Archive for the ‘Dan Wells’ Tag

Poet At Large Reviews, Convention, WesterCon 67/CONDuit 24/FantasyCon 2014   Leave a comment

The night before a convention I am always filled with excitement and anticipation that makes it hard to sleep. Imagine when three different conventions converge on your currant home city over one holiday weekend. They may be separate events but they all blur together in one wonderful collage of color light and information overload. I spent July 3rd through 6th in such an overwhelming situation and I will try to review it for you as best I can.

I spent the morning of the 3rd in the Salt Lake City, City Creek, Marriott Hotel at WesterCon looking at art and talking with friends. Also passing out my card to venders and authors.  At lunch time I attended the book launch party for the Authors from “Writing Excuses” the pod cast series. For those who have never listened to Writing Excuses they are Epic Fantasy Writer Brandon Sanderson, Horror writer Dan Wells, Web Cartoonist Howard Tayler and Puppet Mistress Mary Robinette Kowal. There anthology “Shadows Beneath” is one I would very much like to review. I did manage to have brief conversation with Guest of Honor Larry Correia on Saturday but it was mostly about finding food and other needs before the mass book signing.

After lunch I had seen what was at the Marriott and went across the street to the Salt Palace to see what was at FantasyCon.  They would not let me in the main entrance of the building even though I was using a walker. Instead they sent me a block in the heat to the South end of the building This means that once I got in I was suffering heat cramps and my back was already starting to hurt. We complained to security and were informed that the hired security had not been informed that they would have people crossing the street to the main entrance from WesterCon until after both Conventions were opened and they had not hired enough security to man both doors. This problem was made worse on the second day when they started insisting that people enter only from the main South entrance. It was not fixed until Saturday which was too little too late for me because I ended up on the floor in back spasms for at least half an hour at the mercy of two nice EMTs while my daughter held the hem of my dress in place to cover my dignity. This does get ahead of my story but needs to be said because the situation effected everyone who was disabled not just me. I saw one woman wheel in the South Entrance in a manual wheelchair with sweat beading down her face and could not help but think if I feel this bad she looks worse and she had no companion to help her like I had my dear husband.

At the entrance of FantasyCon.

At the entrance of FantasyCon.

What went on inside the Salt palace was wonderful but in the air conditioned building walking was not so bad. The first think that greeted you on entering the main entrance were two giant Sentinel Statues made of foam and painted to look like stone. There were many great marvels on your journey between booths. Which I got pictures of on Saturday when I was with my daughter the camera did not work the first day and the second day I spent most of my time preparing for the Masquerade competition at WeasterCon. I did not go near the celebrity guest tables at FantasyCon because times being what they are I did not have Money to spend on getting in line to talk to any of them. Yes folks these days you have to buy a ticket for an autograph just to speak to most actors. Authors on the other hand you can get up close to so I did speak to Kevin J. Anderson briefly. Mostly about how big my daughter had gotten since he had first met me but also about crossing each others paths in a cross walk.

As the gentelman in the booth with him said. “Why did Kevin J. Anderson cross the road? Because there was a book signing on the other side.”

I am told that most people entered the Cosplay Competition at FantasyCon on Saturday Night and were unaware that there was a competition on Friday because the local CONDuit Masquerade which was joined with the WesterCon Masquerade is usually held on Saturday but was moved so people could enter events at both Conventions. A few such Snafus were inevitable.

Front View

Front View

Rear View

Rear View

The only thing I have to report from the Masquerade is a special prize for the Jewelery I made as part of my costume. I am use to a Masquerade that goes on for at least an hour but due to the circumstances this left us with 7 entries in total. this did however allow them to hold the Belly Dancing recital at an earlier hour than usual. The dancers were all very good and I finally understand why Charles Galway has such defined leg muscles. Yes a man can be a belly dancer too and you can enjoy it no matter whether you are attracted to men or not. It’s about artistry and skill no matter who is dancing.

