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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Norwescon 31

From March 20-23, Norwescon 31 was held at SeaTac, Washington and I was fortunate enough to attend this year. In fact, my wife, son and I were pre-registered for the entire four-day event, but we were only able to make it on Saturday. Still, for our first convention, we had a lot of fun :) We arrived at around 9:00am and literally grabbed the second-to-last space in the hotel parking lot. From there, I sat in on the slideshow for artist guest of honor Ciruelo before checking out the art galleries and other little goodies that the convention had to offer as well as spending lots of money on prints and whatnot :)

Then, from 11:00 through 12:30 we attended the autograph sessions which was cool because not only did we score a lot of autographs, but it was an opportunity to meet a bunch of writers—and a couple of artists—in person that I had only communicated with via email or knew about just by name. Afterwards, I sat in on the Mark J. Ferrari reading and was treated to a wonderful preview of the new book that he’s working on :) From there, I had planned on attending various panels but was sidetracked when Mark asked me to join him for lunch. How could I refuse!?! So the rest of the afternoon was spent in delightful conversation with Mark who was every bit as nice, intelligent and passionate as I imagined he would be…

Unfortunately, by that time our son Zane had reached the limit of his seemingly never-ending well of energy and it was time for us to go home. So, I really only got a small taste of what the convention had to offer, but what a taste it was and I definitely plan on going back next year and also have my eyes set on a few others :) In the meantime, I thought I’d share some photos that we took from
Norwescon 31:

This is me with Argentine artist
Ciruelo who was the guest of honor and is best known for his paintings of dragons. He’s also worked with George Lucas, Steve Vai, Playboy, Heavy Metal and Magic: The Gathering.

These are the two prints that I got autographed by

This is me with special guest
Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire novels and winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Yes, I look like a fool so please ignore me ;)

On the left is
Irene Radford aka P.R. Frost whose works include the Dragon Nimbus novels, The Star Gods series, Merlin’s Descendants, the Tess Noncoire Adventures, etc.
On the right is
Jay Lake, a prolific author of over 200 published short stories and various novels including the upcoming “Escapement” (June 2008) which Jay was kind enough to sign :)

On the left is
Kat Richardson, author of the Greywalker urban fantasy series which includes “Greywalker”, “Poltergeist” and the forthcoming “Underground” (August 2008).
On the right is
Mario Acevedo, author of the very cool-sounding Felix Gomez novels including the recently released “The Undead Kama Sutra”.

This is
Michael Swanwick, a multiple award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy for over three decades. Very nice individual and it was a real pleasure getting him to autograph my copy of “The Dragons of Babel” :)

On the left is
Joshua Palmatier, author of the Throne of Amenkor novels which I hear are vastly underrated. The third book in the series, “The Vacant Throne” was released earlier this year.
On the right is
Patrick Rothfuss, author of “The Name of the Wind” which won the 2007 Quill Award. Patrick wasn’t even listed as one of the panelists so it was a pleasant surprise to meet him and he’s every bit as laidback as I’ve heard, although I wasn’t able to get any more from him regarding his next book ;)

This is me with
Dan Simmons, the popular award-winning author of the Hyperion Cantos, Ilium/Olympos and last years “The Terror”. Another very nice individual :)

This is
Alma Alexander, author of numerous works including the current young adult fantasy series Worldweavers, the second book of which, “Spellspam”, was recently released.

On the left is
Jon Armstrong, author of the debut novel “Grey” which was nominated for the 2007 Philip K. Dick Award. A book I definitely want to read…
On the right is
John Picacio, an award-winning illustrator whose breathtaking artwork can be most recently found in Michael Moorcock’sElric: The Stealer of Souls”, which John graciously signed for me :)

On the left is
Richelle Mead, author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance and YA fantasy. Richelle has four books coming out this year including “Frostbite” (April 2008), “Storm Born” (August 2008), “Succubus Dreams” (September 2008) and “Shadow Kiss” (November 2008).
In the middle is
Mark Henry, author of the excellent debut novel “Happy Hour of the Damned”.
On the right is
Caitlin Kittredge, author of the new Nocturne City Series which debuted this month with “Night Life” and will be followed in August by “Pure Blood”.

