Posts Tagged ‘conventions’

I’ve canceled my appearance at MidSouthCon

I’ve waited until the convention was able to update its site and break the news to share this:

It is with deep regret that I have canceled my appearance as the Author Guest of Honor for this year’s MidSouthCon, because of the impossibility of verifying the vaccination/negative test status of attendees, staff, guests, and volunteers as a condition of attendance.

This would have been my very first time as an Author Guest of Honor at any con, and this invitation meant a great deal to me. However, protecting my health and that of my family against unnecessary risks during a pandemic, especially in the face of an extremely contagious COVID variant such as omicron, must take a higher priority.

I will be reimbursing MidSouthCon for any and all out-of-pocket costs they have incurred on my behalf.

At the time MidSouthCon and I made our plans, we had no idea the pandemic was coming. We certainly could not have known in 2019 that the Tennessee state government would pass a law that actually makes it harder to keep people safe from infection.

That fact is the key difference between this cancellation and the one I announced last week regarding my planned appearance at Farpoint Convention. The state of Maryland has no law at this time that prevents events and venues from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry and/or service. The state of Tennessee, unfortunately, does. Whereas Farpoint could have chosen to apply a stronger standard for the protection of its guests, et al., but chose not to, the concom of MidSouthCon had no such option.

I have already done so privately, but I would like to publicly thank the entire team at MidSouthCon for being so understanding about this matter. They have been wonderful hosts through this entire long process, which began when my original appearance in 2020 had to be postponed because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With regard to this latest decision, they invited me to air my concerns, they took my input very seriously, and did their best to find a solution. Unfortunately, their hands were tied by Tennessee state law.

If blame is to lie anywhere in this unfortunate mess, I will lay it at the feet of the Tennessee state legislature and governor, who wrote and enacted this law that only makes it harder to keep people safe from infection.

Again, I offer my apology for this late cancellation to all the fans who were hoping to meet me at MidSouthCon for conversation, panels, and/or autographs, but under the current circumstances I must put my health and that of my family above all other concerns. Autographed book plates will be available at the convention, and copies of my books will be sold at the table of fellow Star Trek author John Jackson Miller, in the vendors’ area.

At this time, the only upcoming convention appearance on my schedule is Shore Leave, scheduled for July 15–17, 2022. As of this writing, Shore Leave has a posted COVID-19 policy that will require proof of vaccination as a condition of entry/service to the convention’s designated areas and functions. As long as that policy remains in effect, I will look forward to attending Shore Leave this summer.

To preempt further confusion, I have updated my website’s Contact page with a statement making clear that I will not participate in person at any event held in a state (which currently includes Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, and Utah) that legally bars venues and events from requesting proof of vaccination as a condition of entry and service.

On that note, I send my best wishes to one and all: stay warm this winter, and stay healthy.

Pros: I Seek Your Convention Advice

This is a request for advice from my fellow authors and other publishing industry professionals, particularly those who attend a fair number of conventions.

I am pondering my convention schedule for 2017. There are some shows I attend every year — Farpoint (February, Baltimore); Shore Leave (July, Baltimore); New York Comic Con (October) — but I am looking to reach new communities of potential readers and to expand my professional network.

Part of the challenge I face in planning my 2017 con schedule is that my budget is limited, and most of the events that interest me are costly to attend. Committing to expenses such as these requires me to plan far in advance in order to keep costs under control.

Another factor that complicates my decision-making process is that, as of this writing, I still don’t know if my original novel The Midnight Front will be published next year or not. If it is coming out next year, expanding my schedule to cons I’ve not visited before could be useful. If it’s not coming out in 2017, I might be spending a lot of time and money for no reason.

Some of the shows I am considering adding to my schedule are:

ConFusion (Detroit, January) — I’ve applied for Professional Guest status, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be accepted, or what considerations they’ll offer me if they do.

SFWA Nebula Conference (Pittsburgh, May) — I know this draws a lot of high-profile fellow authors and other industry pros, but if I’m not nominated for a Nebula, is it really worth the cost of attending?

