Monday, March 28, 2016

FanX 2016 Recap

I had a lot of fun this last weekend at the jr. spring version of Salt Lake Comic Con = FanX

They cap it at 50k people instead of the 150K for Septembers SLCC. Ina lot of ways this can be nicer, the crowds arent wall to wall and you can have more interactions etc.

I was on several panels that a couple writing tracks and some fan oriented ones about Tolkien and Lovecraft.

This top pic is from the I've written a book - Now What? With me, my friend Dave Butler, Richard Paul Evans and a romance writer,  an agent, and an acquisitions editor. It was fun, there was almost an argument between pro-self-publishing Richard Paul Evans and the agent, but sadly it didn't quite get that far. ;)
Before that I was on another panel about Pantsing and Plotting and it was funny how all of the writers you see pictured below started pantsing and have been gradually moving to plotting.

I got to meet quite a few people just running around, these are the guys from the ongoing fantasy movie series Mythica. Adam Johnson (the one on my right) has been a friend of my wife for years and if we go back far enough is partially responsible for Melissa and I getting together.

I really liked this version of Goser the Goserian.

AZPowergirl, I enjoyed talking to her all three days. She is funny and I love that she is running for the AZ House of Representatives.
I chatted with Stewart Petersen a few moments (this was his first Comic Con) I take it you all have seen Where the Red Fern Grows among others.

This is an up and coming actress/producer friend of mine Wren Barnes. I didn't realize I was making a gif at the time.
I thought this was one of the best cosplay's I saw at the whole con an Alien family.

Rising cosplay star Joanie Brosas in an incognito moment
 My sons in the Green Room, I'm not sure they understand the exclusivity yet that they are privileged with.

This Black Cat requested my son pose with her - he made his own Anti-Venom costume - he was the only Anti-Venom I saw at the con.

And finally I'll share one of my darkest moments. The Space Balrogs do a Choose Your Own Apocalypse audience participation comedy game at most cons we got to (Emerald City next month!) and this one was based on the TV show Supernatural - I was at a loss considering I've never watched it so I did my best to fake it as Death one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. I did pretty good but ultimately Craig Nybo won as Crowley. And as usual I think Jason is the funniest - here is a six-minute highlight.

All in all it was good, made some new friends and had a good time with old ones. Sold a few books and met  some great fans. Looking forward to the next one!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

FANX 2016!

I'm pumped for this one the Fan Xperience - the spring version of Salt Lake Comic Con! I'm on five panels (as of yesterday) it was still 3 on Monday.

Here is the schedule.

My first panel at 1:00 pm today is a writing track on Pantsing vs Plotting.

I've always been a pantsing guy, but recently I have worked with outlines a bit more and I would have to admit it has made me faster.

At 5:00 pm today, I'll be a part of the Choose Your Own Apocalypse, audience participation game. Supernatural edition. I may be a t a loss here since I've never watched the show, but I did school myself on it a bit last night.

Friday, I have another writers track at 10:00 am on How we (or you) get published - again it will be with writer friends of mine and I think I have some interesting bits to add to the discussion so it will
be fun.

Saturday will be my favorite panels. At Noon, I'll be on a All Things Tolkien panel and then the last panel of the night at 8:00 pm is the Lovecraft: Not Meant to Voyage Far panel.

I've also got a booth with friends (the Space Balrogs) and I think its gotta be in the most prime con real estate we've ever had. Right in the center beside a main thoroughfare = Green 16.

I'll post some pics to Twitter, Facebook and such but will do a recap blog post soon too.

Oh and I almost forgot, the latest issue #10 of Utah Geek will be release there too and I must say I think omy ongoing fantasy serial is just getting better with each issue - this time its "The Hammer of Witches"! and I love this cover! I forget who the artist is, but I was told its the Guest of Honor artist at World Horror Con that I'll be at the end of next month.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Well I'll Be a Son of a Black Sword!

Son of the Black Sword, by Larry Correia

I had opportunity to talk with Larry about fantasy at Fantasycon/Westercon a good year and a half ago. I heard a few hints at what he was planning for this but I still had no idea.
 I even read the short story of his that opens the Shattered Shields anthology and still feel like I had no idea to the extent of world-building and great backstory he has going on in SotBS.

It opens with Ashok Vadal hunting down a demon on the coast, now these aren't inter-dimensional beings such as we might picture from legend or magical ceremonies, these are beings that fell from the heavens, were banished to the sea but return to raid the dry-landers every now and again and are they ever bad! Their very skin will cut you open like a shark but worse.
Very few men can stand up to these worst of monsters and of the Order of Protectors, Ashok is the best.
A champion of Law and order, Ashok thinks he knows his place in the world but when more is revealed to him, a complicated conspiracy takes root and he becomes a hunted man.

This is the beginning of a new series, this doesn't pull punches and the action moves. As much as I have enjoyed the Monster Hunter series I am looking forward to more of this one.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Valcoria and then some...

Valcoria by Jason King

I've had my copy since Tree City ComicCon - that was October of 2014 and I finally got around to reading it. In part because of something else I'll tell you all about in a few.

But I apologize or my reading/review pile being kept up with so terribly. Jason is a friend of mine and I never meant to take so long getting to it but life...

Valcoria is an epic fantasy world that is strangely enough devoid of a lot of the tropes we expect with epic fantasy and that helps make it so interesting. Instead of rampant magic and monsters we have a mysticism that is finding its way back into the world as old legends are found to have truths worming their way to the surface. Buried ancient forgotten technology is coming back with horrific consequences.

King weaves great characters together across the countryside and we get to see a lot of that epic side of fantasy wherein the plots and struggles are told from various sides. Kings prose and pace is exciting and fun.

I liked that King has so many cinematic type scenes and we feel for different characters in different ways: You have the noble hero Sitrell, the coward Yuiv, the honorable solider Jalek, and the conniving villain Rayome and even the duty-bound princess Ashra - yet all in fresh new lighting. This is a great take on epic fantasy that is quite a bit different from King's other series (which I also greatly enjoyed the Lure of Fools)
I am reminded of the old Indian tales of great technology in the distant past like Vimana's and the like (stuff that gets referenced on Ancient Aliens a lot) The technological aspect along with the mysticism brings new flavor to this fantasy.

Highly recommended.

Now about that other news: Valcoria 2 is being written and polished right now and among the projects King has going, there is going to be an anthology of fantasy stories bridging books 1 and 2.
I am contributing a tale and thusly had to hurry up and read. Most of the Space Balrogs (my writing guild) will have new tales set within the Valcoria world and right now I am in the process of finishing up my own pulpy offering. I haven't settled on a title yet but the premise, while still fantasy, is very detective noir. I'm quite enjoying it. Hopefully it will be published by the end of the year.

Get Valcoria  here