I set out for Can*Con 2017 on the rather auspicious date of Friday, October 13 after months of waiting. I had been looking forward to another trip to Ottawa for months, but I was extra anxious this time around simply because I was going to meet
…wait for it…
MY NEW PUBLISHER!
Yup. The folks at Renaissance Press read my rather lengthy manuscript and decided to publish it anyway. We officially signed all the papers over the weekend, and Black Wolf is tentatively scheduled for release next fall!
Of course, that wasn’t the only reason to go. I enjoyed my time at Can*Con 2016 and was looking forward to this year’s panels, both the ones I was on and the ones I wasn’t. I decided not to run around like a total maniac, but I still attended some excellent panels and squeezed in a bit of schmoozing.
There was a great discussion on the use of books in fiction, particularly grimoires and ancient tomes. The idea that knowledge is dangerous or simply reserved for a secret or elite group was a core theme throughout the talk. Later, I attended a thought-provoking panel on the relationship (real or imagined) between mental illness and creativity, another panel on virtual reality and the concept of humanity, as well as a lecture by Allan Weiss on the history and political nature of Canadian science fiction.
This year I was on two panels, one of which was titled “I’d rather have a beer with the villain.” We started off talking about what makes a villain and what we love/hate about villains; later, we got some really good audience participation by asking them to name some nasty characters and we would debate whether they were truly villains or not. That was a hell of a lot of fun, even though no actual beer was involved.
But the highlight of my weekend was the “Stories of the Northmen” panel. It was just me and my fellow Viking geeks K.W. Ramsey, author Chadwick Ginther, and our moderator Kate Heartfield, but we had a great discussion about the myths and their Marvel representations, as well as a bit of Viking history and culture.
The rest of the weekend was reserved for chatting and chilling and buying books. All in all, another fantastic weekend.
Until next year, Ottawa.