It seems like just yesterday that I returned from the San Diego Comicon, but in less than a week I will be on the road again... first down to Albuquerque for our annual local NM sf con, Bubonicon, and then off to the red wilds of Texas for LoneStarCon 3, the world science fiction convention, this year being held in San Antonio. [There are links to both of these cons on the appearances page of my website, for those who'd like more details].
Here's the schedule of my public events and appearances for each con:
Friday Aug 23 7:30 pm READING
Saturday Aug 24 12:00 noon Dark Fantasy discussion, w/ Tim Powers
5:20 pm mass autographing
Thursday Aug 29 4:00pm signing
Friday Aug 30 5:00pm READING
Saturday Aug 31 4:00pm Howard & George Show, w/ Howard Waldrop
Sunday Sept 1 8:00pm HUGO AWARDS
Monday Sept 2 11:00am signing
Some will observe that this schedule looks light. Hoo hah. These are only my public events. What's not showing here are all the parties, lunches, parties, breakfasts, parties, dinners, business meetings, and... did I mention the parties? The parties are the heart of any good con, and I expect to be at several. I am, alas, not the party animal I was twenty years ago, but I still love hanging with others writers, and my fellow fans. And yes, I still consider myself a fan.
I have been going to SF cons since 1971 (and comic cons since 1964). Some are better than others, mind you, and I've seen a lot of changes over my years... some of which are cool, others that I really hate, but cons are still are important part of my life. Especially worldcon. I've said this a hundred times, but let me say it once more -- bookstore signings are great if all you want is to get your book signed, but if you really want to meet me (or any of the other SF or fantasy writers whose work you have enjoyed), hang, talk, flirt, drunkenly debate the state of the field or the nature of the universe, you need to come to a convention.
Speaking of signing, though... if you look at the schedule above, you'll see that I've got an autographing at Bubonicon (the mass signing, a truly terrific concept, where all the writers at the con are available to sign in the same room at the same time, a collector's nirvana), and two dealer's room signing for LoneStarCon. If you want your books defaced with my illegible scrawl, you should try to get yourself to one of those. I am not going to be signing in the hallways, before or after panels, while eating dinner (or lunch, or breakfast), and I am REALLY not going to be signing books at parties. Parties for partying, not autographing. It is a major lapse of con etiquette to ask me (or any other writer) to sign your books at a party. The only worse no-no is is thrusting a manuscript or screenplay -- or these days, a self-published book -- into my hand for me to read and/or blurb. So don't. Please.
The big excitement at any worldcon is, of course, the Hugo Awards, the oldest major honor in our field, and still the most important. (I hope you all nominated. I hope you all voted). GAME OF THRONES is up this year in the "Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form" category, for the season two episode "Blackwater," which I scripted. Last year we won in "Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form," but this year the competition is fierce, since we're up against an episode of FRINGE and three, count 'em THREE, episodes of DOCTOR WHO. The Doctor has pretty much owned the Short Form category ever since it was created, and it remains to be seen if we can prevail against three Doctors at once. I'd rate us as underdogs, but we shall see. If we do somehow prevail over the Doctor, his companions, and all those legions of Daleks, Time Lords, and Whoovians, however, I will have some terrific help in accepting the award. HBO is flying in our very own Hound, Rory McCann, to accept the award on behalf of Dan and David and the rest of the cast and crew (all of whom are very busy at the moment filming season four), should we win. Parris has been been trying to convince him to wear his kilt to the awards ceremony. Come to the Hugos and find out if she's been successful.
(And if we lose, feel free to buy me a drink afterward and tell me 'you wuz robbed.' You'll need to find me at the secret chili party first, though, drowning my sorrows in a bowl of Keith Kato's hottest red).