Off to Calgary and World Fantasy Con

I wanted to quickly chime in because bright and early tomorrow I’ll be heading to Calgary to attend my second World Fantasy Convention. I’m very excited as I’ve never been to Canada before and I really enjoyed WFC last year in Saratoga, and this year looks to be a great convention as well.

The WFC con last year was great, and not only because I was there trying to build interest for a new SF imprint I was developing at the time (which sadly didn’t pan out) but also because it is a professional convention and I’m still working my way up in this world. It seems there are so many people to meet and much to learn as I go.This convention is a great opportunity for me to see publishers, editors, writers and artists talk about their craft and experiences. I’ve met so many wonderful people over my years working in publishing and I’m glad to have finally begun attending WFC as I’ve been a lifetime reader, proponent, and book seller of fantasy fiction.

Also, I’m glad to be joining my good friend Peter Brett in this endeavor, as he is scheduled to have his first public reading at WFC, from his forthcoming book, The Warded Man (I might have mentioned it on this blog once or twice).

I plan to attempt some mobile blogging from the road, but we’ll see how all of that goes. I’ll report in personal highlights and tidbits of news as best I can. Please note that a large portion of this convention is experienced at the hotel bar talking shop and attempting to hold your own. I’ll do my best.

I look very much forward to finally visiting the homeland of Wolverine. And on that last note, the only book I plan to bring with me is a new copy of a collection I've been dying to read: WASTELANDS: Stories of the Apocalypse, edited by John Joseph Adams, whom I hope to meet while at WFC.

I'll be sure to post a review of the collection here, when I finish it up. As many of my close friends know I've got post-apocalyptic stories on my mind. Until next time!


three guys attend Comic Book Club

I attended my first Comic Book Club: Live! show last night along with fellow deviants, Matt Bergin, good friend, publishing professional, and Indy co-creator of the Division 18 comic. That's him in the foreground as Pete and I sadly try to find the address.

Also, Pete Brett, my good buddy, and exciting new fantasy author with his debut novel hitting stores this March: The Warded Man (from Del Rey Books). The book is already out in the UK entitled, The Painted Man, and it's already a best-seller. Here's a photo of Pete with the UK edition (published overseas by the Voyager imprint at Harper Collins).

We've been meeting for years at Midtown Comics, where we buy our weekly comics, talk shop over lunch, and we figured it was finally time to check out this cool little show.

Comic Book Club is a live comic book talk show, hosted by a couple of comics fans: Justin Tyler and Alexander Zalben (as well as Pete Lepage - currently away on his honeymoon. Yes, comic book fans can actually find love and get married).

The show is held weekly, every Tuesday night at the People's Improv Theater on 29th street, a.k.a. The PIT (note the subtle G.I. Joe reference).

Last night's featured guests were the two people behind the exciting new comics magazine, the COMIC FOUNDRY, and that's Laura Hudson (senior editor and the main writer of the mag) and Tim Leong (creator, art director and Editor-in-Chief). Issue #4, the political issue, just arrived in comic shops everywhere this week, be sure to pick up a copy. [that's me with my free copy from the show]

Gratuitously shameless self-promoting note: I have written a small piece which appeared in CF issue #3, and I'm working on one for CF issue #5 due out at the end of the year, oh yeah!

Laura and Tim were great guests, explaining how they wanted to create a new magazine to appeal to comics readers across the board. Readers who like to cross genres, and read everything from indy books to manga to superhero fare.

In essence, someone just like me, who grew up reading superhero books, and will always have a place for them, but also someone who found there are other great indy books out there, like Optic Nerve which I discovered while in college, and added, over time, to my regular reading of Marvel, DC and Dark Horse comics.

I agree that they've created a special comics magazine and that is why I wanted very badly to work with them on it, as I think it speaks to a large audience and treats interest in comics as a lifestyle which it is to me.

The Comic Book Club guys were funny, good interviewers, and put on a good show. I would have liked a bit more participation from the audience, more like a panel at a convention. There was an opportunity before the show to write questions down for the guests, but I feel a show like that is fluid, and on the spot questions might have worked to better effect.

Overall, it was a good time, and I'll be paying attention to their guest list for future shows. Plus - you can't beat the cheap $5 ticket cost for this fun show.


Back in the saddle

I enjoyed my weekend in Albany attending this year's Albacon but now I am back at home, at my desk, and hard at work editing a book for the good folks at Casemate. It seemed like serendipity that although I was in Albany to geek out on panels and discussions about science fiction and fantasy, I also walked through town and saw many sights and plaques dedicated to events from the time of the Revolutionary War which is related to the project I'm working on at this moment.

My partner-in-crime, Peter Brett, [red hot new fantasy author], participated in many panels at the convention, and it was fun for me to participate as part of the sometimes intimate crowd. We made the best of the show and met some really nice and interesting people along the way, some of whom I may write about here once I get their "ok". We also attended the con's "Ice Cream Social" as anyone who knows me knows I can't pass up free ice cream [and being social].

Aside from our adventures into some questionable neighborhoods while looking for a place to eat, we honestly spent most of the time in the Crown Plaza bar, sometimes eating, usually drinking and often waxing philosophical on all things book related.


Hitting the road

I'm just about ready to head out to my first Albacon, a regional SF&F convention. October is the best time to do any kind of road trip as the foliage will be beautiful and I'll be attending with my trusty partner-in-crime, Peter V. Brett.

Pete will be participating in his first panels as an author and I'm very excited to support him as he takes this next step in career as a fantasy author. Check out his blog here for updates on the con and his experience as panelist.

I'll also attempt to capture some of the convention experience from the point of view of an editor on the prowl. Stay tuned.


Attended WHAT A MAN SHOULD KNOW reading by Max Blagg at STRAND

I received an invite via email, sponsored by J.Crew’s new ‘The Liquor Store’ in Tribeca, for a reading by Max Blagg from his new book, What a Man Should Know – a J.Crew book.

The reading took place on the third floor of the STRAND bookstore on Broadway, a perfect locale; I couldn’t have picked a better place myself. This amazing room was filled with first editions, signed editions and had an old world aura that brought me back to another literary time…if only for a while.

Our illustrious J.Crew hosts served up free drinks and I was ecstatic to sample a Dark and Stormy, which I had recently been introduced to while on vacation in the Catskills with my wife recently. Perfect. All I needed was a cigar from Hemmingway, and to talk about big game hunting.

There were also charming appetizers and miniature mugs of beer to sample like the one in the picture below. And best of all, there were copies of the new book, for free, compliments of the illustrious hosts.

The author, a transplant from England to New York in the 1970s has been part of the NYC literary and arts scene for years. He read segments of the new book along with hilarious segments of another book he is working on, charming the crowd. He also graciously signed my copy and was quite appreciative in our quick exchange. A real gent.

His book contains little statements about what a [gentle]man should know, like how to tie a neck tie, how to fish properly, and of course how to talk to a woman. The book is available at the Tribeca J.Crew shop and as well as online.

The charming little book also contains complimentary black & white illustrations by British artist Hugo Guinness. They had a few samples blown up, decorating the room.

This was quite a nice event. Much nicer in fact than things I am used to. I felt well out of my league surrounded by both the literary elite and those from the fashion world whom were invited.

Alas, I was polite, I drank my drink, and then I was off. Now of course I can’t wait to get down to the new store in Tribeca and check it out.

DEAR CYBORGS by Eugene Lim, a little review

I had read a great little article on LitHub.com about this new novel from Eugene Lim and went to seek it out. Soon after I had acquired...