Phoenix Comic Con (Memorial Day Weekend) — This event seems to draw a fair number of high-profile SF/F author guests.

ReaderCon — I know I won’t be considered for programming at this event; I’d go to this just to attend panels and socialize. But some peers have told me that I’d most likely be snubbed by the majority of attendees because of my extensive work for Star Trek.

Comic-Con Int’l. (San Diego, July) — A big show, tons of noise, hard as hell to get noticed even for a moment. But if I knew I would have a new book out in the fall, and possibly ARCs to promote at the show, this could be worth the trouble.

GenCon Writers Symposium (Indianapolis, August) — I *really* want to be part of this, but the hotel situation is kind of a nightmare. As in, San Diego Comic-Con bad. But again, if I knew I’d have ARCs to peddle…

DragonCon 2017 (Atlanta, Labor Day Weekend) — I’ve applied for Pro Guest status, but I don’t know yet if I’ll be accepted, or what considerations will be offered by the con.

World Fantasy Con 2017 (San Antonio, November) — After all the brouhaha surrounding this year’s WFC, I wonder if I should even bother signing up for next year’s show. I know it’ll be run by different people than this year’s show, but I worry that WFC’s problems are instutional at this point.

So, what say you, fellow pros? Which, if any, of these shows would you recommend I consider spending my very limited time and money to attend?

A breath between conventions…

I’ve been a guest of three weekend conventions in the last four weeks, and I’m exhausted.

No doubt, the veteran road warriors of the convention circuit scoff at me for that opening declaration. But you need to understand, this isn’t my usual gig.

I haven’t attended many conventions per year during my two decades as a professional writer, but this year and next year are seeing an uptick in my planned appearances. In the last month, I’ve been a guest at Shore Leave in Baltimore, Md.; LI-Con 2 in Ronkonkoma, NY; and, this past weekend, Dragon Con in Atlanta.

And fool that I am, I traveled to all three by car.

That was no great hardship for the first two shows. Shore Leave is about four or five hours’ drive from home for me. LI-Con is even closer, just over an hour’s drive outside New York City.

But the road trip that Glenn Hauman and I just made to Atlanta (for which he did nearly all the driving, because the man is a demigod) … that was an adventure.

We had to haul nearly sixteen hours each way, starting each day at oh-dark-hundred, then driving through the daylight hours and back into the night.

Fortunately, we had glorious hospitality awaiting us in Georgia, at the home of my dear friends Jon and Jen. They generously hosted Glenn and me in their guest room, treated us to a steady flow of Old Fashioned cocktails and good wine, and made the Labor Day long weekend a joy.

This was my first trip to Dragon Con, and I had a fantastic time. All of my panels were quite well attended, and though I feared no one would come to my Sunday morning signing or even notice me at the show, I was kept busy during my signing, and I sold more books on one Sunday at Dragon Con than I have ever sold at any other show. Don’t tell me there are no readers at Dragon Con — if I can move books at this con, anyone can.

varsity_wreckageI also got to spend some time in lovely Decatur, Ga., and I had the joy of dining at such venerable Atlanta institutions as The Varsity — a retro-style drive-in near the Georgia Tech campus — and Fat Matt’s, home of the finest barbecue ribs I’ve ever eaten. And, as one might imagine, the road trips down and back were punctuated by visits to Waffle House.

The atmosphere of Dragon Con is intoxicating; Glenn described it as “the Mardi Gras of genre events,” and I think that’s an apt description. The cosplayers were impressive, and the sheer scope of the con was daunting, but also exciting. I hope I am able to return as a literary guest next year, and for years to come after that.

But next time, I’ll be traveling to Atlanta by plane.

Next on my convention schedule: New York Comic Con (no panels for me there, but I’m hoping to do some signings for Star Trek: Seekers #3 – Long Shot and 24: Rogue), October 8–11, 2015, in New York’s Javits Center; and then World Fantasy Convention, November 5–8, 2015, in Saratoga Springs, NY. Watch my website’s Events page for more details!


