At long last, Shore Leave is at hand!
Shore Leave is a convention, held outside Baltimore in Hunt Valley, that I’ve attended every year since 2001, and every year as a guest since 2006. Normally, Shore Leave is in July. This year, however, it’s in August.
The big thing for me this year is the release of Crazy 8 Press’ ReDeus: Divine Tales. I have a short story in the anthology titled “The Ginger Kid,” a baseball tale set in an urban fantasy world. It’s a different kind of story for me, but I’ll say no more at this juncture.
The big thing for you, the reader of this, is where I can be found this weekend at Shore Leave. And to that end, I’ve produced this handy stalker’s guide. Did I say stalker? I meant fan.
Friday, August 3rd
The Dark Knight Rises
Panelists: Greg Cox (the author of Titan Books’ novelization), Glenn Hauman, David Mack, and me
A discussion on the final chapter in the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale Batman trilogy.
Meet the Pros
10pm, the Downstairs Hallway
The annual book signing fest. I’ll have a few copies of ReDeus: Divine Tales for sale, and I probably have some older stuff as well.
Saturday, August 4th
The Hobbit: A Long-Expected Film
11am, Salon F
This December Peter Jackson returns to the world of Middle-Earth with his long-awaited film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, nearly a decade after Frodo Baggins cast the One Ring into the fiery chasm of Mount Doom. What can audiences expect of the return to J.R.R. Tolkiens Middle-Earth, and will Jackson recapture the Middle-Earth magic?
Note: I’m sure I’ll address the news today that The Hobbit, planned as a two film set, will now be split into three with reshoots and additional filming to take place next summer. Mind you, I don’t know anything official, but I have a theory. 🙂
What Is a Weekend?: The Magic of Masterpieces Downton Abbey
12 Noon, Salon E
Panelists: Me, Jen Rosenberg, Howard Weinstein, Renee Wilson
For two years PBS audiences have been captivated by the world of Downton Abbey, with its noble aristocracy headed by the Earl of Grantham and its serving class led by the unflappable Mr. Carson. Audiences have swooned to the romances of Matthew and Mary, Mr. Bates and Anna, and hissed at the machinations of Miss OBrien and Thomas. What has made this British import such a hit in its two seasons, and what can fans expect from the forthcoming third season?
Note: Yes, I pitched a straight-up Downton Abbey panel at a science-fiction convention. I love pitching off-the-wall things…
Everything is Better with a TARDIS
1pm, Salon A
Panelists: Me, Lorraine Anderson, T. Alan Chafin, Kieryn Nicolas, Phil Giunta, Terri Osborne
Doctor Who is a unique television program in that it can cross genres from story to story, moving from sci-fi space opera to historic costume drama to contemporary settings without missing a beat. The panelists will discuss non-Whovian movies and television series that would work as Doctor Who stories and speculate on which existing characters would work as companions. Get a different view of your favorite stories by dropping the Doctor into something like Blade Runner, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, A Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and many more, and discover what makes a good Doctor Who story work!
Note: I’m going to double-check with my co-panelists and make sure they’re okay with this concept for a panel; it’s what I pitched, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure that they don’t think I had an ordinary “Steven Moffat is a golden god” Doctor Who panel in mind. There’s three other Doctor Who panels at Shore Leave this weekend. Yes, four hours of Doctor Who programming at Shore Leave. I remember when I suggested one back in 2005 and got a packed room.
John Carter: Barsoom Rising
Panelists: Me, Peter David (writer of Marvel Comics’ John Carter: World of Mars), Rigel Ailur, Steve Wilson, Aaron Rosenberg
In March, Pixar visionary Andrew Stanton released his first live-action film, John Carter, based on the Martian novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Despite weak reviews, the film was warmly received by Burroughs fans and science-fiction fans as a century-old novel, A Princess of Mars, was brought up to date for modern film audiences. Did John Carter work? What could the film have done better? Is there a future for this franchise? And did the film lead audiences to discover the work of Burroughs?
Sunday, August 5th
Panelists: Glenn Hauman, Allyn Gibson
Twenty-five years ago Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons revolutionized comic book storytelling with their graphic novel, Watchmen. This summer, DC Comics controversially revisits the world of Watchmen with a series of mini-series, Before Watchmen. Why has DC Comics decided to return to the world of Watchmen? What do these characters say to modern audiences? Are the Before Watchmen series worth the controversy? The panelists discuss the comics, the work of Alan Moore, and more!
Note: I need to get caught up on Before Watchmen this week before the convention. Also, I’m sure the Rorschach toaster will get brought up.
ReDeus: Divine Tale
1pm, Salon E
Panelists: Bob Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Phil Giunta, Allyn Gibson, William Leisner, Steve Wilson, Dave Galanter
This panel is devoted to the book that’s launching at Shore Leave this weekend. In the world of ReDeus, the ancient deity pantheons return to Earth in the present day and demand worship and fealty. What was it like to work on this project, and what will readers get out of the book?
I’m planning this week on writing up notes for my panels. Talking points are helpful to have, and when I try and “wing” a panel I either talk aimlessly or I run out of things to say. Notes are a roadmap and they’ll keep my focused.
I intend to do something different with those notes. Basically, I’m going to turn them into an epub, so I can carry them on my Nook. Then, after the convention, I may let people have my Shore Leave panel notes if, for some reason, they want them.
A random thought. It’s a packed convention. There’s stuff going on all the time this year.
My schedule isn’t quite as grueling as last year’s. (I’ve had to beg off two panels due to double-booking.) And I’m still thinking about trying to arrange a guerilla happening — a group reading of Wesley Crusher, Teenage Fuck Machine. Yes, because I’m just that crazy. 😆
And maybe I’ll see some of you there! :h2g2: