Category Archives: Conventions

April Update

Hey everyone.  I try to post mostly positive stuff here, but the last couple weeks have been pretty rough.   Between my wife’s surgery and stuff happening with my family, I haven’t been able to focus on writing.   So I’m behind on getting Stolen Valor done and edited, which is going to push it back to next month.

On a more positive note, I’ve been invited to a books and beer event next week and I’ll also be participating in Starfest.  Both events will be happening here in Denver.

Halfpenny Brewing Company is having a meet Colorado Authors event on 24 April from 4:30 to 6:30.  I’ll be there and if you’re in the area, come by and see me or some of the other authors (and there’s beer!).  That’s Halfpenny Brewing Company, 5150 E Arapahoe Rd Unit D1-B, Centennial, CO 80122

For Starfest, I don’t have my final schedule yet, but I’ll post that on Monday.  It will be 26-28 April, at the Denver Marriot, DTC.

 

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Change of Schedule: Liberty Con

Hey everyone.  If you haven’t heard, Liberty Con has shifted the date of their convention.  I’ll still be there (I hope) but the date is shifted from 30 May-1 June and is now 28 June – 30 June.  They’ll also be at a different hotel there in Chattanooga (Marriott rather than the Read House).  Last year the hotel situation led to some issues with space, the Marriot is adjacent to the convention center, but the convention didn’t have much of the spaces over there and there were weird restrictions on food and drink.  Hopefully they get all that ironed out, despite the short time to do so.

The change of dates makes Liberty Con back to back with Spike Con/Westercon/how-many-other-conventions-can-be-held-in-the-same-place-at-the-same-time-con (like, seriously, there’s at least 2 mini-cons and 3 official conventions, it’s sort of nuts).  My plan is to attend both, but it’s going to be a crazy week (4th of July is in the middle somewhere too…).

The only other convention I have on my radar right now is Starfest, though I haven’t heard anything from them yet about panels.  I hope to be attending, but since my wife is having surgery that month, I’m not sure how big my involvement will be.  I don’t know that I’ll have time for any other conventions this year, mostly because it’s looking to be a very, very busy year for me.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see folks at Liberty Con & Spike Con!

 

Kal’s LTUE 2019 AAR

Hey everyone, here’s my AAR for LTUE 2019!  All in all, I had a great time and had the opportunities to both participate and observe some awesome panels on writing, art, book marketing, and more.   If you’re in the Western US, LTUE has got to be one of the better writing conventions you can attend.

There’s a lot of fantastic authors to meet, and enough information on just about any topic to not only help new authors, but to help experienced authors learn new things.

The people are friendly, the locale is awesome (Provo, Utah has some very scenic mountains), and it’s a great opportunity to network.

Most of my panels for the weekend were in the military science fiction theme, with panels on Rules of Engagement, Drones & Robots in Warfare, Rebellions & Revolutions, and two panels on Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.

I dragooned James Young into several of those panels, because a couple panelists weren’t able to show.  (Sorry James, there’s consequences for heckling from the crowd when I know who you are).  The ROE panel was fun, especially with Jim Curtis, Lee Modesitt, we got to cover a lot of history of ROE and do some extrapolation of what it might look like in the future.  For the Rebellions & Revolution panel, Jim Curtis and James Young’s knowledge of history meant that there were a lot of people in the audience taking notes to go look things up.

I really enjoyed the Drones & Robots in Warfare panel, with Jim Curtis & Larry Correia.  We ranged a bit further off topic into the areas of cyberwarfare, but that’s easy to understand given the topic.  It was particularly amusing to have people from the audience commenting afterwards about how scary all the potential is… that’s good writing ideas there!

As far as panels I attended, the panels on Surgery in Zero G was fantastic, with a lot of neat medical issues in microgravity being described by the panelists.  Doctor Nik Rao’s panel on Evolutionary Biology was awesome, especially as to how it relates to alien life we may encounter (or at least write about).

There were a few faces I wish I’d been able to see at the convention, people whose schedules didn’t line up or who didn’t get invited this year as panelists.  I really hope they get that latter part straightened out, as I felt there was a bit more emphasis on filling panels with people, rather than getting panelists who both show up and who are qualified.  But all in all, it was a fun convention and I hope to attend next year as well.

 

 

Kal’s LTUE Schedule

Hey everyone.  I’m currently on vacation, enjoying some skiing and trying not to injure myself.  But I’ll be at Life, The Universe, and Everything (LTUE) writing convention in Provo, Utah this weekend.  If you’re in the area, come check it out.  Here’s my schedule:

Thursday, February 14
5pm
Joining the Rebellion!
Birch (Marriott), 5pm – 5:45pm
6pm
Chesney to Heinlein to Weber: The Evolution of Military SF
Canyon (Marriott), 6pm – 6:45pm
Friday, February 15
1pm
Rules of Engagement
Zion (Marriott), 1pm – 1:45pm
3pm
Heinlein and the Battlefield: Starship Troopers’ Influence on the Military
Sycamore (Marriott), 3pm – 3:45pm
Saturday, February 16
4pm
Warfare in the Age of Drones and Robots
Zion (Marriott), 4pm – 4:45pm

Helloween Masquerade

Hey everyone.  I celebrated my birthday this weekend by visiting the Helloween Masquerade here in Denver.  The big draw of it for me was Cruxshadows, one of my favorite bands, and since they rarely (if ever) tour in the US and it happened to fall on my birthday weekend, everything worked out perfectly.

