Well, a year has passed since I won the Compton Crook and got to be the GoH at Balticon 2011. With that honor came a second honor, and that was being invited back again this year as one of the GoH to present the award to this year’s winner. This year, the winner was T.C. McCarthy, for his book Germline which you can (and should) buy here, here, and here. I enjoyed myself at this Balticon even more than I did the last one. T.C. McCarthy is not only an excellent writer, but he is a very nice guy and I enjoyed hanging out with him a lot. Like me, he writes on top of a full time job and a full time marriage…only he has three kids to boot. I honestly don’t know how he does it because he didn’t just manage to get published – Germline is a great book. It’s gritty, real, and raw…it shows the ugliness and the sometimes stupidity of war while getting deep into the humanity of those embroiled in it, even those who aren’t quite human. It was right up my alley, and I can’t wait to read the sequel Exogene, which you can (and should) buy here, here and here. All in all I was a lot more relaxed this go around…I got stuck on a few weird panels I wasn’t really suited for, but some of them were really fun. In particular I enjoyed one where the audience threw random words at us and we were forced to come up with a science fiction title and synopsis using a combination of the words, all in about two or three minutes…while kind of high-pressure, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I was approached for a few signings, met a few fans (I’m looking at you, Nicole), did a reading of State of Decay as well as a sneak-peek reading of The Burn Zone, got schooled in Magic the Gathering a little (just a little…enough to know the game is freaking complicated), went to the GoH dinner, played hooky with the tech crew at a greek diner, and topped it off with something called a kaffeeklatsch, where basically you sit around drinking coffee and eating donuts while people ask you questions about writing…a lot of fun. Big, big shout out to Adrienne Reynolds and Joe Ward who kept track of me at a high level, and Romeo (I am an ass and don’t recall his last name) for keeping track of me on a day-to-day basis. They really roll out the red carpet for the GoHs and it was much appreciated once again.
Got to meet a bunch of great authors, artists, and podcasters as well…aside from T.C. I spent time hanging out with Chris Evans, John Anealio, Justin Landon, Michael Sullivan, Myke Cole, Peter V Brett, Ben Deschamps, and more I’m probably forgetting…it was a busy few days. I had a lot of fun on a panel I shared with Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano of Fortress Publishing, which resulted in an invite to submit a story in their upcoming ‘TV Show/Mythological Beings’ mashup anthology, something I’m excited about.
All in all, it was great, great fun. I don’t go to too many ‘cons, but Balticon is worth the trip.