30 April 2008

T13: RavenCon 2008

Vampires, time-travelers and Poe--oh my! RavenCon 2008 was all that and more.

Since my first panel wasn’t until 6 p.m. Friday evening, I headed for downtown Richmond and the historical canals surveyed by George Washington. Originally, the canals were all business, but these days they’re all about history and wild life. Here, turtle sun themselves on a “turtle tree” and eye the newly hatched goslings on the opposite bank.

The Poe Museum is the oldest building in Richmond. It hosted Lafayette and survived “The Great Conflagration” of 1865, but Edgar Allen Poe never lived here. However, given its history, there probably isn’t a safer location for the relics of Poe’s life.

Back at the hotel, roomie Jana Oliver shows the cover flat for her third Time Rovers novel, Madman’s Dance, slated for an October release. Her partners in crime for the “Writing Full Time” panel are (left to right) C.J. Henderson, Dennis Danvers and David B. Coe.

Con Chair Michael Pederson at the podium) amazed his audience by personally greeting over fifty of RavenCon’s guests, including Fan Guest of Honor “Filthy Pierre” (writer and filker Erwin S. Straus, shown here in the in the white shirt) and Artist Guest of Honor Stephen Hickman (in the baseball cap).

Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show editor Edmund Schubert (standing) looks impressed with Pederson’s performance. But notice the woman not looking at the stage? That’s writer Gail Z. Martin, who’s probably scoping out her next target--er, interview. Gail’s video blogs of the con are linked to her regular blog, or you can go direct to her coverage of the Wicked Game launch party by clicking here. You might even recognize some folks.

You can’t have a great con without great costumes. This wonderful gown was the height of European women’s fashion in 1537.

The con’s Saturday night parties opened with “Livers for Boobies”, a drinking contest to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The competition pitted writer Davey Beauchamp (in white, seated on the lap of artist Bryan Prindiville) against writer/editor Valerie Griswold-Ford (far right). We never did get to find out who could drink the most. Davey forfeited when he ducked out to the Wicked Game launch party once too often.

Jana photographs Jeri cutting the cake for the Wicked Game launch party. The logo on the cake was developed for WVMP, the radio station featured in the book. Wicked Game will be released May 13.

With the cake cut, the party ramped into high gear. I was sorely tempted to steal the WVMP t-shirt draped over the picture, but I was good.

Lee Gilliland, queen of the RavenCon con suite and wife of Hugo award-winning author Alexis Gilliland, goes for the gold. I didn’t even need a flash for this shot.

Whose panel is it anyway? Well, the panelists were (left to right) broadcaster Jon Stallard, writer Stuart Jaffe, Robot Battles co-creator Kelly Lockhart, Writer Guest of Honor C.S. Friedman and writer/editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail. But the audience set the topics under discussion.

Between one commitment and another, I didn’t get to attend any of fantasy icon Katherine Kurtz’s panels so I sat in on her Koffeeklatch, an informal one-on-one session held in the Crowne Plaza’s restaurant. The conversation touched on her husband, Scott, but I never twigged onto the fact her Scott was Scott Macmillan, the author and screen-writer who was also featured on my last panel of the day, “The popularity of the paranormal in both nonfiction and fiction”. Afterwards, both Scott (left) and Katherine (center) joined me for a photograph. It was the nicest possible cap to a wonderful con.

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