Another month has gone by, so it is time for me to write another editorial. Welcome to the 174th
issue of Aphelion! First off, I'd like to congratulate John Rose for
becoming the new Flash Editor for the contests in the Aphelion Forums.
He is stepping into some big shoes, but I'm sure that he's up to the
task! Thank you, John!
As for myself, in a couple of weeks I'll be headed out to
Chattanooga, TN for LibertyCon 26. The convention has me scheduled to
be on several panel discussions, as well as sitting at an autograph
table at least an hour per day. Two of the panels I'll be part of are
steampunk-themed, the third is on electronic publishing. I'll also be
meeting up with at least one Aphelion writer, Darren J Rout, with whom
I had a blast last year at LibertyCon 25. Darren said that I came out
with the best introductory line he'd ever heard. ìDJ Rout? Hello, I'm
your Publisher...î Sean Sullivan, owner and operator of the Larry Niven
IRC chat room will also be there. William and Cindy MacLeod, con chairs
of AnachroCon will be there, as will Stephanie Osborn, Michael Z.
Williamson, John Ringo, James Ward, and a host of others. The
convention guest list is huge, so there will be lots of old friends
among the Pro writers and attendees.
You might be wondering if going to conventions is a necessary thing
for new writers. I would say that no, it isn't necessary, but it is
fun, and it can be useful to get one's name and face in front of
readers and publishers. Last year, because I was on a panel on
e-publishing with several pro publishers and writers, I was invited to
submit a story for a future Heroes In Hell anthology by Janet Morris,
herself. Sadly, I haven't gotten an idea for a story for the anthology,
so I'll miss out on that. I've been spending a lot of time working on
my submissions of Mare Inebrium to a pro publisher. One whom I have
known for years from going to conventions. Knowing him from cons isn't
any sort of automatic ìinî with the submissions, however. But it does
ease the sheer terror of making submissions. Fear of rejections is
something all writers have to face.
Other things I personally have to face is my fear of crowds and my
stage fright when speaking in public. Going to cons helps with both of
those. Vast, impersonal crowds become friends and family members. Being
on panels forces me to learn to speak to a roomful of people, to think
fast, and to appear to be at ease in a situation that still fills my
stomach with butterflies. It becomes easier to do every time.
Another plus in going to conventions is the chance to get to have
conversations with pro writers and artists whose work I've been
admiring for many years. I'll never forget standing at a restroom sink,
washing my hands, and taking the chance to talk with Ben Bova about
which of his books I admire most, just because he was at the sink next
to me. Or handing Vincent diFate a paperback whose cover art he did,
and talking briefly with him about how much I love his work. Or having
my pronunciation corrected by Jerry Pournell. Or chatting with Larry
Niven about how his Known Space stories influenced my own writing
style. Or finally meeting Jana Oliver in person after having known her
for years from the Casebook: JTR website and chat rooms. Or becoming
good friends with Stephanie Osborn. Or hearing Sara Harvey tell me how
much she enjoyed the world-building I did for my steampunk stories. Or
having Rich Groller hand me a review copy of ìRogues In Hellî
autographed by every writer who has stories in that anthology. Or being
complimented on my steampunk costume by Sarah Hoyt. Or... Well, you get
Conventions are very social things. Meeting fellow writers, artists,
musicians, and so on. Meeting Aphelion readers and writers is another
perk. Brainstorming ideas for this and that and the other thing with
people whose education is vastly different from my own is a lot of fun.
And having fun is important, in the great scheme of things.
So next month the editorial will be about all the fun I had at
LibertyCon 26. You've been warned, LOL! Now I'll shut up and let you
get to reading...