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The Eastern Columbia building, Deco tomb obelisk of empires.

Got my panel assignments for the upcoming World Fantasy convention coming up in just a couple of weeks. Let's take a look, shall we?

Oh. I'm...moderating a panel? That can't possibly be right. Hold on. I need to sit down. Damn, I'm already sitting. Let me pass out on the couch for a moment.

(Time passes, imperceptibly for you but glacially for me.)

Okay, right. I'm back. So, yes, I'm moderating "California Screaming: Modern Golden State Horror Stories and Writers." Join horror writers as they discuss modern stories set in Calfironia. What makes California a unique setting for horror, both psychological and supernatural, and what can stories set there tell us about the nature of fear?

With S. Quiuyi Li and Laurie Tom.

Well, that should be fun. I suppose I can talk about California as 'energetic landscape', a term coined by Mike Davis. Maybe rope some history, both archaeo and current into things. And the fact that California is the place where everything in the US that wasn't nailed down rolled into. Which collects a lot of...variety in terms of belief systems, extremity and outlook. Even if the state as we reckon it is barely 150 years old. That might even make it better.

Okay, so I'm moderaring. I can make that. I'll power through. What else.

"California Dreamin': Fantasy Set in California" From mystical ficions of Hollywood to fairies roosting in the Muir Woods, California has always been (fixing a typo in the original here) a favorite setting for fantasy novels. What is it that makes California such a rich setting for fantasy? What are some great examples of fantasy novels set in the Golden State?

Yeah, right up my alley, since QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS (and the in-progress follow-up, THE DROWNING CITY) is set in Los Angeles, and that's certainly the capital of (Southern) California, in spirit if not in fact. And, honestly, it couldn't have been the same book if it were set anywhere else. I'm here for this. Let's check who else is on the panel. Ellen Klages, me, Ysabeau Wilce, Kevin Murphy and...Tim Powers. Okay. Back to the couch.

(An eyeblink for you, an eternity for me.)

I'll try not to make myself come across as an idiot here. And try not to repeat myself too much from moderating the panel before. Which will be tough, because so far as I'm concerned, fantasy and horror are the same genre. Just they have different aims, particularly at the endpoint of the story and impact on the reader. (That and I've really tired of the nihilist streak running through a lot of horror, but that's a subject for a different time and set of posts unto themselves.) Still, California and fantasy. I'm ready to work with that some.

Both those panels are on Thursday, 10/31, late afternoon (actually I think everything is late that day). I'm not due to speak on anything Friday or Saturday. Let's check Sunday.

"Author as Art Director?" You've decided to self-publish. The gext is fine. That's your specialty. But what about things like covers? What shold go there? Where do you find artists? What about the cover design? The font for the title. Where on the page should it go? What do you need to know? Are there services or people you can turn to? With Reiko Murakami, me, Barbara Hambly and Anthea Sharp.

Oh, I'm on a panel with Barbara Hambly. Okay.

I can only hope my experience will be handy here, though I wonder how much it'll apply in general. Yeah, everyone has a unique set of expertise and training. Just come in so you can hear me say "Set the title in Futura Bold as big as the cover will support." Ha ha, only serious.

So, yeah, my first World Fantasy convention and I'm right there in the soup. It should be a good time.

Maybe I'll set up a tour of locations used in QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS, or something like that. There's interest, right?

Updates as events warrant.

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