With all due apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien In Southern Ontario there lived a writer who went to cons. Not nasty dirty cons filled with the ends of badly-made, storm-trooper costumes and an oozy smell (All right they can have a smell, but I’m taking dramatic license here) nor yet a dry, bare, boring, poorly attended cons with nowhere to sit and noting to eat: they were Science fiction cons and that means geekdom.The quest began with a call from the third of our party Ira Nayman Proprietor of the Alternative reality news service,Website: http://www.lespagesauxfolles.ca/?pg34 who interestingly enough does look a little like a tall version of Thorin. I lean towards a Bilbo without the fashion sense. I leapt upon my trusty chariot, which is due for a break job, and sped, at legally acceptable speeds, of course, down the sheer face of mount escarpment to the station where the huge carrier dragons discouraged their passengers. Well, most of their passengers, one wonders about the Go Busses sometimes.Returning to Keep Needs Some Work we collected she who must be obeyed, the glorious one, the love of my life, the tolerant source of all things good, she who is likely to pelt me with wet noodles if she reads this, my wife Joy. No you may not have a visual she’s mine keep your dirty mind to yourself. Ha, some people. ;-)Biding the watch tigers farewell we sped, at legally acceptable speeds, of course, to the Days Inn at the Falls, where Eerie con 13
Web site: http://www.eeriecon.org
was held. Arriving we raced, At legally acceptable speeds, of course, into the lobby and checked in. The hotel was close enough to the Brandy wine um errr Niagara River that if one jumped off its roof and had a tail wind one could possibly land in Canada. Where one, if a citizen, would be treated for their injuries promptly without having to sell ones house to pay for it. Hands off my health care Tory scum. The small c capitalist, small s socialist brandished his Elvin blade at the spiders Harper and Harass as they bind up the heroic adventurers and hang them from the corporate money tree by threads of lies. Sorry, I’m writing this on Election Day, I may be a little feverish.Checking in went smoothly and I obtained permission to put up posters. Getting to the room meant riding the dreaded elevators of delay which seek to slowly digest their occupants after aging them into feebleness while they waited on the elevators’ arrival. These twin beasts were a bane to all made worst by the fact that half the con was on the top, eighth, floor while the other half was in the basement.Transporting needful items to the room of bad air, yes I had trouble with tobacco again. I think it was on the sheets. It’s useless to have a no smoking room if the sheets all go in a common laundry. The stench transfers. It’s also useless if smoking is permitted in the hall or any of the adjoining rooms or floors. I cracked the window registered for the con and started putting up posters. Little did I know that forces far beyond the ken of man had decided to strike. They filled my bag with the dreaded tape of un-sticking. The blooming posters kept falling down all weekend. It became a running joke. Finally the magnets of holding manage to secure a poster to a metal door and extreme amounts of tape kept the other posters in place.Then came the dealer’s room.Nicely, the con let Ira and I have two tables for the price of one so we had room to spread out. The hours from 4 to 8 pm were spent in variations of my spiel and doing some pre-promotion for Nukekubi, a modern fantasy novel, I just sold to Dark Dragon Publishing.Website: http://www.darkdragonpublishing.comThere were several other dealers’ including Golden Days of RadioWebsite: www.GDORADIO.comwho sell radio plays set on dvds He also sells erotica, something we have in common see Slaves of Love and The Hollow Curse. I swapped a copy of Tinker’s Plague for several disks. The most notable for me was the Orson Wells Broadcast of War of the Worlds. Finally, the dealer’s room closed and Joy and I went off to party. The Buffalo Time Counsel threw a shindig.Website: http://www.buffalotimecouncil.org Talk about food. Cold cuts bread buns salad veggies and chocolate cake. Joy had the cake I grazed the responsible table. Yes saintly responsible me who dined on roast beef, roast turkey, roast chicken, bred buns and salad. Of course we’ll leave off the bit that I’m allergic to milk products and couldn’t eat the cake anyway. ;-)I got to meet Larry Niven at this party but the background noise made it difficult for me to understand what he was saying. He is an astonishingly nice down to earth chap. I liked him.Then to the pool to float down stream in barrels to lake, sorry then to the pool for a dip. Nice pool, too small for me to get a workout in but a nice pool. Note: when your time for a mile in the water is just under a half hour short pools don’t cut it for a work out.Next to bed when the stench of tobacco kept me awake despite antihistamines. The Saturday saw me in the dealer’s room from 10:00 to 5:00 except for . 10a THIS IS HUGE!!!! Not many authors had works as big in print and on screen as the Rings and Harry Potter. Why did it happen? Can it happen again? Name some likely candidates and your reasons. Niven, Pantaleev, Pearl, Mod: Kaye. Larry Niven: http://www.larryniven.net Stephen B. Pearl: http://www.stephenpearl.com Marvin Kaye: http://www.marvinkaye.com This was fairly well attended Larry Niven was to my left at the Panel table. In short the message can be summed up, if anybody knew what the next huge this was going to be they’d write that and make a mint so why the heck are you asking us. J One of the audience later told me that he was quite take my view that the lust for the ring in Lord of the Rings was an allegory for addiction with golem as the burnt out junky and Frodo as the still functioning addict. It’s always a big smile for me when something like that happens. 