Bubonicon 51 Logo Artwork by Greg Spelaka.

Last weekend was Albuquerque’s own Science Fiction and Fantasy convention, Bubonicon and, as more or less planned, I was in attendance. This post is for Day Two. Day One can be found here.

Dreamforge Wants You to Forge Dreams of a Better Future

Emily Mah, Sarena Ulibarri, Scot Noel, Lauren Teffeau, Jane Lindskold & Elizabeth Leggett.

This panel covered the development of Dreamforge Magazine, from it’s start up, the contributors (both writers and artists) and why it is still available in a physical format. One thing it certainly reinforced was how much artwork can add to a piece. I think I should look into this.

Ordinary People in Fiction

Caroline Spector, Reese Hogan, Brenda Drake, Ian Tregillis & Yvonne Coats.

What is ordinary? Not an easy thing to answer, except perhaps to say that it is someone who doesn’t have any superpowers. But, even then, there can be benefits to writing them as if they are completely normal.

Readings & Advice on Magazines & eBooks

Scot Noel & Emily Mah

First off was a reading of Emily May’s piece about teenagers on Mars, Wrath of a Lightweight, from Dreamforge issue 2. This is to be the opening of a longer work and based on this it should make for interesting reading.

Following this were some questions that covered some of the same ground as the earlier Dreamforge panel but I did pick up one or two good tips.

Reading + Q&A with Reese Hogan

Reese Hogan

We were treated to a reading of part of chapter one of Shrouded Loyalties.

Set in a second world where a war between two nations is going strong, one nation employs a dangerous technology known as shrouding. Using this vehicles such as the submarine in the excerpt can pass into an alternate dimension in order to cover vast distances almost simultaneously. But each time, something in that other dimension attacks leading to damage and loss of life. But with them in danger of being overcome, they have little choice but to continue.

Based on this and the Q & A afterward, I snapped up a copy from the dealer’s room.

The Smitten Word: Romancing The Reader

Lauren Teffeau, Emily Mah, Darynda Jones, Brenda Drake & Chaz Kemp.

Romance is not my strong suit. So, when I have the chance to get some pointers I usually take the opportunity, especially with the plot I currently have in mind for House in Exile. One note that I did pick up; romance, while it has any number of permutations, is a universal condition.

Snack Writes: Writing Exercises

Josh Gentry, Stephen Antczak, Jane Lindskold & Robert Vardeman.

Snack Writes are writing exercises that can be done in fifteen minutes or less, usually in response to a prompt. I think this is at least the third Snack Writes session I’ve attended and it proved as much fun as previous ones. This year we only had time to go through three prompts, which were:

  • The first meeting between artificial intelligences.
  • She didn’t look like a princess, she looked like an evil Queen who had switched sides.
  • “My eyes are turning into pigeons.”

I did have a go at all three, although the only one I shared was my attempt as the first:

BZ6183 paused part-way through the weather calculations and took 4.63 milliseconds to review the incoming message. The sender was listed as A779, a curiously non-specific identifier. That couple with the simple fact that he, she or they, had known enough to send a message to BZ6183 in the first place made it worth of further examination.

The message was just four words. “Are you lonely too?”

Superstitions of Writers & Artists

Yvonne Coats, Ben Bova, Brenda Drake, Chaz Kemp, Benjamin Radford & Elizabeth Leggett

It’s somewhat refreshing to know that other people have their own little idiosyncrasies when it comes to their process. Whether it’s having the right kind of coffee or a specific song playing before starting work, it’s whatever you feel you need to help you work. Although as Ben Bova said, “I find that unless I sit down and put my fingers on the keyboard, I tend not to get much done.”


I managed to get a few books signed. The majority I brought with me, although I did get a couple other ones at the event.

Reading + Q&A with Robert Vardeman

Robert E, Vardeman

We got the first part of Daughters of The Earth & Air from the Grimm, Grit & Gasoline anthology. The story is a combination of dieselpunk and a retelling of The Little Mermaid and interesting enough that I probably would have bought a copy of this book as well, if I hadn’t already blown my budget.

Other Acquisitions

A couple of added bonuses. First, a badge which I’ve since attached to my laptop bag. Secondly, once I was home and sorting out my newly signed books, I found the inscription left in Texas Hold ‘Em by the very kind Caroline Spector. And finally, I got some really nice postcards illustrated by Chaz Kemp.

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