway, enough musing for the night.  Time to take Mama Shark her copy of Aries’ Red Sky in the AM.

Libertycon 31!

As longtime readers of this blog know, I regularly attend Libertycon, a small sci-fi convention out of Chattanooga.  Unlike most cons I attend (where I allegedly perform Jedi mind tricks, erm, vend), Libertycon is primarily a professional get together / family reunion.  I met my first guest blogger there, got invited into an anthology, and generally get up to all sorts of shenanigans with folks who are fellow authors.

This last year I had to skip the Con due to that pesky dissertation problem.  This year was the first time in decades the Con had moved to a new venue, the Marriott in downtown Chattanooga.  The journey down was a little, um, interesting (video tilts the right way once you hit play):

As I had not been sure I was going to make the Con, I had planned to just attend as “just another guy.”  Well, that lasted until I got signed in, looked at the back of my badge, and realized I was scheduled for several events.  Whoops!

The first of these was Chris Kenned and Mark Wandrey’s Four Horsemen Author’s Panel for all the participants in their anthologies as well as those who write full novels in the larger 4HU Universe.  As readers of this blog may recall, I’m in A Few Credits More.  I will hopefully be able to get Chris a story for the second trio of universe anthologies, as it’s a fun playground to mess around in for an old Battletech fan.  I stuck around for the mass autograph signing and also jaw jacking with my fellow authors.  It was great to see Kacey Ezell, whose alternate history Minds of Men I really enjoyed listening to.  So much so, I’ve hired her narrator for Aries’ Red Sky, with the intent being to have the print, Kindle, and audio book versions arrive within weeks of one another.  We’ll see how that goes.

The rest of Saturday was spent in panels on Space Opera, Retro-Futurist Alternate History, and what’s going on in indie publishing.  I had intended to just be a bystander for the Space Opera panel, but the always lovely Sarah and Dan Hoyt weren’t having any of that.  (Yes, it says something about how indomitable Sarah is that she can basically motivate the crowd to force me to the table.  “I’m here on vaaaaaaaccaaaatttttiiiooonnn…”) Retro-Futurist Alternate History was hosted by Louis Antoinelli, and a good time was had by all (even if I got called a pessimist at one point).  Finally, I got to sit in on a “Masters of Military Science Fiction” panel that included Chuck Gannon, David Drake, David Weber, and John Ringo.  Lots of ideas flowing out of that one, and it was timely in that it’s made me think of several things currently going on as I edit Aries’.  (Yes, I know, I should explain those things, but they involve spoilers.)

All too soon, it was Sunday morning.  Given that I was trying to not have to take leave on Monday, I had to hot foot out of Chattanooga earlier than I wanted.  Always hard leaving friends that are like family, and it speaks volumes about the con’s atmosphere that all 750 memberships sold out in under 6 hours once sales opened.  Already looking forward to next year when I’ll spend entirely too much on T-shirts and have my muses reinforced by my friends’ crazy ideas.