Ad Astra Report 2011

Tony Pi by Howard Tayler

So I was at Ad Astra over the weekend and had a great time. This sketch of me is courtesy of Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary fame, whom I sat with during the autograph session. Thanks, Howard! I also sat with Ed Greenwood, and we chatted about the Forgotten Realms and novel-writing. Ed’s also a co-editor on WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME with Gabrielle Harbowy.

The panels I was on were great. Friday night: for the Travel, Research and Writing session, Claude Lalumière joined Gregory Wilson, Jana Paniccia and me for a lively and fun discussion, where we agreed that you should absorb the atmosphere, take as many pictures as you can, and be open to happy accidents. Then, my writing group The Stop-Watch Gang all read snippets from our works.

The fun continued Saturday with the aforementioned signing session, and the Stop-Watch Gang’s live critique session where we analyzed Suzanne Church’s story in front of a live audience. There was a surprisingly high turnout for the panel, and we did our usual no-holds-barred roundtable. It went so well that we’ll likely do a similar one at SFContario in November. Lastly, I had one panel Sunday afternoon on alternate history with Eric Flint, Élisabeth Vonarburg, Eric Choi and Tim Liebe. I also got a chance to see panels on YA, world-building, what makes a hero, laws of magic and European SF. All in all, fantastic.

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