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Thursday, April 07, 2016

Making SF awards great again

Lela Buis comments on the new Dragon Awards:
I see today that DragonCon has announced they will give out awards in 2016. This is kind of a biggie. DragonCon is a huge convention, with an annual on-site attendance of about 70,000 people. The press release says the awards will be based on nominations and votes from all fans, not just attendees or members, through an open system. They’re apparently going to run this off their Website where voters can register to vote.

Contrast this attendance figure with WorldCon that gives out the Hugo Awards. Wikipedia lists 4,644 attendees and 10,350 who bought memberships to vote the 2015 Hugo Awards, which was a record for numbers. With DragonCon moving into the awards game, I’m thinking the Hugo’s are officially undermined. The Puppy scandal has not only disrupted the voting system, but it seems to have led to an inspection of the Hugo process where works are winnowed through a narrow review and recommendation system and onto the ballot.

While most people aren’t going to swallow the Puppies’ complaints of a vast conspiracy whole, their grievances do seem to have resulted in concerns about the fairness of the process. WorldCon has scrambled to provide additional controls, but it could be that their credibility is already shot.
Yes, indeed, I think the Hugo Awards might have just taken a few hits over the last decade or two. In any event, I'm sure the science fiction fandom community is every bit as delighted about people taking their advice and setting up a new and alternative award as they were about people taking John Scalzi's advice to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards.

I am registered to vote in the Dragon Awards and I would encourage you to do so as well. I'll post my recommendations here the week after the Hugo shortlist is announced, in the event that any of you might happen to be curious about them.

The funniest thing is the way a self-appointed Hugo Defender immediately popped up to white-knight for Worldcon in the comments at Lela's site. That, more than anything, tells you how fandom actually feels about the new competition.
You wrote: “…it seems to have led to an inspection of the Hugo process where works are winnowed through a narrow review and recommendation system and onto the ballot.”

What does that mean? The Hugo Awards are nominated by the thousands of members of the World Science Fiction Society. How is that a “narrow review and recommendation system?”
Whatever does it mean, Mr. Standlee asks, even as the rules are changed to protect the perceived interests of the Tor Books cabal.

Labels:

75 Comments:

Anonymous Bz April 07, 2016 5:25 AM  

It's not a vast conspiracy. Just another group of SJWs sucking out the last remnants of prestige from a once great award. Congratulations on his 20th Hugo or whatever to PNH, bestest editor, by the way.

And Forza DragonCon!

Blogger James Dixon April 07, 2016 5:59 AM  

> In any event, I'm sure the science fiction fandom community is every bit as delighted about people taking their advice and setting up a new and alternative award as they were about people taking John Scalzi's advice to nominate and vote for the Hugo Awards.

You think? :)

Blogger Gordon April 07, 2016 5:59 AM  

PNH: the man with more Hugos than Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert and God, combined! What a tragedy that he didn't change the categories earlier. We could change the name from Hugos to Nielsen-Haydens.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 07, 2016 6:24 AM  

Isn't it stupid to use the word "vast?" I thought you have outlined sufficiently that the Tor Clown Crew was small in numbers, but working within a smaller cliquish venue

Blogger James Dixon April 07, 2016 6:37 AM  

> Isn't it stupid to use the word "vast?"

Vox isn't responsible for the comments he links to or quotes.

Anonymous lurksmoar April 07, 2016 6:43 AM  

Well the real winner last year was Worldcon, and this year it's going to be the Sock Puppets slate with Worldcon gathering a bunch more Sorosbux and suckers bets. I voted the the Rabid recommendations, and might be wrong on this but people who do nothing but fling shit on the net all day won't have a problem aligning all those Noah Wards memberships in the same direction.

Blogger Phillip George April 07, 2016 6:44 AM  

It was on these page Vox that I learned about the quest for beauty at
http://www.arcsalon.org/. One reader here seems to be a neo classicist in art.

Neo classicism? It's something like the demise of the Hugos. Tom Wolfe is an old man now but he could have been describing the Hugos journey when he wrote about architecture or music in From Bauhaus to Our House.

