I’m pretty sure it’s a rule all specfic writers have to post about cons they attend, particularly when they’re guests. So …
This was third year visiting Illogicon. The first year was fun, the second would have been fun except that it was a horrendously rainy, dank, miserable weekend which made me want to stay home and watch movies (TYG is invariably away—it usually coincides with an annual alumni event—so I have the rare pleasure of the house to myself).
(Prof. Schrodinger, the mascot for the con). This year, I was a guest rather than just visting. I had a reading (One Hand Washes the Other with enough time left for He Kindly Stopped For Me), and three panels: Writing sf/fantasy humor, how to get past the technical details and tell the story, and writing stories set in a past when racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, etc. were not only more common but perfectly mainstream and acceptable. The last two were my suggestion.
The panels went well. The “historical attitudes” one, however, I discovered at the last minute I was moderating; fortunately Gail Z. Martin, who’s much more experienced at being a guest, did a lot of the work. I did a better job with moderating the technical-details presentation, as I was ready and thought up some useful stuff to keep discussion going.
I also went to one on the use of religion in fantasy, and a very good one on diversity.
I was also unusually social. At Mensa events I’m a social butterfly. At most cons, I’m into looking at the cosplay, chatting with friends (I’ve rarely been to one where I knew nobody), browsing the dealer room, attending events … but other than the chatting I’m mostly flying solo. This one, though, for some reason, went differently. The panels I was on, of course, involved a lot of interaction. Plus I went out to dinner on the Friday with my friends Ada Milenkovic Brown, Natania Barron and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, plus a few people I barely knew, such as Gail Z. Martin.
I also talked with people in the con suite, which had very good vegetarian chili. And with some non-writing group friends who showed up. And a long conversation after the diversity panel with author Terri-Lynne Smiles. Plus my writing buddies. And I was at the con, among the other congoers for a looong time each day (I showed up around starting time on Friday to avoid Durham-to-Raleigh rush hour traffic). So by Sunday morning, I was actually on the overstimulated side (I’m enough of an introvert that lots of interaction wears me out). I came in for the religion panel (I had friends on it), then sat around chatting for about an hour, then called it quits and headed home so I could have a couple of hours before TYG returned.
After she came back, we got the dogs from the vet’s, where we’d boarded them. Trixie was quite nervous at first in the car, as if she wasn’t sure where we were taking her. As soon as we got home she started sniffing around the floor, nose to the ground, with great enthusiasm. By evening they were back to normal.
I’m looking forward to the next Illogicon. January, 2016, for anyone who happens to be in Raleigh-Durham.