Westercon, and Query Crit on OA Today

Our second query critique is up on Operation Awesome today if you'd like to check it out! After you read this riveting blog post here, of course.

My husband and I went to Westercon over the weekend, and although he refused to dress up like Commander Ryker (hey, I was willing to try for Deanna Troy) we had a good time.

This was the first fan con that I've been to; I generally do writers' conferences and then I did a storytelling conference years ago. I only found out about Westercon because my friend Karen Sandler posted on Facebook that she was going to be on some panels there. And good thing she did, because otherwise I would have missed out on getting her to sign my book (yes, we do see each other outside of conferences, but I don't always carry a copy of her book around with me, lol).

Awakening is the second book in Karen's YA trilogy, which started with Tankborn, and now I'm re-reading Tankborn to refresh my memory before diving into book two.

I attended most of the panels to do with writing and publishing (found out about Westercon too late to sign up for the writer's workshop), many of which were concentrated on self-publishing, e-pubbing, and small presses. Got some great links and resources out of it, but I'd like to add some resources of my own here . . .

One of the panels was on using sf/fantasy in the classroom and they talked about K-12, but I noticed that most of the books they were talking about for the high school level were titles like Farenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World. Valid books, all, but I must've not been the only one who noticed that the most recent book they mentioned was written 25 years ago because another audience member asked for more recent YA sf titles.

And the panel was stumped (they said they don't deal with YA as much). It was as they were wrapping and I didn't have a chance to speak up, but I did go up to the person who had asked the question and provided some YA sf titles that I'd read:

Beth Revis's series (starts with Across the Universe)
Veronica Roth's series (starts with Divergent)
James Dashner's Maze Runners series
Mike Mullin's Ashfall series
Paolo Bacigalupi's series (starts with Ship Breakers)
Scott Westerfield's Uglies series and Leviathin books
Marie Lu's series (starts with Legend)
Marissa Meyer's series (starts with Cinder)
Feed by M.T. Anderson (this one's actually on my TBR list)

There are so many more, of course, but these are the ones that occurred to me during the panel or right afterwards. If there was a Westercon in Sacramento in the near future (it moves to different cities), I'd definitely be proposing a panel on YA sf and fantasy!

Saturday was the masquerade but we left well before it started. I did manage to catch a few cool costumes with my camera phone though:

Would like to have seen what else people came up with, but I was tired from only two days of this! Kudos to the people who stuck it out for all four days. Since it's only about a 40 minute drive from our place, we opted to do the day trip thing.

So who would you have dressed up as, if you had unlimited time and money to make a costume?


Laurie Dennison said...

Oh, sounds like fun! Those are awesome costumes, too!

Across the Universe is one of the books that came in my big box, and I'm looking forward to reading it. I hope more high schools are starting to use current titles. I only really hear about it in practice from my writer-teacher friends, and not so much from my non-writer teacher friends.

The Writer Librarian said...

I would probably go as Magrat Garlick from Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. But then I'd probably have to explain to everyone who I was. ;)

I agree that more high schools should use current sf/f titles. School librarians should get in on this conversation too--when I surveyed public and school librarians a few years ago, the school librarians rarely mentioned sf/f titles and stuck mostly to YA contemporary (Before I Fall, Just Listen, etc.) This might be an indicator of why.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Laurie, I'll be interested to hear what you think about Across the Universe--we started it on audio and there was a particular scene that was very difficult to hear, but it's so much harder to skip pages on audio! I did like it overall, but have mixed feelings on that part (not going to say what it is, but it will likely be obvious).

And Karen, it feels like a victory that sf/fantasy is on the reading lists at all, but it also feels like it's playing it safe to stick to the "classics". Not that they don't get challenged too, but at least you can point to precedents in those cases.

Kris Atkins said...

How fun! I love your panel idea. So much good fantasy YA out there. I adore it.
Hmm ... I'd probably dress up as a character from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. So many good options!
If you feel knowledgeable enough, I'd be very interested in a blog/blog series on small presses. I keep hearing that they're the future of physical publishing, but no reasons as to why. Or perhaps you have some good resources on the subject to share? Thanks!

Angie said...

Wow awesome costumes and it sounds like you had fun even though they weren't up to date on YA scifi. I'd have to do a costume with a medieval dress, though I'm not sure that fits with any scifi books/series I've read.

Post a Comment