Friday, September 8, 2017

AFK For Some Aloha

Time for some tropical goodness at Hawaiicon. I shall report at length once I get back, but I'm taking a keyboard break, which is not the same thing as a screen break. No typing, although I do have some notebooks and colored pencils

Saturday, September 2, 2017

San Francisco Comic Con 2017

 The Moscone Center, which is hosting the Comic Con this year, fortunately had plenty of air conditioning to keep the overdressed cosplayers from fainting during our unusual and unprecedented triple digit heat.

SFCC is pretty solidly a media con, with long lines for photos and no freebie handouts or bulletin boards or other hippie crap.  I’m mainly there to review the state of the art, find interesting people to blog about and gawk at cosplayers. And subvert the media con concept by only reporting about indie artists and writers, hah.  

And I saw some amazing cosplayers: Chewbacca in a full-body suit, complete with built-in stilts that raised the cosplayer far off the ground; a meticulously equipped Ghostbuster; anime marines in elaborate mech suits; Rick and Morty; a considerate Spiderman who was giving high fives to some excited toddlers. My favorite was a rather attractive young man dressed up like Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. Jason Momoa is also a rather attractive young man, but it’s far too hot to think about attractive young men right now.

In fact, I was feeling a little fried by the heat before I even arrived, and didn’t do much besides explore the dealers’ room, and get distracted by the awesome retro video games – no quarters needed!  Alas, there was no Q*Bert, but there was Pac Man and Ms Pac Man and Space Invaders and Galaxian and Centipede, among others.

Vidya Valhalla

I refrained from photographing peoples’ art this time.  Several booths had “no photos” signs up, so I decided to just apply that standard to everyone. I did collect up cards and promo material from my favorite booths, so I can link them directly. Starting with the skull bunnies.

The Skull Bunnies, created by Ben Seto, are weird, adorable and unusual. I blogged about them last year and this year I’m linking you to their lair, where you can buy copies of Usagi Jane and the Skullbunnies, as well as plush, resin and art prints. I bought three of the smaller art prints – my only Comic Con purchase because I was so terribly grumpy from the heat – and two of them are Star Wars themed – one, in fact, shows Usagi Jane dressed as Vader with several Skull Bunny stormtroopers.  Hot damn. Reminds me of when I wrote that Darth Bunnywabbit blog.

Zee Cee does portraits of many amazing African-American heroes. I linked their portrait of Prince last year, and I later felt bad about it and that’s why I’m not linking directly to art anymore. However, it was a great portrait. You can find some more over here at their store: Uhuru! Lando! Foxy Brown! Wonda Woman! Apollo Creed!  Plus now they’ve got some aliens like gremlins and Yoda.  

Binary Winter is the home of Cody Vrosh, who decorates coffee stains. And draws Mind Rabbits. And wrote a book called The Android’s Astrological Companion, which means there are two (2) authors writing astrology-themed sci fi (plus both of them happen to be obsessed by rabbits, how about that). 

Yannan Kang: an awesome illustrator from Shanghai. Also intrigued by bunnies. 

Just a heads up: when I Googled small publisher Brick Cave Books, I got warnings that a couple of their links might have been hacked. This link had no such warning so I’m assuming it’s clean. It says prospective authors shouldn’t bother applying unless they are down with Craft and engage with their local writing communities, and I am a craftless hack that disengaged from my local writing community years ago, for excellent reasons, so I’m not really their kind, but their books did seem nice and shiny and well Crafted. 

Augmented reality t-shirts with cryptids!  You know, like bigfoot, and the kraken, and chupacabras.  I love cryptids, even though I’m pretty skeptical about their existence. You might have guessed that by my jackalope tattoo (the fake-est cryptid ever), or maybe by the way thylacines and aquatic dinosaurs pop up in my stories. The dude who runs CryptidZoo loves them too, so much that he made a phone app that shows you cool videos when you look at the shirts through it. I’m probably going to get me one of those shirts with a kraken attacking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Princeless is the story of Princess Adrienne, her plucky sidekick Bedelia and her dragon Sparky. She stars in Disney-esque adventures where she does the rescuing. It’s drawn by a Californian who moved to Enn Zed and seems like a very cool guy.  I’m tempted to load these on my kindle for convention reading 

J.J.M. Czep wrote a book called Trolls, about a girl named Emily that falls through a troll bridge and finds herself in a magical land. I’ve marked it “want to read” at Goodreads.  

B-Squad: Soldiers of Misfortune is about a bunch of expendable mercenaries that get sent on thankless tasks. The sole reason they are included here has to do with an adventure involving what their website describes as “a hivemind of dachshunds bent on ransacking Hawaii”.  Holy damn.  I need to read this.  

J.A. Giunta is one of the Brick Cave authors, and he has a spiffy website showcasing fantasy books with gorgeous covers. 

Rick Kitagawa’s work seems a bit intense, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. The tearful Nessie proclaiming “She doesn’t even know I exist!” won my heart.

