Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Norwescon 33

I'll be on several panels at Norwescon 33 this weekend. I'll be sitting in on several panels, plus doing a couple writer's critiques. In my spare time, I hope to attend a few talks by Vernor Vinge, Cory Doctorow, and John Cramer.

Norwescon is "the Northwest’s Premiere Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention; Norwescon is one of the largest regional Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions in the United States. While maintaining a primarily literary focus, Norwescon is large enough to provide a venue for many of the other aspects of Science Fiction and Fantasy and the interests of its fans such as anime, costuming, art, gaming, and much, much more."

My schedule will be thus:

Friday, Noon, Evergreen 2
Build a Better Adventure
What makes a good adventure? One that players can't wait to continue; that they spend their off-time thinking about and planning for until they play again? Join our gaming panelists in a discussion of how to design better adventures Erik Mona (M), Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, James Jacobs
1 PM writing critique
3 PM Friday, Evergreen 2
What is D&D?
D&D has been through a number of editions, each of which has changed the rules and the core setting around it. In the past few years, games like Pathfinder, Castles and Crusades, and Swords & Wizardry have emerged from the OGL to offer their take on traditional, D&D fantasy gaming. What is the core of D&D; and what allows it to remain so popular despite the rise of digital games? Wolfgang Baur (M), Jason Bulmahn, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Pramas
Saturday 11 AM, Cascade 8
Forgotten Realms: Past, Present, Future
Since 1987, this campaign setting has grown and developed, generating over two hundred novels, dozens of computer RPGs, and a host of adventures and gaming supplements. Join our distinguished group of gaming professionals as they discuss the Forgotten Realms and their parts in developing it. Jeff Grubb (M), Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell
1 PM Saturday, Evergreen 3 & 4 Autograph Session #2
2 PM writer's critique
3 PM Interview with Vernor Vinge Saturday, 3 p.m. Evergreen 2
4 PM Saturday, John Cramer talks on, "Quantum Entanglement, Nonlocality, and Back-In-Time Messages" in Evergreen 2
5 PM Saturday, Cascade 3 Reading: Bruce Cordell Key of Stars, Book 3 of the Abolethic Sovereignty, FR, D&D, Rated: PG Bruce R. Cordell
7 PM Saturday, Cascade 9
What Is It With Lovecraft?
The Cthulhu Mythos has its filthy fingerprints all over Pathfinder, 4E D&D, and yes, even Call of Cthulhu RPGs, not to mention dozens of board and video games. What's the appeal? Is it just designers and GMs who love Cthulhu? And just how ruthless do you need to be to run a lone-survivor adventure, anyway? Lessons from the fringes of sanity.. Wolfgang Baur (M), Bruce R. Cordell, James Jacobs, Mike Mearls

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Reading

When an author gets a chance to read his or her book aloud to the public, it’s a wonderful yet frightening feeling.

It's wonderful because an author is always excited for opportunities to create greater awareness for his or her fabulous creations.

It's frightening because the author immediately begins to wonder if he or she is up to the task of "acting out" the parts of different characters in the selection. They wonder if they should just go for neutral voice, or if they should try to impart accent, attitude, and pitch changes between characters. If done correctly, doing the later really adds a lot of depth to the reading. If done poorly . . . well, who really wants to sit through a poorly executed southern accent the author thought might be just the thing for the villain? Maybe you do, but I don’t want to be the reader realizing I’ve entered fail-land.

I usually try for some sort of compromise in-between.

Tomorrow you'll have the opportunity to hear Richard Baker and Erin Evans read from their respective novels (Avenger and God Catcher) at the University Bookstore at 7 pm in Seattle (4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105). If you show up, as I plan to, you can find out where along the spectrum of acting and reading Rich and Erin decided to come down. I'm hoping acting!
As it turns out, I’ll also be giving a reading tomorrow from Key of Stars (Abolethic Sovereignty Book 3) at Wizards, but this one won’t be public until the recording is turned into a free audible file that will eventually be available for download on the Wizards web site. Once it’s up, you’ll learn how I decided to play the voices of a scribe, a wintry eladrin, and an archfey called the Lord of Bats.

If you’re very lucky (or unlucky), perhaps you’ll get to hear me trot out my southern accent when I read all the Lord of Bats’ parts.