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Radcon Report, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Con

Spocon is the con that birthed our career, and we will ever be loyal to it.  That said, Radcon is always a blast, and this year was no different.

I signed up for my panels by issuing a challenge to the programming director:  “I dare you to try to break me.”  Well, Liz Vann-Clark gave it her honest shot, but the result was some of the most fun I’ve had at a con.

Friday started off pretty regularly; I did a panel about privileges in society.  It was cool, Kaye Thornbrugh was on it and it’s always great to see her again.  We’ll be posting a review of Brightly very shortly, though I’m sure it’s up to Kaye’s normal high standards.

After that, though, things got awesome.  I did the “Picture This!” panel.  On said panel were three artists and three authors.  The authors brought a piece of writing and read it; the artists drew a sketch based on what they were hearing.  It was a rush-job for the artists, and I was amazed at what they were able to turn out in (say) about ten minutes per author.  One of the artists was the Art Guest of Honor, Howard Taylor of Schlock Mercenary.

I went last, and read Chapter 7 of Grace Under Fire; the mall scene we have posted as a sample.  Howard was kind enough to let me keep his sketch, the first time an artist has taken a swing at drawing Rick the Demonic Raccoon.  It’s a ten-minute, rushed sketch, but it’s still a lot of fun and it’s an honor to have had Howard do it:


Rick & Robert


All well and good; after Picture this I hung out in the Green Room with Manny Frishberg and a couple of other old friends.  Then my evening began.

In her first real run at breaking me, Liz Vann-Clark scheduled me onto two back-to-back panels entitled “Polyamory Revival” and “50 Shades of Consent.”  The titles of these panels leave little to the imagination.  Now, I’m a straight, cis-hetero, vanilla white male who’s been in a stable relationship for a little over fifteen years.  I’ve got nothing against people who aren’t; as long as we’re talking about consenting adults, I say have fun.  I do what works for me.  That said, it’s a little strange being place as an expert on a panel about things in which I have not participated.  Still, Luna Lindsey (whose Emerald City Dreamer we’ve reviewed previously) and company were nothing if not sporting, and I still managed to have fun.

Saturday was a blur.  Seven panels in a day will do that; they went by one after the other.  Many were full, many postcards were handed out; maybe, just maybe someone will buy our book (fingers crossed).  I did another panel the subject of which I had no clue (this time:  Cryptozoology), and received a very nice compliment from an audience member afterward.  So at least I faked it well.

All in all, RadCon was a hoot.  What little nerves I had about being a panelist are simply gone now; I wore them away through sheer volume of panels on this one.  Good times, all.

Some news I learned:  Sky Warrior Books is going to, in the next year or so, be releasing all its works as paperbacks.  For those of you looking to snag a paperback copy of Grace Under Fire, this is your chance.  Also, Coup de Grace is going to be out shortly, so look forward to that.

Finally, going to cons is like geek church.  It re-invigorates the nerd writer in both of us.  The last six months have involved us bouncing from pneumonia to work-life crises to a move of three hundred miles and an absolute turnover of just about everything in our lives.  I am, in fact, posting this as the last thing I will ever do seated at this desk, in this corner, from which I have written everything you’ve ever read here.  So we lost focus, and there haven’t been posts since we did.

That’s changing.  We’re coming back.  Look for a new review next Friday, and keep looking.  There are so many good indie authors out there; we met them this weekend, and we’re going to tell you about them.