I thought of this in terms of Tom Wolfe: If the Hugos were a building in likeness to shocking and repulsive modern architecture you would simply pull it down and use the material somewhere else. It seems to be happening. Whether by wrecking ball or white flight the real-estate is altering. Value reorganization.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 07, 2016 6:48 AM  

#5 I thought it was plain as day that I was calling the author of the linked piece use of the word "vast" as stupid. I should know better, conservatives always on the defense.

Then again I always ask "why is this information produced?" "Vast" is there for a reason, but I sense weakness from its use.

Blogger VD April 07, 2016 6:53 AM  

Well the real winner last year was Worldcon

You don't grasp what's going on. There was never any chance the Puppies would win any awards and we knew that before the nominations were announced. That wasn't the point. We aren't playing the same game they are.

OpenID basementhomebrewer April 07, 2016 7:03 AM  

And somewhere the SJW convergence squad klaxon is wailing. Even now they are frantically waddling their way to the bathroom to dye their hair back to a natural shade and volunteering to perform every task that Dragon Con requires to pull off the convention.

Blogger Nate April 07, 2016 7:11 AM  

The real winner isn't world con. You apparently don't realize it... but dragon con just killed the hugos and likely world con with them.

Blogger FALPhil April 07, 2016 7:11 AM  

I'm in.

Congratulations you have registered for voting. Thank you.

Blogger Nate April 07, 2016 7:12 AM  

Note dragon con is encouraging campaigning. Gee... I wonder why that is...

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 07, 2016 7:18 AM  

Fancy that. An award that wants to measure the mass market appeal and quality of works.

Blogger Bradford Walker April 07, 2016 7:18 AM  

I've registered to vote. The Hugos are now obsolete.

Blogger VD April 07, 2016 7:22 AM  

I've registered to vote. The Hugos are now obsolete.

Not yet. And not next year. But the combination of this, continued RP growth, and EPH should suffice in time.

OpenID basementhomebrewer April 07, 2016 7:28 AM  

Do the Dragon Con awards have a name yet? Might I submit Hewgo or Hugh-go?

Anonymous Osprey April 07, 2016 7:49 AM  

Do the Dragon Awards have any restriction on the number of voting memberships per person?

The only restrictions I could find in the "Dragon Awards Official Rules" were:

* "No automatic, programmed, robotic or similar means of voting are permitted."
* If DragonCon thinks something is unfair, it can do what it thinks is fair instead.
* Possibly an implicit "no more than one voting membership per e-mail address" rule.
* Technical measures like re-use of "request codes".

I suppose that measures like this are all that can be enforced in practice. Perhaps the Dragon Con organizers follow the old maxim about not making any laws that cannot be enforced.

Blogger Salt April 07, 2016 8:07 AM  

Making Dragon's great again. I'm in.

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 April 07, 2016 8:09 AM  

"..white-knight for Worldcon.."?
feigned ignorance and feigned outrage are more of a troll's
agent provocateur "tantrum-in-the-candy-aisle" thing than even a disingenuous "White Knight" campaign.
IMHO of course.
SEE: Dr. Hugo Schwyzer, A. Marcott
CaptDMO

Blogger Michael Maier April 07, 2016 8:12 AM  

"Whatever does it mean, Mr. Standlee asks, even the rules are changed to protect the perceived interests of the Tor Books cabal."

Vox, did you mean to write "even AS" there?

Blogger James Dixon April 07, 2016 8:14 AM  

> I thought it was plain as day that I was calling the author of the linked piece use of the word "vast" as stupid. I should know better,

It seemed likely, but you never know, so it seemed prudent to point it out.

> Then again I always ask "why is this information produced?" "Vast" is there for a reason, but I sense weakness from its use.

It's a deliberate mischaracterization of the Puppy position.

Blogger SteelPalm April 07, 2016 8:15 AM  

Registered too. Thanks for the heads-up.

I wonder if an enterprising fellow at DragonCon sensed an opportunity here?

Anonymous bakker April 07, 2016 8:22 AM  

This award will be a good opportunity for you all to spin the ultimate failure and defeat of the sp/rp into merely a retreat.

