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marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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ArmadilloCon Day Three and Four

Saturday

I'm not sure what the con attendance was, but both panels I did on Saturday were full to bursting, with people standing in the back. If you walked into the main area, it didn't seem like there were many people there -- until the panels let out and 500 plus people poured out of all the various function rooms.

The art show as usual was excellent, with art by John Picacio and Stephan Martiniere, who had to cancel his appearance but still sent his art. Click the link for his web site, then "gallery" then under the genre column, "book and magazine covers." The pieces "City Without Ends," "Babel," and "Bright of the Sky" were my favorites and I can't tell you how gorgeous these are in person.


The first panel was City Building, with Rob Rogers, scott_lynch, Sharon Shinn, Vincent Docherty, and Jayme Blaschke as moderator. This panel was one of my favorites and the time just flew by. Vincent Docherty had worked dealing with infrastructure issues of real cities (as opposed to imaginary ones) so he had some really interesting things to say. We talked about fictional cities that have fantastical elements but still feel real and fully realized, like Ankh-Morpork and the city from The City and the City by China Mieville, and Jayme brought up Vienne from The Element of Fire and The Death of the Necromancer (which was very flattering) as a fictional city that ages and changes over time.

After that I did an autographing for an hour in the dealers' room, while hanging out with Susan Wade and Lawrence Person, and watching Howard Waldrop sign autographs. Then I did a reading which went really well, and then Troyce and I ran off to lunch at La Madeline.

Then the last panel for that day was Religion and Mysticism in SF/F, with Joan Vinge, Kathy Wentworth, Paul Benjamin, Scott Lynch, and Matt Cardin, with me as moderator. We got into the differences between religion, magic, and science, the magical systems that use religious invocations (alchemy, 17th century ritual magic, for a couple of examples) and religions that are entwined with magical concepts.



After that we went to dinner with friends, came back and hung out in the bar and the con suite with Katharine Kimbriel (alfreda89), belleps, and Sharon Shinn, who I had a really good time talking to. (We've been going to the same cons for years but never really got a chance to sit down together and hang out.) lillian13 was my minion briefly but we decided "minion" is an outdated concept and that "mitten" sounded more fun and friendly. I went to Jessica Reisman's (jess_ka) reading and her awesome story made me cry in a good way. People kept asking me what it was about and I couldn't talk about the plot because I was afraid I'd cry again.

Sunday

Sunday started out with the toilet in our room backing up, which was not fun. Nice people from the hotel came up to try to fix it, not that successfully, but they gave us a free breakfast to make up for it.


The last panel I did was "If I Knew Then What I Knew Now" with Elizabeth Moon (e_moon60), Don Webb, Chris Nakashima-Brown, with Lillian Stewart Carl as the moderator. We mostly talked about career choices that turned out to be not so good, listening to the wrong people, not looking for advice at times when it would have been very helpful, and also a bit about writing scams, etc to watch out for.


Then lunch at Pappasitos (I had a grilled Mahi tostado, nom nom nom), then said goodbye to everyone and drove home to fix the garage door opener, get the giant oak tree limb off the power line in the backyard, and then collapse.

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Hey, this is Jen. It was great meeting you, and lunch at Pappasitos was awesome! I'm glad the drive home was uneventful - although sorry that there were door opener and power line shenanigans once you got there.

Also, I spent some time googling around the internet trying to find that old post I'd read on Hobb/The Fool, but couldn't manage to pull it up. I know it's out there somewhere, though...

Hi, it was great meeting you too! That was a very fun lunch. :)

Oh, definitely drop me a note if you find that post, I'd love to read it.

Bah, just did another round of digging around for it, and got bupkus. I did come up with an interesting take on The Fool here, though.

Yes, I think I'd seen that one before. The whole thing with the Fool also being Amber was something I never quite got. I remember feeling like there was another shoe to drop with that, something that was going to explain it that I missed, somehow.

I'm really glad we got to have lunch, and sooo stoked the story worked for you--it's awfully gratifying, as I'm sure you know.

It really did, and I hope somebody wises up and buys it soon!

That and other things, certain novels...

It was great to see you there. And I wouldn't try to tell anyone what the story was about, because I don't think I really knew until that very very last line ;o)

It was great to see you too! And yes, the last line had a big impact.

The City Building panel was my favorite of the whole con. It was fascinating to think about plumbing and sanitation in these cities and how vital, while unseen, they are. Scott Lynch is a sweetie and I need to pick up his books.

I thought you did great at moderating the Religion and Mysticism panel, especially as that's one that could have gotten out of hand very easily.

I'm sorry I didn't get to say goodby to you and Troyce but perhaps I shall catch you at a future con before the next Armadillocon.

Yes, sorry we didn't get to say goodbye either! The con was still pretty busy on Sunday.

I liked it when we brought up the city in the middle of the wasteland concept, with no water, no crops, no nothing, that that really only works in the city is inhabited by Cthuloid monsters and not people.

Troyce helped me with that one, with some of the initial discussion questions. It's funny, it never occurred to me that the Religion and Mysticism panel would get out of hand, but apparently some people were worried about that. But everybody was fine and seemed to enjoy the discussion. I did think it was hilarious when it got around to Lord of the Rings and what Gandalf meant when he said such and such. It would have taken a whole other panel to hash that one out.


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