Author Chair DancingThis was a panel consisting of Cherie Priest, John Scalzi, Sam Sykes, Leanna Renee Hieber, Delilah S. Dawson, and Kevin Hearne. I saw it on the PHXCC schedule and thought to myself, authors? exciting! chair dancing? hmm… I didn’t really know what to expect, and it turns out to have been basically a panel of authors who are great Twitterers and say funny things (often to each other?) on Twitter, doing what they do on Twitter out loud with mouthwords in front of a live audience. Look, here they are! (Picture borrowed from Delilah Dawson’s blog since I was too busy basking in their comedic genius to remember to take any pictures.)
It may sound a little weird, and it was, but in the BEST kind of way. These guys and gals were hilarious! John Scalzi definitely stole the show—it was kind of like a stand-up hour. This wasn’t really your traditional panel (mostly they talked about random stuff rather than their work, writing process, etc.) and it was easy to miss witticisms with people getting excited and talking all at once, but here are some things that transpired:
• Kevin Hearne apparently received an award the night before, so the other panelists plotted to have the audience applaud wildly when he arrived and was introduced, so that he would feel embarrassed and blush a lot. (This is what friends do!) This was a running joke throughout the panel—referring to him as the award-winning Kevin Hearne!!! and watching him blush.
• John Scalzi, early in the panel: “Alright, what the hell are we doing here? I mean not just in an existential sense…”
• Delilah Dawson has eaten many strange meats, not actually including capybara and guinea pig, but rather things like squirrel, cat, kangaroo, alligator…
• The most awesome 8th grade diorama ever would be the movie Seven, but with a squirrel
• There may be institutions that categorize the capybara as a fish, and the meaty-beefy peptide is responsible for making things taste delicious, or if it’s not present, like chicken.
• There was a lot of talk about cannibalism, with theories flying that bacon may taste like human
• The discussion moved into the territory of animals solving crimes, which brought us to the murder-solving sheep flock of Three Bags Full (I thought this was just a joke, but no, it is a real thing!)
• A discussion of what Kevin Wax may be, and the possibility of ceremonially rendering him down at the end of the weekend, like the Wicker Man
• A note from a secret admirer was scrawled upon the top of John Scalzi’s signing table in the exhibition hall: “I love you John Scalzi—I love you so much I’m going to turn your skin into velvet and paint a picture of us on it. – Your Secret Admirer.” (His secret admirer was Wil Wheaton, which makes it slightly less creepy. XD)
• Sam Sykes does not like cats, said, “I think they’re stupid, and I don’t have a high opinion of them.” To which Cherie Priest responded, “Which begs the question of what you’re doing on the internet, frankly.” He answered, “Not fitting in. Anywhere.” XD
• Leanna Renee Hieber has a bunny that she rescued from a laboratory, and she smells like a cotton ball. The bunny, not the author. (I assume.) This led into a debate of whether or not bunnies eat their own poo.
• Last time Sam Sykes interviewed John Scalzi, Sykes claims Scalzi made a girl laugh at him. They were going to dinner with Sykes’ mom after the signing and he was arranging things over the phone, and some woman overheard him. So she went to get her book signed by Scalzi, and while she was waiting she said, “Have fun with your mom.” XD (It was not until later, when I was reading online about the books written by the authors on this panel, that the vast knowledge of the interwebs informed me that Sam Sykes is apparently the son of Diana Gabaldon, of Outlander fame. I feel this context makes me enjoy the story on a whole different level. XD)
• Stainless steel Sharpies exist.
• Tyromancy is the art of divination through the coagulation of cheese, and clearly needs to be a series of books, beginning with The Tyromancer’s Cheddar. After thinking a moment, the panel decided that Brandon Sanderson is probably already writing about magical cheese, and it’s a 10-volume series.
• In addition to author/panelist John Scalzi, there is a weatherman named John Scalzi. There is also a John (B.) Scalzi Award for Masonry Science. Who knew?
As a result of this amusing panel, I ended up picking up a couple books by some of the panelists I hadn’t heard of before. More padding for my TBR pile! :)