For all the typos yesterday, today may see even more. I am absolutely wrung out. Ever seen a taffy pull? That taffy is how my brain feels. And if I’ve lost my voice tomorrow morning due to speaking so much today, well …
So, let’s recap, shall we?
9 AM I went to How to Ursurp a Kingdom. Yes, it was as awesome as it sounds. The panel talked about how to take over, assassinate, play political games, the works. I enjoyed it immensely.
Two works were suggested as primers during this panels. Machiavelli’s The Prince and a two-part CCPGrey video I’ll embed below.
10 AM was a panel on Oaths and Honor in societies. This panel covered a variety of topics, from how a character’s honor (or a challenge against it) can make them much more intriguing, or how characters from societies that honor different things can play off of one another (or even coexist).
More about characters with honor and how that’s a character tool than cultures steeped in honor, but nonetheless interesting.
At noon I had what I thought was a panel on “Droids and Drones: Writing AI Characters.” I was half right. Yes, I was supposed to be there, but I was not a panelist. I was a moderator! Through my own oversight I had missed that I was supposed to be running the panel.
Thankfully, I’ve moderated before, and I immediately took all my mental ‘talking points” and played jeopardy with them, turning them into questions for the panelists that they could springboard off of.
And it went great! The panel discussed hard sci-fi AI, from the “Pinocchio approach” of AI trying to mimic people to how errors propagate and how an AI can do something entirely unexpected just because it interprets its programming in a way we didn’t expect.
After that, at 1 PM, was the LTUE reading, which included my reading of A Game of Stakes from A Dragon and Her Girl, and Sandra Taylor reading a short from Trace the Stars (last year’s anthology) and a new, unpublished short!
This was fun. Not much else to say, outside of mentioning the pure sound of disappointment the audience made when I reached the end of my time limit. It made me smile because yeah, they were hooked!
At 2 PM, I had an interview recording moment for LTUE about the con. Look for that in the future. After that, I went and playtested a game currently titled The King’s Seer, in which you’re trying to keep your head by becoming the king’s, well, seer. This was actually the second time I’ve played it, and it’s actually a memorable game. I look forward to seeing what it’s like at release.
3 PM, however, was THE panel I was hyped for. Hyped so much that I’d read two books in the last two weeks in preparation for it.
Writing Non-human PoV Characters.
As you might expect, it went awesomely. There were four of us on the panel, and we covered this topic in every direction possible. Vocal tics, accents, and phonetics. Social cues and culture. Physical cues and how it might feel to be in another body. How different species might interact with one another.
Sands, I even brought this video up after someone asked about how some speaking mechanisms might not be able to articulate certain sounds, as a prompt for brainstorming.
All in all this panel was everything I’d hoped for. We discussed what not to do, how to avoid it, and what to do and how to do it. Smash success (especially from the number of people that later walked up to me and told me how informative and helpful it was).
4 PM I headed to a presentation about life on an 18th century sailing ship from someone who’d spent a few weeks aboard one. My conclusion? Less rope than I was used to on a fishing boat, but not that different. A fun panel.
The final even of the evening was the book sale/signing event.
And despite being digital, I got the pens out.
That’s me at my stand, with prints, standees, and cards.
I gave SO many cards out. Turns out, there were a lot of people that had already read A Game of Stakes and absolutely wanted to see what else I’d written. One person stopped by and wanted all three based solely off the covers, which they said were some of the best at the event. I pitched and talked and moved merchandise. How much I’ll know after the weekend is over. But I’ve already seen an uptick.
As you can tell, I’m pretty proud and pretty pleased.
And that was it. Last event of the night, and I am hammered. I’ve not eaten since 11 AM (it’s 10:15 PM now). I may be losing my voice due to overuse. I’m exhausted.
I can’t wait for tomorrow.