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This was one of the most enjoyable and busiest conventions I've attended in almost forty years of conventioning. Tammy Coxen, ConChair and Kim Kofmel, Programming Division Head and Literature Track Head, both did a grand job. I've never attended so many panels and enjoyed all of them.
This was my first time going to a Con as a fiction author, instead of as a Joe Phan or filker. Mind you, my (current and first) novel is self-pubbed and I just put my grubby paws on real hardcopy the day before the con, but it made a big change in how I viewed the con.
I didn't hit the "Meet-The-Pros" party, or SFWA or anything like that, but I did hit several writing (both the craft and business of writing) panels, talked with other newbie and wannabe writers, picked up some books, and barely had time to chat with long-time friends.
A few highlights included:
Patty Templeton read a chapter from her book There Is No Lovely End. This is a fictional history about the medium who told the Winchester heir that she needed to build a mansion with enough rooms to hold all the people who had died from of Winchester guns. The story of a room for all the dead is one of the legends surrounding the Winchester Mansion. The story about the medium is purely Patty's invention.
Patty's story-voice is marvelous. The characters are just plain not nice people, and her word choices and phrases are absolutely perfect for these ill-educated, scurrilous knaves.
I saw Patty at several of the other events and eventually got a chance to buy her book. I'm about fifty pages in and enjoying it.
Meanwhile, back at the pajama party, I was a little nervous when I came into the room. I didn't know any of the six or eight people present, who all seemed to know one another. But, when there was a pause, I asked if newcomers could read, and was welcomed warmly. I read the first chapter from Promised Rewards and everyone survived my reading and even laughed at the right places, so I'll call that a success.
The AeroCar was a flying car that even sold four (four!) vehicles, one of which was used in the New Bob Cummings TV show back in the '60s.
I got the cover I designed critiqued by an artist friend of John's who's name I unfortnately promptly forgot. It was a good, detailed critique of things that need changing with the text layout.
I never realized I knew so little.
One of my book purchases was Genesis, an anthology put out by The Black Science Fiction Society.
A friend of mine used to complain about being the only black at a con. He should have been at Detcon.