1p READING Stephen Pearl Salon Three people attended which was three more than my last reading. I read the first chapter from my upcoming book Nukekubi and the first chapter of Tinker’s Plague. I will mention that an associate who critiqued a book for me in the Critters Writers group was at the con and attended the reading. It was really great to meet a person I worked so closely with in the flesh. Now if I’d only had the presence of mind to write down his contact information. Sorry. 3p DIVERSITY IN S-F AND COMICS Despite claims to be liberal and color-blind, the S-F business has few writers from minority groups and the comics Industry is killing off characters from human minority groups. Why are white male Liberals declaring war on minorities? Rainbow B Niven, Price, Pearl, Mod: Mak. Derwin Mak: http://www.derwinmaksf.com This was well attended by a somewhat racial mixed group. It started out as a typical oh why do they do they not include racially diverse characters bitch and wine until I had a go at giving some possible answers for why people might be a little gun shy about using ethnic characters. Things such as the changing nature of PC speak. Let me say this again. Proper English must be the safe fall back from PC. I also said that whenever anybody wrights a character of a different ethnicity than themselves they have to fake it. Now to me faking it means you research something find allegories in your own life then bring them to the page. Some of the Panel placed a different semantic interpretation on the phrase. This kind of points out another aspect and that is you can’t win. Include ethnically diverse characters and you get lam basted for not doing them right. Frankly I think the difference between growing up on a farm or growing up in the city will have more impact on how a character behaves than where their great grandfather came from. The topic got a little heated but in the end no harm was done. I think in the end the adage folk are folk and just try to ignore inconsequentialities while showing a degree of respect to all is a message audience and panelists alike could agree on. 4p PREDICTIONS What will the world look like in 2100? What will be different? What will be the same and why? Rainbow A Stephenson, Pantaleev, Martineck,Clink, Mod, Pearl This was scary. I got in a touch late and was at one end of the table. The interesting dynamic was that the people who were optimistic about the future were on the far side of the table. We realists… umm pessimists I both think that human stupidity has made a mess and will make a bigger mess. The major issue is the fact that we are running out of energy and doing very little to shift our society over to sustainable energy generation. That and the fact that human population is still escalating. If you read Tinker’s Plague you’ll get a view of what I consider one potential future. Interestingly enough no one tried to challenge my assertion that unbridled capitalism will invariably become feudalism. This brought us to the evening and the Masquerade. I once more did A Public Service Announcement. This time I won a prize. Wow! I won’t say much but if you follow this link http://www.youtube.com/user/StephenBPearl?feature=mhum You should be able to watch a video of the masquerade. After the mask Ira, Joy and I hung out around the con suit ate chicken wings and Joy had pizza as well. By my third bear I didn’t feel deprived at all. By my forth I couldn’t feel my knees, a rare and wonderful thing I might add. Bed and more time in a smelly room followed. ****Sunday Program**** 10:00 to 1:00 in the dealers room with the following exceptions. 10a I CAN’T BE LIEVE YOU SAID THAT! - How do you handle all the social networking; Facebook, Twitter, Blogs? What if someone gives you a bad review? Rainbow A Gresh, Pearl, Harlacher, Mod: Leslie Lois H. Gresh: http://www.loisgresh.com Mark Leslie: http://www.markleslie.ca This went off topic and no one minded. We really just talked about using the internet to promote yourself. My list of sites. Personal site: www.stephenpearl.com Red Room: http://www.redroom.com/member/stephenb Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com Polka Dot Banner: http://www.polkadotbanner.com Draumr Blog: http://www.draumrpublishing.com/index.php You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/StephenBPearl?feature=mhum 12n VAMPIRES They are hot now; panel discusses what the next hot theme might be, and past ones. Rainbow B Crow, Pearl, Schweitzer, Mod: Kaye.
This kept steering off topic and being dragged back on. Two of us agreed that wizards would be a good one for the next hot topic. Another possibility are the Fay.
Vampires in modern fiction are an amalgamation of mythical vampires and the incubus / succubus. Mythical Vampires are nasty walking corpses.
The modern vampire represents teenage sexual repression and are attractive because it’s the sexy older powerful being that makes no demands on the mortal in the relationship. Thus they form a transition between father and lover.
This pretty much marked the end of the con so we sped home, at legally acceptable speeds, of course. Yes it was there and back again a con goer’s tail. Now where did I put that damn ring I found? I’ll need it for Polaris 25.
Causes Stephen Pearl Supports
World Wildlife Fund, SPCA, Farley foundation, CNIB,