PhilCon “Why Horror is Not Dead”

D.E. Christman, Jennifer Williams, Dina Leacock, Sara M. Harvey

Is Horror a Genre unto itself?
Horror is a genre, but it has changed.  Now we have Dark Romance and others. King is shelved under regular ficiton.
If its a dark subject it tends to get tagged under horror.
Genre is very subjective, but ten you have genre bending that make it even more difficult.  Best a publisher can do is to label stuff for what the audiance will pick.
In the 90’s, Horror wasn’t dead, it was called different names.
Movies has a constant appitite for horor.  Subject matter changes (Aliens vs Twilight vs Sliver).
Horror also does better when things are bad economically rather then when thing are good.

Does Horror make children bad/desensatize kids?
No.  Parents need to be parents and TV is not a substitute for parenting, but people are by nature morbidly curious.  Grim’s Tales was horrorific and its been around for a long time.

What are the essential elements of Horror?
A Building Sense of Dread, Terror, Being Afraid for the Character (watching a car accident happen), Feeling Helpless (Watcher in the Woods)

All the classic monsters are making a comeback:
vampires, werewolves, mummies, zombies, etc.  They’re just not showing up in horror movies. 
Even the killer tomato is making a comeback. *rolls eyes*

PhilCon Panel “Ninja, Pirate, Mad Scientist, Supervillian!”

They're smiling.  I wonder what they're up to.
They're smiling. I wonder what they're up to.

Ruth Lampi – Ninja (N)
Phil  (missed last name) – Super Villian (SV)
Sally-Rouge Pax and Jo Blu Pax – Mad Scientist (MS)
Missed Name – Pirate (P)

MS – More wardrobe choices then “black, black and black” and they take baths
SV – “I am the Bad Seed”
P – Taking stuff, hitting on women, taking stuff, hitting women, taking care since they’re out of women
N – Its not the ninjas you can see that’s the problem. Did you see us at the battle of waterloo, battle new orleans, the grassy knoll.

Time to bash others

N – Pirates “What will you do the with the oil tanker?”
P – missed
SV – ninjas are uncreative hunchmen, Pirates have no class, Mad scientist work for the super villian
MS – SV is useless without us, TMNT are useless without the goo created by MS, and the SV has just given up his secret identity.
SV – “I will have my REVENGE!”

Caper – Steal the Hope Diamond, how do you handle it
MS – There will be a lot of dominos, a bowlingball, (and they just got a soundtrack as the SV started singing), and a puppy.
SV – I was to busy laughing to type
P – dig a channel to the smithsonian and fire upon the guards, swing from the ropes, and nab the diamond and sail off into the sunset
Moderator – “Where is the ninja?”
Ninja returns
N – “Done!”

Plan to take over World
SV starts laughing.
MS – Could go mass mind control “everything you do is playing into our plan.” “What you don’t realize is that we already rule the world.”
SV – “You know I can’t tell you until there is just enough time for you to thwart me.” These ‘perterbed scientists’ need 2 to do the job of 1 SV.
Mod – “I’m just loving the trash talking.” and the MS spewed.
N sprinkles something in MS water, MS passed it to the SV. Pirate drinks the water.
P – How many SV’s actually succeeded? SV’s  henchmen said “George Bush.”
P – While MS are busy polishing their test tubes we’re sailing into all your ports and taking your wenches.  “Superior Wenching Action.”  A great wench makes you feel like King of the World.
N – I can jump from roof to roof.

Mod – I’m out of ideas.
You have your archnemesis in your clutches, what do you do?
SV – …
N – Blow to the head.
MS – Ohhh we’ve done everything, fire ants, space time distortion, maming … We’d just wing it.
SV – “So you don’t have a plan?!?”
P – There’s only one way to handle any problem, “Sink it.” Why walk the plank when you’ve got submachine guns “Oh by the way, thank you MS for the guns.”

MS – It is essential to put a fatal flaw in it to make sure it cannot overtake the MS.

P – Disco’s Back Baby.

Do pirates and ninjas really hate each other so much?  MS and SV hug

P – We’ll take over the inland regions with global warming.

Final Words
MS – Superior in every way, why? “I don’t think you comprehend.”
SV – “Fools! If it grows, I will ungrow it. It comes within 50 ft I will show it my restraining order.”
P – Goes to wipe board. writes “R.”
N – Compromising photos of MS and SV will be available online in 2 minutes.


