Dragon*con Report

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Oct 122006
 

Let’s see… it was really interesting to have Dragon*con the week after Worldcon. I think it was the first time I had the two of them so close together and that gave me a chance to contrast them.

I have to say, they’re just completely different. In fact, Worldcon, Dragon*con, and San Diego Comic-Con are just different creatures altogether.

In order of freneticity (is that a word?), Comic-Con is the most jam-packed, frenetic, crazed of the three conventions. Comic-Con seems to be concentrated on the Exhibitor’s Hall and, with over 100,000 people, that just gets to be wild.

Dragon*con is the next frenetic but as it’s spread out over a number of hotels, it’s a lot less claustrophobic than Comic-Con. Also, because Dragon*con caters to a more diverse audience, there are always a lot of interesting people. This is not to diss Comic-Con, just to recognize the differences. I’d say that there are more costumers per person at Dragon*con than at Comic-Con — not that there aren’t a lot of costumers at Comic-Con (especially as Comic-Con is about three times the size of Dragon*con).

Worldcon is the smallest of the three and correspondingly more laidback. Conversations can develop to their fullest at Worldcon. There are fewer costumes, too. And I’d say that Worldcon is the most literary of the three.

As for this year’s Dragon*con, it was great! I arrived on Thursday, flying out with Marv Wolfman, two of the cast of “Land of the Lost”, Paul Dini and his wife, Misty — although none of had none the others were going to be on the same flight. I’ve known Marv on and off for nearly twenty years so it was good to have a chance to catch up with him.

This year the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey/Weyrfest room was in the Marriott which was a change. It worked out well, all the same.

On Friday my first panel was “The Worst Pern Film Ever!” where we worked out the worst possible cast and crew for a Pern film. After this, everything looks good. If memory serves right we chose Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”) as Lessa and Roseanne as the voice of Ramoth with Fabio as F’lar and Carrot Top as the voice of Mnementh. It went downhill from there.

Next, I had two late night panels in the YA Lit track, “Sheroes in HP” and “Divination Class: Harry Potter Theories and Prophecies”. In the first we talked about Hermione (naturally), Ginny, Luna Lovegood, and all the other strong female heroes in the Harry Potterverse. I was thrilled to see that everyone loves Luna just as much as I do! (I think I also got a rousing response when I suggested it’d be a shame if Luna and Neville don’t end up together).

Saturday I started with a panel on Pern science and later had a panel with Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett, “Don’t count your dragons before they’re hatched!”

I had been eyeing the Utilikilt wares for a while and decided, finally, to get one. In fact, I got two — a blue curdoroy and a nice olive green. I had fully intended to wear one or the other to the Saturday evening banquet but noticed that a kilt is a great device for highlighting the ol’ spare tire, so I opted out, promising myself that I’d wear a kilt on Sunday.

Saturday evening was the award banquet. I had tickets for me and a guest but as I hadn’t brought a guest with me, I asked my good friend Natalie Hubble if she’d join me. We had a great time, the food was marvelous and the entertainment great (although I wish the band had played a bit more quietly).

Afterwards, I returned to the Weyrfest room for what has become our annual “Are you a Werewolf?” game. There are several different version of “Werewolf” (also known as Mafia), we tend to play with some limited role-playing (we say what we do as villagers) and that results in very bawdy games with lots of innuendo — which is really the bulk of the fun!

Sunday I was dutifully kilted up in the blue curdoroy. I was accosted by the people from TheDevilsPanties.com who asked if they could blow air up my kilt. Now, a kilt’s actually more comfortable than trousers in hot steamy weather but a little breeze is still welcome. You can see the results here.

Sunday I started with a reading from the current version of “Dragon’s Heart.” That was quite interesting as I used the audience’s response to discover what worked and what didn’t. That’s the third time I’ve read part of the new novel to a group and I’ve changed it every time!

Later I was over at the YA Lit track on a panel, “Here Be Dragons” where we talked about the prevalence of dragons in today’s fantasy, and gave several examples. It was interesting because I threw out the suggestion that there might be a backlash against dragons as there had been against unicorns — too many dragon books. The audience overall agreed that this was a possibility (sigh).

The next panel was “Is Dumbledore Dead?” but we all know that J.K. Rowling has already said that he is. I brought up the point that Dumbledore made to Draco Malfoy, with regards to Voldemort, “He cannot kill you if you are already dead.” (Page 591, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.) We all agreed that Ms. Rowling has been known to be creative in the past but the majority opinion was that Dumbledore is a goner. We then went on to talk about who else we figured would “get it” in the seventh book. It was a lively but very respectful conversation, not nearly as heated as the panel I was on at Worldcon.

