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random pix - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2009-09-06 21:04
Subject: random pix
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:calmcalm
Music:midnight oil
Via the miracle of Facebook, here's a pic of me on a panel about Gothic fiction at the Glasgow EasterCon in 2006. This was the first panel I'd ever done and I'll tell you how it came about. As was our wont, we had a table in the dealers' room, where we were attempting to bully people into buying copies of SP3, SP6, The Villages and, if my memory isn't playing tricks with me, As The Crow Flies.
I was scheduled to do an hour and a half panel later that afternoon on How To Sell Your Stories and I was happily chatting to (I think) Geoff Ryman when along came Lisa Tuttle to check our table out and Bogna went into full saleswoman-mode. I'd just sold a story to Year's Best Fantasy And Horror and when Bogna mentioned this Lisa perked up and said, "Oh, I'm moderating a panel on Gothic horror in five minutes and someone's dropped out. Do you want to do it?"
My protest that I didn't know anything about Gothic horror was swept to one side by Bogna, who poked and prodded me until I found myself, five or ten minutes later, sitting on a stage for the first time trying to sound as if I knew what I was talking about and failing miserably. This is almost certainly why everyone is looking at me in horror. Who is this fool and what on earth is he babbling about?



Next to me is Peter Wright, who assuredly does know what he's talking about, then a lady whose name I'm afraid I can't remember, then the mighty Maureen Kincaid-Speller, who's forgotten more than I will ever know about Gothic fiction. Lurking at the edge of the pic, I think, is Lisa Tuttle, who was no doubt giggling at my embarrassment.
This, my first panel, lasted an hour and a half. Immediately afterward was the panel I was supposed to be on, the infamous Glasgow How To Sell Your Stories Panel, during which I, Charlie Stross, and Mark Robson, told an increasingly-traumatised and eventually-weeping audience just how tough the business was and that basically there was no point in even trying ("The funniest thing I've ever seen at a Con." - Ian Whates) and finished by inviting the audience to buy us drinks.
And people wonder why I don't like doing panels...
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2009-09-08 15:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think you're incredibly brave to go on one of those panels. Me, I'd run a mile. And I bet you were a lot better than you're making out to be. You've been asked to do others since, haven't you?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-09 21:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I really hate to attract attention, so the thought of a room full of people looking at me is, pretty much, my idea of a nightmare. But all the people who've advised me to do them are right; people get to know my face. A couple of people came up to me after the How To Sell Your Story panel and asked me to sign copies of As The Crow Flies, although what they were going to do with them afterwards is anyone's guess.
I'm resigned to being pretty poor on most panels because I just don't know enough about fiction. I write stuff I'd like to read, and that's about as far as my intellectual understanding of science fiction goes. I thought I had a chance of saying something useful at the Story panel because I'd edited a couple of anthologies and I could give an editor's perspective - as could you - but the moment we started Charlie reeled off all these statistics about how tough the business is (he was probably making the numbers up, but he made the point) and Mark, who spent almost the entire weekend on his feet introducing himself to punters and trying to sell his books, explained just how hard he has to work. And by the time I started to explain how to send your stories to editors we were like the Three Writers Of The Apocalypse.
Yes, I have done one panel since,at NewCon with Paul Cornell, John Jarrold, altariel and moderated by Steve Longworth. Something about literature and New Media. altariel was sharp as a tack. I bombed.

Edited at 2009-09-09 09:19 pm (UTC)
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2009-09-10 06:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The only time I've had to talk to a room full of people was to give my wedding speech. Time and again Jill told me to write something down, but needless to say I didn't.

Which is why my speech (recorded for posterity by my brother's camcorder, dammit!) goes: "I'd like to give special thanks, for everybody making this special day [incredibly long pause] special." And that was it. I sat down and wept.

And that's me among friends! I dread to think how I'd cope on a panel.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-14 23:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're lucky. I had to do it twice, once when we got married in Poland and the speech had to be translated into Polish, and once when we had our church blessing over here.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-09-08 16:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Nevada Jenny
LOL!

Body language says it all!

I hope that if someone asks you about Gothic horror now you'll have an informed answer. . . ;-D

I can't imagine sitting in on panels.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-09-09 20:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nope, I still don't have the first idea about Gothic horror.
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