Saturday, July 9, 2016
The first day of LibertyCon
As always, LibertyCon offers a smorgasbord of offerings to tempt those in attendance. Seminars, workshops and presentations kicked off early yesterday afternoon, well before the official opening ceremony at 5 p.m. Titles such as "Weaponized Artificial Intelligence", "Dangers in the World of Steampunk", "Technological Future of War" and "Bootstrapping Industrial Capacity After An Apocalypse" whetted the appetite of attendees.
I had a signing session in what's known as "Author's Alley" immediately after the opening ceremonies. It was a lot of fun, with several fans of my books and this blog coming up to greet me and discuss current and future writing. I brought a number of dead-tree editions of my books to sell, but that's not the primary purpose of LibertyCon for me. This is more of a meet-and-greet-and-learn annual event, encountering fans and other authors, seeing who's doing what (particularly in the field of military science fiction), and discussing trends that appear likely to impact our field over the next year or two.
Apart from three signing sessions, I'll be part of a panel early this afternoon discussing "Perspectives on Military SF". The question before us will be, "Is military experience required to write believable fiction, or is talent and good research enough?" I tend to the former perspective, but others disagree. We'll see what transpires.
This evening Miss D. and I will present a joint workshop on independent publishing, discussing the state of play in the field, sharing what we've learned through our own experience, and inviting input, questions and comments from those attending. We've done this for the past couple of years at LibertyCon, and it's usually attracted a fair amount of participation. In the light of traditional publishing's sometimes exalted perspective of its own importance, independent publishing is becoming a more and more viable option, with many independent authors now earning their living in the field.
Fortunately, my health has been much better this year (at least so far) than it was last year, when I arrived at LibertyCon peeing blood after my first-ever attack of kidney stones. I went through the convention in a haze of pain, attending only my scheduled panels and seminars and withdrawing to my bed in between them. It's been good to be able to make the rounds again this year.
I'll put up a couple of articles in the queue, to post here later today, and provide another update later tonight or early tomorrow morning.