Ravencon is great, and anyone who's got some time and energy should go. Rumor has it Sara Harvey saraphina_marie will be in the building, as well as Chuck Gannon. The Guest of Honor this year is Jack McDevitt, and the who's who on the rest of the list shames a lot of cons larger and older than Raven.
The Darkcon party was a blast and had some interesting mixed drinks. I may some day be forgiven for assisting my friends and other party goers in trying some of them.
It's sorta funny how all cons have their own vibe and how much or little the vibe changes year year. I've been lucky enough to get to Ravencon is a quietly intense literary con that is moving strongly towards being more of a general SF con. Right now it has a feel that is remarkably similar to Boskone despite the lack of cross over.
Arisia, which is only a month and half a city away from Boskone is very different. Arisia is very much a general con, and a great place to make friends across the sf/f fandom spectrum. Costumes are probably as high as 1 in 10 people, where as i don't recall seeing anyone at Ravencon or Boskone in costume.
Pi-Con is higher-than-most-energy con, with a much younger base than the others I've mentioned and is heavily into gaming, with strong filk, fannish, and literary elements.
Conjecture, which was about the same size as Raven had a good mix of interesting people, but I think it needs more people from outside the immediate area to get it from a fun con to a great con. Myself, Jason Cordova, and David Drake seemed like the only real "outsiders" at the con. Everyone else seemed to know each other. This can be fun, and it was but there was a lack of spark that you get when new elements are mixed in at the right proportion. I do intend to go back some day because I did enjoy it, and i'll probably decide to make a real vacation out of the trip.
One thing I won't be doing if I go back is visiting Hunter's Steakhouse. We had reservations, got their at 8:45 Saturday night, and it wasn't too busy. We got sat pretty much right away. It took 15 minutes before our drink order was taken. The two tables that were sat after us, one by fifteen minutes, one by thirty both got their food before we did. In fact when the first of them was sat, the waitress had our drinks in her hands, put them down on an empty table, took their drink order, walked back by the drinks and our table like none of it was there. She then came back with something for the new table, and again walked by our drinks three times.
This is when one of the people i was with got up and got our drinks. The waitress came back as we are all drinking and apologized, saying that she was coming back to give them too us. Ten minutes had elapsed while our drinks sat there. Were now almost forty minutes into our window to eat and get back for one of the party of six to get back to a panel.
Time goes by...
Our orders come, I looked at the steak of the person who had ordered medium well. Generously speaking it was medium, honestly speaking it was too red for a lot of people who like medium rare. Not surprisingly she sent it back. About three minutes later the steak is brought back, it's still medium. Again it goes back. On the third try it was close enough to medium well for this person to eat. I've eaten with this person before, and never seen her send anything back. I've cooked and waited tables, and getting it wrong once is sad, but forgivable getting it wrong twice is about the time you should start worrying if the pooch is on birth control. It took us almost two and half hours to get in and out at a half full restaurant.
Conjecture was the last con of the year for me, and much as I wish i could go to WFC, Calgary is just too far to when I've been to Denver and San Diego already this year. I should be at WFC next year, and in Montreal. Ravencon and Lunacon are the only definite dates at this point. I'd like to go to Arisia, Balticon, and Boskone this year but other events might push them down the scale.
Don't forget davefreer's Slowtrain is available in hard cover on 10/1, and the paperback of Pyramid Power is now available. It should be noted that the Slowtrain review up does contain spoilers.
I will announce the winner in this post. I promise. But first:
My panel schedule for WorldCon;
Standard plea to Congoers;
If you see me wandering around at a time I'm supposed to be at a panel please point me in the right direction. I'm very good at losing track of time at cons.
I need three for horrible duties via LJ during Worldcon.
Please comment, and I'll ask you what I want via either the LJ message service or one of the IM platforms.
And the winner is....
Well first i really need to thank everyone who participated because these were just hilarious to read. The LOLCATZ one was fun, the sheer inanity of quite a few, and the good fun of them all. The winner is going to the one that combined uselessness of actual text, psychopathy, criminality, and pure iron plated resistance to good sense the best, all without showing an overall deficit of writing skill. The author of the gem below should contact me via email soon so I can get their prize shipped. My comments are between the "[" and "]".
I think I'll have to do this contest again sometime not so soon.
What con am I bitter about missing? Boskone! http://www.nesfa.org/boskone/ So for those interested in joining, pick a topic or two, post! Then post a link here in the comments for other people to find.
Another type we don't see are those involved in relationships that spin on the axis of addiction. In any relationship involving addiction one person is the symptom bearer. Everyone else is somewhere on the continuum of helpful to harmful. Most people being somewhere on the darkside, usually unintentionally. I think in the right hands, a story where someone wears themselves to a nub trying to keep someone they love well supplied with their drug of choice so that person doesn't have to turn tricks or steal for a fix could be interesting.
Obviously, at least in the context of science fiction and fantasy, these make rather poor things to hang an entire story on, but they do make interesting things to know about one or more of your characters.
So, fun people at the con i wished I'd talked to more:
J.V. Jones, Lois Bujold, David Coe, Marissa Lingen, Elizabeth Bear, Kristen Britain, Julie Czernada and a half hundred others I didn't write down the names of and didn't know.
People I unfairly monopolized the time of:
David Drake, Sarah and Dan Hoyt, C.E. Murphy, Kate Paulk, Darwin Garrison, Ekatrina and Chris Sedia.
Ships I passed in the Con:
James Maxey, Mark Newton, Lucienne Diver, Mary Kowal, Sean Wallace, David Anthony Durham, and more...
Person I'm most likely to get into trouble hanging around with:
As much as I like talking to and listening to the non-pro's at cons (just try to shut me up, really) I think i like last year better as a professional environment. The fans are great, and the nearly ready for publication are fun and who i depend on for my client base. But WFC is really a free form business meeting, and some pro's felt intimidated. I noticed there were a lot who seemed bemused to be at a WFC that had almost as many fans as industry pro's. I know some pro's never go to any other cons but i think there are better cons for meeting the pro's in meet-the-fans-mode.
And now for the pics!
That was my fun, busy, and dizzying WFC, next con Arisia 2008.
Alan Dean Foster was quietly conversing with someone who's name i didn't catch when we got on the elevator. He doesn't look like your typical fan/author or editor.
Tempest accosted me and insisted i buy and read a book by a lovely lady at the con, i accomplished the first and am working on the second.
Jay Lake is dressed in his usual subtle hues and reserved finery.
Oh yes, and my body dislikes being this far from the ocean, the air here is way to dry.
The mass autograph session last night was chaos incarnate. While nearly everything else here has been well organized, one or two people reported that it would have been a might easier on those not signing if things were alphabetized. As it was, David Hartwell was sitting next to Lois Bujold, George R. R. Martin was sitting next to David Anthony Durham, J.V. Jones and David Coe were rubbing elbows, and David Duncan was sharing air with Sarah Hoyt, Dan Hoyt and Kate Paulk.
More news when (and if) i wake up.
I've run into old friends, Sarah and Dan Hoyt, Darwin Garrison, and Kate Paulk. The fabulous ladies of Carpe Libris have brought their wit and wonder to the masses. Gene Wolfe, and Patrick O'Leary are talking next to me. The fabulous Catie Murphy and her husband Ted survived a terror ride back to their hotel last night, and are still speaking to the driver. Jennifer Jackson, and Lucienne Diver are of course turning heads and making agents with lesser lists jealous, per usual. Tempest Bradford, and Jenna Waterford are having a spectacular time and bringing smiles to those with the wit to catch theirs.
Lois Bujold read from chapter five of Passage, the third Sharing Knife book. It's due out the end of April 08.
More news, as I invent it.
First of these things is the deaths of genre heavyweight Robert Jordan, and the legendary Madeline L'Engle. My deepest sympathies go to all who knew them both, in words or in flesh all losses are felt.
I've also received my invitation to go play at Arisia in January. I'll be there. The razor sharp suricattus will be guest of honor.
Then there is the update to website by the most fabulous webmistress that has ever lived. Jess is truly a wondrous lady, and only kicks me a little when I ask for something really stupid. She's got a referral link for Dreamhost if you don't have, or don't like your current webhost. http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?99753
And last and least important...
Sometime during the final week of December I'll be doing another MM type event. More details later.
Onward to the long report.
Good Con, go if you can.
Nearest airports are probably Albany http://www.albanyairport.com/ and Hartford http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=
Sara Harvey got engaged!
Its amazing since last night I've been on five panels and they still haven't thrown me out!
Voltaire is a very interesting speaker, although I did miss his concert.
Catie Murphy gave a fantastic interview, and several fun panels.
Sara Harvey is being herself!
Anyone who does see him tell him this is his last vacation, ever i intend to work him to death, over the next 200 years.