I had a wonderful time attending Boskone, the convention of the New England Science Fiction Association.
The guest of honor, and the reason I decided to go, was Brandon Sanderson. I was very excited about the opportunity to talk about his books with him and with other fans, and I was not disappointed. We got to discuss the magic systems and some of the background plotting in his books, along with his research and future plans.
You may recall a previous post in which I rewrote one of his epic fantasy series in the style of Dr. Seuss. I improved that draft and printed off a copy to give Brandon. You probably need to have read The Way of Kings to appreciate it. You can read it at the bottom of this post. I only managed to illustrate the first half of the book, but I am particularly proud of my Seuss-style illustration of Rysn, a character with ridiculously long eyebrows.
In addition to Sanderson, there were an impressive number of big-name sci-fi and fantasy authors at the convention. I signed up for a small group discussion with Jane Yolen and with Max Gladstone, and loved getting to meet both of them.
Jane has published over 350 books, including Wizard's Hall, the Commander Toad series, the Pit Dragon series, and How Does a Dinosaur Clean up His Room? The main character in Wizard's Hall was one of Sarah's primary inspirations for Shuyeh in our (still to be revised) Wanderfolk manuscript.
I particularly enjoyed meeting Max. He was clever, personable, and insightful. Max is the author of the Craft Sequence, a series that I have described as "prequels done right." He wrote the different stories out of chronological order, with the idea that you could pick up any of them and read it as a self-contained novel. Together, they tell a story of global change across generations. In the Craft novels, magic is based on entirely on contracts, and is the lifeblood of the world economy. That means that magicians are all some flavor of lawyer, accountant, or financier. It also means that the climax often does double duty as high-powered action sequences and a dramatic courtroom showdown.
Other authors and artists who I met or listened to (but didn't chat with) include Michael Whelan, Jo Walton, and Ada Palmer. Quite a few of the presenters live here in Massachusetts, so I will be on the lookout for other opportunities to meet them at writing and fan conventions in the future.