Balticon Schedule

The Program Schedule for Balticon 51 has just been released. I’m pleased to announce that they’ve selected me for six panels, two of which I’m moderating, and also elected for me to conduct a workshop on Sunday.

My workshop is called: “Is Your Setting Strong Enough to Support a Series?” For those who have taken my previous workshops, it was previously known as “Creating an Adaptive Setting.” I last ran the workshop at Capclave in 2015, so I’m looking forward to conducting it for a whole bunch of new people.

Here’s my Balticon Schedule:

Balticon 51 Schedule for David Keener

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Balticon 47 SF Convention

Balticon Science Fiction ConventionI’ll be going to the Balticon 47 science fiction convention next weekend. It’s being held in Hunt Valley, MD, which is close enough for me to drive in each day. I’ll be there for about half of Saturday and all day on Sunday.

I’m looking forward to it. Balticon was the first science fiction convention I ever went to, back in 1983. That was Balticon 17, I believe. In all this time, I think I’ve only been to three of them, and it’s been years since I last attended one of their conventions.

This time is a little different, though. As far as I’m concerned, I’m going as a professional. Now, I don’t have any officially published works yet (although I have some free short stories online), so my resume as a writer is sketchy at best (at least my resume as a public speaker is considerably better), and I’m not on any panels. But, that doesn’t matter to me. I’ll be at the convention to learn, to meet people, network, and promote myself. I particularly want to meet contacts in the Baltimore and Washington DC areas who are writers, editors, publishers, promoters, etc.

At the 2012 World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon for short, I managed to get pictures of myself with Neil Gaiman and Hugh Howey. I’d like to manage some photos like that at Balticon as well. These are always great for the blog, and I still get kind of a thrill out them myself, both getting the photos and meeting the authors.

Now, for my dilemma. I’ve prepared a new short story called “Goodbye, My Darling.” I’ll be premiering a 5 – 7 minute speech based upon this short story at Ashburn Toastmasters on this coming Wednesday. At Balticon, there are several “Open Readings” scheduled, in which writers sign up to do a reading of up to 10 minutes. I’ve got a story memorized, and modified to be a public speech, that I can deliver in 7 minutes. Do I have the guts to actually present this story at Balticon?

Complicating matters slightly, I’ve also got a non-SF-related speech on Tuesday, in front of a crowd of 5 – 70 people (I get to follow the main event, New York Times best-selling writer, Ric Edelman). So, if I present at the convention, it will be my third speech of the week.

Realistically, I expect the Balticon audience to be friendly and enthusiastic. It’s also likely that some of the readings will be pretty dry, since interpretive reading is actually a fairly difficult endeavor. Ideally, I’d like to come on stage with a dynamic, well-paced and well-practiced speech after several of those dry readings. My inclination is “Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes.”

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