So a couple months back, I went to the Detroit area for a convention.
Whenever I’m at a convention I find myself thinking, “I need to mention it this on the blog.”
The problem is this: When I get back from a convention, I’ve usually got a bunch of catching up to do. Revisions. Sarah needs kissing. And I usually have about 500 emails to sift through.
So I put off writing the blog for a couple days. But then something else always seems to come up. The convention stories get pushed back and eventually I give up on telling them.
But today I’m going to break that bad habit and tell a few of the stories from Penguicon.
I got a chance meet Randy Milholland in person for the first time. Randy does a webcomic I’m terribly fond of. He’s also one of the first webcartoonists to mention The Name of the Wind to his readers. It was a really big deal for me at the time, as it helped spread the word back when not a lot of people knew about the book.
We didn’t get to hang out as much as I’d hoped, but it was still cool to see him. I also took this picture:
That’s Randy drawing on the head of one of his fans. I took the picture because at the time I was a little jealous. But now that I’ve thought about it some more, I’m not so sure I’d like that sort of artistic responsibility.
I also had a lovely little adventure with Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary. But rather than re-tell that story, I’ll just link to his version of events. I honestly do not remember dropping the f-bomb on him. But Howard is a lovely guy, and I trust his memory more than mine.
I got to hang out with John Scalzi a little bit. He was delightful as ever. At one point he gave me an onion ring.
I honestly cannot remember why I took a picture of it. I think I was joking about selling it on e-bay.
Scalzi also told me a story.
Apparently, (Scalzi said) Subterranean Press sent him an ARC of The Adventures of The Princess and Mr. Whiffle.
The package showed up at his house, and his wife opened it. She flipped through it briefly, then set it down.
Later, his young daughter Athena wandered by. She saw the book and was curious about it. Understandable, really. On the surface, it looks like something every child would love:
(Warning: Do not allow book to come in contact with actual child.)
Anyway, Athena was lured in. She picked up the book, read it, and was a little… disturbed.
Athena then took the book to her mom and said, “I don’t think I like this.”
Luckily, mom was on the ball. She sat down with Athena and they chatted about the book. Processed it. Afterwards Zoe felt better, and, apparently, became rather fond of the book.
So fond of it, in fact, that Athena took it to school and asked the teacher if they could read it during story time. The teacher read the book and said “Hell no.” Though she said it in a much politer teachery way.
After Scalzi told me the story, I had a premonitory sweat. I shook my head and said, “I really need to put a sticker on the front of the book that says: This shit is not for kids.”
The idea rolled around in my head for a while, and so I talked to the illustrator, and we came up with this:
Then I had my best idea ever that week. Why not make the sticker really eye-catching? That way, people couldn’t help but notice the sticker and be fairly warned about the non-kid content.
I have to say it turned out perfectly. What’s more eye catchy than a gold-foil sticker? I’m sure when this is properly affixed to to the front of the book, people will be amply warned. Our nation’s children are now safe. Only the most foolish and lazy-minded of parents would ever mistake it for anything other than a warning label.
If you ordered your book from Subterranean Press, rest assured that you’ll be getting a sticker shipped to you along with your book. For the children.
In closing, two quick related notes:
1) Don’t hassle the folks at Subterranean Press, asking them if your book has shipped. They’re shipping them out as fast as they can. Be patient.
2) Subterranean is also shipping out their prizes from the Worldbuilders raffle. They’re sorry about the delay, but it was unavoidable. So if you get a couple unexpected books in the mail, it’s not a mistake, it’s a prize. Enjoy.