Here in the Maryland-DC-Virginia region we're blessed with multiple celebrations of the book, and one of the most enjoyable is Capclave, the Washington Science Fiction Association's annual convention. Unlike many science fiction-fantasy cons these days, Capclave is literature-focused, not media focused, definitely heaven for writers. This year it's being held October 9-11 at the Hilton Washington DC North (in Gaithersburg).
My schedule at Capclave this year is extremely limited due to personal reasons (which the Capclave programming committee was so nice to accommodate). I'll only be there on Saturday, October 10th. Here's where you can find me:
12-12:50 PM Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance
Much, if not most, of urban fantasy are either mysteries with magic, romance with a paranormal, or combination of the two. Has paranormal romance completely taken over the urban fantasy subgenre? What effects has the rise of paranormal romance had on the fantasy field? Is this limiting the field? Is the subgenre in danger of becoming a self-parody? What authors and works should people be reading?
2-2:50 PM The Epic Blockbuster
In the 1950s and 60s, 200 page novels were common (and told a complete story). Today my bookshelf is groaning under Weeks (800 pages) and Sanderson (1000), and these doorstoppers are only part of a series. What changed? Do readers prefer long books and longer series? Are authors using these longer page counts to tell a deeper story with multiple points of view and better characterization? Or is much of this padding and a lack of editing? What books are worth the extra page count?
5 PM-5:50 PM Writers on Writing Style
How do writers develop and refine their style? What makes one writer more literary than another? How can they improve? Did you deliberately work on your style or did it emerge naturally from experience? What sf/fantasy writers have the best style and what did they do to develop it?
If you've never been to Capclave and you love science fiction and fantasy, you're missing something special. Hope to see you there.