Even more intense: Gerimi Burleigh’s new series is  “Morningstar, about Lucifer’s fall from heaven, told as a western.”  Gerimi is passionately in love with his work, and his art proclaims that fact, hammering every pixel into your brain with disturbing precision.

And my last contact wasn’t even at SF Comic Con – I picked up her card at Baycon (and possibly hung out with her) and failed to talk about her in my Baycon write up.  Rebecca Inch-Partridge writes about a future paramedic!  A concept I love. She also goes around winning Teen Science Writing contests. Her website is here

Thank you, artists and creative people of SF Comic Con, for making a week that included an emergency dentist visit, a scratched cornea and a hellish heat wave turn out to not suck after all! They’re going to be back there doing it some more tomorrow, so if you're in town, head out there and encourage them (and enjoy the AC).

Hotter Than Sriracha

It is so hot right now. We’re having the highest temperatures ever recorded in San Francisco. It hit one hundred and six yesterday. Normally I enjoy summertime weather, tropical weather, t-shirt weather, but this is not enjoyable at all. San Francisco is a city of pale reflective surfaces that keep things warm and light when we’re in our natural state, enshrouded in fog. In Death Valley type weather like this, they magnify the heat until it feels like you’re walking across a giant griddle. 

I noticed that my write-up about Comic Con was getting infested with too many complaints about the heat, so I’m putting them in their own separate post. I normally love hot weather!  I’m fine in the nineties, even up to a degree or two over a hundred.  My ex-husband use to collapse in a piteous bag of whines once the mercury hit eighty-five, but I’m a Maui girl, and have no issues with weather that’s in the seventies to eighties every day of the year.

This three digit crap, however … I’ve poured forty to fifty ounces of fluid into my mouth today.  Including artificial tears, I’m recovering from a scratched cornea. I’ve also had plenty of real tears to help deplete my bodily fluids, after looking at news footage from Houston. It’s safe to assume this is not one of my happier weeks, although I expect my spirits to pick up given that my vacation has just started.

I was standing on the corner last night with a couple locals and a pack of tourists from Germany and England and Canada, waiting for a bus and swearing at the president and all his friends who don’t believe in climate change.  It brought our little mulitnational squad together and helped us bond through our misery and sweat. And whenever someone started to get self-indulgent and complain, the rest would remind them to be grateful they weren’t in Houston.

Today the city is swinging into action, opening the pools to the public and sending volunteers out to hydrate the homeless.  And I ducked out of Comic Con early because I was worried about my cat, and rushed home to give him a cool bath.  He hates me now.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Incoming Cons! Hawaiicon! SF Comic Con!

The Hawaiicon schedule just came out and I am stoked. I’ll be on two panels: Translating Science Into Fiction on Thursday at 5 and Writer Reviewers’ Panel Friday at 4.  Although I’ve been on panels before, this will be the first time as a published writer. Yes, yes, eventually I’ll get around to writing books that are brilliant, and perfect, and popular (maybe), but for now I’m just glad that books with my name on them exist. They’ll get better, I promise.  

So far Hawaiicon looks like a nice blend of media con, fan con, gamer con and Hawaiiana. I’m intrigued by the panels about Hawai'i archeology and volcanoes, and we’ll see how well I do at Star Wars trivia. 

But!  Even before that is San Francisco Comic Con, which is at the Moscone Center this year, having outgrown the Marriott.  I’m just attending as a fan, although I might try to sneak a few promo bookmarks onto unattended tables.

Reality has been especially harsh and heartbreaking lately. I’m looking forward to spending a lot of September wrapped in a protective cocoon of speculative fiction and art.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Protest and Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Apologies if I'm getting tiresomely repetitious with stories about the protests that happened last weekend, but I wanted to throw yet another post script on the pile: this Slate story about a journalist that shielded an alt-right marcher from an antifa attack.

All this political material is definitely a distraction from blogging about YA science fiction, but it does involve the alt-right, whom I've been writing about ever since the Hugo awards in 2015, as well as some of the more newsworthy events happening in my everyday life, even if I did spend these particular events hiding in the house.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Protest Post Script

The posts on my wall from people who were there are mostly about peace and harmony.
The headlines I'm seeing from both liberal and conservative news mention about 10 alt-righties getting attacked by antifa and/or anarchists, including the organizer.

I will therefore retract what I said about these provocateurs crying wolf regarding violence, although I'm not certain who swung first. I'm retreating back to my position of "free speech is for societies advanced enough to have bloodless debates and/or healthcare for those who get injured while speaking freely, and it doesn't appear we're there yet." We are still in the stage where it's dangerous to be a provocateur of any flavor.

I'm also calling them "alt-right" rather than Nazis as it appears the people with the Nazi flags and chants weren't in attendance.

Doesn't mean I agree with them. My heart is firmly on the side of the people waving signs about unity and peace. I've got a lawful alignment, however, and I wish them a swift recovery.

Lying About Blurbs

On the heels of the scandal about the writer that bought herself a number one bestseller, here's a writer who managed to get dead people to give him blurbs. Or possibly he's just another liar.