Balticon 43 Report

Things I learned at Balticon 43: (yes, it's not done yet, but still)

Hard science for beginners: Dr. Cmar, a friend of mine, was on a panel with three physicist types and they fielded audience questions. I was hoping it would be a good old 'hard' vs. 'soft' science battle, but it was more of really well informed physics geeks trying to stump older physicist geeks about MHDs, string theory, dark matter, etc. I'm below the level of a physics beginner, and it was only interesting to find out some interesting sources for beginners. And poor Cmar only got to mention syphilis once or twice.

Writer's Workshop:
I was the only sci-fi writer in the room; everyone else is or has been focused on fantasy.
My one line Hollywood pitch failed miserably in part because of point #1. I referenced a New York Times Bestseller that no one had heard of. More about that later.

Pitch panel:
Excellent. Jonathon Maberry has taught how to pitch projects, the moderator actually moderated, Neal Levin is a publisher who gave his perspective. How to pitch a project in a business sense is different than the artistic argument and how to handle subgenre, buzzwords, structure the query letter, etc. were very insightful.

AI panel:
Mostly a review of how it has been used in sci-fi (robot, computer, augment) and a little about how close to real-life it could get. It was okay.

Psychohistory Update:
Nathan Bos from Applied Physics Lab wowed me not with the mind control and ESP stuff, but with the predicting the future stuff. Unfortunately it was towards the end and we only got a bit into the prediction markets and stuff before I had to bail. I may have to link up with him professionally as we may have social science modeling interests in common.

Games2U Truck: massive amounts of awesome, especially for my 6 yr old clone, who was tired and cranky when we approached it. He ended up having about an hour of fun playing Kung Fu Panda on an Xbox 360.

The conversations I had about writing with writers I'll get into in another post.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Good stuff. We LOVE Scary Uncle Jonathan (Maberry), except he's always trying to kill us!