July 15th, 2008


My Necon Schedule

I'm only doing one panel this year, which is just as well because I like my Necons loose and free, baby.

Friday, 4:00 PM - KICKING HORROR TO THE CURB: Why genre horror deserves a quick and nasty death, and how every one of us can help! Nicholas Kaufmann (m), Jack Haringa (if still alive), Wrath James White, Weston Ochse, Lee Thomas, Kelli Dunlap, Mary SanGiovanni

As a point of interest, this wasn't the actual title of the panel I proposed. Mine was a little meaner: KILLING THE GENRE IN TEN EASY STEPS: Why Category Horror Deserves to Die a Brutal, Messy Death and How You Can Help! Craig Shaw Gardner and Chris Golden, in their wisdom, decided to tone it down. Also, I had collected several authors who have been accused of trying to "kill the genre" -- me, Jack, Lee, Kelli, Mary -- and they decided to add Weston Ochse and Wrath James White for balance, since neither of them have been accused of trying to kill horror, as far as I know.

So here's the deal. If you're tired of the same old shitty horror clogging the small and specialty presses, and seeping like an overflowing septic tank into the horror reader's consciousness until they believe that's all there is, this panel is for you. If you feel like the "horror community" is filled with illiterates who think A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 is the apex of good writing and creative ideas, this panel is for you. If you're certain that reading one more poorly written novel about yet another intestine-eating rape-demon will make you turn your back on horror forever, this panel is for you.

But most importantly, if you think I and the other panelists are full of it and intestine-eating rape-demons are so awesome you wish there was one in every book, including Moby Dick and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, this panel is for you!

The Trivia King Does Okay

Third place. We're four-time winners, but Team Totally Tits (usual disclaimer: teammate Sabrina came up with that name, and then never returned) is cursed to never win twice in a row. Still, at least we placed this time.

We were in the #1 spot for most of the game, especially after the dorktastic second round: Movie Robots! They announced the year of the film and the name of the robot, and we had to guess the movie. We got 18 out of 20, only forgetting that ED-209 was from Robocop and Box was from Logan's Run. However, I was one of the few who knew right away that Val and Aqua were from 1981's Heartbeeps! Go me! Or, you know, get a life. Either one.

But the final round, the audio round, is where everything changed. There were 100 points at stake, and basically anyone who won the audio round would win the whole shebang. The topic? Duets. We had to name the title of the song as well as both singers involved, based on a 20-30 second clip. It's amazing how many shitty duets were recorded in the early 1980s, and how many of them I recognize from random airplay without ever having known who sang them. Peabo Bryson? Who the fuck is Peabo Bryson? And who, I ask you, who has given Eddie Rabbit a moment's thought in the past 25 years? Bah! We only got 48 out of a possible 100 and sank to third place.

But all was not lost, because this was the very first time I ever won the Super Solo Bonus Round, an every man/woman for him/herself question. I properly guessed how tall the two hosts were combined, in centimeters, but writing three completely random numbers on an index card. Woohoo! My prizes included a roll of cheap Rite Aid toilet paper, an "equalizer" mask for swimming, water balloons, a Star Trek phaser that lights up and makes phaser-type noises, a tin of margarita salt and a New Kids on the Block poster!

Being a share-the-love type of guy, I gave teammate Emily the NKOTB poster and my friend Dalila the margarita salt and "equalizer" swim mask, since she likes to make drinks and also do triathlons. The water balloons, phaser and toiler paper are all mine, though! I have a very special night planned...