Tag Archives: worldcon

How to be Cool – A Primer.

As I’ve mentioned before, due to angering some fickle deity, I only had one scheduled event at DragonCon: a reading.

When I showed up to the con, the programming staff were nice enough to schedule me a signing too. Then, using my not inconsiderable charm, I sweet-talked my way onto a couple of the writing track panels.

The panels went pretty well. Since they were already on the schedule, they had good audiences. I gave a few good pieces of advice, got a few laughs, and avoided – for the most part – making an ass of myself. If I can do all three of those things, it’s a good panel.

My signing was another matter entirely. Since it wasn’t on the schedule, nobody knew about it. You could hear crickets. Two people showed up, and I was surprised to have that many.

Rest assured that my ego did not suffer any permanent trauma due to low attendance. Why is that? Well… mostly because of the signings I used to do back when my first story appeared in an anthology….

They were brutal. Most signings are when you’re a new writer. Typically you spend two hours sitting at a card table in front of a Waldenbooks at the local mall. Then everyone ignores you. Pointedly ignores you. Ignores you as if they fear making eye contact will give them herpes.

Those early signings, while grueling, did a great job of setting my expectations low. These days, if I have a signing and two or three people talk to me, I consider it a win. Everything beyond that is gravy.

The other reason my ego wasn’t bruised by the low turn-out is that earlier this month at Worldcon, when my signing *was* on the schedule, I got a turnout that surprised so much that I took a picture of the line:

By comparison, my DragonCon signing is pretty relaxing. I talk to the two people who stop by, drink my coffee, and read the program book making plans to stalk Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, and Jewel Staite.

Then I pack up and head over to my reading. My expectations understandably low.

Imagine my surprise when I see that the room is pretty much full. It’s surprising to me that all these people, in the middle of all the glamour and weird of DragonCon, have chosen to show up and listen to me read. What’s more, they all started to applaud when I came in the door.

It was a good feeling. I felt cool. Really cool. I was a hoopy frood. I was about .8 of a Gaiman on the cool-o-meter, which is pretty cool.

I briefly excused myself to use the bathroom – as I said, it was exciting – then did my reading. They laughed at my jokes, asked good questions, and didn’t hassle me too much about book two. In brief, it was a great crowd.

When my hour was up, so many people wanted me to sign that, after a half hour, I needed to move the remainder into the hallway because the next reading was scheduled to begin. Then I signed in the hallway for another half hour.

Needless to say, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then I realized that my zipper was down. Which means that it had been down since I used the bathroom right before the reading.

Thank you, oh universe, for reminding me of the truth. While I may be all that and a bag of chips, I’m usually all that and a bag of chips who doesn’t know his zipper is open.

I learned my lesson though. Later that night, in order to prevent any further zipper-related embarrassment, I changed into my kilt before I went out to dinner with some of the folks who had participated in the photo contest a couple months back:

And a good time was had by all….

pat

Posted in conventions, my dumbness, my rockstar life, Neil Gaiman | By Pat40 Responses

Official Announcement: The Campbell Award

A couple weeks ago, I got the following piece of fanmail…

Mr. Rothfuss,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I really loved your book. I mean REALLY loved it. Probably the Best I’ve read in five years.

In fact, I loved it so much, I just nominated you for the Campbell award. I thing [sic] that there’s going to be a bit of a showdown between you and Scott Lynch, but personally, I think you’re a shoe-in.

Keep on Truckin,

I’ve removed his name for confidentiality reasons, so for simplicity’s sake let’s call him…. Susan.

Anyway, I replied to Susan and told him that while I was really flattered, I wasn’t actually eligible for the Campbell Award.

For those of you who don’t know. The Campbell Award is awarded at Worldcon. It’s given out to the best new Sci-Fi/Fantasy author to appear on the scene. While it’s not a Hugo itself, it *is* given out during the same award ceremony, and it’s a pretty big deal. Honestly, I’d love to win it.

Unfortunately, I can’t. You see, the Campbell is only awarded to new authors. You’re only eligible for the first two years after your first publication, and “The Name of the Wind” wasn’t the first thing I ever had in print. Back in 2002 I published my first and only short story, “The Road to Levinshir.”

Very few people actually know about that story, but it still counts. That means my eligibility started in 2002, and ended in 2004. I was out of the running long before “The Name of the Wind” ever saw print.

I sent Susan an e-mail thanking him, explaining why I couldn’t win, and letting him know that, generally speaking, calling me “Pat” is fine, as “Mr. Rothfuss” sounds oddly formal to me.

He e-mailed me back, saying:

Pat,

Thank you for e-mailing me back. That was unexpected. I just wish that I would have known earlier, or I wouldn’t have wasted my time voting for you for the Campbell, and would have gone straight to nominating you for the Hugo instead.

Unfortunately, I’ve already sent in my Hugo nominations for this year, so I’ll have to settle for rooting for you from the sidelines. Rest assured that if you make it onto the final ballot ‘Best Novel’ you’ll have my vote.

And that, I thought, was that. The thought that anyone would nominate me for the Campbell or the Hugo filled me with lovely warm feelings. I didn’t give much thought to winning, because honestly, those awards get won by huge authors like Gaiman and Rowling and Susanna Clarke….

Then I got another e-mail that said pretty much the same thing as Susan’s. They loved the book and nominated me for the Campbell. I e-mailed them back and told them the truth…

Then I got a third e-mail and realized I needed to put out an official statement of some kind….

So here’s the official announcement:

*ahem*

If you’re thinking of nominating me for the Campbell, thank you very much. I’m flattered.

But I’m not eligible. It makes me feel bad that people are wasting their votes on me when there are other cool new authors out there that would love your nominations. (Folks like Joe Abercrombie, the aforementioned Scott Lynch, Kat Richardson…. There’s too many to mention, check out a full list over HERE.)

That said, if you’re absolutely dying to nominate “The Name of the Wind” for something, feel free to mark me down on your Hugo nomination ballot for “Best Novel.” I am eligible for that.

Truthfully, the odds are vastly against me winning the Hugo, but I’ll admit that even the thought of making it onto the preliminary ballot makes me all tingly. I mean seriously, look at the award itself….

It’s a frikkin rocket. How cool is that? All phallic jokes aside, I swear if I won that thing I’d carry it around with me for a solid year, making rocket noises and flying it through the air.

Then, when my arms got tired, I would affix it to a gold chain and wear it around my neck, not only would it be the most badass author bling imaginable, but it would protect me from accidentally dying before book two comes out by stopping bullets and deflecting laserbeams.

Okay…. At some point that stopped being an official announcement and turned into me being a total geek about something shaped like a toy. I think I’m going to stop blogging now and put this energy into revising The Wise Man’s Fear….

Later all,

pat

Posted in awards, fanmail, geeking out | By Pat21 Responses
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