Nerdcon 2014 was my first time ever having a solo booth. An author booth dedicated solely to moi, Larry Gent. It was a new experience and it was a blast! I met lots of new people, had a great time talking to them, sold some book and hopefully made some new fans. So this year I’m excited to return.
This year, on top of having my own booth in which I will be selling my book Never Been to Mars, I will be participating in Geeks Versus Nerds as well as hosting my own panel entitled Fanfiction to Novel.
Fanfiction to Novel:
How to move from fun to professional: Fanfiction is a great starting tool for many writers but how do you take the next step and move into professional writing? What skills do you bring with you and what habits do you leave behind?
No writing is wasted writing and we help show you how you can put all those years of writing experience you have and step up to the next level.
In 2014 I had a great time. I learned many things about myself there, none more surprising then the fact that I WAS WORTHY. Who saw that coming? No me, that’s for damn sure.
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
How has my life changed since picking up the mystical hammer? In several ways. Morning traffic is easier when I can fly, my hydro bills are cheaper when I can summon electricity and ever since gaining the sexual charisma of Chris Hemsworth my movie career has skyrocketed.
AND I OWE IT ALL TO NERDCON.
Also I got a shout out from a galactic hero. I got Sheppard to say that my booth was his favourite!!
AND I OWE IT ALL TO NERDCON.
So if that was last year, I really wonder what this year will bring! Join me and find out! SEE YOU THERE!!
Welcome to Reality Check-In, in which the lovely and talented Dr. Heidi Paulin dismisses the medical plot-holes created by common writing tropes in movies, books, and television that have affected various levels of the Engen Universe!
This episode’s question: In “Becoming,” a character gets a sword slashed through half of their neck. Can you tell us the plausible health benefits to having a sword sliced half way through ones neck? And also any health risks, should they be possible.
Well now, that would depend on what part of the neck has been sliced! Is it the front (anterior), the rear (posterior) or lateral neck? Ah the lovely lateral neck? Well, a superficial slice may only give you a rad scar, and then you can walk around like a badass. A bit deeper, and you’ll injure or sever the sternocleidomastoid muscle, which allows you to flex your neck and turn your head to the opposite site. An injury to this, of course, gives you a valid medical excuse to avoid turning your head to check your blindspot while driving. Thus, you’re free to drive with abandon!
But you asked about a sword halfway through the neck. Well, a cut that deep and you’ll nick or sever the jugular vein and carotid artery. In the brief time before you bleed out (assuming no medical assistance is available), you can wow onlookers and imitate Jackson Pollack with your spurting blood (a better effect is achieved with only a nick of the carotid. Severing reduces the pressure of the blood spray). If you’re really talented you can maneuver you neck to aim your blood spray at the eyes of your attacker. An injury to the lateral neck will avoid the trachea and larynx, leaving you ability to scream intact (at least theoretically!). Now, some might argue these aren’t really health benefits, but that’s about the most positive spin I can put on such an incident.
This time around, he chose to review the Steve Lake short story Legacy of the Full Moon, first printed in the now-out-of-print original Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology.
Steve Lake’s Legacy of the Full Moon introduces us to Ryan Murphy, a vampiric, preternatural investigator. In comics, we have John Constantine and Cal McDonald providing hard-boiled, hard-edged paranormal entertainment but Murphy isn’t given similar room to breathe. The tale is fairly straightforward: he is hired by Liam O’Connell, the last of his family’s line, and is requested to visit the hermit’s ancestral home. After some dialogue and a completely unsurprising revelation, there is some brief action but I simply wasn’t pulled into the world. On the bright side, Lake’s ending was intriguing to the point that I await more of Murphy’s adventures. This is just a tiny morsel but next time, I want a full course meal.
Note: This was my introduction to characters I’ve since encountered a handful of times, and I count myself as a fan. Do yourself a favour and — if nothing else — download the eBook. You’ll probably become a fan as well!
Be sure to sign up to GoodReads and join the conversation! As the original volume of Sci-Fi from the Rock is currently out-of-print, Engen Books has made the 19-page short story available for free on the GoodReads website, and we encourage everyone to download, read, enjoy, rate and review!
You saw it first at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9, now you can download and print off your very own Steve Lake Engen Cube! Just print him out and cut him out! He folds together along the dotted lines. No tape! No glue!
Bring your Steve Lake with you everywhere! Take his picture in weird places! Embarrassing situations! Go wild! :)
Well here we are, one week removed from the biggest celebration of all things geeky and nerdy that St. John’s has ever seen. I’m talking of course about Sci-Fi On The Rock. Man what a time. It gets bigger and better every year and continuously blows my mind. I’m happy to be a cog in the wheel that makes this festival possible every year, and I’m grateful to the people I work with on the organizing committee for all the help we give each other in getting things done.
I still can’t believe it’s only been a week and that as I type this I’m back working my regular job, instead of running around the Holiday Inn making sure things are running smoothly, or talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while, or meeting the guest actors. Three days out of the year my life gets very surreal and I love every minute of it. I’d do it year round if I could, and if my liver would hold up (kidding, just kidding… maybe)
I didn’t see everyone I wanted to see, I didn’t get to do nearly half of what I had tried to plan to do, but as we all know, no plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy. Being second in command of the event, I know I’m not going to get to see and spend time with everyone I want to, but I did get to meet up with a lot of people I haven’t seen in too long and gods help me, I even managed to dance, or as close an approximation as I can get to dancing.
