Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tanya Huff 2008 WorldCon (Denvention) and 2009 SDCC

One of the things that is really cool about WorldCon is that you are exposed to so many authors. While it’s huge for a literacy convention its small compared San Diego ComicCon.
You have the chance to talk to authors and listen to them and with the wide variety of panels; you get them in and out of their comfort zones and get to see them as people instead of ‘authors’.
In 2008 I went to Denvention (in Denver) with a bunch of friends. After spending some time together we quickly went our ways and sat in different panels.  WorldCon usually has lots of panels occurring simultaneously.  There is always a panel to peek your interest.
I attended a panel with Tanya Huff on it.  She was not on my radar. I never heard of her even though she had dozens of books published and a large following.  The panel was about military sci fi and that’s a sub-genre I really enjoy.
She and the other authors talked about their experiences serving in the military. Tanya’s was a little different as she is Canadian and she was in the Canadian Navy. I found her interesting and well-spoken and funny.  She then made a comment I found paradigm shifting.
I’ll admit I’m one of those arrogant Americans that believe Canadian is just ‘USA lite’.  Sure there are differences in the culture and language (not just the accent) and history but in my gut I feel we should just annex then as the next 13 states. Yeah, I’m that guy.
She said that the worst weather in the USA is the best weather in Canada.  Yeah, yeah  Alaska notwithstanding.  Don’t get bogged on the details. But think about it. We all say we’d hate to live in Minnesota.  We think about horrible winters in Maine and Massachusetts and Michigan.  So what’s just North of the border?  That’s as good as it gets for them.  Canada doesn’t have a Florida or Texas or Hawaii.
They are sparely populated hardy people that are probably closer to Thoreau’s self-reliance and independence than we are…okay, am I over dramatizing?  Maybe, but the statement made me rethink; which is a good thing. 
I’m officially impressed. I buy a copy of her book and stand in line.  I don’t have anything to say to her, so it’s a quick ‘hi’ and she signs and I leave.
I read the book.  I loved it. I enjoyed it enough to get the other books in the series. I’m really happy I sat in on that panel in Denver.
Less than a year later I see that she will be at San Diego ComicCon.  I’m excited. I really want to tell her how much I enjoyed the books and how her comment impressed me.
I stand in a much longer line. Part of the longer line is because it’s ComicCon and part of it is her fan base has grown. I get my chance at front and tell her the ‘blah blah blah’.  She smiled and nodded.  I asked when the next book comes out and with a mischievous smile she told me I didn’t attend her panel.  I smiled back and admitted I wasn’t.  I wasn’t embarrassed.  ComicCon is big. There are too many things to do. I had other work to do.  So I didn’t feel guilty missing her.
She said she was almost done reading the proof.  If I found her tomorrow I could have it.
Wow, what an offer. I know I dropped my head in frustrating as I knew I’d never find her the next day. Besides it being too stalker-like – I would be too busy.
So I missed out on advanced copy but I did get to meet her again and let her know she really impressed me as a person and an author.


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