Friday, October 31, 2008

WFC 2008: Day Two -- It's Elementary

I sit here, laxing out until the autograph session later tonight. It was definitely a busy afternoon.

Panel: Tom Doherty Interview (Tom Doherty, David Hartwell)

The founder of Tor talked about his early experiences in the publishing business ... right up to about the founding of the company, in fact, with a brief touch upon some upcoming Tor works that he thought were exciting. The man is hilarious, truly, and what a convoluted road! He also cited a major problem with the current book business in that we used to have hundreds of small wholesale distributors with drivers who knew the area and had some idea of the demographic. Now with everything being nationalized, it's impossible to know what to sell to where. It's a problem being worked on, but not fixed yet.

Panel: Side-Kicks Who Try To Steal The Show (Dave Duncan, J.R. Campbell, Charles Prepolec, Barbara Roden (moderator))

Oh, there were some grins and giggles here - but also some genuinely interesting observations about the sidekick as the reader stand-in, protagonist mirror, unruly takeovers ...

Panel: Is Fantasy An Inherently Violent Genre? (David Morrell, Stephen R. Donaldson (no show), David Drake, Scott Lynch (moderator, no show))

Difficult to say how this panel would have gone if it had been more than half populated. A lot of talk about real world violence instead, specifically as relates to Vietman. I did take away a few valuable points, but felt kind of uncomfortable with the whole thing.

Panel: Medieval Mysteries (Barbara Hambly, Patricia McKillip, Irene Radford, David Keck (moderator))

A really interesting panel, despite the fact that I'm not sure there was enough communication between the program directors and the authors to know why they were on it. (I put that on the program folks, not the authors, but I'm sure they were juggling a ton.) Covered a variety of topics, some related, some a little tangential.

I must read some of David Keck's stuff. The man is hilarious. I was also interested enough in what Barbara Hambly had to say that I am willing to give her works another try. (The last book I read - ironically, picked up at a prior World Fantasy Convention - did not leave me with a favorable impression.)

That completes the panel part of today. I went out after to find takeout food, walked down the wrong way, ended up in the Calgary Tower which was NOT a shopping mall (... well!) and finally backtracked to a Quiznos. Sort of luckily, another conference member happened in and we walked back to the hotel together, 'cause it was starting to get ... weird ... on the streets of Calgary. Did not know Quiznos had flatbread pizzas! Sort of disappointing, though.

Also got my hands on pineapple juice. Well, apple-pineapple juice, anyhow.

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