Monday, February 25, 2013

And Sometimes They Even Let You Feed Them

You know, it's hard to write about cons without it being all "So this one time, at band camp..."

But in the spirit of the exercise, here's the quick summary of ConDFW:

1.  Jo Walton

2.  Jo Walton

3.  Jo Walton

Look, if you've been to a local con, you know how it is.  By day 3, some of the after-parties are showing: the panelists seem sort of bleary-eyed, and some might wonder dimly to each other who's supposed to be moderating, until someone peers owlishly at the paper to discover the subject at hand, and someone else marvels at having been put on a panel for which s/he has no evident qualification, until finally one of them offers to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.  Kind of like substitute-teaching by committee. 

And you know what?  That is absolutely fine.  I paid $30 for a three-day all-you-can-listen smorgasbord of fantastic industry pros, all of whom are volunteering their time, health, and sometimes dignity to make themselves accessible to the unwashed enthusiastic masses.  Kind of like a petting zoo for nerds.

But let me tell you about Jo Walton.  Of the 13 panels I made it to, at least seven had her front and center - not merely present, but sharp and on-topic and entertaining throughout - and I'm sure I missed several more.  They worked her like a Welsh-Canadian dog.  And when she wasn't panellating (that's a word now, and I want a quarter every time you use it), she was out in the hall, signing books and chatting and and basically treating this entire event as both a profession and a pleasure.

At this point, I have to admit that I've used you for my own selfish ends, because 80% of the purpose of this entry is to remind me that that is what I want to be.  Any time I go out into the world in some sort of writing or authorial capacity (even as an undistinguished badge-tagged face in the crowd), it ought to be consistently obvious that I consider it an occasion both serious and delightful.  This is the mission.  This is the goal.

And to conclude:

4. I urgently have to acquire textbooks and make brown paper book-covers, so that I can write Rachel Caine's name 500 times on each of them.  (This is the other, funner, glitter-gel-pen mission/goal.)

5. Hearing Stina Leicht talk about cultural appropriation is like pouring Drano down the rancid pipes of your ignorance.  Listen, learn, and resolve to stop clipping your toenails into the sink.*
*the impersonal you.  Not the actual you.  You're terrific.
More soon.  More blog posts, more awesome authors, and definitely more cons.  I freaking love field trips.

--Well, I've got this story, and I don't know if it's more science fiction or fantasy...
--Does it have spaceships?
--Is there a holy grail?
--Well, sort o-
--It's fantasy.


  1. What a handy-dandy test for sci-fi vs fantasy! :-)

  2. I know, right! Here I thought it was all complicated, with gray areas abounding, but apparently it's just that simple!