So a week ago I headed up to Roanoke to visit some friends and then attend Mysticon, the Roanoke SF con, as a guest. TYG refers to my friends, Sam and Roxanne, as “the ones with all the books.” Hmm, I wonder why?
I actually wasn’t sure I’d make it because winter weather slapped Roanoke and its airport with snow. But I flew it into Roanoke on time and Sam got me home. As you can see, they did indeed have some snow.
And my bedroom window makes for great morning-light shots.
Annoyingly, I have to stop in Charlotte Airport (I have friends who find it hilarious the airport identifier code is CLT) rather than go straight to Roanoke. But I did get to see a gelato display that looks amazingly like, well, rainbow-colored poop.
Hanging with my friends was all about chatting, reading, and watching a video Sam made back in his Air Force days (nothing I can describe easily but fun to watch). And then Friday, Roxanne drove me into Roanoke and the con.
I had more fun than last year, because I now know more of the authors from Illogicon or the 2018 Mysticon: Jason Gilbert, Melissa McArthur, Stuart Jaffe, Alexandra Christian and a few others. I got to meet Wendy S. Delmater, who edits Abyss & Apex, which published my stories Affairs of Honor and One Hand Washes the Other.
I told the con organizers that I was willing to moderate any panel I was on … and I did. Which was a surprise, but it just meant thinking out a larger number of questions in advance. The other panelists said I did a good job, so I’m satisfied.
The panels? Writing Contemporary Fantasy, Using World Mythology in Fantasy, Time Travel and the Butterfly Effect, Surprisingly OK (a Sherlock Holmes/Sherlock panel), and a panel on the right POV for getting into your characters’ head. I also participated, again, in the author dating game (I did that at Illogicon) but once again I wasn’t picked. This time I played Monty from The Wodehouse Murder Case; maybe next time I’ll go as “Big Johnson” Galt from Atlas Shagged.
I also sat in on a couple of panels about self-publishing and indy publishing. I think I learned quite a bit.
And I sold books! I’d brought along copies of Atoms for Peace and Atlas Shagged and I sold them all. Darin Kennedy let me share space at his signing table and it moved them much more effectively than just mentioning them on panels did (though I did sell a couple to someone after the author dating game). I was smart enough to have plenty of small bills for making change, but hadn’t prepared for anyone to use plastic. Fortunately Darin and Stuart Jaffe found a work-around, but next con I go to, I’ll be ready!.
There was, of course cosplay. Michael Meyers below, was standing in a dark hall when two teens ran in and saw him. Holy crap, the shrieking that ensued. The real Michael would be proud.
The woman below was a composite Wonderland character.
And here are a few more images
The cake was a salute to Steve Jackson, RPG designer. VERY tasty. My compliments to the baker.
I was also pleased the hotel brought in one of the local coffee shops to provide coffee and (more importantly) tea. I wish they’d brought a little more — the British Breakfast was used up by mid-Saturday — but as it was pouring rain, I wasn’t going to trek to the coffee shop up the road.
Finally, after my panel Sunday, I headed home. An epic voyage I’ll talk about on Friday.
#SFWApro. Photos are mine. Right to cake design resides with current holder.