If you’re a fan of their music, I shouldn’ t have to tell you how awesome it is to see them live.  They have a ton of energy, their songs resonate with me, and overall, it was a great experience.  If you’re not a fan of their music, I’ll link some of their stuff and feel free to watch.  It’s not for everyone, but I find it’s great writing music for me.

Oh, and to top things off, they started playing this song right around midnight (and the start of my birthday).

All in all, it was a great weekend, the perfect way to get me charged up to tackle all these books I need to write.

Here’s a couple of their songs that I enjoy:

Kal’s Libertycon 31 AAR

Liberty Con 31 is come and gone.  Much of it passed in a blur for me.  It was full of good times, great people, and a whole lot of running around to get to where I had to be next.

Panels and signings were a whole lot of fun.  My first panel of the weekend was on YA Science Fiction, moderated by Jason Cordova who did a fantastic job.  David Weber was on the panel and he had some absolutely fantastic things to say about the genre, about putting hope and wonder in the hearts and minds of young adults about the future.  He managed to articulate in a few words what I try to explain in a rambling, incoherent mess, half the time.  The other panelists had some great things to say as well and it was a terrific way to open the weekend.

I had my first signing session in the dealers room on Friday.  I got the pleasure of being there with John Ringo, Chris Kennedy, and Larry Correia.  As I told Larry, it was like the 300 Spartans at Thermopolyae: Their fans would blot out the sun and I would sign books in the shade.  It was a fun time and I actually had a couple people come by to see me, so I’ll call it a win.

Saturday I was at the Four Horsemen mass signing event.  That was an experience in and of itself with twenty plus authors and a whole lot of fans.  Working with Chris Kennedy and the others from that universe is always a pleasure and the enthusiasm and fun that everyone brought is contagious.

Saturday I also had a panel with Larry Correia, Quincy Allen, John Harness, and Lydia Sherrer on building a new monster.  Poor Larry had no idea that he had been made moderator.  Lydia was the one who’d had the idea for the panel and she stepped in well to get us started and back on track.  It was a tremendously fun panel topic and the audience was great.

Saturday I also had a panel on Space Opera versus Space Western with Julie Cocrane, Doug Dandridge, Laura Montgomery, and Mark Wandrey.  We spent a fair bit of time discussing definitions and talking examples, but then we sort of rambled into discussing market and publishing.  The audience had a lot of good questions, though and I think everyone (including panelists) got a lot out of it.

I also had my reading and a couple hours of signing on Saturday.  I read a section from my upcoming zombie novel.  Hopefully those of you who were there enjoyed it.  The signing was fun and I got to meet and see lots of great people.  The location of the Authors Alley was perfect in that there was a lot of traffic flow and plenty of opportunities to meet people.

I attended the Mad Scientist Roundtable on Saturday night for a bit, but the room was far too crowded and hot, combined with the long day, I slipped out early and went to bed.

Sunday was the Kaffeeklatch, and that was a bit of a mixed bag.  It was held in the same room as the Mad Scientist Roundtable, which means it wasn’t big enough and it got hot quick.  I wish there had been a bigger room available and I am excited to see what comes up at the new venue next year.   I do feel that the crowded nature of the room caused many people (including authors) to seek other places and it also encouraged some people to monopolize spots near some of the guests.  In all, it didn’t have the friendly, relaxed vibe like most of the rest of the convention.

Sunday I had my last signing session and then another panel in the Four Horsemen Universe.  I got to announce my upcoming book with them, The Colchis Job.  Which, I am happy to say, I sent in as a final draft to Chris Kennedy right after I got back from Liberty Con.  Also on the panel was Chris Woods, whose book Legendary is fantastic and he’s working on he sequel.

All in all, it was a fantastic convention.  Its taken me almost all week to recover from, but that is part and parcel with a fun time plus travel.  Liberty Con 32 for next year is already sold out.  If you haven’t got tickets and want to go, then get on the wait list.  I bought mine in the first thirty minutes and I am looking forward to it a lot.   I might also recommend LTUE in Provo Utah, it has a lot of the same feel as Liberty Con and is a lot closer for those of us who live out west (plus they aren’t sold out).

 

The Dragon Awards

So the Dragon Awards are coming up.  These are fan awards for the books that readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy like the most.  They’re hosted by Dragon Con, they don’t require membership to nominate or even vote, and the award is a fantastic thing for all of us.

There have been a lot of good books by tons of authors released this year.  Support the authors you love and vote.  This is an awesome award that belongs to all of us as writers, readers, and fans of science fiction in general.   The great thing about it, all it requires is an email.

Here’s some works that I’ll be nominating (if you haven’t read them, give them a look, I think they’re pretty good):

Uncharted (Alternate History) by  Sarah A. Hoyt and Kevin J Anderson

Monster Hunter Siege (Fantasy) by Larry Correia

As a note: I’ll be at Dragon Con this year.  You know what would be an awesome gift from my readers and fans?  A Dragon Award nomination!  (Seriously, I know I’m not going to win, but y’all can nominate me and get my name in the running!)

Here’s what I’ve published this past year that’s eligible:

Ghost Star (Mil SF)

Valor’s Calling (YA/Mil SF)

Valor’s Duty (YA/Mil SF)

Prisoner of the Mind (Science Fiction)

Here’s a link to the Dragon Awards page:   http://awards.dragoncon.org/

Here’s the link to the nominations:   http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php