Despite getting a decent night’s sleep, I woke up a bit groggy the next morning. But I manged to find some espresso and a muffin and went to learn about herbology. Unfortunately, the herbalist was late, so most of the session was lead by the pharmaceutical expert.
After that, I went to the large meeting space to watch the Realms of Avalon combat demonstration. Baroness Ruth Freebourne narrated most of the demonstration, which covered the transition of arms over time. Initially, very little armor was used, but over time more and stronger layers were added. Eventually the pistol and lack of kevlar brought about light armor and the use of rapier type swords that relied more on speed and mobility. The group demonstrated combat with different styles of armor and weapons. It was both entertaining and informative.
A presentation by a representative from Ace Books (now combined with Roc) followed the combat demonstration. I took notes on several upcoming releases that looked interesting, and I won two books in a drawing. One is a released mass market paperback, and the other is an advanced reader copy of a book coming out in June. Neither are books I would normally read, so I’m planning to pass them on to someone else who would appreciate them more. Still, it’s always fun to win free stuff!
Next, Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch presented a one hour version of their two day workshop on how to earn a good income from being a writer. Like the other writer track sessions I found myself in, it was interesting to see that perspective, but very little of it was useful for me.
I took a break after that session and browsed the art gallery. I found several prints I would like to have, but most of them were already priced over what my weekend budget would allow, and I knew the prices would probably go up on Sunday’s auction. However, I have been able to content myself with a post-con online purchase of a print from Sarah Clemens. Her Magnus & Loki series is quite amusing and very well drawn.
In a while, I wandered down to the room where a panel of Star Trek authors were speaking about writing for Star Trek. Dean Wesley Smith dominated the conversation, as he has a tendency to do, but the up side is that it introduced me to the Strange New Worlds anthology series. It covers all versions of Star Trek and is written entirely by fans and un-published authors. Smith is one of the editors for the series.
A concert by Heather Alexander was one of the highlights of the day. She is a folk singer/songwriter who gets much of her inspiration from science fiction and fantasy literature, as well as the British Isles. She has a great song called Black Jack’s Lady about a woman who has a fling with a notorious ladies man who leaves her before dawn. When she realizes what he’s done, she chases after him seeking revenge. Moral of the story: take care if you break the heart of a redhead. I now have two of Alexdander’s CDs on rotation.
To be continued…