Blogger seeingsights April 07, 2016 8:23 AM  

WorldCon has no future. When I attended a few years ago, there were less than 3,000 at the convention. I was around 40 years old, and many conventioneers, perhaps a majority, were older than me.
At the panels, people discussed stuff published decades ago, which is ironic, because science fiction is supposed to be the most future oriented genre.
There were no hot, young women in costumes either.

Blogger Nate April 07, 2016 8:31 AM  

"This award will be a good opportunity for you all to spin the ultimate failure and defeat of the sp/rp into merely a retreat."

yes. defeat. which is why the rules are being changed. You want to stop us from being defeated again.

Blogger James Dixon April 07, 2016 8:33 AM  

> This award will be a good opportunity for you all to spin the ultimate failure and defeat of the sp/rp into merely a retreat.

I wouldn't call rendering the Hugo a meaningless award "failure and defeat". But then I guess as long as you can pretend it still means something to anyone else in the world, you can still celebrate it amongst yourselves as you slowly die off.

Blogger Alexander April 07, 2016 8:40 AM  

It's a brilliant maneuver. The goal is to convince the rabids to migrate to the Dragons so that Baldur's Gay can sneak a Hugo in 2017.

Wake up, sheeple!

As an aside, any Ilk, Dread Ilk, or fellow Vile Faceless Minions who will be in town for Dragoncon: Happy to meet any of you for a drink.

Anonymous Trimegistus April 07, 2016 8:51 AM  

Just watched an online trailer for the upcoming Star Wars picture "Rogue One." Apparently all Star Wars movies henceforth will be about teenage girls hitting people.

Blogger Nate April 07, 2016 8:53 AM  

"Apparently all Star Wars movies henceforth will be about teenage girls hitting people."

well... that is 98% of all sci fi now.. so...

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 07, 2016 8:54 AM  

"How is that a “narrow review and recommendation system?”

Maths is hard.

Blogger seeingsights April 07, 2016 8:58 AM  

Another example of the problems with the Hugo Awards is that two highly popular novels, Wool by Hugh Howey, and The Martian by Any Weir, did not even make the ballot.
That these two novels were originally self-published is not a coincidence either. This is traditional gatekeepers at work.
The Hugo Winner for Best Novel (2012) was Among Others, published by Tor.

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 07, 2016 9:01 AM  

You don't grasp what's going on. There was never any chance the Puppies would win any awards and we knew that before the nominations were announced. That wasn't the point. We aren't playing the same game they are.

Somewhat OT - but anyone remember the original Mario Brothers game that was supposed to be co-op in two player mode?

When my brother and I played (atari 5200 version)... not so much.

I really don't think these people understand that someone can walk in, see the game, see the rules, and decide to see if they can do something completely different within the framework instead of "going the way the designer/etc intended."

Anonymous Roundtine April 07, 2016 9:03 AM  

The Puppies are Trump voters and the SFWAe is the GOPe. Instead of embracing the new voters, they went #NeverPuppies. Is the GOPe as dumb as the SFWAe?

Anonymous Man of the Atom April 07, 2016 9:12 AM  

From the original article Vox quoted:
Mark
Apr 07, 2016 @ 08:22:32

In addition to Kevin’s excellent question, I’d wonder whether “narrow” better describes the Dragon award process which only permits 1 nomination per category, and covers significantly less of the field than the Hugos do.


SJWs have such a hard time with "processes" versus "static end-states". This year, 1 nomination per category. Next year, more categories. The following year, more nominations per category. Process, little SJW, process.

Seven turns about Jericho before the walls crumbled, after all.

There’s plenty of space for different awards, and I hope the Dragon does well for itself. It’s not a zero sum game though.

I wonder if he'll have another outlook on this event in a year or two.

pavetack
Apr 07, 2016 @ 08:47:54

It’s not a “vast” conspiracy. The scandal is that a relatively small number of votes, on the order of 50 - 300 detemined what was nominated, and ultimately won. You can’t claim the Hugos are reflective of a wide SF/F audience when a tiny cabal can so thoroughly influence the results.


An observation that will be lost on most of the Hugo Cabal Leaders and pack followers. Worldcon could have spun this controversy into an advertisement for science fiction readership and its own convention series (as DragonCon is doing).

