I will be attending MileHiCon 54 in Denver, Colorado, which will be held from Friday, October 21 through Sunday October 23, 2022 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. You can get more information about the event at https://milehicon.org.
This year’s toastmaster is Kevin J. Anderson, who has published more than 175 books, 58 of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as unique steampunk fantasy trilogy beginning with Clockwork Angels, written with legendary rock drummer Neil Peart. Anderson is also the owner of WordFire Press, publisher of the collection Maximum Velocity: Best of the Full-Throttle Space Tales that I co-edited with Carol Hightshoe, Dayton Ward, Jennifer Brozek, and Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
The author guests of honor are Travis Heermann and Ken Liu. Author, filmmaker, screenwriter, poker player, poet, biker, Travis Heermann is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, an Active member of SFWA and the HWA, and the author of the Shinjuku Shadows series, Ronin Trilogy, The Hammer Falls, and other novels. Ken Liu is an American author of speculative fiction. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he wrote the Dandelion Dynasty, a silkpunk epic fantasy series (starting with The Grace of Kings), as well as short story collections The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and The Hidden Girl and Other Stories. He also authored the Star Wars novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker.
I will be on several panels throughout the weekend. My schedule is below. When I’m not on panels, you can find me in the dealer’s room. I’ll be sharing a booth space with author Adam Gaffen.
Friday, October 21
- 4:00pm, Evergreen F: To See New Earths – I’ll introduce Kitt Peak’s planet-hunting detector, NEID, and discuss its role supporting NASA’s TESS mission, hunting for Earth-like planets outside the solar system.
Saturday, October 22
- 11:00 am, Conifer 2: Cryptozoology in Art and Fiction – Cryptids remain ever popular. Our panelists will discuss what they are, and how they show up in art and fiction of all forms (books, movies, television, comics, etc). On the panel with me are Daniel Dvorkin, Jon Black, Lou J. Berger, and Matt Bille
- 2:00 pm, Evergreen F: The Year in Science – Panelists cover the science news that most caught their attention over the past year. Courney Willis will serve as moderator. Also on the panel are Carolyn Collins Petersen, Daniel Dvorkin, and Ka Chun Yu
- 4:00 pm, Conifer 2: SF&F Poetry – SF&F is not just prose. Our panelists will discuss all things poetic in the SF&F world. Stace Johnson will moderate. On the panel with me are Mary Turzillo, and Reese Hogan
- 5:00 pm, Conifer 3: Writing Effectively For Comics (So You’re Not Murdered by your Artist or Letterer) – Writing for comics is very different than writing for prose. Learn from our panelists how not to make things harder for yourself, your letterer, your artist, or your editor. Jason Henderson will be moderating. Also on the panel are Karen Bjorn, Travis Heermann, and Sumiko Saulson
Sunday, October 23
- 2:00 pm, Evergreen F: Mapping the Universe – Kitt Peak’s DESI instrument is engaged in a five-year mission to make the largest 3D map in the universe. How does it work? What are some things we’ve learned along the way? And what do we ultimately hope to learn?
I used to work three cons a year, and thought that was a lot. But it looks like you do more than I did!
I hope this question doesn’t come across badly, as it verges on stereotyping. Individual people are certainly different. But for the most part, I think of astronomers as, well, doing astronomy. I don’t tend to think of them as speaking on panels at conventions, or doing other public speaking–except at an observatory that’s also a tourist attraction. I’d be curious to know if many of the astronomers you know also like to speak in public.
This year, I’m expecting to go to six conventions, which has been pretty typical.
Actually, I know quite a few astronomers who speak on panels at conventions and do other public speaking gigs. Many are at schools. In Tucson, you’ll find a contingent at the Tucson Festival of the Book — NOIRLab has traditionally set up a booth there. There’s often a nice science track at Phoenix-area conventions populated by Arizona State University astronomers.
For many faculty positions, there’s actually a public service component and speaking at events can help to fulfill that. That noted, my job doesn’t have a public service component. The fact that I do it is lauded by my bosses, but it doesn’t affect my performance reviews or pay, for instance. The only way I’m compensated for speaking in public is if people buy my books at conventions.
Aw, jeez, I’m so close to this, and so far away! Would love to see the cryptozoology panel!
Wish you could make it to Denver, but totally understand. I’ve been chatting with the moderator and fellow panelists about the cryptozoology panel. I think it’s going to be a good one!