These are some of the things C. Flynt has been up to, some of our personal lives, some reviews of things we've read, some stuff we've learned.

The blogs are organized by date.

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I attended Detcon1, the NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Conference) held in Detroit July 17-20, 2014. This is the first of a series of blog entries about the experience.

This was one of the most enjoyable and busiest conventions I've attended in almost forty years of conventioning. Tammy Coxen, ConChair and Kim Kofmel, Programming Division Head and Literature Track Head, both did a grand job. I've never attended so many panels and enjoyed all of them.

This was my first time going to a Con as a fiction author, instead of as a Joe Phan or filker. Mind you, my (current and first) novel is self-pubbed and I just put my grubby paws on real hardcopy the day before the con, but it made a big change in how I viewed the con.

I didn't hit the "Meet-The-Pros" party, or SFWA or anything like that, but I did hit several writing (both the craft and business of writing) panels, talked with other newbie and wannabe writers, picked up some books, and barely had time to chat with long-time friends.

A few highlights included:

  • The "FAANS" presentation. I heard some of the history behind Larry Tucker's making the videotape movie back in the early '80s. I'd actually seen it being made at a few of the conventions where scenes were shot, but never watched the production. It was a very ambitious project for 1983. I didn't realize how many of my friends from way-back-then were featured in various scenes.

  • Off The Beaten Path Books hosted an informal pajama party author's reading. This was a fun idea, even though nobody used the pillows and blankies. Emmy Jackson read a hilarious opening chapter about a couple good-ol-boys getting attacked by a crazed squirrel. I didn't remember the title, but it reminded me of the comment made in the Humor panel that you cannot waste a single line in a humorous story. There were no wasted lines in this one.

    Patty Templeton read a chapter from her book There Is No Lovely End. This is a fictional history about the medium who told the Winchester heir that she needed to build a mansion with enough rooms to hold all the people who had died from of Winchester guns. The story of a room for all the dead is one of the legends surrounding the Winchester Mansion. The story about the medium is purely Patty's invention.

    Patty's story-voice is marvelous. The characters are just plain not nice people, and her word choices and phrases are absolutely perfect for these ill-educated, scurrilous knaves.

    I saw Patty at several of the other events and eventually got a chance to buy her book. I'm about fifty pages in and enjoying it.

    Meanwhile, back at the pajama party, I was a little nervous when I came into the room. I didn't know any of the six or eight people present, who all seemed to know one another. But, when there was a pause, I asked if newcomers could read, and was welcomed warmly. I read the first chapter from Promised Rewards and everyone survived my reading and even laughed at the right places, so I'll call that a success.

  • This being Detroit and Science Fiction, there had to be a discussion of the Flying Car (and why we aren't using them). Bill Higgins brought many images of the various designs that never flew, and a few that actually did.

    The AeroCar was a flying car that even sold four (four!) vehicles, one of which was used in the New Bob Cummings TV show back in the '60s.

  • I ran into John Benson early in the day on Friday and saw the sketches of a proposed cover for Promised Rewards. The cover art he's making is a medieval woodcut-style rendering of Sigurd fighting with the horse (Midnight) while Bard and assorted maidens watch in amusement.

    I got the cover I designed critiqued by an artist friend of John's who's name I unfortnately promptly forgot. It was a good, detailed critique of things that need changing with the text layout.

    I never realized I knew so little.

  • Detcon was the most diverse SF con I've attended. It drove home the idea that Science Fiction and Conventions are no longer dominated by white, male geeks. There were several panels devoted to fannish diversity, and a lot of diversity that wasn't so in-your-face, it just was.

    One of my book purchases was Genesis, an anthology put out by The Black Science Fiction Society.

    A friend of mine used to complain about being the only black at a con. He should have been at Detcon.