"Internet/Media, here at Worldcon, we're seeing a huge battle of ideologies between traditional Blue SFF and literary Pink SFF. What's your take, Internet/Media? Want to share your nominations for SFF in all Media and vote your favorites? Join Worldcon and vote now!"

Demonstrates how converged Worldcon has become in that they can't operate to their benefit, or are too blinded to see benefit in the controversy.

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 07, 2016 9:34 AM  

@Alexander
As an aside, any Ilk, Dread Ilk, or fellow Vile Faceless Minions who will be in town for Dragoncon: Happy to meet any of you for a drink.

Missed this year's window for picking up a hotel room but do try to get in, and close enough that would not mind being in the area for other events.

Blogger dh April 07, 2016 9:38 AM  

DragonCon is a much more representative convention than Worldcon. It has the full range of people represented. At Worldcon, you have the range from "round, bowling-ball shaped scooter bound Tor editor" up through "old white beardy guy".

Even with paying for minorities to attend, you get less than even a token amount.

DragonCon, on the other hand, at least last year, sizzled with a real diversity of content and fans. There was a huge contingent of Asian fans, and lots of content for people interested in that genre. Fans of every sci-fi related show or book or comic or game. Representatives from dozens of publishers, producers, etc.

It's just such a better, more open, less cliche riddled event. There is, for sure, a pro-SJW bent to it, but it's not as far as I can tell openly hostile to the alt-X divisions of fans or fandom. It's certainly not hostile like Worldcon is to people who are to the right of Mao.

Blogger Jon M April 07, 2016 9:40 AM  

Pretty sure the 'vast' in 'vast conspiracy' is a reference not to numbers, but waistlines.

Anonymous No Comment April 07, 2016 10:02 AM  

Now in the comments there and on file770 (which I saw had a pingback to it) people are commenting about how they don't understand what she means when she says "…the Hugo process where works are winnowed through a narrow review and recommendation system and onto the ballot." And somebody can correct me about this if I'm wrong, but I thought she was talking about the actually (low) numbers of people who nominate and vote on Hugos. Especially since she starts off that paragraph with attendance numbers and memberships bought that are able to vote. (Or maybe there's something else I'm missing there?)


And that's what has struck me most about this Puppies business. Is finding out exactly how low the numbers were for nominations and voting pre Puppies (and during too, really.)
Not that I ever kept up with the awards or knew anything about the Hugos before last year's drama show. (And I never really was into the book side of scifi as far as discussions and awards go.) The most I knew was that the Hugos were a scifi award. And it seemed like they had some prestige. (I don't know if that's just what I thought or if that's what they were billed as, but at some point in my mind I thought they were THE scifi awards.) But I was very surprised to find out the actual numbers.

Anonymous BGKB April 07, 2016 10:34 AM  

Dragoncon is in Atlanta, it will be easier for CHORFSs to ride the urine scented MARTA trains.

Isn't it stupid to use the word "vast?"

A conspiracy is 2 women plotting to give a 3rd a negative peer review, have you see how vast their waistlines are?

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 07, 2016 10:42 AM  

@dh 37.

DragonCon is a much more representative convention than Worldcon. It has the full range of people represented. At Worldcon, you have the range from "round, bowling-ball shaped scooter bound Tor editor" up through "old white beardy guy".

Just imagine a "Cry for Dawn" contest at Worldcon. (*Cataline's shudders of revulsion could be mistaken for an grand mal seizure*).

Google for "Women of Dragoncon" And you get pages of hot looking cosplay chicks.

Google for "Women of Worldcon" And you confuse Google rather badly. It apologetically asks if you meant "Women of Worldcom"

A little trying and I got something for my efforts

Women of Dragoncon

Women of Worldcon


Okay, why were we bothering with Worldcon?

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 07, 2016 10:46 AM  

Of course Dragoncon does come with it's own problems.

...if you were the toriel cosplayer who gave me a blowjob at dragoncon, PLEASE inbox me. i think you took my wallet. it looks like an NES...

