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AnomalyCon Recap

Yesterday was a travel day plus the frame of my reading glasses broke so I couldn’t see well enough to post, but now I’m back home and the glasses have been fixed. I had an absolutely fantastic time at AnomalyCon in Denver. I missed the big blizzard by a day or so — the snow had already mostly melted by the time I got there. The con runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon and there are various activities and panels, the main focus being Steampunk, which, for those of you who haven’t come across it before, is a sort of a Victorian era sci-fiI got to meet a lot of wonderful, enthusiastic, welcoming people: writer friends I had never met in person before (Stant Litore and Richard Preston, great to connect face to face!), lovely readers who stopped by my table to ask about my books and share their own stories, fellow panelists (all much more engaging and charismatic than I managed to be), book-table neighbors happy to answer my questions or just spend time chatting, costumed attendees walking around… in other words, just a lot of great people who share a love of science fiction and fantasy. 
I wish I’d gotten pictures of everyone’s Steampunk costumes but I always feel odd asking strangers if I can take their picture to post on my blog or Facebook. I ESPECIALLY wish I’d gotten a picture of the steampunk dog that was led past my table, but I didn’t so you’ll just have to take my word for it that there was indeed one there. (edit: This site has a lot of pictures from the con, if you’re interested; alas, none of the dog.)

I can’t recommend AnomalyCon highly enough if you are ever in the area — next year’s dates are sometime mid-March, I think. The pictures below are of me setting up my book table early on Saturday morning and looking only half awake, and the view of the mountains from the top floor of the hotel. 
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AnomalyCon 2016

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be attending AnomalyCon this year as a panelist. What is AnomalyCon? It’s a science fiction/fantasy convention that takes place the last weekend of March in Denver. Its main focus is steampunk, but it encompasses everything from time travel to alternate history. As I have heard very good things about the conference, I’m very much looking forward to it and to meeting up with fellow Westmarchers there—Stant Litore, Melissa Olson, Richard Ellis Preston, and Roberto Calas.

If you’re in or near Denver, come and join the fun! There are panels, writing workshops, book signings, the weekend’s murder mystery, the somewhat frightening sounding Victorian swimsuit competitionand the delightfully intriguing activity of…tea dueling?
Here we must pause to check out the official rules of tea dueling on the AnomalyCon’s own website. The rules of tea dueling (or, as they spell it to give it the steampunk flavor, tea duelling) are these:

Two duelists sit across from each other at a table, each with a cup of tea and a biscuit (or cookie). 

On the count they dip their cookies in the tea, and then it’s a game to stare each other down until one lifts out his biscuit and tries to eat it. The winner is the one who both holds his biscuit in the longest AND gets the entire biscuit into his mouth without it breaking.

Now I’m not saying I’ll be participating (except maybe in the tea-drinking part from the sidelines) but tea dueling does bring to mind this hilarious real-life anecdote told by Douglas Adams.
If that’s not enough, you can come look for me at my book table (somewhere in the dealer’s room, I think) or drop by one of the panels I’ll be participating in:

Closing The Loop Editing and re-editing and outlining and reviewing and getting your book out to an agent…you have so much to do now that you’ve finished your first novel draft. Where do you go from here? Saturday 10:00 a.m. 

The Critic And Me Ever felt like something was terrible about three seconds after you finished it? This is about controlling your control freak and making things even with the doubt. Saturday 1:00 p.m.  

Time Travel and The World of Tomorrow Is Time Travel possible? Discuss ideas about time travel from various fictional resources, as well as real science strides being made toward travel through time. Saturday 3:00 p.m.  

Evolving The Writing Process Have an idea, but can’t seem to get started? The answer isn’t always just “Write write write!” Sunday 2:00 p.m. 

The Rules of Time Travel A practical primer for the traveler in all of us.  Sunday 3:00 p.m.

The full schedule can be found here.
In other, non-travel news, work of the new novel is progressing, but—as always—more slowly than I would like! I can never see the end of the tunnel until I’m actually there, which is why I don’t like to make predictions about when the book might be done. But I am closer to the end than the beginning, so that’s something.