I attended CONduit for the first time two years ago just to see what it was about. As a writer, I was anxious to make some contacts and follow panels with local authors I had met at LTUE. Last year I had the opportunity to attend panels as an author myself at the combined CONduit-Westercon event. I feel very lucky that I was able to sneak onto panels again this year, requesting just a few weeks prior to the event when I learned my schedule was free.
This convention is a cozy gathering of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy enthusiasts with a variety of interests from gaming, to clubs, to movies, ghost hunting, costuming, art, writing, and more. I had a blast reconnecting with known acquaintances: Paul Genesse, John M. Olsen, Scott Taylor, and Julie Frost to name a few.
I caught the tail end of forthcoming author Nathan Croft’s reading just before my own on Saturday, and adored my audience of two who stayed while I read from my short story “Curio Cay,” coming out in June in Xchyler’s Steel and Bone steampunk anthology.
I also had a great time on panels with Chris Husberg, Eric Swedin, Eric James Stone, and Blake Casselman. I learned so much. Audience participation really made for some great discussions on H. P. Lovecraft, the macabre in fantasy and horror, and the history and making of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
I had a delightful weekend spending time with all of you. To all CONduit convention goers: you rock! Your enthusiasm for the things you love is contagious.
To the dedicated volunteers and staff who organized the event, thank you so much for your hard work. The environment was warm and welcoming to all fans, and I’ve had a marvelous time attending this convention.
I have succeeded at infiltrating CONduit!
Here is my Schedule:
(I will not be attending Friday)
Saturday, May 23
- 1:00 Reading (Eccles)
- 2:00-4:00 Swap/Meet the Clubs/Signings (Stillwater)
Paul Genesse, Sarah Seeley, Ann Chamberlin
- 4:00-5:00 The Lovecraft Panel (Arches)
Eric Swedin, Christopher Husberg, Carter Reid, Sarah Seeley, Eric James Stone
Sunday, May 24
- 1:00-2:00 A Touch of the Macabre: The Thin Line Between Fantasy and Horror (Arches)
Jason King, Carter Reid, Sarah Seeley, Christopher Husberg.
- 3:00-4:00 40 Years of the Nights of Ni…Monty Python and the Holy Grail at 40 (Zion Ballroom)
Blake Cassellman, Sarah Seeley
For the full event schedule, download preview their PDF here: http://conduit-sf.com/C25files/CONduit-25-Program-Book.pdf.
See you there!
I was sitting alone in my car for some quiet writing time on Saturday when I had a little surprise encounter with nature. BYU campus is right at the base of the Wasatch mountains, and wild deer often come down to wander the grounds in search of green things to munch on. It always amazes me how graceful and ghostly quiet these creatures are. I find it a treat to spot one before it sees me and dashes away. This gal looked a bit lean but acted alert and healthy/normal otherwise. It made my solitary day a little bit brighter and less lonely.
And yes, I do write in my car sometimes. :-)
It’s nice when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. I know no one is likely to bother me there (unless they text me), and I can get out for a little walk in the weather when I need a break.
It’s also convenient if I want to read my manuscripts out loud and I don’t want anyone to ask me what the heck is going on with that weird scary story…Mwahaha!
Happy first week of May!
May is my favorite month. The earth is alive. The days are warm and the daylight is still growing. One thing I like best about May is that BYU campus, where I often like to go to be alone, is totally empty and totally quiet for the first couple weeks after graduation festivities. Life, sunlight, and quiet are beautiful things.
Holli is one of the Space Balrogs, a group of local Utah authors I love. I got to know Holli at LTUE this year. She is pure awesome and really really nice. I decided to check out the first book in her paranormal YA series, published with Curiosity Quills Press, and I’m excited today to review Five–Out of the Dark.
Five follows a girl named Paige and her group of friends: Alec, Seth, Halli, and the boy she grows close to named Johnathan. Displaced or run away from their homes due to their magical abilities, the children find each other one by one. They embark on adventures to explore their powers and find opportunities to use them for good by contending with goblins, demons, and other various ghoulish disturbances to humanity. This ultimately leads them to a high school with a string of unusual suicides, and a mysterious plot to take over humanity. The teens also discover a magical mentor who informs them they aren’t just any haphazard gathering of kids with magical inclinations, but the next generation of “Five” who are tasked with protecting mankind from the forces of evil.
This story is a fun adventure with plenty of fantasy action, a mystery to solve, intriguing paranormal elements, and teen romance. I enjoyed the characters. The main characters each had their own distinct personalities that created fun dynamics for the group both in battle with the supernatural and as they drew together in simple matters of everyday survival. There is an intriguing subplot in which Johnathan (Paige’s love interest) must wrestle with an evil transformation that besets him after a changeling bites him. Paige pays a heavy, heart-wrenching price at the end to free Johnathan from his curse. I also liked the dark paranormal mystery twist Holli Anderson created in her depiction of high school life.
Lovers of YA fantasy and YA paranormal are sure to enjoy this opening installment in what promises to be an entertaining series.
*If you’ve read Five and loved it, you might also be interested in my review of YA fantasy Vivatera.