October 19th, 2009

Dealers' room

Capclave Report

This past weekend was Capclave, the DC-area convention. This year's con was held at the Rockville Hilton, immediately adjacent to the Twinbrook Metro station. The con seemed very well run, and looked well attended. I participated in five panels, and enjoyed all of them. I was probably weakest on the YA panel; I enjoy YA literature, both reading it and writing it, but some of the other writers on the panel had read more widely in the field than I do (one of them was my friend mindyklasky; being on a panel with her was great!). Likewise, the moderator of the library social networking panel knew LibraryThing much better than I knew GoodReads; only David Louis Edleman knew both forums well! On the "Save the Magazines" panel, I was pleased to hear Sheila Williams report that Asimov's had gained a substantial number of subscribers by going on the Kindle.

Being on panels is fun mostly because the panelists tend to be well informed on the topic, but not uniform in their views. All my panels were well moderated, so I always got a chance to speak up. Discussing the differences between paranormal romance and urban fantasy (of course there are differences) was fun, but my favorite panel was probably the Future of Publishing with Jane Jewell moderating. A review of the audience revealed only a few eReader owners— surprising in the light of the Asimov's statstics— with twice as many folks using PDAs or smart phones as eReaders.

I did make a reading or two— Mindy, of course, and Tom Doyle. I missed scottedelman's reading (the one drawback to being on a panel) but did get to catch up with him over lunch.

The Dealer's Room was well stocked for the size of the con (about 400 attendees). There is no art show, but they do award the WSFA Small Press Award at Capclave, which is nice. This year's winner is "The Absence of Stars: Part 1″ by Greg Siewert, published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, edited by Edmund R. Schubert.

I had a fantastic time and I was tickled pink to learn that next year the Capclave Guest of Honor will be Connie Willis!

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