One of my goals in 2011 was to “attend at least one [science fiction] convention as a participant.”
I started attending science fiction conventions in 2007 after the sale of my first story to Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. The first convention I attended was RavenCon in April 2007 and it set the bar rather high. I got to meet the editor of IGSM, Edmund Schubert, as well as meet and have dinner with Robert J. Sawyer.
Since then, I’ve attended close to a dozen conventions, all of them on the east coast or mid-Atlantic somewhere. But until 2011, I’d never attended as a participant. I am pleased to say that changed this year. I attended 2 conventions as a participant in 2011. The first was Readercon in July. It was there that I sat on my first two panels, on as a panelist, the other as the moderator (and the person who selected the topic for that matter). It was a lot of fun, but I have to admit I think I make a better panelist than moderator. Maybe I just need more practice at the latter.
Then, in October, I was a participant at Capclave, and I was on 2 more panels, again, one as a participant and one as a moderator.
I attended the first two days of Balticon 45 this weekend, and it was nice to be able to attend another convention so quickly on the heels of the fantastic Nebula Weekend. Most of Friday night I spent in the bar after enduring a horrific 4 hour drive over the space of a mere 50 miles. Here I am after finally arriving at the convention on Friday:
But Saturday was quite different.
Because of the traffic from hell, I missed the first couple of panels I wanted to see. By the time I finally got up to the convention hotel, I needed a drink, so I headed to the bar, which was fairly packed, found a table, and ordered a beer. Eventually, folks seemed to find me and we had a fairly decent crowd throughout the late afternoon and evening. Michael J. Sullivan and his wife Robin stopped by. Bud Sparhawk passed by and then returned and stole my seat when I stepped away momentarily (which was fine–I just pulled up another). Charles E. Gannon was with us as well, and we spent the time talking shop, which was both fun and interesting. But that’s pretty much all I did on this first afternoon/evening, despite the harrowing commute up there.
The commute home took 70 minutes and I passed through one of the most incredible thunderstorms I’d ever experienced.
Tomorrow is a full day. I plan on leaving he house around 7:30am and will be gone until late into the evening. It is the only other day I will be attending Balticon, so I will do my best to keep up the tweets, as well as post some interesting stuff about the convention.
In the meantime, that earlier traffic sucked the life out of me and I’m heading upstairs to read more of the October 1940 Astounding and then sleep.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was not the only person with an iPad 2 at the convention.
I left the house at 12:45 thinking I’d get up to Hunt Valley just before 2pm and be able to hang with friends for a few hours before the panels started. It wasn’t until just before I left that I was reminded that it was a holiday weekend. Now, it’s about 60 miles from my house to the convention. And naturally, events conspired against me.
I hit traffic almost right away and it never subsided. Couple the holiday traffic with a state funeral procession in Maryland and I was on the road for 3 hours and 45 minutes! I missed the first few panels I wanted to see.
But I am here now and having a beer to take the edge off that horrendous traffic. Looking forward to seeing folks this weekend.
Stay tuned for more.
I will be at Balticon on Friday and Saturday. I’m not on programming, but I’m there mostly to hang out with my science fiction peeps. I’ve read through their pocket program and selected some panels that I thought might be interesting to attend. Keep in mind that I might change my mind, especially if engrossed in conversation with someone, but here is how things are looking as of now:
- 4pm: How to write a winning query letter
- 7pm: Agents demystified
- 8pm: Opening ceremonies
- 10:30am: Michael J. Sullivan reading
- 11am: Vincent Di Fate presentation
- 1pm: Whose is it, anyway?
- 2pm: Living in the Golden Age
- 3pm: Name-droppers
- 4pm: The rise of geek music
- 5pm: On the shoulders of giants
- 7pm: Great forgotten science fiction authors
- 9pm: Concert: John Anealio
I’ll be arriving mid-afternoon on Friday. If you are looking for me, I’ll be keeping my eye on twitter, so just message me: @jamietr.
I can’t seem to find a good “Events” plug-in (at least one that I like) for WordPress, so in the meantime, here are some upcoming appearances I’ll be making over the next several months.
Nebula Award Weekend (May 19-22)
Even if I didn’t live just outside of D.C. I would go anyway. I’ve never been to a Nebula weekend and I’ve wanted to go. Good chance to meet a lot people I’ve never met before, to say nothing of those people who I have met but rarely get to see. Don’t know what I’ll be doing there yet (if anything) but I’ll be there everyday and I will be there for the banquet dinner (along with a 6-month pregnant Kelly).
Balticon (May 27-29)
I’m not on programming but I’ll be there, hanging out, sitting in on various discussions and chatting with folks. I’ll probably be there Friday and Saturday but not on Sunday.
Readercon 22 (July 14-17)
This is the first convention at which I am officially on programming. I don’t know my schedule yet but I’ve proposed at least one discussion panel to the programming committee that I hope gets selected. I’ll be there for the entire event as this is my favorite of all the conventions I’ve been to. When I have more details about my programming, I’ll post it.
I was hoping to get to World Con this year, but it takes place right around the Sibling-To-Be-Named-Later is due and that makes it a less than optimal time. And since I doubt they’d change the convention dates to suit my schedule, I’ll probably miss it this year, but I plan on attending the next WorldCon in Chicago.
Anyone else attending any of these three conventions?
As I mentioned in my previous post, here is my tentative convention schedule for 2011. Obviously this can change, but this is where I am planning on being:
- RavenCon (Richmond, VA), April 8-10
- Nebula Awards Weekend (Washington, DC), May 19-22
- Balticon (Baltimore, MD), May 27-30
- Readercon (Burlington, MA), July 14-17
- Capclave (Rockville, MD), October 14-16
I still have yet to attend either a WorldCon or a World Fantasy Convention but the timing for each of these doesn’t work for me this year. I do plan on being at Chicon in 2012. I am also going to try to make it to the SFWA Author & Editors reception again in 2011, if I can manage it.