After the Masquerade I had to be unpinned from my costume I had a zipper bust on me at the last minute. so I went from party to party in a Klingon forehead and half my Steam punk costume from the morning. This was the night of July 4th and fireworks could be seen all over the valley from the balconies of the Marriott. We enjoyed food at parties for upcoming conventions and Filk singing. Filk is a type of Folk music with Fantasy, Science and Science Fiction themes.  We were suppose to leave for the night at 11:00 but my oldest son who I use the nickename Drake for online decided to step out of the hotel without telling anyone while his phone was not working. This mean they spent half an hour on a Code Adam looking for him all over the hotel.  If you were there and heard about the Code Adam search for a 16 year old boy he is home safe and sound. For the record my sons call me Matoo (our Family word for step mother).

On Satuday I spent my time during the day devoted to time with my daughter who we shall call Roo. I do not post her given name online just like I don’t post my sons’ names. She is 11 and loves Fantasy and Sci-Fi on a level that I think drives my Ex-Mother-In-Law nuts. This was her first time at a convention but she enjoyed it very much. On Friday she went around with her Patoo (our family term for stepfather) at FantasyCon and Saturday with me at both conventions.

This picture was taken with Patoo's cell phone. I made the ears and tail to match her natural hair color.

This picture was taken with Patoo’s cell phone. I made the ears and tail to match her natural hair color.

The Cat Maiden's Beheading.

The Cat Maiden’s Beheading

On our way to FantasyCon Saturday we stopped and rode a peddle cab that was done up as a Dragon’s head.

Inside the Mouth of Bathshiba

Inside the Mouth of Bathsheba

The Peddlecab Driver

The Peddle Cab Driver

Inside the Salt Palace we had much fun with the our working camera and not only got people for my top ten costumes but also got pictures with the backdrops and props for our keepsakes. I will share a few of them with you.

The Mage battles The Rock Monster

The Mage battles The Rock Monster

The Mage Goes Steam Punk

The Mage Goes Steam Punk

The mage vs The Dragon

The Mage vs The Dragon

The Princess Dances For Jabba The Hutt

The Princess Dances For Jabba The Hutt

Thr Princess The Mage and The Elder Dragon

Thr Princess The Mage and The Elder Dragon

On our way out of the convention we came across something that had to be shared.

I'm not sure how to spell what this is but and Dr. Who fan will know what it is.

Steam Punk Dalek

After my Sweet Roo had collected a drawing of herself as a Zombie from the WesterCon dealers room she went back to her grandmother’s house and we continued the convention as a foursome with my Dear husband Floyd and my sons Drake and BedBug wandering about. because of what had happened on the night of the 4th my sons were told they had to stick together all day. This means that by days end they were both sick of each other but I was trying to teach them both a lesson about responsibility anyway.

I went to the mass book signing which gave me a chance to talk to friends and meet new authors as I pass out more cards and got more books to add to my stack of review submissions. At this point I have a stack that is fairly deep, so It will take me a while to reach the last books submitted. I got to talk to Paul Genesse who started me on this whole review blog notion. I have had to thank him for that more than once because I love to read and to blog.

At 9:30 there was a Filk Concert by Mark Osier dedicated to the members of the Writing Excuses cast with a set inspired by each of the four writers. Mary Robinette Kowal got up and sang “Rubber Ducky” as part of the set dedicated to her and Mark’s rendition of “A Boy and His Frog” left many in tears. For those who don’t know “A Boy and His Frog” is dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson and is sung from the point of view of Kermit The Frog. Mark’s Kermit voice is very good, so it was easy to believe Kermit was singing. His encore was “I want to be Han to your Leia” which is a great piece of New found Filk. After this we left for the night.

On Sunday the 6th only WesterCon was still going with FantasyCon having closed the night of the 5th. This was the only day I was able to sit in on any panels. These panels left me with a need to finish some original projects I have been working on. The results of these projects will spill into this blog as I read some books for research and hopefully enter some of my art in a few art shows.

Some special events I missed include a screening of the film “The Last Unicorn” which I have on DVD anyway. This screening did have the Author of the book it is based on present but I did not have a copy of his book for him to sign. all the Cosplay events at FantasyCon because I was just not able to be in two places at once. All panels held on the first 3 days because I had so much to do those days.