This is
Barb & J.C. Hendee, co-authors of the Saga of the Noble Dead series which is on my ‘To Read’ list…

This is a picture of me with
Mark J. Ferrari, author of the excellent novel “The Book of Joby”, an ARC of which I was able to get signed. Once again, I look like a fool so please ignore :)

Speaking of autographs, there were only so many books that I could bring, so I asked most of the authors to sign the pamphlet supplied by
Norwescon 31. I thought it worked out fairly well…

Among the goodies that were supplied by the convention was a copy of
Bantam’s inaugural SpectraPulse magazine. I was wanting a copy so this was a nice surprise :) Apologies for the blurry picture though…

This is Annie and Zane posing at a Star Wars photo shoot. Apparently, Zane was really into the stormtroopers :)

Here’s a picture of cool looking dragon that was made out of spoons…

Finally, congratulations to
M. John Harrison whose novel “Nova Swing” was selected as the winner of the 2007 Philip K. Dick Award at Norwescon 31.


Tez Miller said...

Did you take some "platelets" from Mark Henry? (At least, that's what he said they were.)

Thanks for sharing, and have a lovely day! :-)

Robert said...

Ah, yes :) Still in the car actually, being saved for the right moment...

Hope you have a great day as well!

SQT said...

I'm so jealous! I've been lucky enough to communicate via email with a few authors but I haven't had the chance to meet many. I would've loved to have met Mark Henry in person just to see if he is as irreverent in person as in print. Actually, I would have loved to have met them all...

Anonymous said...

Nice report Robert.

1) Did you get an idea of what the next Ferrari book will be about, and what it's setting is?

2) Have you read the GRRM sample chapter yet from the Spectra Pulse issue?

Tez Miller said...

In the car? You've got to get them on ice...or at least in the fridge ;-)

Have a lovely day! :-)

Ran said...

Oh dear. There's a lot of fans at the A Song of Ice and Fire fan forums who would give up a baby (or at least forego a bit of Easter candy for a day) for a report on a certain excerpt contained in the Bantam-Spectra Pulse magazine.

Mihai A. said...

Wow, you made me jealous :D. Great day you had.
Thank you for the link.

Anonymous said...

man, i would have lost it with my nerd-feelings...too many authors i love where there!

you did great...but your wife and son run with a rough group, you better stay on their good side!


Anonymous said...

Hey Robert,
Looks like you had a blast. I can't wait to go to my next convention.

Patrick Rothfuss looks like a cool dude in his sun glasses.

Robert said...

Theresa, Mark seemed like a pretty nice guy :) In fact, pretty much everyone I met there--writers, artists, fans, etc.--were just incredibly friendly and easy to approach...

Calibander, thanks! I don't know how much I can say, but the book is the first in a trilogy and will be more SF. Aside from editing, it's complete and I might get a manuscript of it :)

Regarding the GRRM excerpt, I'm actually trying to avoid any previews right now because I want to read "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance of Dragons" back-to-back so I haven't checked it out. Sorry Balerion and the rest of the ASOIAF fans...

Tez, the car stays pretty cool at night and during the day so I think I'm good still :)

Mihai, you're more than welcome!

Raul, yeah it was a great time :) My wife & son are definitely making sure I behave!

Robert said...

Reanimated, yeah that was a good look :) Not sure if it was a fashion statement though or just a rough night ;)

Kimberly Swan said...

You managed to pack a whole lot into your time there Robert! How very cool to meet the authors and Ciruelo. (love that White Guardian print!)

Agent23 said...

You do not know how bloody lucky you are getting a parking space on Saturday morning. Most of the regular NWC attendees arrive in the daytime on Thursday to park their vehicles and don't leave until Sunday. By late Thursday afternoon there usually isn't a parking spot to be had unless you wait until the wee hours of the morning.

John Picacio said...

Great to meet you, Robert. Awesome report and photos. Glad to be a part of the festivities. :)

I'll be adding Fantasy Book Critic to my blog's favorites list of News & Info.

Stay in touch,

Robert said...

Kimberly, most everyone seems to like the White Guardian better but personally Dark Dsurion is my favorite :)

Richard, wow we really lucked out then! Thanks for the warning. It's something I'll have to remember for next year...

John, thanks for stopping by! It was great meeting you as well and I appreciate the linkage :) I'll definitely be in touch and keep up the excellent work!

Harry Markov said...

Oh goody! So much fun and I wanted to be there too, but yeah I am stuck in this eastern Europe. Call it the whiny European syndrom! Damn it I wanted there.

PS: Great pics.

Robert said...

Thanks Harry!


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