It’s that time of the year again. Time for the annual Life, The Universe, & Everything, conference — Utah’s premiere writer and artist-dedicated symposium for writers and artists working in the fields of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I have a ton of friends who will be appearing on panels, and I’ll be on a few panels myself. Cost is minimal, considering the “bang for the buck” and I encourage everyone and anyone who can make it, to do so. That is, if you yourself are a spec-fic or fantastic artist and/or writer. At any level, or of any ambition.
SPECIAL ALERT: The symposium is being held at Utah Valley University this year, not Brigham Young University. Please check the LTUE.ORG web site for specifics about parking, registration, etc. I’ve never been to UVU so it’ll be new for me. I am curious to see how this venue performs, as opposed to BYU?
My panels? Out of the three day event, here are my scheduled items:
Thursday, Feb. 9 @ 8 PM: Writers of the Future
There is no better avenue for breaking into professional science fiction or fantasy writing or art than the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest. I’m giving an hour-long presentation on the Contest — what it’s about, how you enter, how you win, what can happen after you win, et cetera — and I encourage any and all aspiring writers and/or artists interested in a professional career to attend. Would you like the chance to win thousands of dollars and publication in a prestigious yearly anthology? Yes, of course you would! Be there.
Friday, Feb. 10 @ 9 AM: Military on Military SF
Why, oh why, cruel fate, did you give me a 9 AM panel after giving me an 8 PM panel the prior evening? (hah!) So fitting, considering that this is a military panel with military people talking about military stuff for writers of spec fic and fantasy who want to do military themes. This panel almost always draws good crowds, and we never, ever have enough time to answer all of the questions. You don’t have to have been a veteran or a prior service member to “get it right” with your military SF, but it sure helps to do your research and talk to people who have been there.
Saturday, Feb. 11 @ 1 PM: What I Wish I Had Done, if I Could Do it All Over Again
I love this panel. This is the second or third time I’ve done this panel, at either LTUE or CONduit. Come listen to us tell you how we screwed up! Or, more probably, things we simply wished we’d done differently when we were getting started. In many ways, the best learning I’ve ever gotten in my (young) career, has come from listening to the war stories of the older veterans like Mike Resnick. If you’re wanting to be serious about your work, and avoid pitfalls, or maybe get motivated, this is a good panel for you.
Saturday, Feb. 12 @ 3 PM: Space Travel Without Warp Drive
I’m moderating this one, and it’s a bit unusual for me in that I don’t necessarily have the science chops to speak from laboratory experience. Still, I am a “hard” science fiction writer and I know a thing or two about slower-than-light space travel. In fact, some of my most favorite books and stories have been set in slower-than-light universes. Hyperdrive and Warp Drive make the galaxy immediately accessible, for movies and television. But in written form, it’s often the limits on what we can do that prove to be the most interesting, and provoke the most creative solutions.
So, there we are. I know I will be seeing many, many friends and acquaintances — some of whom I have not seen since this same time last year. Hoping to have a good time, but these things tend to be exhausting too. Especially since I have to turn back around and do Army duty on Sunday and Monday. If you spot me on a panel or run into me at some point, be sure to say hello. I only know some of you from Facebook or other social media. It’s nice to put faces with names, and vice versa.