Sunday, May 28, 2006

Balticon 40 update #3

Day 3

Still going...

Tired. So tired. And there's a whole 'nother day of Balticon tomorrow. But not for me. Work beckons.

Okay, let's try a complex sentence: This morning I was on a panel concerning Romance in Science Fiction/Fantasy, which drew a full crowd of people into the small, not-so-air-conditioned room.

Other panel participants were Stephanie "Flash" Burke, Mary Jo Putney, Hildy Silverman, Eve Vaughn, and Joy Ward.

Naturally, the discussion turned to sex, since that's what romance novels mean to most people (or maybe people just like to talk about sex). As on Friday night's panel, someone asked whether publishers put pressure on authors to make their romances hotter to meet the demands of the market.

Vaughn and Burke, who both specialize in erotica, said that their publishers encouraged them to push the envelope. Vaughn mused, "I've already got threesomes and even foursomes. Geez, what's next?"*

Putney used the concept of "girl cooties" to explain why romance still gets a bad rap, even though they've improved in quality and accessibility (i.e., cross-genre outreach) and even though love is a central or supporting theme in most successful stories of any genre. "Girl cooties," as I mentioned last year, stems from the idea that anything that womenfolk enjoy must be inferior and worthless**, and that anything that contains a female-friendly element (such as a love story) is instantly tainted.

Then I went to two excellent panels for writers, one on Writer Beware, an invaluable service that helps new writers avoid scam artists and amateur publishers/agents; and another on how the publishing world is changing for authors (you don't want to know).

Through a series of serendipitious meetings, I found myself giving an impromptu interview for the Balticon podcast. Neither I nor the interviewer had time to prepare, but hey, we winged it wather well, I beweive. It should be airing in November, when Eyes of Crow comes out. I wish I'd had time to plan what I would emphasize about the book or about myself, but with more time I would have been more nervous.

So yay, Balticon. Lots of stuff to do, cool panelists, and friendly, energetic conventioneers. If you couldn't make it this year, hope to see you next year (and be sure subscribe to the podcast through the link in the previous paragraph).

If I met you there this weekend, it was a great pleasure. For me, I mean. If it was for you, too, drop me a line and say hi.

*which, for some reason, reminds me of the ever-increasing number of blades on disposable razors. How many is enough to get a really close shave?

**This is actually true in the case of Barbie Dolls, white wine, and Hugh Grant.



I believe even a threesome would probably result in a really close shave for me. Very likely closer than I'd like.

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 5/29/2006 4:55 PM

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