20190704_085815 St. Vardan's Armenian Apostolic Church
20190703_180718 Double rainbow on the road to Vilnius
20190703_163944 R and E in a giant chair
20190703_163352 R in the small-leaved linden alley
P0000520 Sharon Shinn at ArmadilloCon 2004
Sharon Shinn was a Guest of Honor at Armadillocon, a literary science fiction convention in Austin, TX.
I haven't read anything by Sharon Shinn. I don't have much interest in angel-based fantasy, even when its author is the Guest of Honor at the convention. Still, I always feel compelled to go to the Guest of Honor interview. As it turned out, some tidbits of the interview were interesting even to me.
Both interviewers Kay Kenyon and Louise Marley are writers, and there seemed to be quite a few aspiring writers in the audience too. It was to be expected, then, that a lot of questions revolved around Sharon Shinn's path to writerly success. How did she pull it off? What steps did she take to go from someone who wrote 10 or so novels before selling one, to someone who has two books coming out this year (2004) and two more next year? How did she manage to find time for writing while having a full time job? How many hours a day does she write? Answer: 2 hours at least 3-4 days a week, often 5. "Well, if my math is right", Kay Kenyon said, "some weeks you are writing nearly, I would say, 10 hours. Now, my question is, how many pages are you getting in an hour?" Sharon Shinn: "I actually write by the numbers, so my goal in every 2 hour slot is to write 8 pages." The audience gasped in disbelief.
Cyberpunk after 9/11. Why have the cyberpunks abandoned the future? Do William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" and Bruce Sterling's "The Zenith Angle" evidence a trend? Are they science fiction? What makes them different from more mainstream techno-thrillers? What does it mean for the future of SF?
Beyond Slipstream. What distinguishes slipstream from more conventional SF, fantasy, and mainstream fiction? Has slipstream finally arrived as a genre in its own right?
Interactive Fantasy World Building. The audience and the panelists brainstorm a fantasy world, complete with fantastic beasts, magic, social structure and such, while the artist R. Cat Conrad draws their creations on a whiteboard.