Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Balticon Schedule

Hey Sports Fans,

here's my schedule for Balticon (May 25-27):

Autographing: Scott Sigler, John Sprunk and Alex White Friday at 4:00 pm in Maryland Foyer (50 minutes) Scott Sigler, John Sprunk and Alex White signing at the Autograph Table in the Maryland foyer. Speakers: Jon Sprunk; Alex R. White; Scott Sigler

F-2. Martial Arts Demos Friday at 6:00 pm in Garden Room (50 minutes) Some of the expert martial artists in fandom show us how it's done and explain the differences between their particular disciplines. Wear comfy clothes and learn some great warm-up stretches! Moderator: Larry A. Reclusado Speakers: Jon Sprunk; Deja Biernesser; Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani; Jonah Knight; Steve Biernesser

SE-9a. Friday Face Time: Meet the Guests -- Mix and Mingle Friday at 9:00 pm in Con-Suite Mix and mingle with the Guests of Honor and Balticon 46 Program Participants. Moderator: Con Chair Patti Kinlock Speakers: Jody Lynn Nye (Guest of Honor)

R-8. The Effects of War on SF & F Saturday at 1:00 pm in Salon B (50 minutes) How has our war torn era shaped fantasy and SF? Moderator: Myke Cole Speakers: Charles Edward Gannon; Bill Fawcett; Jon Sprunk; Jean Marie Ward

W-10. Sequels And Prequels: -- How Hard Can They Be? Saturday at 4:30 pm in Belmont (50 minutes) So you want to do Part 2...or 3...or 4...and with the first book done, it's just a matter of moving forward. Right? You have the universe built, your characters developed, and your cultures cultured. So, what's holding you up? As we have seen in both sequels and prequels, sometimes the formula you have worked so hard to succeed the first go-round can miss a step on the second. What are the challenges in a series? Are prequels really needed? And when do you decide to "shake things up" and set your sequel with a new set of characters? Listen to the pros on how they work through the challenges in the universes they create. Moderator: Walter H. Hunt Speakers: Jon Sprunk; Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate; Jaclyn Dolamore; Gail Z. Martin

R-29. The Ethos of Homicide -- A Round-table Discussion Saturday at 6:00 pm in Parlor 1041 (50 minutes) Many fictional settings, from Harry Potter to Star Trek, have a safe, mostly nonviolent and painless way to stop an enemy. What effect is there in a world where killing is not necessary to end a threat? Is this a cop-out or does it speak to a more moral mindset? Moderator: John C. Wright Speakers: Yoji Kondo/Eric Kotani; Jon Sprunk; Lyle Blake Smythers; Kate Kaynak; Ian Randal Strock; James Maxey; James Daniel Ross

R-38. Space War -- How and Why? Saturday at 11:00 pm in Parlor 1041 (50 minutes) Panelists debate how space war would be waged and explain some of the science behind the methods. Moderator: Michael Andrew D'Ambrosio Speakers: Ian Randal Strock; Jon Sprunk; John Ashmead; Tad Daley

R-45. The Fantasy of Physics Sunday at 11:00 am in Pimlico (50 minutes) Panelists discuss how to make your magic believable. Moderator: John C. Wright Speakers: Michael D. Pederson; Peter BL!X Bryant; Chris Evans; Jon Sprunk

Reviewer Jumps Shark

Ok, I normally don't do this, I've got to call bullshit. Someone (I won't mention the site) gave Shadow's Master a 1-star rating because... why? Because Caim chose the wrong love interest at the end. Really? Wow. I feel the need for a strong drink. Better make it a double.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Avengers Movie

Jenny and I saw the Avengers this weekend. Wow, what a fucking fantastic superhero movie. I thought The Dark Knight was going to the high-water mark of the genre, but I liked the Avengers even more. Okay, Loki wasn't as batshit crazy-cool as Heath Ledger's Joker, but he's got a killer smile, and this movie was more about the heroes anyway. Joss Whedon, what a writer/director. He nailed it. The smart-ass dialogue, the visuals, the little moments inserted with tender loving care. It even managed to tug on the heartstrings without taking it too far. I don't often see movies twice in the theater, but I might make an exception with this one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shadow Saga goes to Hungary

Hey folks, Just a brief announcement that the series will be published in Hungary (by Fumax). That makes nine publishers, reaching more than thirteen countries around the world.