I had a good, if occasionally surreal, con–but then isn't that the way they always work?
I normally commute back and forth to CONvergence (it's only an hour away) but I'm co-literary-GOH with Pat Rothfuss next year, and Laura and I thought we should go for a more immersive experience in preparation. We stayed at the Sofitel, which is the hotel next door to the con and a lovely hotel in the European mode. Next year we'll be in the con hotel, but I suspect that we'll go back to the Sofitel the year after (unless we're in Scotland for the summer, keep your fingers crossed on that one).
We spent most of Friday hanging out with archivist extraordinaire Lynne Thomas and her charming husband Michael who is another of the writer clan. Lynne and I were on two panels together that evening and we all had a lovely dinner between the two with Lars Pearson and Christa Dickson of Mad Norwegian Press. As an aside, Lynne archives my papers at NIU along with those of Jack McDevitt, E. E. Knight, Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Bear, Kage Baker, Caroline Stevermer, and Tobias Buckell, among others. She is on a mission to save the archives of as many f&sf authors as humanly possible, a mission I very much support.
The first of those panels was Care and Feeding of Your Home Library (Paula Fleming, Jenni Klumpp, Kelly McCullough, Juanita Nesbitt, Lynne Thomas) which was a great deal of fun, and at which I learned several new things about the storing of books. New to me was the idea of transporting and storing boxed books spine down so that the pages are pressed into the glue for however long they're stored. More familiar was the discussion of avoiding big temperature swings, extreme temperatures, too much moisture, etc. I talked up Delicious Library as a wonderful cataloging tool, and Jenni had good things to say about Librarything.com. Lynne tried to convince us all that it was okay to throw away books in bad condition. She's right, but I don't think she had much success on that front.
After the panel a bunch of the audience headed for the front of the room–which I am quite used to–and a bunch of them were carrying my books–which I am not so used to. It was my first ever fan swarm and very cool if somewhat disconcerting.
Followed by the Dr. Who season 4 panel (Michael Lee, Steven Manfred, Kelly McCullough, Lynne Thomas, Michael Zecca). I did not say much but had a good time. The original panel description suggested that there would be more discussion of seasons 1-3 then we ended up with, and since I live beyond the edges of cable land and don't bit torrent I was not as up to date as I really needed to be. Also, I am discovering that I am not great on fan panels. I am a fan, a third generation fan, no less, but I don't keep the necessary information at my fingertips in the same way that my fellow panelists seem to. The sole exception being LOTR stuff which is written into my bones.
Afterward we went on for general hanging out and social with a variety of folks.