I had a wonderful time but I spent the week after in much pain and even had a migraine so bad that the air conditioning was too loud. The migraine is why this is posted a day later than I had hoped.

Now I give you my top costume picks. One thing to note is that in order to be considered for top costumes I have to catch you in a picture so if you feel your costume was better but you never had me take your picture I am sorry. There were a few people who missed out because they did not stop for me and being in need of the walker or a cane I can’t move fast. I am also obligated by law to ask permission to use your picture.

Honorable Mention "Dead Pool in a cute hat" I know that I got you without the hat too but that one just did not make top ten even though you made a wonderful replica costume.

Honorable Mention “Dead Pool in a cute hat”
I know that I got you without the hat too but that one just did not make top ten even though you made a wonderful replica costume.

Honorable Mention "The Last Unicorn" I really loved your lights in the horn.

Honorable Mention “The Last Unicorn” I really loved your lights in the horn.

costume number 10 "The Muse"

costume number 10 “The Muse”

Costume Number 9 "Let Them Eat Cake" I know that line is a misquote but it is what I think of.

Costume Number 9 “Let Them Eat Cake” I know that line is a misquote but it is what I think of.

Costume Number 8 "Pirate In Red" Love the atittude.

Costume Number 8 “Pirate In Red” Love the attitude.

Costume Number 7 "Dead Mouse" I told you, 'You are a contender".

Costume Number 7 “Dead Mouse” I told you, ‘You are a contender”.

Costume Number 6 "Masked Lady in Blue" Love the glitter.

Costume Number 6 “Masked Lady in Blue” Love the glitter.

Costume Number 5 "Crossplay Thor and Loki" I love when women make a part their own.

Costume Number 5 “Crossplay Thor and Loki” I love when women make a part their own.

Costume Number 4 "Steam Punk Lady" There is something about this costume that just says I am a lady but I will work had too.

Costume Number 4 “Steam Punk Lady” There is something about this costume that just says I am a lady but I will work had too.

Costume Number 3 "Lethal Elf Lady" I would not cross a lady carrying a dagger so openly.

Costume Number 3 “Lethal Elf Lady” I would not cross a lady carrying a dagger so openly.

Costume Number 2 "Creatures of The Forest" these ladies are from an acting troupe and look just lovely.

Costume Number 2 “Creatures of The Forest” these ladies are from an acting troupe and look just lovely.

Costume Number 1 "Hocus Pocus" Replicas of the 3 Withches from the Disney Movie "Hocus pocus and a Cross play of the zombie from the same movie. Sorry that it's a little blurry.

Costume Number 1 “Hocus Pocus” Replicas of the 3 Witches from the Disney Movie “Hocus Pocus” and a Cross play of the zombie from the same movie. Sorry that it’s a little blurry.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and that you will read more of my blog in the future.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

You may contact The Poet and her friends by e-mailing (



Poet At large Reviews, Story, A Night of Blacker Darkness   Leave a comment

“A Night of Blacker Darkness” by Horror Writer Dan Wells is what I would call good Medicine. When convicted Forger Frederick Whithers of Bath, England contrives to be freed of Prison by faking his death of consumption he rises from his coffin only to be mistaken for a Vampire. All is hilarity as Fredrick finds himself running from both Vampires and Vampire hunters alike as he tries to clear up more than his mistaken state of undeath. He must also face his former fiance who made sure he was in prison so she could claim the fortune of a man who had no relatives at death. Encounters with John Keats, Mary Shelly and Jane Austen put the time of the story in a strange perspective that anyone who knows literary history can only laugh at. All in all very much worth the time it took to ask Mr. Wells to send me a copy.

From The Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Contact the Poet by e-mailing (

Poet at Large Reviews, Convention, CONduit 22, Article Part 1   Leave a comment

Kermit the Frog as The Fourth Doctor

Even Kermit Got into the act at CONduit 22 Timelords of CONduit. 

