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Monday, November 30, 2009


Saturday with a trip to the waterfront Mariott for their famous breakfast buffet --the breakfast chef has been making waffles and omelets there for 29 years! I consumed far more than was good for me, then zipped back to the con hotel (zipped in a waddling, pleasantly bloated fashion) to my first panel, pros at cons. As sometimes happens, no one showed, so after a suitable time, Bob "RadCon" Brown called us canceled, so Joan Gaustad, Andrew Nisbet, Suzanne Tompkins and after a bit some other folks who wandered in just chatted about cons past until the next panel showed up to displace us.
Next was a flash fiction panel with Ayne Blythe, Ray Vukcevich, and Edward Morris, with fantastic help from the audience from KC Ball, Mr. Green and others. Being on a panel with Ray will earn me huge cool parent points with my oldest soon, who is major fan. The panel itself was one of those near-perfect things, fast-paced, inforrmative, and great audience participation.
My final panel of the day was one that is always a favorite, Ask Dr. Genius. Panelists included Guy Letourneau, Jordin Kare, Dr. Anne Prather, Amy Thomson, and Janet Freeman. This time we were very engineer heavy, so the puns were rapid-fire and thick upon the ground. The *lies* explanations on these panels tend to congeal around themes, this time many references to lost socks in the dryer. The room was packed, and many of us had done various iterations of this panel before in some combination or another, so it was like one of those all-star band concerts, with everyone taking a turn at *promoting a pack of lies* a solo, then jumping back into the resultant chaos.
We sat in a fun and informative panel on Christian SF and fantasy, spent some time wandering the halls, and then to a very cool ultra techno decor Chinese restaurant, then to the room for a quick post-prandial coma before returning to the con to visit parties and the dance. Saw Brenda Cooper in the hallway but didn't get to chat, caught up with Bruce Taylor at the same transitory venue, exchanged hugs with Mary Rosenblum in passing. Many of our long-time con friends we only got to wave at, but at least we got to visit a few minutes with the lovely Judith Hermann at the dance. We gave Nisi Shawl a lift to where she was staying, and made it an early night.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday's Con Report

We got up early Friday and arrived in plenty of time in Portland. In fact, we were early enough that our room wasn't ready, so we scooted over to the con where we discovered... registration wasn't ready either. So we killed a little time, got checked in and registered, played phone tag with my daughter, finally made a connection, and while I was dazzling folks in my first panel, Shaharazahd and my daughter got to spend a pleasant hour over some killer ribs in the restaurant.
The first panel was Masked Vigilantes, with Lou Anders and Carl Cook, both properly unserious and great panelists. Lou in particular had some great anecdotes. After, I slid back over to the restaurant and saved my loved ones from over-consumption of pork products by bravely leaping into the fray and gobbling down the remaining ribs. Yeah meat!
Hugs and goodbyes, and another panel, this one on Alternate History and Fantasy, admirably hosted by Mary Hobson, who as always was well-organized, thoughtful, and fun. Cats to be herded other than myself included Alma Alexander, Robin Hobb, and John Alexander. After Robin and I agreed that it was funny that we live 5 miles apart, but can only get together at a con 100 miles away. KC Ball was in the audience, and came up after to say hi, and then we were swept helplessly into the orbit of Camille Alexis, who lodged us in the bar for a couple of hours of wonderfully hilarious conversation, with a steasily rotating cast of interseting people. Dinner was at der Rhinelander, a Portland landmark, where we enjoyed jagerschnitzel and german beer. We made a quick sweep of the parties, and made it an early night, but not before stopping back at the dance to spend a few minutes with Nisi Shawl.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Join Me At OryCon!

Fri Nov 27 1:00:pm Fri Nov 27 2:00:pm Exploring the mystique of costumed vigilantes
Hawthorne Exploring the mystique of Batman, The Phantom, Daredevil and other costumed vigilantes from the golden age of comics and how they have evolved through the passage of time.
Lou Anders, Carl Cook, Michael Ehart

Fri Nov 27 3:00:pm Fri Nov 27 4:00:pm Alternate History Fantasy?
Multnomah Fantasy is often written in a pseudo-medieval society. Some authors bring freshness to the setting by traveling the world, while others go backward, or forward, in time or just adopt technology or lack thereof on a secondary world. Lace and blade, prehistoric, and other choices in fantasy, and how magic fits in, if it even has to at all.
M.K. Hobson, Alma Alexander, Michael Ehart, Robin Hobb, John P. Alexander

Sat Nov 28 12:00:pm Sat Nov 28 1:00:pm Pros At Cons
Morrison How accommodating and accessible should pros be when attending cons? Public relations, marketing, and what conventions and the membership should or shouldn't expect from pros.
Bob Brown, Joan Gaustad, Andrew Nisbet III, Suzanne Tompkins, Michael Ehart

Sat Nov 28 2:00:pm Sat Nov 28 3:00:pm Fiction in a Flash
Alaska Short fiction for a world of compressed time--flash and tweetable micro-fiction. Common pitfalls, quirks, problems and teh awesome inherent in the very short form.
Michael Ehart, Blythe Ayne, Ray Vukcevich, Edward Morris

Sat Nov 28 3:00:pm Sat Nov 28 4:00:pm Ask Dr. Genius: Ad-Lib Answers to Audience Questions
Ross Island No, really, they're real scientists, honest. Bring your science questions, and if they don't have an answer they'll make something up, and it might even be sort of right.
Guy Letourneau, Jordin Kare, Dr. Anne Prather, Michael Ehart, Amy Thomson, Janet Freeman

Sun Nov 29 1:00:pm Sun Nov 29 2:00:pm Comics to the big screen
Weidler The Dark Knight was so awesome. Or was it? Watchmen, Iron Man, Transformers, Wolverine ... has the big screen made them bigger or are the creators and fans gnashing their teeth and tearing their hair?
Sean Wells, Carl Cook, Paul Guinan, Michael Ehart

Sun Nov 29 2:00:pm Sun Nov 29 3:00:pm First Novels: Paths to the Editor Desk
Weidler An author can struggle for months or years before achieving their first success, but even after writing their opus, they can be tripped up by a process which is both entirely new to them and yet critical to their success. This panel describes what an author may experience as they revel in their first success.
M.K. Hobson, Phoebe Kitanidis, Michael Ehart, Elton Elliott

Bold is the moderator, so as you can see, I'll be doing a lot of the ol' okie-doke :)