Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BEA/BBC in NYC: Final Post (I Promise)

This is the really final post on Book Expo America (BEA) and the Book Blogger Convention (BBC). I need to start writing all these reviews of the Kate Daniels books because these are ones I really want to talk about (so much that I will most likely also write a separate series review after the individual book reviews - I finished Magic Bleeds last night and so desperately want more).

After writing about what occurred at BEA and BBC, I just wanted to write something more personal on the week. The rundown on what happened at the two events are in three posts:
The highlight for me was definitely meeting so many people I have talked to online. Waiting in line was so much more fun when there were other people to talk to and you could do things like argue over whether or not you should ever read the end of the book first (no, you should not!). Plus it was just so much fun to be able to discuss some of your mutual favorite books in person. I met some awesome people while I was there:
The people I met definitely made it worthwhile because if not for that, I would have probably wished I had saved my money to go to an actual speculative fiction convention like Readercon (whose guests include Elizabeth Bear, N. K. Jemisin and Catherynne Valente - who was at BEA but not signing, and yes, I've seen her before, but she was awesome, so I don't care). There are two reasons for this:

1. Not enough speculative fiction books

Book Expo America had lots of books, but I was disappointed in the lack of speculative fiction that was not young adult. Young adult was everywhere and I ended up with nearly twice as many young adult books as fantasy and science fiction. It's not that I don't enjoy reading young adult - authors such as Kristin Cashore, Laini Taylor and Megan Whalen Turner are some of my more recent favorite discoveries. And the YA books I got at BEA look pretty good, too. I just would have liked to have seen more just plain old speculative fiction, though, so I could at least even out the ratio of YA to non-YA books.

2. Not enough authors I'd read

This may be at least partially related to the above as well as not being the most voracious reader in the world, but I was really hoping to be able to get a book signed by an author I've admired. Once the schedule was released in April, I looked over it eagerly to see who would be there and found two authors I'd read - and I didn't enjoy either one of their books. They were books I actually disliked, not even just ones I just lacked enthusiasm for. So I was sad. A small number of the authors were on my TBR so I picked up a book by one of them I expected to enjoy - Poison Study by Maria Snyder. I did indeed enjoy it and was hoping to get a copy of Inside Out but guess which line at BEA was the most disorganized long mess of crazy I saw the whole time? Yes, that one. Maria Snyder was signing one other book, but I opted for the Deanna Raybourn signing instead since Snyder's other book was a few books into a series I haven't read. Oh well, I am sure I will discover some new authors with the books I did got and will be happy I have pretty signed copies once I read them.

Of course, Readercon also does not have a Book Blogger Convention, which was very well organized and also fun. I did come away from it feeling like I hadn't learned anything new, but it was interesting to listen to the different discussions and viewpoints (although it did seem as if most people in the panels tended to agree with each other - the only major difference of opinion I can remember is the stats argument). Overall, I found it enjoyable and was glad I had the opportunity to attend, though.

Now I will return to reviewing - next up will be a review of Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews followed by Servant of a Dark God by John Brown. The next three books in the review queue are Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews and Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews. (So I had a bit of an Ilona Andrews kick and just might have to read The Edge and Silent Blade sooner rather than later.)


Anastasia said...

I looked at the Readercon website - looks insane! Soooo many authors! I can't pass this up. Only a 4 hour drive. And I'll have motivation to read from my pile!

It was very nice meeting you too :-D

orannia said...

Oh, I so wish I had a teleportation device!

I finished Magic Bleeds last night and so desperately want more

LOL! I'm ~100 pages in ATM and loving it. I also have On The Edge (the first book in Ilona Andrews' new series) to pick up from the library this weekend.

Benjamin said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed BEA/BBC!

Readercon does look pretty good. I may have to try and make it some year. Is it always in Massachusetts?

Another good choice for meeting authors and people would be WorldCon (worldcon.org). I think it's a fair bit bigger than Readercon, not just about writing, with a lot more events. Pretty much something for everyone. I went to the one in Denver in 2008 and it was a lot of fun. This year it's being held in Australia, but next year it's Reno, Nevada and I'm planning to go to that one.

Kristen said...

Anastasia - I know, doesn't that look awesome?! And I saw Samuel Delany will be there so I'm sure that made you happy. I just found this about a week or two before BEA and was thinking that author list looked so much better. Last year I heard about Readercon but I didn't realize it was just speculative fiction.

I was half tempted to try to talk my husband into going with me but considering I probably shouldn't take more time off from work after BEA, it may not be worth it since I'd have to go down Saturday and leave on Sunday. It does look amazing, though.