Anonymous BGKB April 07, 2016 10:54 AM  

if you were the toriel cosplayer who gave me a blowjob at dragoncon, PLEASE inbox me. i think you took my wallet. it looks like

Dually noted we must should keep our wallets in our front pockets in case we get BJs in the stairways. Also a good idea for pickpockets.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 07, 2016 11:03 AM  

Serious question: Does Kevin Standlee have special needs?

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 07, 2016 11:03 AM  

Dually noted we must should keep our wallets in our front pockets in case we get BJs in the stairways. Also a good idea for pickpockets.

And stick with "Slave Leia" cosplayers. They are much less likely to roll you.

Blogger Alexander April 07, 2016 11:12 AM  

Google for "Women of Dragoncon" And you get pages of hot looking cosplay chicks.

Can confirm.

You get your usual suspects too, of course, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quotient of attractive women.

Blogger tweell April 07, 2016 11:40 AM  

Your encouragement is my command, Supreme Dark Lord! Registered.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 07, 2016 11:47 AM  

I really don't think these people understand that someone can walk in, see the game, see the rules, and decide to see if they can do something completely different within the framework instead of "going the way the designer/etc intended."

As a game designer, you learn that lesson pretty quick. At least if you're any good you do. If only we had a game designer or two around here...

Blogger Alexander April 07, 2016 11:54 AM  

@48

Nonsense! In that case, you just reset the war-game, reestablish the expected parameters, and tell General Riper he needs to stop being a naughty boy.

Blogger Moor April 07, 2016 11:57 AM  

Registered to vote.

Blogger Alexander April 07, 2016 11:59 AM  

The Puppies are Trump voters and the SFWAe is the GOPe. Instead of embracing the new voters, they went #NeverPuppies. Is the GOPe as dumb as the SFWAe

To ask the question...

Blogger Ostar April 07, 2016 12:17 PM  

Registered.

Blogger Ma Co April 07, 2016 12:21 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

OpenID marsascendant April 07, 2016 12:22 PM  

I said this over at MGC and Ill say it again here

And Just like that, the Hugo’s are irrelevant. Obviously someone at Dragoncon was paying attention to Sasquan and decided to drink their milkshake. The Fen can’t yet hear the pulsating base of ebon wings beating the air into submission, they don’t yet feel the heat of the alchemical inferno upon their necks, but their entire universe just burned down around them. The Dragon is coming and it shall devour the rocket whole.

And I cant wait to watch and laugh.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 07, 2016 12:38 PM  

All I can say is, I love Dragon*Con.

There has long been way more things then you can do and see in the few days it's open each year.

Anonymous Headcannon April 07, 2016 12:43 PM  

@24

"This award will be a good opportunity for you all to spin the ultimate failure and defeat of the sp/rp into merely a retreat."

I bet Leckie won't win best novel. Sounds like puppies winning to me.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 07, 2016 12:43 PM  

@36 LastRedoubt
Missed this year's window for picking up a hotel room but do try to get in, and close enough that would not mind being in the area for other events.
--

The window is the first couple days of Dragon Con, you better be working out your room for the next year. They go that fast.

Blogger Were-Puppy April 07, 2016 12:46 PM  

@40 BGKB
Dragoncon is in Atlanta, it will be easier for CHORFSs to ride the urine scented MARTA trains.
--

MARTA - Moving Asexual Retards Rapidly Through Atlanta

Blogger Were-Puppy April 07, 2016 12:49 PM  

Oops, forgot to take that original "R" out of there :P

Blogger Alexander April 07, 2016 12:53 PM  

Sadly these says it's less "through" and more "to"

Blogger mushroom April 07, 2016 12:53 PM  

OT, but I want to thank Vox Day and the crew for recommending Correia's Son of the Black Sword. This is the best S&S fantasy novel I have read in a long, long time.

Blogger mushroom April 07, 2016 12:54 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Thaddeus April 07, 2016 1:02 PM  

For years, some of the "literary" SF conventions (or at least the ones that have survived) have become more cliquish and less hospitable to outsiders, things have gotten pretty stagnant. WorldCon is just one example, by the late Aughties most of the "literary" SF cons literary that were still around had become conglomerations of Klingon clubs and Stormtrooper clubs wandering around hotel hallways looking for parties, while obese, chainsmoking "professional" con staffers would yell at "outsiders" for daring to challenge their authority. Entertainment consisted of bagpipes and Hearts tournaments. The same few hundred people attended every show, did their best to make any "outsiders" feel unwelcome, complained loudly about change of any kind, and still wondered why more people didn't come to their cons.