My 2015 Convention Schedule (#SFWApro)

For those interested in meeting me at public appearances for autographs and conversation, here is my current slate of convention appearances for 2015.

Feb. 13–15, Crowne Plaza Baltimore North, Timonium, MD
Signings: Friday 10pm–Midnight, Saturday 1pm–3pm

Aug. 7–9, Wyndham’s Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD
Signing: Friday, 10pm–Midnight

Sept. 4–7, Atlanta, GA

Oct. 8–11, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY

Nov. 5–8, Saratoga Springs, NY

I am also waiting to hear whether I will be accepted as a programming guest for Balticon 49 (May 22–25, Hunt Valley, MD) and/or Readercon 26 (July 9–11, Burlington, MA). More on those when I hear back from the conventions’ respective programmers.

Cold Equations, in the house!

My author’s copies of The Persistence of Memory, book one of my new Star Trek: The Next Generation trilogy Cold Equations, have arrived:

Aren’t they bee-yoo-tee-ful?

If you’re coming to New York Comic Con and want to get your hands on advance sale copies of this book, you’ll have to move quickly: only 20 copies will be made available for the show, and they’ll be sold on the convention floor by first time NYCC vender Barnes and Noble, which will also be hosting my signing.

They’ll also have copies of my final Star Trek Vanguard novel, Storming Heaven, so if you missed that back in March, pick it up next week in New York and get it signed by moi!

Upcoming Public Appearances

Now, as a courtesy to my handful of dedicated stalkers and the occasional part-time loon looking to give up his/her amateur status, I hereby present this update of my convention schedule for 2011:

FedCon XX

April 28–May 1, Maritim Hotel Düsseldorf — Düsseldorf, Germany
I’ll be at Europe’s largest SF convention this year as a guest of Cross Cult, the German-language publisher of Star Trek books. Look for me at their table and at various local events they’ll be sponsoring.

Shore Leave 33

July 8–10, Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD
Signing: Friday, July 8, from 10pm–Midnight

Opening Night Event:
The Third Annual Shore Leave Comedy Roast for Charity
This year’s honoree: Robert Greenberger

My Convention Schedule Round-up

Okay, folks. I’ve finally gotten around to registering to attend a few conventions this year. I don’t know how many I will have signing events at, but one never knows, eh?  Better to be prepared.


C2E2 (Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo)

April 16–18, 2010, McCormick Place, Chicago
Look for me at the BOOM! Studios booth, where I’ll be signing debut copies of Farscape: Scorpius!


Shore Leave 32

July 9–11, 2010, Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn, Timonium, Md.
In addition to signing books Friday night from 10pm-midnight and speaking on panels throughout the weekend, I’ll be producing and performing in The  2nd Annual Shore Leave Comedy Roast for Charity (to benefit the American Red Cross), on Friday, July 9, 2010, from 7pm–9pm. Our guest of honor (read: roast victim) will be Michael Jan Friedman.


Comic-Con International 2010

July 22–25, 2010, San Diego Convention Center
TENTATIVE: If I attend this show, look for me at the BOOM! Studios booth, where I’ll be signing copies of the first four issues of Farscape: Scorpius. I might also visit the Simon & Schuster booth to sign various Star Trek titles, as well as my novels based on Wolverine and The 4400.


Dragon*Con 2010

September 3–6, Atlanta
TENTATIVE: I’ve applied for a guest membership to Dragon*Con but have not heard from the convention organizers. If I attend this show, look for me at the BOOM! Studios booth, where I’ll be signing copies of the first four issues of Farscape: Scorpius.


New York Comic Con 2010

October 8–10, Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City
TENTATIVE: I’ve confirmed my attendance but not any panels or activities. If BOOM! Studios has a booth at this show, expect to find me there promoting Farscape: Scorpius. If Simon & Schuster sets up shop on the show floor, I might also spend some time there to promote the December release of my next Star Trek novel, Zero Sum Game, which is the second book in the four-part Typhon Pact miniseries.