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ApolloCon 2008 Trip Report

ApolloCon was loads of fun. The panels I attended were truly interesting. Topics ranged from sf trends, to sf in various media, to YA books to steampunk. Discussions were usually lively and the panelists offered significant contributions. I also attended readings by Rosemary Clement-Moore, whose Prom Dates from Hell series is accurately described as “Nancy Drew meets Kolchak“, and Chris Roberson who read from his cool upcoming YA book, Iron Jaw and Hummingbird.

As fun as the panels were, the highlight for me is getting to spend some face-time with so many people. Some I’ve met before, others I knew only through email, and still others I met for the first time. This personal interaction is one of the benefits of ApolloCon which is relatively small by con standards (400+ attendees vs. thousands at larger conventions). Some of the people I got to hang with included Lou Anders, Allison Baker, Matthew Bey, Jayme Lynn Blaschke, Steven Brandt, Steven Brust, Scott Cupp, Alexis Glynn Latner, A. Lee Martinez, J.M. McDermott, Maureen McHugh, John Moore, Lawrence Person, K. Hutson Price, John Picacio, Chris Roberson, Patrice Sarath, Allen Steele, Mikal Trimm and others who I hope won’t kill me for neglecting to list them. Discussions ranged across a wide variety of topics but one thing that stands out is their common passion for all things sf and fantasy.

I was mostly able to control my insatiable appetite for books in the dealer’s room, though I did walk away from the Edge Books table with two books: Neal Barret, Jr.’s Golden Gryphon collection, Perpetuity Blues, and the shared-world anthology Liavek edited by Will Shetterly and Emma Bull. I also met Allan Kaster, proprietor of the audiobook company Infinivox, who bestowed upon me a review copy of the Mini-Masterpieces of Science Fiction CD. Thanks, Allan!

Other notes and highlights:

  • Pyr‘s upcoming lineup looks really, really good. I regret not being able to read some of their past/current titles, particularly InfoQuake, Brasyl, The Blade Itself, and Resnick’s Starship series [looks at JP and Tim, who did read these titles.] It’s clear to me that Pyr is first and foremost focused on quality – not just in their book selection but also in their production.
  • I really enjoyed an intimate (and too brief) sit-down discussion with Allen Steele in which he talked about his first meeting with Robert A. Heinlein. Hilarious!
  • Trolling the con parties with John P., Lou and Jayme was fun. Bathroom cheese is not as bad as it sounds (don’t ask).
  • JP was there for some of the time as well. We captured a few new Mind Meld ideas and even pestered a few folks who graciously agreed to participate in future ones.
  • The Twitter experiment was a failure. I suppose it’s my own fault as I wasn’t updating it all that often. I was having too much fun. Sorry, I just don’t see the appeal with Twitter.

All in all, a great con and a fun weekend!

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

7 Comments on ApolloCon 2008 Trip Report

  1. Sorry I missed being your con buddy this year. :(. Work often interferes with life….

  2. Ah, you’ve got a good one there in Perpetuity Blues. Can’t go wrong with the esteemed Mr. Barrett!

  3. Is the Liavek book a new addition to the shared world series or a compilation of the past books or ???

    That was a pretty good series with folks like John M. Ford contributing.

  4. @Larry: There’s always next year. (H)

    @Jayme: Joe Lansdale himself planted that seed at the Nebulas. It’s been growing ever since.

    @Fred: This is a used 1985 Ace copy with the TOC listed here.

  5. John – Glad you had a good time! I’m sorry I missed my first opportunity to hit ApolloCon, but next year is looking clear for end-of-June local con-going.

  6. Ah yes…but you got to rub elbows with Clute! Did he ask you for pointers on reviewing? πŸ˜‰

  7. [Spit Take] :O

    Yeah right! He was really nice, though. He and his awesome wife Judith hosted a brunch for us – they have a lovely place right next to Camden Market. He talked a lot about the 4th edition Encyclopedia of SF, which may be available online sometime next year.

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