Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | July 28, 2018

Saturday Special: More ConGregate Five — Photo Gallery 2018

More ConGregate Five — Photo Gallery 2018

 

I took so many photos at ConGregate Five that I couldn’t fit them all in Tuesday’s post: ConGregate Five — 2018, so I’m sharing them as a Saturday Special.

You can never tell who you might run into in the hallways or on the elevators at a speculative fiction convention. On Saturday, R2D2 was beeping in the hallway.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

I attended two panels on the topic of editing. First was “Ask an Editor” with Gray Rinehart, John G. Hartness, Chris Kennedy, Melissa McArthur, and Michael D. Pederson. This panel focused on answering audience questions about such things as what makes a story stand out and what editors hate.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

The other panel on editing looked at the topic from a different angle. “Choosing an Editor” with Wendy S. Delmater, Jason Gilbert, and Jason T. Graves addressed the different types of editing, how to find the type of editor you need, what to expect when working with an editor, and how to work in a situation when you don’t get to choose your own editor. The three panelists emphasized that, even though they do editing themselves, they have someone else edit their own writing.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

During the panel “Collaborating in the Honorverse,” guest of honor Jane Lindskold and Charles E. Gannon talk about what it’s like to work with David Weber (center) in the future-time science fiction universe he created. Jane and Charles got David to admit that he reads romance (including one of my favorites, Georgette Heyer) because he likes good characters and character interactions.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

Different writers prefer different writing tools. The “Tools of the Trade” panel — with Melissa McArthur, Larry Martin, Peter Prellwitz, and Nickie Jamison — discussed what tools are essential for writers, what tools are nice to have, what tools are a waste of time and money, and much more. Some panelists liked the popular Scrivener, others did not. The panel cautioned authors who buy images for book covers to pay attention to the limitations on image usage.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

Writers doing research for science fiction stories were invited to “Ask a Mad Scientist.” Panelists Robert Hampson, Darcy Wold, Jim Beall, and Darin Kennedy answered questions about a variety of science topics.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

One science presentation at the convention was Dr. Daniel Herr’s “Nanoscience Inspired by Nature.” Dr. Herr is a professor and Nanoscience Department Chair at The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) of North Carolina A&T State University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He stressed the importance of hydroponic agriculture. He and his colleagues and students are working on making an inexpensive system from items available in local stores (systems now available for sale run around $500) so that anyone can create their own system and grow fresh food. They have the cost down to $45 and are hoping to reduce it further. Sounds like a great idea!

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

For those who have the scientific research done, panelists Gray Rinehart, Paula S. Jordan, Jim Beall, Larry N. Martin, and Robert Hampson tried to pin down just “How Much Science Is Needed” to make good science fiction. They agreed the amount of science necessary depends on the story and it’s purpose, and they stressed that the science that is included should be correct.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

Technology is an important aspect of science fiction. The panel “AI: There’s a Storm Coming,” with James Beall, Robert Hampson, Larry Martin, and Misty Massey, looked at all the ways writers have used AI characters in science fiction, from AIs that think and act much like humans to those which are entirely different.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

Sometimes science fiction takes place on other worlds, worlds which may have life forms quite different from human beings. The alien life forms writers create should have attributes suited to the world in which they live. Panelists Michael G. Williams, Paula S. Jordan, and Paul Dellinger help attendees “Build an Alien” which could live on Saturn’s largest moon Titan.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

Since galactic aliens come in all types, shapes, and sizes, the speculative fiction community embraces diversity. In “Diverse Voices in Creative Expression,” panelists Chris Shrewsbury, Darcy Wold, Hawlsera, Maya Preisler, Erin Penn, and Michael G. Williams discussed their creation of art/literature with diverse characters and the importance of picturing and writing LGBTQ, women, people of color and varied ethnicities, and disabled characters.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

The “Critters in SF” panel, with Jane Lindskold, Michael G. Williams, Margaret S. McGraw, and Jason Gilbert, considered the partnerships of people and animals that writers have used in science fiction and fantasy and cautioned writers who want to use animals to make sure they get the animal’s characteristics right.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

Short stories can give a writer a start in the business. Panelists John G. Hartness, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Gray Rinehart, Jason Graves, and Darin Kennedy offered tips for getting those short stories published in “The Short Story – Anthologies and Other Markets.”

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

ConGregate Five had a number of just-for-fun panels. One of them was “The Xenobiology Archeology Dig,” where Jim Beall, Jason Gilbert, Charles E. Gannon, and Robert Hampson took on the personas of explorers of a distant planet who have to examine “artifacts” left behind by the previous inhabitants and speculate on what they were used for.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate

 

I participated in the “Photography Workshop,” led by professional photographer Paul Cory. Workshop participants had all types of cameras, from e-reader and cell phone cameras to my point & shoot camera to DSLR cameras. After explaining some of the basics, Paul gave us all pointers on getting the best from our cameras. We took numerous photos of the patient Jessica and Joshua Wright in their impressive costumes, using different settings and light.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costumeThe Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

Here are some individual photos of entrants in the Costume Contest.

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, ConGregate, costume

 

That’s all for this year’s convention. I can’t wait for next year’s!

 


Responses

  1. […] For more about ConGregate Five and more photos (including costumes) check out our Saturday Special. […]

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