Armadillocon was quite fun — kudos to all the organizers! What a weekend. Scott Lynch, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora, was guest of honor, and it was just fantastic to meet him. Joan D. Vinge and James Frenkel were there — talk about the lions of the SF community. And of course all the usual suspects — er, stalwarts, of Armadillocon, including Joe Lansdale, Scott Cupp (toastmaster), Bill Crider, and the rest.

I. Am. Exhausted. I need to get this wrap up out of the way, because otherwise it will all just blur into a haze of con — I almost said, con-dom. Heh.

I was on the promotion panel, moderated by Elizabeth Moon, and we shared ideas with the audience about how we go about publicizing ourselves and our work. Then I asked the audience what makes them buy books, and they said, appearances such as ours, the cover, the back of the cover copy, and word of mouth by friends. So while we should all have websites and blogs, what makes a novel sell is what we have very little control over. Except for appearances, and we can’t be everywhere. So if you like a book, any book, help an author out and tell all your friends.

Other panels included the research panel, the worldbuilding/history panel, and villains. On the history panel, Ann Aguirre pointed out that the author’s web site has taken the place of all the maps and appendices that used to appear in the book but now are too expensive to reproduce. Whereupon Sharon Shinn said, “The website is the new Silmarillion.” Exactly. You will start seeing some changes on this website to reflect that wisdom.

The villain panel included Joan Vinge and was moderated by Mario Acevedo who is just a cool, funny person. We ranged all over the map on creating villains and protagonists, and had lots of fun.

I met fans and signed books, and let me interject to the young lady who is going to look for a gordath in New Braunfels — please be careful. I mean, have fun and all, but please be careful. But by all means, let me know if you find it!

The writer’s workshop is probably the best deal in town. If you are seriously wanting to be a writer, find a good workshop. Try to find people who are better than you are to workshop with. And if you can’t find one near you, seriously think about coming to Austin for next year’s Armadillocon. Stina Leicht and Melissa Tyler run a very good workshop. I enjoyed all the stories in my group (co-taught with Sharon Shinn). We were very impressed with the quality of the work.

I went to many readings, including those of Martha Wells, Adrian Simmons, and Matthew Bey, but missed Jessica Reisman whose story made Martha cry and therefore must be picked up by an editor ASAP. I know what is going to happen on Scott Lynch’s website before any of you do (unless you were at his reading) and I know what happens next in the third book of the series HAHAHAHAHA!!!

OMG you guys, the parties. I stayed up way past my bedtime Saturday night (making up for a shameful Friday night in which I was in bed by 10 pm because of the early start for the workshop). Space Squid, Texas 2013, and all the other party hosts, you guys did great. It was fun. And to Chris Roberson and John Picacio, Mikal Trimm (the official nemesis of Space Squid), J.K. Cheney, Nancy Hightower, Kimberly Frost (dude! Kimberly Frost is an ER doctor!) and everyone else who I am forgetting because it’s been a long weekend — thank you.

Best. Armadillocon. Ever.


Gwen · August 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm

We just got back from Armadillocon too! It was our first visit and we had a great time. The parties were my favorite too, and I’m glad I had a chance to mingle with all the great writers and fans.

Fun recap and can’t wait for next year either!


Jen · August 17, 2009 at 9:02 am

Hi! This is Jen – it was great getting a chance to meet you at ArmadilloCon this weekend (and I’m glad Martha found you before she drove home)!

Bethe Bugbee · August 17, 2009 at 11:47 am

I so wanted to go to Scott Lynch’s reading, but we needed to get on the road. Was it well attended? It seemed curious to me that they chose to leave it until so late on Sunday. I can understand them hoping a GOH reading on Sunday afternoon would entice people to stay until the very end of the con, but many of us leave early Sunday from necessity, not choice. Oh well. We still had a fantastic time and I’m already looking forward to next year.

Patrice Sarath · August 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Hi everyone — it was great meeting you all.

Bethe, it was pretty well attended. They put him in a smaller room, but gave him as much time as he wanted. I left at the end of the hour but he was still going strong, chatting with people. I think the plan was, he got to stay til the hotel kicked them all out, but they needed the big Phoenix room right at 5, hence the small room. I don’t know why they left him til last though. And I agree — usually I am long gone by that time, but I stuck it out.

J. Kathleen Cheney · August 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm

It was great seeing you, too! I agree that this was the best one ever. ;o)

Oh, and thank you for the books. I’ll treasure them always.. ;o)

Patrice Sarath · August 17, 2009 at 9:07 pm

HAH! Oh, I expect those books to make the rounds.

J. Kathleen Cheney · August 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm

OK, so maybe not always…

Bethe Bugbee · August 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Would these be the Viking/SEALS books? I finally bought one, but am only in chapter one. I guess that’s proof that I stayed up too late over the weekend – not having enough brain power left at night to make it through a full chapter in one of those books. (Though if anyone asks, I’m blaming my lack of sleep this week on dealing with the kids from Sunday afternoon on. Always blame it on the kids, right? Isn’t that why I had them, so that I could blame them for my lack of wakefullness?)

Patrice Sarath · August 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Oh no! Bethe, you didn’t buy one!?

Yeah, these are the Vikings/SEALS books. My biggest complaint about them is that I had expected something far different. I want to go on record as saying that I have nothing against romance, I love romance (hah!), I write and read romance. The romance genre is my boyfriend. But. These books. Yikes. The author has a huge following, and again, it’s a matter of taste, but I really don’t think that even with as much sex as a Navy SEAL is likely to get (and it probably is more than the average guy), he’s not gonna know — or care — that much about a woman’s G spot. He just isn’t. Also, the sex scenes were ooky. Not romantic at all, and Jeannette had some other important concerns about them.

Bethe Bugbee · August 19, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Yes – I bought one. This falls under one of those unofficial jobs I have at the office – finding semi-trashy/semi-mindless (or sometimes totally mindless) books for my co-workers to read. So far the biggest success has been the In Death books. At one point six or seven or us were reading them. We’d sit around the table at lunch each with a different book in the series(though they all had the same photo on the back and no text to tell you what it was about) eating silently and turning pages. One of our male co-workers would walk in, shake his head and walk out again. That lasted for several weeks.

Patrice Sarath · August 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm

okay, that is very funny.

The Spider · August 20, 2009 at 8:08 am

Please, could we get more details on that reading by Scott Lynch? Please, I’m dying to know.

Patrice Sarath · August 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm

One word: Sabitha.

J. Kathleen Cheney · August 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm

…Also, the sex scenes were ooky…

Yeah, the one outside the bar in the parking lot, on the hood of his car….where he has her take off all her clothes, but then put her high heels back on….


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