Tag Archives: fantasy

Hugo Nominations

Not sure who to nominate? There are many lists up:








In the world of self-promotion, I must add that many of my nonfiction works are eligible for the Hugo for best related work. I’ve made two of them free for the next short while for anyone who would like to try them:

Winning the Game of Thrones: The Host of Characters and their Agendas


Free with coupon code HM23E or available in paperback with many reviews athttp://www.amazon.com/Winning-Game-Thrones-Characters-Agendas/dp/0615817440

Doctor Who – The What, Where, and How: A Fannish Guide to the TARDIS-Sized Pop Culture Jam


Free with coupon code PU82T  or available in paperback with many reviews at


Many thanks for reading!


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WorldCon 2013 Report

LoneStarCon, the 71st World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention had a lower attendance than usual (3800, I heard, with an additional thousand who pre-supported or bought memberships but couldn’t attend)…this may have been competition with DragonCon—the two are usually the same weekend, but Worldcon isn’t usually as close as San Antonio, TX. On the upside, there was a massive group of first-time attendees, proudly wearing rainbow colored ribbons. Many were locals from San Antonio, and the long-term fans seemed enthusiastic about offering encouragement and insider knowledge. It’s a friendly convention, with as many females as males, eighty-year-olds and twenty-year-olds, and total strangers all acknowledging we’re part of the same fannish world. Those strangers were also kind enough to snap many photos of me on request, displayed here with grateful appreciation. I was also touched by the many people (some rather famous) who greeted me by name or asked “aren’t you the heroine’s journey author?”


For more, please visit http://thetemporaryescape.blogspot.com/ who will be hosting my guest post 🙂

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Filed under About Me, Convention Reports, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Uncategorized, Writing

Coraline: The Classic Heroine’s Journey

The heroine’s journey sees the adolescent girl receiving a mirror, seeing stone, or tool of knowledge and perception (like a book, magic spectacles, or a golden compass) rather than a hero’s sword. She quests, not to topple the tyrant and rule his kingdom, but to rescue a lost sibling, parent, or lover. However, her quest is no less valiant for its lack of weapons as the heroine often struggles through the darkness, helpless and alone, battling her deepest terrors to save those she loves.  And she does it swordless.

Armed with only a seeing stone and her own wits, Coraline has plenty of horror to face, most particularly in the sickly-sweet Other Mother who wants to remake Coraline into a dark, frightening self. If Coraline agrees, the Other Mother will one day devour her and leave nothing but a ghost floating pathetically behind the mirrors of her home. This reflects the archetypal struggle for independence, as girls long to leave home and grow up, but the fairytale dark mother clings too tight, begging her to stay home and be a child forever, let her mother dress her and take over all aspects of her personality. Girls everywhere must learn to avoid the temptations of ice cream and dancing toys, to outwit the mother and become adults.

In the pattern of heroine quests everywhere, Coraline defeats the Other Mother with a hollow stone and a riddle game, and then conquers her disembodied hand with a doll’s tea set. As she does so, she’s following the tradition of mythic heroines across the world, who use magic thread, charms, potions, and their own wits to recreate the world and save their most beloved.

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Filed under Heroine's Journey, Pop Culture, Young Adult Fantasy

Baycon 2012 Wrap Up

Baycon is always lovely—it’s my home convention, and it was wonderful having so many people call me by name and ask about my books. (I have several new ones this year). It’s a friendly, all-inclusive con, happy to encourage new authors and welcome discussions on the most re-hashed of topics. On the other hand, it felt a bit more scattered than usual.

This year’s panels had some serious organizational problems—some people complained that they were on eleven panels, while others complained they were only on two (I had the latter problem). One fairytale talk, overloaded with about eight panelists, clearly should have been split in half (Hey, fairytales are popular this year—they would have gotten attendance!). I didn’t make it to the Birds of a Feather Talk but I heard the Whedon one wasn’t well attended. I had to explain that my heroine’s journey panel opposite had slurped up half the Buffy fans, in one of many awkward scheduling conflicts. Speaking of that heroine’s journey panel, it oddly went forward with my book’s title and description on it, despite the fact that no one else on it had read anything on my version of the heroine’s journey. One panelist kept telling me she had nothing to contribute, and another quite literally discussed nothing beyond her own novel. The third panelist (other than myself) had a strong background in myth and girl-power fantasy, and in the end, we mostly opened the talk to the audience and had a lively panel. My other panel on fairytales had many knowledgeable panelists, all of whom had plenty to say.

There were some new and different things—Cliff Winnig played sitar and there was an impressive armor and weapons demo. There was a “remembering Anne McCaffrey” track, hosted by her son and a few others who had known her. As usual, the evenings offered Rocky Horror, boffers, Regency dancing, a ball, concerts, gaming, and many parties. Chris Garcia’s Hugo Award made the rounds—I heard it was being used to power a steampunk gun, among other fascinating uses. The Consuite seemed to be the only example of the cruise theme, with lovely decorations and a staff daring people to put odd syrups in the free sodas (there was one ribbon for mixing in three, and another for anyone brave enough to try the “bacon flavor.”) Though Unwoman went to Clockwork Alchemy this year, she returned the last day for an impromptu concert. Toastmaster brothers Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin were quite funny, from their Karaoke-basedintroductions at Meet the Guests through the “A Shot Rang Out” impromptu storytelling at con end. I also went to a number of Brandon Sanderson’s talks—he’s fun, and was quite good natured at a Monday talk at which none of the other panelists showed up.

The hotel itself featured crowded elevators, a broken escalator, and a fire alarm that went off during Avalon Rising’s rendition of Disco Inferno…ah, timing. People went light on costumes though there was a small Masquerade contest and as always, a few special offerings. A baby in a mistcloak (from Sanderson’s Mistborn) was particularly precious. As always, my dad and I dressed very elaborately each day and never managed to meet the hall-costume awards…maybe if the awarders got around more, more people would dress up. I got an all-time high of 47 badge ribbons, all from making friendly chitchat at parties and in the hallways. Saturday night’s parties were literally too crowded to get into most of the rooms, though Sunday night’s were much saner. I loved Westercon 66’s drink-making robot, which was generating a substantial line. My own book sales were low, though I found some pretty Victorian accessories in the dealer’s room. The Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society was there, aggressively scooping up members and selling many new writer’s books.

Baycon was in trouble this year, with a new Steampunk con funneling away many of their fans—already often leaving for Fanime and Wiscon. Programming jumbles and panelists not bothering to put in the effort only made things worse. So where is Baycon heading? I’m not certain. To be fair, next year’s chair seems determined to fix the flaws, and is actively seeking fannish suggestions to make that happen.

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Filed under About Me, Convention Reports, Pop Culture