I did pick up a couple of new, nerdy trinkets, some new games and I was even made into a cubecraft figure thanks to my friends Matt & Ellen at Engen Books. Also, I’m told that I was seen in at least 7 places at the same time, so I broke my old record and the space/time continuum in the process. I also ruined the soles of one pair of sneakers from excessive amounts of walking. You think I’d learn to use the elevator but no, I used the stairs as much as my knees would let me.
Nope, still can’t believe it’s over again. I didn’t check out until Monday afternoon and I walked around the hotel before I left. The place seemed so empty without tables in the halls, the committee running around and Easy Side Mario’s seemed so different without people in costume having lunch. That’s when the post con blues really set in. Seeing the hotel without the Sci-Fi crowds and not having anything to do. Yes I missed having to do 20 things at once, I’ve got my insanity, you’ve got yours.
There’s so much I want to say about the planning that goes into this beast and about the work we’re already doing for Sci-Fi On The Rock 10, but it’s drawn out and boring and no one wants to read about that. What’s that? SFOTR10 you say? Yes I say! The committee is already working on it, hell work started a couple of months ago near the end of planning for SFOTR9. Can’t get the committee to take any time off, myself included. The committee work so hard and care so much about Sci-Fi On The Rock, we don’t even notice we’re not getting paid. That’s right, we’re all volunteering our time and energy to try and bring something amazing to the public.
But Steve, you say, that’s crazy. Maybe it is, I’ll reply, but speaking for myself, I get paid something better than money. I get to see the smiles on people’s faces when they find that perfect something with one of the vendors, or I see a child’s face light up when R2D2 beeps for them or they get to hug a Disney Princess. I hear the laughter that goes along with friends playing a Super Smash Bros. tournament and see the excitement of a team winning Geek Survivor. I get memories, awesome, fantastic memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
I’ve also met some of the nicest, most genuine people that it has been my pleasure to get to know. That’s what brings me back year after year, the people that make the whole experience awesome.
Along the way I’ve gone drinking with a Klingon, screeched in a couple of Ferengi and sang songs in a bad Irish accent with a Starfleet Lieutenant. I even had Chewbacca himself approve of my Wookie voice. Then there’s the guy who runs around in a shirt and cape made from Battlestar Galactica bed sheets, giving out buttons, chocolate bars and soap. I said it gets surreal sometimes.
I think I’m rambling now and I don’t really care, it’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to. Actually no, I’ll end this piece here. But before I go, I’d like to say thanks one more time to everyone involved in planning and everyone who attended Sci-Fi On The Rock 9, you’re all an amazing bunch of nerds and I’m lucky to count myself among you.
**Please comment with more questions, they will be added**
So right now we’re in the midst of preparing for Ten Years of Sci-Fi from the Rock, or so it’s tentatively titled in my head, and it occurs to me we might want to have a list of guidelines — really a kind of FAQ — that we can add to as time goes on and more questions come up.
What is the target audience?
For this specific collection, we’re going for an equivalent of PG to PG-13. That’s mainly because this book, more than the previous three, will be linked to the convention itself in that it’s celebrating 10 years of the Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.
So there will be acceptable levels of violence, gore, sexual content that will be judged on a per-story basis.
As an author, I’d very much encourage potential authors to not to take this restriction into account when drafting. Write what you want to write, fine-points of content can be debated during editing.
What genres will be accepted?
Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Hard Sci-Fi, Horror, Speculative Fiction… Anything “Generally Geeky,” as one fan said when I struggled to list all the possibilities. Generally Geeky is a good term.
Fan Fiction or anything involving copyright-protected characters will not be accepted. If you’re writing something that involves legal-to-use previously-created public-domain entities, like Sherlock Holmes or something, make that clear in your opening email to us so that it doesn’t get flagged.
Who can submit?
Almost anyone with any connection to the convention, no matter how tenuous.
This includes: convention staff, guests, attendees, friends of the convention, and people the convention or Engen invites to submit.
Got a story to tell? We think everyone does! Especially the talented staff and attendees of Sci-Fi on the Rock! That’s why Engen Books produces the Sci-Fi From the Rock anthologies, highlighting short stories from our region, written by the staff a guests of everyone’s favorite Sci-Fi convention!
Next year is Sci-Fi on the Rock’s 10th Anniversary, and we’re going to ring it in in style with a new anthology celebrating the Con’s decade of history bringing science-fiction to our region…
… but Sci-Fi on the Rock isn’t just made possible by its staff and guests: it’s made possible by you! So between now and December 31st 2015, Engen Books will be accepting submissions for publication in the as-yet untitled 10th Anniversary Sci-Fi From the Rock from anyone who attends the Convention!
Stories published in the Sci-Fi from the Rock anthologies have copyrights retained by the authors to help local authors with stories to tell get their stories out there for people to enjoy! So you, the author, retain all creative control of your work: Engen only has the right to print it in the print and electronic format of this one anthology collection!
Entries should be no longer than 20,000 words in length, but there is no minimum limit. Flash fiction is accepted, short-form stories are accepted (no poetry in this edition, sorry guys!) We also accept in many genres: not just science-fiction! You can write in fantasy, speculative fiction, horror, thriller, hard science-fiction, or anything in between! (Please note: we want a broad range of stories, so please let us know what you might be writing in as soon as you do!)
Entrants will be entered in a draw to win a FREE PASS into the 10th Anniversary Sci-Fi on the Rock in 2016!!!
Send all entries to email@example.com by December 31st, 2015, with the following information: Your Name, the title of your story, the genre of your story, and the length (approximate is fine). Please note: if selected we will need some further information on the author, please provide a reliable e-mail address. J
Or: Fill out below! (print clearly)
Name:____________________________ Approx. Length:___________________________
Story Title:________________________ Genre:___________________________________