For those that are not in the know CONduit is a Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention held each May in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The usual location for this Convention is the Salt Lake City, Downtown, Radisson Hotel.  This last May 25th through 27th The hotel paid host to many who willingly dub themselves Geeks.  Many of them sporting costumes from Popular BBC series Doctor Who as the theme of this year’s convention (The Time Lords of CONduit) centers around the Main character of that series and his many incarnations over the last 50 years.  There were so many costumes of Varying types that I will have to take a few days to go through the 200 plus pictures I have before I can make my top ten costume list.  The panels available on writing and art were very helpful. There were also panels on every sort of fandom one can think of from Harry Potter to Stargate and more.

Game rooms were packed to late at night as player sought to play out an RPG round with friends or try out the latest offered by companies that manufacture the books, cards and miniatures that players so love to use.  One popular experience this year was the Artemis Bridge simulator witch allows a group of Local Area Network Computers to become the stations of a Star Trek style Starship Bridge.  Groups of seven or eight people are allowed to take on the roles of a captain and crew to run a mission controlled from from a Game Master’s computer.   Some time early Sunday morning Guest of Honor Tim Russ who is best known for his role as Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager spent two hours playing the simulator with convention goers  I will Tell you more on Mr. Russ and his wowing of fans in a future part of this Article.

On Friday Night they had the Ice Cream social with Mascot contest where attendees voted by placing pennies in tubs and the contestant with the heaviest tub won.   Following the mascot contest there was a Wookie calling contest.  I unfortunately I fell off the stage during the contest and ended up with a really nice wound on my shin.

Wound received during the Wookie Calling contest.

Many Authors were present at the convention to offer readers the chance to buy a book they may not have heard about.  Some authors such as Paul Gennesse, Dan Wells and David Farland even gave readings and Paul Genesse had a release part for his book The Secret Empire which I have previously reviewed for this Blog.  During the release party while fans enjoyed Pizza there was a exhibition fight between Mugo the Giant and No Tusks The Orc.  Both characters from one of Mr. Genesse’s stories.

Mungo the Giant and NoTusk the Orc from “The Secret Empire” Release party.

One other thing to note about this year’s CONduit was the rise in attendance by members of the 7th fleet Star Trek Fan club chapters and several other fan organizations.  Several years back these organizations were alienated by CONduit’s former chair committee  Though I have never been able to get a full answer as to why.  This year the convention went out of their way to invite the 7th Fleet and other Science Fiction fan clubs back to the convention.  We can only hope that this effort to reach out leads to better things for CONduit in the future.

From Left to Right, Commadore Richard Henline of the 7th Fleet, Admiral Dennis Hollinger of the 7th Fleet.

Saturday Night also played host the annual CONduit Masquerade.  This costume and performance contest brings out some of the best costume workmanship in the state.  The prize winners are things to really be in awe of.

Draculaura from “Monster High”

This Lovely Morticia Adams was well executed.

Both of these versions of Lynk from “The Legend of Zelda” video games took prizes.

These are but a few of the entries.  The most popular winner from the Masquerade was of course this pair.

“Professor you have a screw Loose.”

Steam Punk Wings at a full Stretch.

There is much more to be said about this year’s CONduit.  I will tell you more in my next entry.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

Poet At Large Reviews, Book, I Am Not a Serial Killer   Leave a comment

Dan Wells manages to mix both the disturbingly real with the frighteningly Supernatural in his horror novel I Am Not a Serial Killer.  The young sociopath vs the demon is an angel that appeals and appalls at the same time.  It is well written and draws one into the intrigue and the struggle of the protagonist is so real and easy to believe.  It is clear that Mr. Wells has done a great deal of research on the subject of Serial Killers and Sociopaths.  It is also easy to see why the Acknowledgments state that Brandon Sanderson told him to stop talking about serial killers and Write The Book.  Readers should also note that the Acknowledgments states that the book is in no way Biographical, which is a relief to those of use who listen to him and his friends on Writing Excuses pod casts or run into him from time to time at conventions.   I have every intention to read and review the sequel I don’t Want to Kill You.  Though I will have to read something else on my list first so that I can let my heart recover from the race this book put it through.

From The poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron