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When I first saw the trailer for SKY SHARKS, I was hyped. I am a huge fan of sharks, regardless, and to have them soar into unknown territories with the help of undead Nazi science, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

I was able to chat with co-creator and film-maker, Marc Fehse, about his vision, past projects, and what lies ahead…

Just a warning, this interview was facilitated via Google Translate. I have the German questions and responses below the English translation. I apologize for any mistranslations.

J.M. BRANNYK: I’m grateful for the opportunity to interview you, and interested in your thoughts and the film. Thank you for taking the time.

So … sharks in the sky … with undead Nazis. This is very different from your last project, POWER OF SOUL (2013), a documentary about funk and soul music, but not your first horror film K7B: MUTATION from 1999, the first part of a trilogy with a Nazi-made serum of the undead. Has it always been in your plans to return to horror?

MARC FEHSE: MUTATION was the beginning of my “film career”. I’ve always been fascinated by the fantastic, but not only horror or thriller… I also like sci-fi and fantasy…

I made my first film on Super 8 when I was 5 years old. It was a clay kit – stop motion film about aliens! 😉

But just as I’m drawn to the visual, I like music. I produced music professionally until 2007. Until 2002, I had my own successful band in Germany, called Phase V. I’ve always shot video clips for bands and I’ve always done so. I was always connected to the moving picture. The focus of the music was rap, funk and soul and rock and this is exactly where I come full circle why I made a documentary about funk, soul and hip hop (POWER OF SOUL, 2013).

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In 2012 my brother and I decided to only produce films and shot a teaser for a pandemic outbreak horror film called “SPORES”. After that came SKY SHARKS.

But to answer the question, yes, I or we – Carsten and I – like the “supernatural”, so it was clear that we would continue to shoot something like that.

Brothers Carsten and Marc Fehse

BRANNYK: How does your artistic style differ from that of Carsten and vice versa?

FEHSE: Carsten is an author and I am a director, otherwise we do everything together. With style, we take very similar paths.

BRANNYK: As a filmmaker and writer, what did you learn from your first to this horror film?

FEHSE: Making movies is no fun. It’s hard work and it demands everything from you. Either you allow it or look for another job!

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BRANNYK: As you grew up, who were some of your influences and mentors in horror?

FEHSE: It is important to know that in Germany most of our horror fans’ favorite films were banned. So you had to get badly copied VHS recordings in order to “enjoy” the works.

The Italians like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Umberto Lenzi were among the most beloved directors. Those films were either visually impressive, shocking because of their portrayal of violence, or charming because of the entertainment value they produced.

Visually and in terms of content stronger, Paul Verhoeven or John Woo’s productions, these were among the most popular ones in my youth.

BRANNYK: There are impressive and fascinating shots in the trailer, such as a figure with the glowing back and the secret test bases. What were some of your favorite effects?

FEHSE: Phew, that’s hard to say. For me the optically most successful section of the film is the Vietnam part. It’s designed more like a dream sequence and is the key scene from SKY SHARKS. A lot of hand-made FX are connected with VFX, and great music that melts together through the narrative review of the main actor DR. RICHTER.

But SKY SHARKS has a lot of similar moments. I like them all! (Laughs)

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BRANNYK: You have a diverse pool of actors in this film, including horror icon Tony Todd. How did you choose them and can you describe the process of working with them?

FEHSE: Working with all of the actors was incredibly professional and very entertaining. You can tell that they all come from “Hollywood” and have learned from there.

TONY Todd has always been a favorite for the role of GENERAL FROST and when I met him personally in Germany, I just talked to him and he said yes! 😉

BRANNYK: I’m really looking forward to seeing this, as are many other fans. What are the release dates for the film and have there been talks with streaming sites so far?

FEHSE: The film will start in Germany on December 24th, 2020. In America, it should start in November. It will be available on the major streaming portals by February 2021 at the latest.

If you want to see SKY SHARKS earlier, you can see it at some film festivals.

(Everyone in Chile, get read for it coming next to The Santiago Film Festival Sept 29-Oct1, 2020)

BRANNYK: Do you have other projects that you are working on or that you look forward to in the future?

FEHSE: In 2009, Carsten and I wrote a mystery thriller called “INDUCTION”, which was only released this year in screenplay, script and audio book format. We are currently working on the film implementation.

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BRANNYK: Thank you again for your time. I could ask you a million questions because I’m so excited to see and talk about your movie. At HauntedMTL, we wish you all the best as Sky Sharks makes its rounds and releases at the festivals, and thank you for giving us a reason to look to the skies!

German translation:

BRANNYK: Ich bin so aufgeregt und dankbar fĂŒr die Gelegenheit, Sie zu interviewen. Ich bin nur sehr interessiert an deinen Gedanken und dem Film.

Also … Haie am Himmel … mit untoten Nazis. Dies unterscheidet sich sehr von Ihrem letzten Projekt, Power of Soul 2013, einem Dokumentarfilm ĂŒber Funk- und Soul-Musik, aber nicht von Ihrem ersten Horrorfilm K7B: MUTATION aus dem Jahr 1999, dem ersten Teil einer Trilogie mit einem von Nazis erstellten Untotenserum. War es immer in deinen PlĂ€nen, zum Entsetzen zurĂŒckzukehren?

FEHSE: Mutation war der Anfang meiner „Filmkariere“. Ich war immer schon fasziniert vom Fantastischem, aber nicht nur Horror oder Thriller
.ich mag genauso Sci-Fi und Fantasy


Meinen ersten Film drehte ich auf Super 8 mit 5 Jahren. Es war ein Knetekit – Stopmotion Film ĂŒber Außerirdische! 😉

Aber genauso wie ich vom visuellem angezogen bin, steh ich auf Musik. Ich habe bis 2007 professionell Musik produziert. Hatte auch bis 2002 eine eigene nicht ganz unerfolgreiche Band in Deutschland. FĂŒr Bands habe ich auch schon immer Videoclips gedreht und habe so.

War ich immer mit dem bewegt Bild verbunden. Der Schwerpunkt der Musik war Rap, Funk and Soul und Rock und genau hier schließt sich der Kreis warum ich einen Dokumentation ĂŒber Funk and Soul und Hip Hop gemacht habe
back tot he (Music >Roots)

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2012 haben mein Bruder und ich beschlossen nur noch Filme zu produzieren und drehten einen Teaser fĂŒr eine Pandemie-Outbreak Horrorfilm namens „SPORES“, was wir auch umsetzen
danach kam erst SKY SHARKS.

Aber die Frage zu beantworten, ja ich bzw. wir – also mein Bruder Carsten und ich, mögen das „ÜbernatĂŒrliche“, daher war es klar, dass wir weiterhin so etwas drehen.

Wie unterscheidet sich Ihr kĂŒnstlerischer Stil von dem von Carsten und umgekehrt?

Carsten ist autor und Ich regisseur
 Ansinsten machen wir alles zusammen
Was den stil angeht gehen wir sehr Ähnliche wege


BRANNYK: Was haben Sie als Filmemacher und Autor von Ihrem ersten bis zu diesem Horrorfilm gelernt?

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FEHSE:Das Filme machen kein VergnĂŒgen ist. Es ist schwere Arbeit und es verlangt alles ab von Dir. Entweder Du lĂ€sst das zu oder suche Dir einen anderen Job!

BRANNYK: Als Sie aufwuchsen, wer waren einige Ihrer EinflĂŒsse und Mentoren im Entsetzen?

FEHSE: Es ist wichtig zu wissen, das in Deutschland die meisten von uns Horrorfans geliebten Filme verboten, waren. So mussten man sich schlecht kopierte VHS Überspielungen besorgen, um in den „Genuss“ von den Machwerken zu kommen.

Zu den meist geliebten Regisseuren, gehörten die Italiener wie Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci oder Umberto Lenzi. Ihre Filme waren entweder optisch beeindruckend, wegen Ihre Gewaltdarstellung schockierend oder charmant wegen des produktionsbedingten Unterhaltungswert.

Visuell und inhaltlich stĂ€rker, Paul Verhoeven oder John Woo’s Produktionen, diese gehörten zu den gern gesehenen, meiner Jugend.

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BRANNYK: Im Trailer gibt es beeindruckende und faszinierende Aufnahmen, wie eine Figur mit dem leuchtenden RĂŒcken und den geheimen Testbasen. Was waren einige deiner Lieblingseffekte?

FEHSE: Puh, das ist schwer zu sagen. Den fĂŒr mich optisch gelungensten Abschnitt des Films, ist der Vietnampart. Er ist eher wie eine Traumsequenz gestaltet und ist die SchlĂŒsselszene von Sky Sharks. Hier sind viele Hand Made FX verbunden mit VFX, tolle Musik, die durch den erzĂ€hlenden RĂŒckblick des Hauptdarstellers DR. RICHTER, miteinander verschmelzen.

Aber SKY SHARKS hat viele Àhnliche Momente. Ich mag sie alle! LACH!!!

BRANNYK: Sie haben einen vielfĂ€ltigen Pool an Schauspielern in diesem Film, einschließlich der Horror-Ikone Tony Todd. Wie haben Sie sie ausgewĂ€hlt und können Sie den Prozess der Arbeit mit ihnen beschreiben?

FEHSE: Die Arbiet mit all genannten schauspielern war unglaublich professionell und sehr unterhaltsam
Mn merkt das sie alle aus „HOLLYWOOD“ kommen und dort gelernt haben
.

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TONY TODD was schon immer eine favorit fĂŒr die rolle GENERAL FROST und als Ich ihn persönlich in Deutschland traf babe Ich ihn einfach angesprochen und er sagte zu! 😉

BRANNYK: Ich freue mich sehr darauf, dies zu sehen, wie viele andere Fans auch. Was sind die Veröffentlichungstermine fĂŒr den Film und gab es bisher VertriebsgesprĂ€che mit Streaming-Sites?

FEHSE: Der Film wird am 24.12.2020 in Deutschland seinen KINOSTART haben. In Amerika soll er im November starten. Aber zur Zeit habe ich keine weiteren Fakten dazu. Er wird spĂ€testens im Februar 2021 auf den großen Streaming Portalen zu finden sein.

Wer SKY SHARKS frĂŒher sehen möchte, kann ihn auf einigen Filmfestivals begutachten.

BRANNYK: Haben Sie weitere Projekte, an denen Sie arbeiten oder auf die Sie sich in Zukunft freuen?

FEHSE: Im Jahr 2009 schreiben Carsten und ich einen mistery Thriller namens „INDUKTION“ welcher erst dieses Jahr in Drehbuch, Skript und Hörbuch Form herausgekommen ist. Wir arbeiten derzeit an der Filmumsetzung.

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BRANNYK: Vielen Dank fĂŒr Ihre Zeit. Ich könnte Ihnen eine Million Fragen stellen, weil ich so aufgeregt bin, Ihren Film zu sehen und darĂŒber zu sprechen. Wir von HauntedMTL wĂŒnschen Ihnen alles Gute, wĂ€hrend SKY SHARKS auf den Festivals seine Runde macht und veröffentlicht wird, und danken Ihnen, dass Sie uns einen Grund gegeben haben, in den Himmel zu schauen!

All photos were provided by Marc Fehse with the exception of the featured/teaser image.

When not ravaging through the wilds of Detroit with Jellybeans the Cat, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kristin Cleaves

    September 28, 2020 at 11:50 am

    That poster is incredible! This was a great interview.

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Breaking News

#ChadGetsTheAxe Coming Out September 1st

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Look, I’m a simple guy. Sure, I like my Small Town Monsters and my silly-billy movies about cats eating people.

But sometimes there comes a film that’s smartly written, full of humor and social commentary, plus great acting. Oh, and scares that actually scare the shit out of me.

Almost a year to the date, I got to watch such a film called #CHADGETSTHEAXE that I saw as a screener for FilmQuest Fest in October, 2022. And I was blown away by the talents of director/co-writer Travis Bible and co-writer/producer Kemerton Hargrove; starring Spencer Harrison Levin (Black Jesus), Michael Bonini (New Amsterdam), Taneisha Figueroa (Duck World), Cameron Vitosh (Walker), Brandon Doyle (Murder Made Me Famous), and Shun Hagins (Snitch).

Mini-Review, I swear it’s short:

And, I know, I know, I know. ‘But Brannyyyyk, isn’t livestreaming horror movies just a flash in the pan? Hasn’t it been done beforeeee?’ For one, stop saying it like that, it’s weird. For two, not like this. The care and attention that went into #CHADGETSTHEAXE is wickedly clever with such tongue-in-cheek humor of influencers, humanity, and the toxic culture of fandom. It’s the shining example of live-streaming movies because it’s so f-ing smart.

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Case in point, the characters are living up to their personas. However, even when the personas are ragged and driven to the edge of life and death, we never see them as people, fully dimensional people, because we never see them break away from their devices. There’s never a shot that shows us ‘hey, this is a film, now let’s see them as the real character they are’. The actors are really carrying dual roles as the personas and the real people underneath; as they are struggling to keep up appearances in front of the millions of viewers.

Plus, don’t get me started on the characters within the livestream feed, along with running jokes and clues to the haunted house.

Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away as I’m going to be covering it on Streamin’ Demons soon. But I wanted to also tease about the fact that I’m going to be interviewing some VIPs from the movie for What’s Kraken? So, shhh, only tell your closest friends because it’s going to be incredible.

It has the characters taking selfies in front of an axe killer

Join the Hype Train:

Adapted from an award-winning short with the same title, #ChadGetsTheAxe follows four social media influencers as they live-stream their trip to Devil’s Manor, former home to a Satanic Cult. Things don’t go well. And as the violence ramps up… so do the views.

The film premiered at FilmQuest in October 2022 and Internationally at FrightFest Glasgow in March 2023 where it was well received by critics. #ChadGetsTheAxe was produced by Travis Bible, Eric Gibson, Kemerton Hargrove, and Frances O’Hanlon, while Dream Big Group serves as executive producers.

The Horror Collective is the genre label of Entertainment Squad — a production and distribution company founded by veteran producer Shaked Berenson (TURBO KID, TALES OF HALLOWEEN). The label’s latest releases include the Daytime Emmy nominated Limited Series DOOMSDAY, the killer-pants Shudder Original SLAXX, and the critically acclaimed horror-comedy SUMMONING SYLVIA.

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Website: https://thehorrorcollective.com/

I’m hoping it gets DVD distribution one day because I’m old and I need DVDs for when the zombie apocalypse happens.

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Breaking News

June Title for Arrow Streaming

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Welcome to June! There’s so much on the hopper for Arrow that I just have to give you, my friends, the hot goss.

Just a picture of the stuff I'm talking about after the picture.

June 2nd:  Paul Joyce Documentaries

June 2nd kicks off the month with ARROW’s latest curation of Paul Joyce documentaries, this time looking at legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes, straight from the mouth of his friend and collaborator co-star Peter Falk (Columbo) in Out of the Shadows: The Films of John Cassavetes.

After a six year directing hiatus, Monte Hellman sat down with Paul Joyce and just talked for an hour while Joyce filmed. The result is Plunging on Alone: Monte Hellman’s Life In a Day.

June 2nd: the wild world of Ero Guro  

What is Ero Guro? Well, the Japanese sub-genre of horror and pink films Ero Guro combines the erotic (ero) and the grotesque (guro) to deviant, decadent and unforgettable effect. ARROW’s Ero Guro collection features the unholy trinity of core Ero Guro films, Teruo Ishii’s Shogun’s Joy of Torture and Horrors of Malformed Men and Yasuzo Masumura’s Blind Beast, plus plenty more exciting, explicit and enticingly depraved delights to delve into.

Titles Include: Shogun’s Joy of Torture, Blind Beast, Irezumi.

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June 6th: Warriors Two (US/CA)

After making his directorial debut with the intense The Iron-Fisted Monk and firmly solidifying his worth at Golden Harvest, Sammo Hung would be given more creative control behind the camera. Now able to inject more of his own personality, Hung would bring to life the more upbeat (yet only slightly less violent) Wing Chun cult classic: Warriors Two!

Predating the Ip Man tetralogy by three decades – as well as Hung’s own The Prodigal Son (starring Yuen Biao as the younger incarnation of Leung Tsan) by a few years – Warriors Two is one of the earliest films to authentically portray the teachings of Wing Chun while also delivering the kind of kinetic and pulse-pounding fights synonymous with the name Sammo Hung!

June 16th: Eli Roth Selects (UK/IRE/US/CA)

Splatter icon Eli Roth takes a stroll through the archives with Eli Roth Selects (UK/IRE/US/CA). “I absolutely love Arrow and have been a collector of their editions for years, and Arrow Player is the most streamed channel in my house. I’ve seen a lot of Select lists, and while I agree with them, I wanted to highlight some that people might have otherwise overlooked.”

Titles Include: Basket Case, Contamination, Madhouse.

June 19th: Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy (UK/IRE/US/CA)

Made at the end of the 1970s, Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy launched actor YĂ»saku Matsuda as the Toei tough guy for a new generation. Matsuda was the definitive screen icon of 1980s until his career was tragically cut short by cancer at the age of 40, following his Hollywood debut in Ridley Scott’s Black Rain.

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The Most Dangerous Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): In this career-defining triptych, Matsuda is Shohei Narumi, an ice cool hitman of few words, a steely trigger finger, and a heart of stone, hired in The Most Dangerous Game by a company bidding for a lucrative government air defence contract to take out the competition.

The Killing Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): Narumi finds himself caught in the midst of violent yakuza gang warfare, while his own brutal past catches up with him in the form of two beautiful women still bearing the emotional scars of his past assignments.

The Execution Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): Narumi falls for a mysterious saloon bar chanteuse who may or may not be part of the same, shadowy underworld organization as the rival hitmen he is employed to rub out. (I’m assuming the tough-guy way and not the sexy way)

June 23rd: SHAAAARKS!!!

Yessss, Cruel Jaws is coming to Arrow!

ARROW heads to the beach for some terror with shark attacks.

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Cruel Jaws (US/CA): A huge shark terrorizes a beach in Florida, and the locals try everything to kill it.

Deep Blood (US/CA): Several young men have to stop an ancient native American evil in the form of a killer shark which is attacking a small beach community.

June 23rd: Sci-fi Stunners (UK/IRE/US/CA)

For the penultimate SeasonARROW boldly goes to the stars on June 23, seeking out new life and new cinema.

Sci-fi Stunners (UK/IRE/US/CA): There are other worlds than these. Come and explore them in this collection of cybernetic, planet-probing, time-travelling, cosmos-trotting, aliens-zapping, virtual and far-too-real adventures in Sci-fi Stunners – ARROW’s home world for the coolest Cult science-fiction films in the galaxy.

Titles Include: No Escape, Donnie Darko, Crimes of the Future.

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Last but not least

Cosa Nostra Collection (UK/IRE/US/CA):

The most American of directors according to celebrated critic Paolo Mereghetti, Damiano Damiani (A Bullet for the General) nevertheless surveyed his own country’s mafia history unlike anyone before him, to critical and box office success.

Full of twists and a fascinating meta-commentary on cinema, Damiani points the camera at himself and the genre as he investigates the social impact of mafia violence, a fitting end to this survey of Damiani’s Cosa Nostra.

Titles Include: Day of the Owl, The Case is Closed, Forget It, How To Kill a Judge.

About ARROW:

From Arrow Films, a recognized world-leader in curation and creation, ARROW is a premium platform giving audiences an unparalleled viewing experience across multiple devices, so fans can explore the films and TV shows that the Arrow brand is famous for.

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Specially curated by members of the ARROW team, ARROW is home to premium film and TV entertainment, exclusive new premieres, cutting edge cinema, international classics and cult favorites – such as the works of Lars Von Trier, Brian De Palma, Dario Argento, David Cronenberg and Park Chan-wook, and brand-new short films from both new and established filmmakers.

In the coming months, ARROW will be adding Oscar-winning hits, European classics, Asian cinema masterworks, rediscovered Westerns, offbeat gems and much more as part of ARROW’s international strategy to support and celebrate the medium of film.

For more information on ARROW and its titles, please contact: justin@justincookpr.com or visit https://www.arrow-player.com.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArrowVideoUK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arrowPlayer

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/Arrow_Player

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

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A horror author goes to Nebula Con

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The Science Fiction, Fantasy Writers Association is one of the most prestigious organizations in America for speculative fiction writers. While horror is not specifically mentioned, we all know that it’s nearly impossible to discuss fantasy and science fiction without the shadow of horror creeping in. 

Each year, SFWA hosts a convention for writers called Nebula Con. I have virtually attended the convention for the past two years. And if you’ve never attended, you might want to consider it. Even if your writing, like mine, is long in the shadows and short on the elves.

First off, I do want to be clear that Nebula Con is a convention for speculative fiction writers. There are some fan panels, like the one on the works of Robin McKinley, this year’s Grandmaster. But the majority of the panels and events are for writers. 

That being said, there are panels for writers at every stage of their careers. 

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For writers interested in crafting better stories, craft panels abound. My favorite panel was the one titled For The Love of Short Fiction. This panel started with a reading of some of the best short works from 2022. Then, each panelist dug into what made that piece work for them.

Clip from Nebula Con, 2023

There were several other terrific panels, including one all about constructing a realistic legal system in your fictional world and writing fictional podcasts. (Like I do.)

But, you might say, these are panels for sci-fi and fantasy writers. No, these are panels for speculative fiction writers. Horror authors who want to have any kind of career would do well to master the short story. And if you don’t think there’s room for some legal horror in the market, you are wrong. 

While the craft panels were wonderful, the career and marketing panels were probably the most useful and valuable of the whole convention. Are you, like many other online creatives, worried about the effects AI-generated writing is going to have on our field? There were two informative panels regarding that. Are you wondering how writers’ relationships with agents have changed now that self-publishing is so prevalent? There’s a panel for that.

A lot is going on in the publishing world. It’s confusing as hell, my friends. And one of the ways we keep each other up to date is with conventions like this. What I got out of the panel most was that having a career in writing is possible. My fellow participants and I learned from writers who are doing the thing. It’s hard, but it’s possible.

Of course, a convention is more than just panels. There’s the chance to meet with other authors. This might be where a virtual convention seems to have a deficit. And while I’ll admit that meeting online isn’t the same as meeting in person, there are certainly perks. I was able to meet, chat with and share stories with other writers in a Zoom chat room. And I came away feeling much like I did as a kid, having met new friends at summer camp. Even if I wasn’t sitting across from them, it was great to be surrounded by other people who want to make a living scaring the hell out of other people. 

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All of this writing joy culminates with the Nebula Awards Ceremony. If you’re interested in catching the awards but didn’t make it to the convention this year, you can watch it all on Youtube. Each year speculative fiction authors of all kinds of honored, from written work to gaming to television. This year’s toastmaster was Cheryl Platz, an author, and actress. As a critic, awards ceremonies are usually something I usually force my way through. The Nebula Awards are a rare treat in that scene. Partially because there’s a chance I’ve met the people up for the awards. But also because the people involved are, first and foremost, writers. It’s amazing how much more entertaining events are when the people being honored are, you know, talented storytellers.

If you’ve been on the fence about attending Nebula Con virtually, I suggest giving it a try. The world certainly needs more stories that go bump in the night. 

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