Friday, October 28, 2011

World Fantasy Convention: Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of the World Fantasy Convention.  To be honest, I didn't have too much con stuff to do, but I figured I'd tell you about it anyway.

I arrived at San Diego yesterday around 1 pm, and immediately made my way to the hotel, the Town and Country Resort, where the World Fantasy Convention is being held this year.  Kristin had already flown out the day before to spend some time with her Clarion West class.  I arrived at about 1:45 pm, only to be told that the room wouldn't be ready until 3 pm, so I went and registered for the convention and got lunch before I could check in.  This might have been a mistake.  As part of registration, I picked up my "book bag"--a big bag of free books every participant gets.  It's about twenty pounds of books that is not a lot of fun to carry around.  (I've since gone through the books, and separated the books I'm interested in reading from the ones I'm not, so it's now a more manageable weight.)  Once I was able to check into the hotel room, I settled in to wait for Kristin.

Kristin arrived around five, and after some time together, we went to get dinner, and finally to the main event of the con, at least as far as we were concerned: Kristin's first ever con panel: "Magic and Metaphysics."  The main idea being, "How do you design a believable magic system?  Why is it important?"  Kristin's already written about it, but it was fun to see her talk it out with some other big name authors: Ted Chiang, Mark Teppo, and Peter Orullian.  Of course, the panel, like most con panels, tended to stray off topic, mostly discussing whether there really is any such thing as magic, and when they did get asked the question I was really interested in, they didn't seem to understand it.  The question, as it was asked, was "Is it more important to define the magic system when it is the protagonists using magic?"  The way I would have phrased it would have been: "How do you use a defined magic system in order to show the reader what the limits of your characters are, so it's clear what situations and conflicts are actually a challenge?"  There's more to the question, of course, but I hate it when people asking questions of panels talk and talk rather than just asking a question.  Instead of addressing the question, the panel (and the audience) talked about quantum physics, in ways that made me, with my Ph.D. in quantum computation, cringe from time to time.

Kristin was much better than the others at staying on topic, by the way.  But you could tell that she was jet-lagged.  So afterward, we went to bed.

So, really, we didn't do much con-related stuff yesterday.  Hopefully there'll be more con stuff to report after today.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I moderate comments on posts more than a week old. Your comment will appear immediately on new posts, or as soon as I get a chance to review it for older posts.