I have total con brain but I will do my best to make this sound coherent. Starting from the end, Sunday afternoon my final panel was Private Space Development. With two NASA employees on the panel we had a far-ranging discussion of the commercialization of space travel, including the recently announced plans for asteroid mining (which I blogged about for the day job over here) and the proposed Mars colony reality show. One of the items under discussion was for a translunar trip with space tourists aboard. Awesome, right? But probably the future of space travel is not in tourism — too expensive, and all it would take is for one disaster a la Columbia or Challenger to put the kibosh on that. As Bill Frank pointed out, rockets try to blow you up. It’s what they do. And an explosion isn’t even the worst of it — a simple miscalculation and we have space tourists who, instead of going to the moon and circling around and coming home, end up on the wrong trajectory and sail endlessly out into the void…

It was fun stuff!

Earlier was the panel on book covers. John Picacio and Julie Dillon as well as Nightshade editor Jeremy Lassen, myself, and Rhiannon Frater discussed the future of book covers, the importance of a good book cover, and the marketing aspects of cover design. Rhiannon Frater has some fantastic covers on her books; you should check them out.

On Saturday I moderated a fun panel on SF/F mysteries. Listen, when you have Scott Cupp on a panel as well as Martha Wells, you have it covered. They both have a wealth of knowledge on mysteries, the history of the genre, examples of books that have successfully cross genres, and more.

I did my signing and my reading, went to the Broad Universe rapid fire reading (a great way to get a sample of a large number of writers), and got to hear a variety of other authors, including Matthew Bey, Aaron de Orive, and Kathy Kimbriel.

In the con suite — ah, the con suite! — there were many excellent and varied discussions including today’s on race and empire in Dungeons & Dragons, the unconscious assumptions of race especially, and more.

So I am home, exhausted, and exhilarated. The home con is always so much fun.


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