Dispatch from the Desk: 2014, A Year of Cons — Ad Astra, Loncon 3, DragonCon

This is going to be my year of cons. Not that I plan to make out like Moist von Lipwig or anything, but with two books, The Leopard and The Lady (volumes one and two of the two-part work Marakand) coming out from Pyr in June and the autumn respectively, it seemed to be the year to emerge from the backwoods/backwater/place-at-the-edge-of-the-country-that-nobody-abroad-has-heard-of and go conventioneering, though it’s hard to get there from here.

The Leopard: Marakand Book One, cover by Raymond Swanland

The Leopard: Marakand Book One, cover by Raymond Swanland

Doesn’t matter where “there” is; it’s hard to get to there from here.

I’m heading to Ad Astra in Toronto in April. This is the practice run. Last time I went to a con was . . . hmmm. Well, I’ve been a guest at InConsequential in Fredericton and a guest at Animaritime in Moncton twice, and attended Halcon as a representative of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia on a recruiting drive a few years ago. And the first con I ever attended was Halcon as well, way back in the eighties. The Mount Allison Simulations and Gaming Association went to Halifax en masse, on the train (there were trains almost every day back in the dark ages), and slept all in a heap in one hotel room. I dyed my hair green for the occasion and was, along with a friend, seriously misquoted in the paper we called the Chronically Horrid saying it wasn’t what we expected. Or rather, that’s what we said, not what they said we said. Our Beloved Leader in MASAGA was somewhat displeased with us.

Anyway, Ad Astra in Toronto. (Okay, it’s a nice excuse to go to Toronto and see my friends there, too, and one of them, a more seasoned conventioneer, is going to come along to hold my hand. It’ll be fun. We can play undergrads again.) So Ad Astra will be the appetizer.

Then — the main course. I was invited to Loncon 3, which utterly floored me. Me? Go to London? But it’s not real, it’s a place in books. (My London is comprised of a strange amalgam of Edwardian children’s books and modern mysteries, with assorted lumps of history.) “In those days the Bastables were still looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road …” writes Lewis, and you know, they still are. Plus, watching New Tricks, we do keep expecting them to call in the Folly to help with some cold case or other. That’s London.

All set to see the real thing ...

All set to see the real thing …

Real place or not, thanks in part to a travel grant from ArtsNB, and in part to assorted relatives for whom I am instructed to bring back lots of photos and assorted Twinings teas that are no longer sold in Canada because the parent company has apparently decided we are Americans and don’t need Vintage Darjeeling any more, I am able to go. So, if you are too, look for me! I’ll be reading from The Leopard at some point, and also taking part in panels, particularly one on children’s fantasy literature, wearing my “author of Quests and Kingdoms and Beyond Window-Dressing” hat.

My third con will be DragonCon in Atlanta in the US. That one’s almost definite, though I’m still waiting to hear if a few other people are going, before I utterly commit. After Loncon, thought of it is not as intimidating as it was. And the travel time is actually longer.


About K.V. Johansen

The author of Blackdog, The Leopard, The Lady, and Gods of Nabban, epic fantasies from Pyr, I also write for teens and children, including the "Torrie", "Warlocks of Talverdin", and "Cassandra Virus" series, and the "Pippin and Mabel" picture books, as well as a couple of short story collections and two works of adult literary criticism on the history of children's fantasy literature. I have a Master's degree in Mediaeval Studies, and read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and history. Blog at thewildforest.wordpress.com
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6 Responses to Dispatch from the Desk: 2014, A Year of Cons — Ad Astra, Loncon 3, DragonCon

  1. honoria plum says:

    Best of luck with your real life adventures.

    • KV Johansen says:

      Thanks! I’m very excited about getting to the UK, in particular. Maybe I’ll have time to make a pilgrimage to gaze up at 18 Berkeley Street, which Murphy identifies as Crichton Mansions and Bertie’s “first named” flat! (Wodehouse lived there briefly in 1922.)

  2. honoria plum says:

    Not exactly in London, but happy for an excuse to visit. It’s an hour or so away.

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