Tag Archives: public speaking

Worldcon75

Only a few more days to Worldcon75, I’m going to be on two panels on the 12th of August.

Character-based military SF

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, 101a&b (Messukeskus)

Military SF often deals with inventions and strategies, but sometimes it is character driven as well. The panel discusses their favorite military SF characters.

It Can’t Happen Here

Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, 216 (Messukeskus)

It can’t happen here: Looking at the headlines these days, and many people seem to be thinking bad things can’t happen where they live, but then we get Brexit. President Trump. Turkey sliding into authoritarian theocracy. Russia annexing Crimea with the international community watching. What can history teach us about things that can happen, and how do we write SF that is not going to be dystopias after dystopias? Heinlein’s story, Logic of Empire ends with the line “Things are bound to get a lot worse before they can get any better.” Is this inevitable? What can we do about it, and how can SF offer hope for the future with our fictional worlds?

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Octocon – where you can find me

It’s Octocon time again folks and once again I’m going to among the speakers, this is my breakdown for the con.

Naval & Piratical Traditions in SF&F

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, E. Wexford (Camden Court Hotel)

In space, no one can hear you shanty. Do you know your capstan from your yard arm? Why are the traditions of the beautiful briny sea so attractive that we are keeping them alive long after they have left common parlance?

 

Late Night Panel: Getting You Off (World)

Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, C. Gaiety (Camden Court Hotel)

Sex in zero gravity and other ways we can dissapoint each other in the future. We live in a world where virtual reality sex suits not only exist but are moving to mass production. Sex bots are currently only a hobby build but for how long? How soon till we’re cloning our preferred partners? Is tech going to end good old fashioned romps? Is it going to cause more problems than it solves?

 

Cover Story

Sunday 12:00 – 13:00, E. Wexford (Camden Court Hotel)

Books aren’t judged by their covers but they are often the first interaction a reader will have with a book. We talk about what makes good cover, how often writers get to have a say in their own covers and how important is the first and least accurate judgement of a reader.

 

Star Trek at 50

Sunday 14:00 – 15:00, A. Tivoli/Yeats (Camden Court Hotel)

It’s the best of humanity. It’s a moral compass. It’s a safe space. It’s a show with ray guns, It’s a show with talking. It’s that thing that’s always on. It’s that one with the hot person in the revealing outfit that makes you feel funny. It’s a common cultural currency for so many people, giving inspiration for artists and engineers alike to bring forth our modern world of touch screens and instant communication. Star Trek is one of our favorite corners of the landscape¬†of fiction. Come celebrate it.

 

Space Opera!

Sunday 16:00 – 17:00, E. Wexford (Camden Court Hotel)

From an insult aimed at “hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn, spaceship yarns” to a widely-beloved science fiction subgenre, space operas have been on a heck of a ride. We discuss what makes this genre the staple of SF that it is.

 

octocon-2016

Leave a comment

Filed under science fiction, Writing

Beating your own drum

I am a natural to self promotion in much the same way that an African bull elephant is a natural to riding a unicycle. Which is why this blog is only active in spasms, I mostly ignore my twitter account and Facebook I primarily use to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Self promotion is not my thing, I’m not good at putting myself forward, my sense of humour leans towards self deprecation and I am on the whole a very private person*.

Why do I mention this?

Well as I put up on my previous blog entry last weekend I was at Octocon 2015, I was a speaker on five of the discussion panels which covered topics like the dangers of time travel, how much military science fiction borrows from the past and renewing genres. All good stuff and I had a great time, in fact the panels all went a lot better than I expected. There is no doubt that in recent years I have become a lot better at public speaking and actually if you’re looking for public speaking experience, a panel is potentially a good place to get it since if you do stall out, one of your fellow panelists is probably waiting to jump in.

When I released the Nameless War back in 2011 it was sent off without any form of advertising or promotion. The book was launched off into the world and…

Bell curveas I’ve said in an earlier blog post from what I can tell – because hard numbers are few and far between and my links to the writing community in Dublin are tentative at most – I’ve done a lot better than average. Without advertising*2. Which was fine by me. There was the potential to be interviewed on local radio during this year but unfortunately that fell through and most of the other things that so many writing advice websites will grandly declare you have to do, I haven’t. Because I don’t enjoy self promotion and because by books did so well, it was an aspect of the whole process that I continue to know very little about*3.

I guess one of the things that fears/concerns/worries I have when it come to promotion is that I’ll get boring, that if I continue to endlessly beat the same drum there likely won’t be any unpleasantness but will become part of the white noise of life.¬† There’s also that irritating tendency to do myself down and diminish my own work. As I said someone not that long ago ‘don’t do yourself down, there are plenty of people who will happily do it for you‘ very much in finest traditions of suggest to other advice you should take yourself.

So on that note without self deprecation or false modesty, let me say that I am an author, a modestly successful one in an industry where such an achievement is a mighty one and what I have achieved so far is just the beginning.

 

 

* Yes, I am aware of the contradiction of saying that on a blog that potentially be read by anyone in the world with an internet connection.

*2 Up to now but that’s something for another day.

*3 Actually Octocon had a panel on Friday night entitled Promotion in the Age of Social Media which I would have like to have attended but basically, I was hungry.

Leave a comment

Filed under Ireland, Random Rants, Self Publishing, Writing