SATURDAY, JULY 22
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Torch—and the Sword, and Shield, and Dragon...
How do established writers and new voices in the
fantasy field find balance in giving readers
the familiar elements they crave while telling stories in a fresh
Authors: Peter Beagle, David Keck, George
R. R. Martin, Todd McCaffrey,
Rebecca Moesta, Naomi Novik, Eldon Thompson
Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart
Autographing to follow immediately in the
official Autograph Area
"What a zoo. Just when you think an event
couldn't get any bigger, it does. First, my apologies to all of
those I meant to see and spend some time with—and
failed. I'd say I'll do better next year, but with the way things
are going, it would turn out to be a lie.
The weekend is a bit of
a blur, but I'll see if I can recall some highlights. I'll start
with the exclusive screening of some R-rated trailer footage from
the forthcoming Warner Brothers' film, 300. If you epic
battle fans haven't heard of this one yet, you soon will. Based on
the graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City), it tells the
story of the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans waged war
against, well, a lot of Persians. The overall imagery is
quasi-realistic, styled to look more like a comic, which took some
getting used to. But very intense. I'm looking forward to it.
Later that day was my
discussion panel with fantasy newcomers David Keck and Naomi Novik,
as well as a number of genre heavyweights: Peter Beagle, Todd McCaffrey,
Rebecca Moesta, and, of course, George R. R. Martin. I ended up
sitting next to Mr. Martin at the autographing table afterward—in
almost the same exact spot where I sat next to Robert Jordan the
year before. Some fine company I've been able to keep. That's two #1
NY Times authors in consecutive years. With any luck,
something of their skill rubbed off on me.
Other professionals I
had the pleasure to spend some time with included R. A. Salvatore,
Larry Elmore, Tracy Hickman, and Christopher Paolini. I didn't get
to speak with Christopher as much as I might have liked, since I was
late in returning from Sunday brunch over at the Hotel del Coronado.
(Anyone who has ever eaten there would understand my choice.) But I
did get to catch up with Mike Macauley and the fine folks from
(the #1 Inheritance fan site), and also spent a fair amount
of time with Shawn Speakman, webmaster extraordinaire and
soon-to-published author (Best of luck, Shawn!).
Of course, there was
the typical array of actors from Star Wars and other films on
hand. Though it's still called Comic-Con, it seems that Hollywood
gobbles up more and more of the program each year.
Before I forget, I
should say thanks to the friends and family who made the trip (Neil,
Kevin, Will, the Laviolettes—heck, you all know who you are).
They're the ones who make this annual pilgrimage worthwhile. Oh, and
thanks again to Maryelizabeth Hart of
Mysterious Galaxy books for having
me on the program. Hope I managed to say something coherent.
point, I'm promising myself a year off in 2007, but then again, I thought
that last year..."