After the last panel, I returned to the Weyrfest room for yet some more “Werewolf.” One day, maybe we’ll get tired and try another game but as it’s really more of a social event, I doubt it.

Monday I had a panel at 1 pm, “Q&A with Todd McCaffrey.” I don’t think anyone asked me any major stumpers.

I was also thrilled to meet Lilith Saintcrow. I’d been looking for her the entire convention (we’d met at the Science Fiction Hall of Fame) but she was in an entirely different part of the convention. However she tracked me down and I dragged her in to the Weyrfest room to plug her books, “Working for the Devil” and “Dead man rising” and agreed to meet me after the panel.

After the panel I pulled Lilith over to meet the YA Lit people because she’s such a cool person (hey, she’s got two kids, a mechanical engineer husband, and writes — what more could you ask?) and then we went over to the Dealer’s Room. I got accosted by the Pegasus Publishing people and told to sit until Scott Meredith came by. In the meantime, I picked out several polos and then, while we were waiting, Lili and I started hawking shirts for them. Well, not so much hawking as being asked like we knew what we were doing. I had a good talk with Scott, who is in great form.

All in all, it was a great convention!

 Posted by at 15:44

Letter from Tammy

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Oct 122006
 

Hi Todd,

I read your books and i find that they are so good! I had a hard time putting them down and well, at work, during my breaks, didn’t want to put them down to go back to work. Had to though, from the looks of my supervisor I put them away grumbling all the while! I think you’re going to be just fine taking over the Pern series and I look forward to more of them if you get more chances to write them. I think you do your mom very proud and keep at it. Holler when the next book is going to be out and I’ll go hunt it down and get it, but I can’t promise that I won’t get into trouble at work with it. (grin)

Good luck,
Tammy

Hey Tammy,

Thank you! I don’t want you to get into trouble with your boss but I’m glad you like my books. I’ll be branching out, writing some of my own stuff soon but the next two books at least will be on Pern.

Cheers,
Todd

 Posted by at 14:34

Letter from Lisa

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Oct 122006
 

Hey Todd!

You and your mum are awesome! Been reading your works since I was old enough to start reading, and that’s a long time. Your mum is my hero – has been for a very long time.

I’m pleased to report that the rumors are true – The Dragonriders of Pern has been optioned by Copperheart Entertainment.” WOOO HOOOO!!! You have my vote, but only if y’all cast Christopher Eccleston as F’lar (wicked grin).

Keep up the great work!

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for the compliment!

Yep, there’s a deal in place. But don’t rush off and buy your tickets yet — there’ve been deals in the past, many of them, and they clearly haven’t panned out. We’re very pleased with Copperheart and have high hopes.

As for casting — that’s not our job. I will say that the folks at Copperheart are keeping in tight contact with us and want to make a film of which Mum will be proud but, as with any collaborative effort, there will be many people involved in the decisions regarding casting.

For myself, while I just love Christopher Eccleston in the new Dr. Who, he is not my idea of F’lar (too old). However, as I’ve just pointed out, my opinion is only that — my opinion.

Cheers,
Todd

 Posted by at 14:28

Letter from Donna

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Oct 122006
 

Hey Todd,

I thought I’d drop you a line and say congrats on the movie. After talking to you last year @ Dragon Con in Atlanta about the costumes that I make and we talked about the posibility of my making prototypes for you, I’d hoped to hear from you. I know things like this take time so I wasn’t worried. Please drop me a line at the above E-mail and let me know what’s happening on this. Give your Mum my “WHOOO-HOOOO!” on the deal too. I’ve been waiting on Dragon’s Fire to get done after you told me the timeline it and the next books were going to cover. I am waiting on pins & needles for them to go on sale to get one. Are you going to be @ Dragon Con this year? They don’t have on their website that you are. I’d like to come by & see you both and congtatulate you in person if you’re there.

Look forward to your response,
Donna

Hi Donna,

I’m so far behind on my correspondence that Dragon*con’s been and gone. Yes, I was at Dragon*con. I had a blast, and if my con-fuddled memory serves correctly, we managed to hook up for a very brief conversation. Mum’s planning on being at Dragon*con next year.

We’re all thrilled about the movie deal but, I must caution you and everyone that a deal is only that — it’s not the film’s in the can, or “coming to a theatre near you” any time soon. There’s a lot of things that will have to happen before the film gets greenlighted, even. Still, cross your fingers. Also, the costumes were for me personally — I have no control over what gets into the movie (opinions, yes, control, no).

Cheers,
Todd

 Posted by at 14:23