This post actually should have been done weeks ago, since the Honorcon convention in Raleigh was over the last weekend of October of this year. Thanks to moving and other commitments, it was not. Sorry. This was either the first or second Honorcon, depending on who you listen to. There was an Honorcon 2013, run by a for profit company which didn’t turn a profit, and so dropped it. This year it was fan run, and according to the organizing committee this was really the first Honorcon, which will run yearly in Raleigh along with Manticon in Minneapolis. I really didn’t know much about the con, and thought it had been a much more established event. This year they had 150 attendees, not at all like DragonCon, my last con before this one. But they actually made enough money to put some forward for next year. It wasn’t a bad con, and there is something to say about not fighting the crowds. And they had David Weber as the Guest of Honor, so to speak. It was announced that he would not be a yearly guest, so this was a good one to get to for me.
Now I know some people that I know do not like the work of David Weber. I like most of his stuff, though sometimes the info dumps can be a little much, as are the use of some phrases over and over. But he has developed a wonderfully detailed Universe, the Honorverse, and he is a great story teller, in my humble opinion. I did not start writing because of reading Weber, though I am often compared to him. I had been writing for about four years when my stepdaughter’s best friend’s father introduced me to On Basilisk Station. And from there I was hooked. I have read Space Opera for ages, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Robert Heinlein. But, since knuckling down in college, getting my BS in Psychology, and getting into a PhD program, I really hadn’t had time for reading, and Weber was a cool new writer who wrote in an original Universe. I still read him, and am in fact rereading the Honor Harrington books. I now realize where some of my ideas come from, without even realizing it, though I do believe my style is nothing like his. I also like his Safehold series, and his March series done with John Ringo, and loved that series about the people of magic fighting the technological society through gates between dimensions, though it was cancelled before completed. It kind of reminded me of my Refuge series, though I had started on that series almost ten years before I read the first Weber/ Evans book of that one. And I have read his collaborations with Eric Flint and Timothy Zahn (Zahn was also at Honorcon, being introduced as the co-author on the new series about Manticore before it became as powerful as it is in the Harrington series.
So, what was Honorcon like? Lots of people in uniform, Royal Manticore Navy and Marines, even some Army. And the Grayson Space navy. Most were high ranking, Captain and above. Good panels, though a couple were cancelled when the presenter called in sick. I saw my friend and fellow author Jason Cordova, whom I met at Libertycon, and author Ian Malone, a Tallahassee native and current resident of North Carolina I met this year at Altcon in Tally. And I learned how David gets much of his research done. He has minions who volunteer to look up information and work on concepts. Maybe someday. There was also a presentation about the planned Honor Harrington movie based on The Honor of the Queen. From what I heard, there was a CGI presentation of Nimitz last year that drew boos. This year it got an ovation. It’s looking like the movie will instead be a miniseries, since they are having trouble translating the book into a two and a half hour script.
Friday night was a meet and greet with David Weber and Timothy Zahn. I really haven’t read much of Timothy’s work other than the collaboration, so I didn’t have much to talk about with him. Weber, a big bear of a man, was very gregarious and talkative (no surprise there), and regaled us with stories about all kinds of things. His wife was his time keeper, and got him out of the room in time for his autograph session. The only complaint I had about this event was it was too short for what it cost, and one guy monopolized David’s time near the food table. Still, it was a treat to meet the man whose success I want to emulate. I did get a first edition hardback of On Basilisk Station autographed to add to my collection.
Weber will not be there next year, and I’m not sure who the guest of honor will be. Will I go again? Not sure at this point. Raleigh is a bit of a drive from Tallahassee, and there are lots of other cons to explore. But I might return a few years up the road. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, David Weber will be the guest of honor at LibertyCon next year, a con I will be attending as an author. Will I get to sit on a panel with him? Doubtful, since there will be bigger name authors there. Many from Baen, such as John Ringo, Michael Z. Williamson and others. But who knows. And wouldn’t that be a trip.