My main problem with many lit-SF cons was that they were too steeped in "convention culture", the "culture" that comes from fan conventions. Events that only exist at conventions, for conventions, by conventions. The marginal stuff that started off as something you do in between actual topical events that involve what the convention's actually supposed to be about. It's incestuous, self-perpetuating, and leads to fandom becoming a big in-jokey circle jerk of insiders. It means hotels full of the same 1,000 people who go to every convention on "the circuit" and fill up the lobby couches with their con suite-fed bulk, spinning endless yarns about conventions they went to previously. Conventions held just because they're conventions so you can throw room parties to promote other conventions the main activity at which is promoting other conventions. It's guests who are guests because they've been guests at a lot of conventions, and 'fan guests of honor" who have that status because they've been to a lot of conventions. It's panels about how to run panels at conventions, and panels about insider con-culture that make no sense to nobody not in the scene for 20 years, like the Great Filk-song Off of 1994 and Remember Doofus-Con '91 and That Thing We Did?

Anonymous Shut up rabbit April 07, 2016 1:11 PM  

lurksmoar wrote:Worldcon gathering a bunch more Sorosbux

Rape Rape Martin bucks for sure (he even paid for and hosted an alternative "Anal Sphincter" awards ceremony after they blew up and buried the Hugos) although the awful puppetress tried very hard within her meagre means to openly corrupt the process in the name of 'social' justice (i.e. injustice).

Blogger VD April 07, 2016 1:12 PM  

I want to thank Vox Day and the crew for recommending Correia's Son of the Black Sword.

You're welcome, but really, full credit to Larry.

Anonymous Ragnar April 07, 2016 1:21 PM  

This years World Con from one of the Rabid Puppies point of view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhOnX8qt3I

Flame thrower at the ready yer Dark Lordship! Nominations are in and the pilot light is lit!

Anonymous Putting the CON into Convention April 07, 2016 1:23 PM  

@63: ^ This.... You pegged it.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit April 07, 2016 1:31 PM  

seeingsights wrote:The Hugo Winner for Best Novel (2012) was Among Others, published by Tor.


...which was basically Mary Sue recounting her reading list while dealing with mommy issues. I never thought to count up how many of the books mentioned in the text were tor published or former Hugo winners. Maybe one of Milo's interns could do it as a project?

Blogger weka April 07, 2016 3:42 PM  

Gentlemen, Ladies and Maewyn. We do not want to burn this down. We want to make it work. This is not the village. This is not the cathedral. This is the bazaar: the only thing they should do is not conflate MilSF with fantasy.

Let the freaks have the Worldcon, for the Mundanes are the sons of Martha, and we keep the nuts tightened and the bridges up.

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 07, 2016 3:59 PM  

@Were-Puppy

Up through last year I was still trying to get reservations for the "con rate" rooms. Of course, the morning they'd go up the hotel site would crash within a minute and by the time it came back up, nothing I could afford at the time was available.

This year I also have some conflicting family responsibiliies - but in the near future we won't have to deal with conflicting school schedules/etc., AND could care less about the "con" rate or more affordable rooms as well. Will be nice to see some of the bands again.

Anonymous LastRedoubt April 07, 2016 4:01 PM  

Also - FWIW - I can be found at proton mail, or VFM_5411 on twitter. Would love to meet up with some SE VFM's

Anonymous Peter #0231 April 07, 2016 10:43 PM  

@17

Obviously, the name for the Dragoncon awards will be the Noahs.

Anonymous Lela E. Buis April 08, 2016 12:26 AM  

Thanks for the link.

Blogger SciVo April 08, 2016 3:46 AM  

Wait. Can I nom Son of the Black Sword where Correia can't stop me? Is that what's happening?

Anonymous Leonidas April 08, 2016 6:51 AM  

Late to the thread but definitely interested in a DragonCon ilk meetup. Can be contacted by clicking through to my blog or @rnewquist on twitter.

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