WesternCon 62 Wrap-up

Back home, where the AC is not so cold at all…

More lessons from WesterCon 62:

Having two separate names for a Con does NOT help promoting it at all.

If you held a panel “Living with Asperger’s” – you would probably fill the room – for an hour of awkward conversation. [So ya know: this is not simply a casual interest of mine.]

If you’re a panelist and you go off at length about problem panelists dominating the conversation – guess what? Yeah. Horrified attendees will mock you on their blogs.

Sometimes the panel you most looked forward to attending turns out to be the least informative. So it goes.

In RPG’s at least, e-book sales did not measurably eat into print sales. Something for the rest of the publishing industry to note.

And now, in no particular order, links I have written down in my notes for one reason or another:

RPG Now for RPG e-book and more. Also: Warehouse 23 – for everything by Steve Jackson Games.

Middle-Earth for middle-graders: MEAG

If you’re going to self-publish, at least do it right with outfits lke this:

AZ Publishing Services

Looking for an agent, or just info about agents: Agent Query

and/or Query Tracker

(Oh – and agents do not frequent fan-orientated cons. They already have slush piles.)

Because I drank their booze and didn’t pay for it: The United Federation of Phoenix (Hooray! two, maybe three extra hits…)

Claudia Villa, costume designer who helped Kelly Sparrow (aka my daughter.) BTW, I’m best known around the Con as Kelly Sparrow’s father.

And she’s been warned that this is the last year she can get by on cute. Next year, she needs to work a bit more on her costume.

Pirate parties are the best.

Now You Know

No Cure for Dumb Fear

First of all – its just the flu. It’s not The Plague.

As my wife wrote on her facebook:

Everyone, please-take a deep breath. The REGULAR flu kills 35,000 people a year, every year. Maybe 80 people, in the country, have the swine flu. 80, out of how many million? It’s all over the news because that makes people panic, and panic induces more news-watching. Wash your hands, get on with your life. Thank you.

And the numbers you’ve heard about the current flu – wrong.

From The Age (in Australia)

Vivienne Allan, from WHO’s patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths – all in Mexico – and 79 confirmed cases of the disease.

“Unfortunately that (150-plus deaths) is incorrect information and it does happen, but that’s not information that’s come from the World Health Organisation,” Ms Allan told ABC [Australian Broadcasting Company] Radio on Wednesday morning.

Similar reporting has appeared in other news sources, mostly from Oz or New Zealand. Curious to see if the US media picks this up or what.

If they shut down my kids school over a runny nose, I’m gonna be pissed. (AZ Superintendent of Education Tom Horne has promised to do just that.)

Meanwhile, I’ve been looking into Aspergers – a subject near to my brain.

There’s two types of advocacy groups for people on the Autism spectrum:

* Normal adults whose children or grandchildren suffer from autism. Autism Speaks heads this movement. They raise money in hopes of a “cure”.

* Adults with Aspergers who do not feel they suffer from the condition enough to warrant a cure. GRASP leads this movement, though there are many others.

These groups do not always get along, and you can follow along on Wrong Planet – a chat board for those with Aspergers.

Here’s a brief glossary if you wanna troll Wrong Planet:

Aspey – someone with Aspergers.

NT – Neuro-Typical = normal people

Curebys (or Curebies) = those who believe Autism as a condition can and/or should be cured.

Yeah, well, there’s a lot of whining – like any other single interest group that feels oppressed.

One fact you need to take away from all this nonsense: No one can agree on what Autism even is at this point, much less what causes it, or how it could be “cured”. Those who say otherwise are trying to raise money.

Why yes – this is all for an article I’m writing (technically an essay). Thanks for asking…

Now you know.