PhilCon Notes “Weapons of the Future”

Friday evening

Speakers: Eric Katani (Yoji Kondo), Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Tom Purdom (mod), Alexis Gilliland, and Jay While (sp?)

What does each feel is the critical weapons of the future:

Jay – Sound Wave Weaponry (since air is a hinderance for most other weapons, air is a help with sound weapons)
Gannon – ROV (Remote Operated Vehicles, since this does not endanger a soldier) and Penetration (both personal armor and base fortifications).
Kotani – Rebuildable Launch Vehicles (as opposed to reuseable launch vehicles) (since each ICBM is like having a 747 scrapped after each use.  A reusable costs more since most or all has to come back and there’s a higher fuel cost. A rebuildable is a mix of the two, lowers the cost of a reusable and while lowering the cost of each construction.
Purdom – increased accuracy, ROVs and Armor.

Random points
Jay – Energy weapons are unusable as an offensive weapon for quite some time but they can be a defensive weapon.  It requires much less energy to alter the trojectory then it does to destroy something.
Gannon – Nanite tech can do quite a bit for sensors.  Spread some nanites and they can detect if something is in the air. 
Purdom- Non Violent Weaons
Gannon – Military wants less violent weapon since it takes 4 men to carry a wounded man off the battlefield, soldiers want a higher powered weapons since they want to go home alive and see their kids. 

I asked about EMP Weaponry
Katani and Gannon – It can be a weapon, but its going to be large, cumbersome and devistating to the local infrastructure. 

Jay – Sat defene could involve nano beads to deflect incoming attack.

Once its fully developed and implemented on a ship, it can launch warheads, mines, drones, do a “soft drop” of a payload.

Coordination, Not Timing, is Everything

When you’re going to do something big, you have to time it just right. Striking while the iron is hot is important, but so is being coordinated. At the end of the day, coordination is more important. Even a slow economy can work to your advantage. Being as professional as possible by meeting deadlines, having something finished before it is even announced, while taking your time to do things right goes a long way with consumers. I don’t remember who said it be someone said “Underpromise and Overdeliver” was the best business practice to live by. That’s my plan.

Tonight’s Traveller Game

As part of my writing regiment, I write out my material for a given role playing game. So for Traveller, I write out my patrons, I write up a description of a planet, the goods for sale, places for the players to buy drinks and so on. Previously, I just came up with a list of names and a few plot ideas, but I feel that having a number of different plot ideas in front of me has helped me to run a better game. I have even cumulated most of my work into a little handout for my players so they can operate better on the worlds.

All this is paying off in my freelance writing. This free flow of ideas has helped me to be more productive and organized then I normally am. My current freelance project, I’m on my last section and I have about 1000 words to go. With any luck, I’ll knock that out between Wednesday and Thursday. Then comes edits. 16,000 words to edit in 10 days. Good thing I’m becoming more organized. 😀

October 1st, GSL Day

Those of you that follow Wizards of the Coast and the Dungeons and Dragons RPG, yesterday was the day the GSL went live. Companies that wanted to write material compatable with Fourth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons can do so with the Game System License, or GSL for short. The GSL, as it stands right now is not a document that affords quality protection for licensee companies. Wizards could shut them down with a casual stroke. While I do not believe that Wizards today will do that, Wizards today is not the Wizards of 8 years ago and there is no reason to expect that the Wizards of 8 years from now will be the same entity.

Yes, Wizards is making changes to the license, but who knows when that will come. Its also true that these changes are because Necromancer Games said they cannot work with the license as written. But it is also true that there very nearly was no license at all.

In short, I don’t see a long term future with D&D so I decided a while ago to write for other systems. Pathfinder and Traveller is where I see a long term future and I will be happy to write for those audiences. So that’s where I will be going.

Travelling the Stars of My Dreams

Ever play Traveller?  I have.  I’m still new to the game, and by new I mean I have played two sessions since the new rules were officially launched and two sessions of the playtest rules.  That’s it.  Its been around for 30 years and I played 4 sessions.  I ran all of them.  Last night was the first session in a campaign.  It was fun, alot of fun.  Simple mechanic, allows for lots of room for character development, and easy to write up characters, plots, etc. 

So what exactly does this have to do with the big announcement.  Alot.  Exactly what, I can’t say for the moment.  But stay tuned.