RavenCon, and know who you’re talking to

                RavenCon concluded.  It was an incredibly chaotic weekend, with ups and downs.  While the weekend didn’t go even close to how I think anyone imagined it, I will say unequivocally, it was a net-positive experience.  The Geek Debates were an especial highlight but the con as a whole was a damn-fine weekend.  Definitely a con to keep tabs on and attend if you ever get the chance.

                For me, it was a bit of a home-coming.  I got to see some dear friends I haven’t seen in ages, and also the chance to simply be at a literary convention.  Literary cons are quite different from anime/comic book/video game conventions that have been my world of late.  Not only do the attendees tend to skew a bit older, but they also tend to skew a bit more rowdy.  Sure, tweens at an anime con might take over a hallway just lounging around but forty-somethings at a literary con are going to have a sing-a-long.  You haven’t lived until you’ve been present for a hallway full of librarians and professors singing Never Gonna Give You Up in the original Sindarin.  But I digress.

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The Tyranny of Fine Art

It probably comes as no surprise that I’m not the biggest fan of high art.

Oh, I like the good stuff, make no mistake.  Whether you are talking about Mozart or Rembrandt, I get the appeal.  I see it, hear it, appreciate it.  But I don’t consider high art to be all that.  And while I am well aware of the dangers and abuses of it, I think commercial at is vastly underrated. Continue reading “The Tyranny of Fine Art”

RavenCon 2018 Schedule

The official RVA schedule for RavenCon!
1pm – Ask a Scientist: Kids’ Edition
5pm – Geek Debates
10pm – Ask a (Mad) Scientist
11pm – Worlds of RVA: Rhest, RocKaiju, and Proton
11am – Steapunk is not Dead
All weekend, of course, there will be the table where copies of Proton, Rhest for the Wicked, Samifel, the 2017 Short Story Anthology, and RocKaiju (soft and hardback) will be available!

Marbles & Ready Player One

This past Sunday, I spoke at Marbles Museum here in Raleigh.  It was in conjunction with a showing of the new movie Ready Player One and it was in tandem with the esteemed Dr Cashman.  We were both speaking about the themes in Ready Player One, a tale about a young hero raised on 1980s culture who has to fight to save his world.

Dr Cashman spoke about 1980s art and culture and what helped to make it so unique (and did a wonderful job, especially the Name-That-Tune sequence).  From there, I dove into discussing just why corporate art exploded in the 1980s and how it helped to transform the world, but in very unexpected ways.

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Con Job

Attending conventions as a guest is a very different experience from attending them recreationally.  That probably comes as no surprise, but some fans seemed shocked by the amount of work that goes into working a convention.  Work, and expense.

I’ve been doing conventions since 2002 (the first MAGFest, as I will tell anyone who will listen).  In the intervening sixteen years, I’ve truly lost count of the number of conventions I’ve done.  I have my staples (MAGFest, Anime Mid-Atlantic, Katsucon in more recent years), but I’ve also done some one-time appearances at places like Otacon and WorldCon.  I have yet to make it to DragonCon but it’s on the to-do list.  Given what I have heard about working DragonCon, I must confess it isn’t a priority. Continue reading “Con Job”