BayCon’s coming up this weekend, Friday through Sunday in Santa Clara, California. This year’s theme is Women of Wonder…and the people who love and appreciate them.
Normally BayCon is four days; this year it’s three due to a hotel snafu. The con starts earlier on Friday (10 am) than usual and runs late on Sunday, with the final formal event being Seanan McGuire’s concert at 8:15 pm.
BayCon Guests of Honor
Seanan McGuire, writer guest of honor
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, artist guest of honor
Amber Benson, toastmaster
Caradwen “Sabre” Braskat-Arellanes, fan guest of honor
The Winner Twins, young adult special guests
My Friday Panels
Handicapped Characters (Alameda at 1:30 PM)
There’s a lot more ‘there’ there than the wheelchair! How do you do it right? How do you find out what life is like for someone with a particular problem? How do you handle the messy bits otherwise known as reality without turning the reader off? How do you show what other kinds of courage might be needed by a handicapped hero or heroine?
Invertebrates are Cool on Friday at 4:30 PM in Ballroom A
Jellyfishes. Octopuses. Cephalopods. Invertebrates can be unexpectedly beautiful, surprisingly smart, or just weirdly intriguing. Find out why these panelists think that they are just plain cool.
I may also put in a good word for nudibranchs.
My Saturday Panels
Book Covers That Sell Books (Bayshore at 10:00 AM)
When you’re browsing at a bookstore, why do you pick up a particular book? When you’re on Amazon, do some suggested books seem to jump out at you more than others? The saying goes “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but when it comes to impulse buying, that’s exactly what people do. With self-publishing becoming more common, writers need to know more about an area they previously left in the publisher’s hands. How does one make a cover that will stand out when it’s shelved alongside other books? How can one tell if a thumbnail version of the cover will look good on Amazon? Do shoppers judge the quality of the book by the quality of its cover design? The panelists discuss the design elements of a good book cover, and where to go to for help in designing one that will sell.
The Hugo tug-of-war: Diversity of opinion among Worldcon voters (Camino Real at 11:30 AM)
This year’s Hugo nominations certainly have fandom talking. Is this just another periodic “all fandom is plunged into war” outbreak, or are there serious systemic issues to address?
Categorizing Your Books: YA versus NA on Saturday at 1:00 PM in Alameda
The Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association defines a young adult (YA) as someone between the ages of 12 and 18. Authors and readers of YA novels traditionally defined the genre as literature written for ages ranging from 16 up to 25, while Teen Fiction is for the ages of 10 to 15. In 2009, a new category entered the mix: New Adult (or “NA”) for literature with protagonists with ages ranging from 18 to 25. Is NA here to stay? If it is, where does that leave YA and Teen Fiction?
I’m a huge fan of the New Adult genre, though it does have some pitfalls.
Themed Reading: Erotic SF/F/H on Saturday at 4:00 PM in Alameda
Hear authors read from stories that blend erotica with speculative fiction. For ages 18 and above only, please.
What it says on the tin.
A Shot Rang Out on Saturday at 8:30 PM in Alameda
…and bounced down the hallway, through the door, and out of the world. Come see hilarious, impromptu storytelling. Back as always by popular demand.
If the masquerade/variety show starts on time, then this is likely to start after the variety show ends.
(Note: I was originally also on one Sunday panel, but, given recent events, said I wanted to be taken off as I wasn’t feeling it.)
Hope to see you there.
If you’re going, what are you looking forward to? Full schedule can be found here.
My Next Convention
After BayCon, the next convention Rick and I will be attending is Westercon 68 in San Diego, California, July 2-5. I’ll be volunteering as site selection administrator for the 2017 Westercon.