Catherine Asaro was there last year, but I haven't seen anything mentioned about her going this year.

Orannia - Let me know what you think of On the Edge. I am seriously considering trying to read it before Bayou Moon comes out, although I'm also worried because sometimes a second series just doesn't live up to your expectations when you so love the first...

Benjamin - Readercon does look wonderful, doesn't it? I think it is always in Massachusetts but I'm not positive. I'm pretty sure that's where it was last year and their mailing address is in Massachusetts. Now that I know about it, I may have to keep my eye on it for next year.

Worldcon does look like a fun convention too. My husband and I thought about going to the one in Montreal, but we went to Las Vegas and got married instead. I have been thinking Reno wouldn't be a bad one to go to; I have been there before and liked Reno a lot.

I just realized I now want to go to BEA, Readercon and Worldcon next year. That may not work so well...

Anastasia said...

I'm def. going, with my sister. Going to take Friday off work and drive down Thursday night. Haven't booked the hotel yet, so if you let me know, I could book a room for 3 instead of 2.

I'll be spending the next month "studying" - reading up on the authors who'll be there. So this is my new to-read list (also result of a massive Amazon shopping spree yesterday; there were a lot of books on my wishlist or lingering in the TBR pile and this is a nice catalyst for reading them):

more Delany - I have over a dozen of his books that I haven't read, and I started Aye, and Gomorrah, a collection of short stories this morning. (really good so far!) And yes, I'm very happy he'll be there!

Paolo Bacigalupi - The Windup Girl
Michael Cisco - The Tyrant (bought this earlier based on a glowing endorsement by Paul Charles Smith of the Empty Your Heart of Its Mortal Dream review blog http://www.paul-charles-smith.com, very thoughtful reviews & essays on that blog)
Felix Gilman - The Thunderer
Andrea Hairston - Mindscape
Elizabeth Hand - Illyria (just bought, it sounds lovely and had really good reviews), Winterlong. I've read her Generation Loss and Waking the Moon, she's one of the authors I'm looking forward to meeting.
Nalo Hopkinson - The Salt Roads. I've read Brown Girl in the Ring, it was a bit difficult to read, a lot of vivid colorful imagery and writing style that didn't fit me well, but she's the Guest of Honor, and so I'll def. give it another shot.
Caitlin R. Kiernan - Threshold. She's really well acclaimed, but writes horror, so I've stayed away until now, but it's good to stretch, right?
Alison Sinclair - Darkborn, this is paranormal romance, a bit outside of my usual choices.
Theodora Goss - The Forest of Forgetting. I actually bought this a while back, and read a few of the stories already.
Charles Stross - This is a tough one. He is one of the few writers that I actively dislike and pretty much refuse to buy their stuff anymore (also Richard Morgan, GRRM, and Bakker). Glasshouse was downright offensive and disgusting, no book has made me so mad before. BUT... he has two of his short-form works nominated for Hugos - Palimpsest for Best Novella and Overtime for Best Novellete, and I've received those for free as part of the Hugo Reader packet, so I'll be reading them. (I've started on the nominees already, read all the short stories and one novellete - they're amazing!)
Jack McDevitt - The Engines of God is hard sf, and is also mentioned as a topic for one of the panel discussions.
Michael Swanwick - The Iron Dragon's Daughter is out of print, so I bought The Dragons of Babel.
John Crowley - I'd started Little, Big before since it gets so much praise, and will do my best to finish it.
Olaf Stapledon - Star Maker - this has been on my wishlist for a looong time. Stapledon is getting some kind of a grandmaster award, and there will be a panel discussion of his works, so I best prepare.
Robert J. Sawyer - Wake. I'm actually not a fan based on Factoring Humanity, really didn't like what he did in there, but Wake is in the Hugo packet, so I might as well.
James Morrow - Shambling Towards Hiroshima is up for Best Novella and is included in the Hugo packet.

~whew~ Exciting, isn't it?

Kristen said...

Anastasia - That sounds like a lot of fun and I would love to go, but I don't think I'll be going. I already used up about half my days off for this year going to BEA, and I can't see getting to do much if I just went down on Saturday and then came back on Sunday. Maybe next year I'll plan ahead for it because it looks incredible.

That's a lot of reading for one month! I really want to read Windup Girl as well as some of Elizabeth Hand's books. What did you think of the two you read by her? Darkborn is one of the books I downloaded an excerpt of to read. It wasn't really enough to judge the book on, but what I read didn't really make me want to read the rest.