August 17, 2012

Fast Times at the Pelgrane Booth

Thursday is always my favorite day to man a booth at Gen Con. That’s when your most devoted readers and gamers show up to say hi and grab the new stuff. Pelgrane had a record Thursday this year, with an early rush followed by a slow and steady diminishment of its stacks of books. Thanks to all the Pelgraniacs who reported for duty.

The star item this time is unquestionably Kenneth Hite’s Night’s Black Agents. Its “Bourne if Treadstone were vampires” elevator pitch makes for an easy sell. So much so that the booth may well run out of them before show’s end. If you’re planning to grab one, don’t put that off for the last minute.

I was unsure how the Stone Skin Press books would do at a gaming convention—our adventure into fiction is not directly related to the main Pelgrane mission after all. Once more the taste and sagacity of Gen Con attendees dispels my reflexive Canadian pessimism. We will probably run out of these as well. (That’s The New Hero 1 and 2, and especially Shotguns v. Cthulhu, for those joining us already in progress.) There will be a signing with many of the Stone Skin authors here at the show on Sunday at 11am, for which we’ll be holding a quantity of the books back.

Also garnering a gratifying response is the Tartarus/Terra Nova adventure double-header for Ashen Stars, combined in the Ace Double style of old. I didn’t even know this would be here, but that’s Simon and Beth for you. Turn your back on them for a minute, and they’ll print up your new product and have it out for Gen Con.

For which, see also the appearance of the Dying Earth Revivification Folio, which I also didn’t expect to see here in its tastefully arcane finished state. Since the Dying Earth RPG started it all for Pelgrane, it tugs at the heartstrings a little to see this refurbished, streamlined version to the game being exchanged for the richly-deserved terces of a discriminating clientele.

I tend to forget last year’s big thing, but Ashen Stars itself continues to sell well at the stand as well. If you’ve been thinking of picking it up, now’s the time, as the first print run dwindles as we speak. The tricky economics of reprints may force Simon to go turn the glorious color of the current run into black and white, so get it while you can.

In other news, my first but hopefully not last Writer’s Symposium event, the advanced plotting workshop, gave John Helfers, Matt Forbeck and I much to talk about. We represented a continuum of authorial pre-planning, with Matt on the mellow end and me as the obsessive who diagrams every major beat using Campaign Cartographer and the Hamlet’s Hit Points system before going to written outline. We managed to stop talking soon enough to give specific notes to writers currently grappling with their own works in progress.

Today (Friday) I will don my Pathfinder Tales author’s hat (disclaimer: not actually a hat) for a panel at noon and a signing at 1:30, where I will gladly deface copies of my new release, Blood of the City, and last year’s controversial demonic heist novel, The Worldwound Gambit.

I’m also the interviewee at a live recording of the Tome Show podcast, at 6pm, right before the ENnies.

With all these festivities planned, this had to be the day for the wonder of the Utamaro shirt. Prepare to be awed.