ConQuesT 50

Hey there and happy Spring, readers! May is half over, so it’s time to start thinking about ConQuesT which is just a week away!

ConQuesT is an annual science fiction and fantasy convention that occurs in Kansas City every year over Memorial Weekend put on by the KC Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. We’re hitting a big milestone this year -it’s year 50! I can’t believe we have an event with this sort of longevity here in my home city! You can find me slinging books and working the room as a panelist once again on Saturday, May 25.

I’ve only been involved with the convention for the past couple of years because I was skeptical about sitting on panels and talking in front of a bunch of people. But, I’ve actually learned to really enjoy it! I’ve had great conversations about Poe, Gothic Literature and I even chatted about zombies with the awesome NYT best-selling writer Jonathan Maberry! I’ll be participating in ConQuesT again this year and am looking forward to the panels and some insightful conversation!

As Memorial Weekend is also NightWind‘s book birthday, I’ll be doing some heavy duty promo work while I’m on the panels. (Also, be on the lookout for some special pricing deals on all of my books that weekend!) Below are the panels I’ll be participating in this year. And if you’re in KC for the convention, which takes place at the Sheraton Crown Center, I hope you’ll come say hello!

High Fantasy
Saturday, May 25 | 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
For many readers, fantasy was one of the first genres that led them to a love of books. From Lord of the Rings to Dungeons and Dragons to Harry Potter, these beloved fantasies were experienced over and over. Fantasy and magic can also spawn everything from sorcery to the paranormal, and swords to urban environments. Our panelists will discuss their favorite fantasy worlds, new and old.

Dystopian Fiction’s Role in Modern Politics
Saturday, May 25 | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Since the election of Donald Trump, Dystopian Fiction has shown a sharp rise in popularity. It is being used by both the right and the left to illustrate and highlight many points of view on topics ranging from nuclear proliferation, EMP attacks, Global Warming, Socialism, Totalitarianism and diversity. Traditional books such as 1984 and Animal Farm have sold millions of copies and new players including political activists are turning to this genre to highlight their point of view. A brief history and some current examples will be highlighted and it’s effectiveness and backlash will be discussed with a moderator that will work diligently to not take sides on any political point of view. If the range is too broad, it can be limited to a single topic such as global climate change.

The Myth of the Mad Scientist
Saturday, May 25 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Despite a long history in fiction of solo geniuses making the ultimate breakthroughs in their basement labs, collaboration is necessary for scientific advancement. So why do we glorify the loner scientist trope? Can we make collaborative science feel equally heroic? How do we portray science being done realistically while still meeting the needs of the story?