Tiger Spot (tiger_spot) wrote,
Tiger Spot

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That was fun!

So I went to Westercon! I took brooksmoses and andres_s_p_b and we ran into platypuslord and gave him a ride home. Everybody else I saw for 20 seconds and waved at. ::waves:: (Except for the people I didn't see at all, although I don't think anyone I know that I didn't see mentioned planning to go.)

I was expecting to be mostly interested in panels, so that's mostly what we did. We started off with the Cost of Magic panel, which was interesting in a rambling kind of way. The main thrust of the panel was about modern fantasy, post-intersection-with-science-fiction and particularly post-D&D, conceptualizing magic as a science, as something that works by laws we just don't know about yet. The general view of the panel was that this is good for humorous fantasy, or for gaming, but not so good for anything that actually feels like it's supernatural. The word 'numinous' was bandied about in intriguing ways.

Then, we went to the References for Science Fiction Writers panel. This one was also interesting, although in less reportable ways. Wound up being part recommendations of sources and research techniques, part discussion about Internet research and what its strengths and weaknesses are, and part digressive anecdotes.

We skipped the next set of panels in favor of getting lunch at the hotel restaurant, which was expensive but pretty tasty. They brought tiny individually-sealed bottles of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise to go with the sandwiches. The iced tea was... odd. It tasted distinctly of hibiscus, and didn't actually appear to function as a caffeine source. :(

After lunch, we split up. brooksmoses went to the Tad Williams reading, which he liked. andres_s_p_b first poked his head into the Esoteric Comics exhibition/lecture, then abandoned that in favor of the Children in Comics panel, but didn't sound like he much enjoyed that one either. I went to the Boudicea panel, which was totally awesome. Neener neener. :)

We weren't sure what sounded good at that point, so we wound up in the Unmanned Space Exploration panel, which was sparsely attended and rather dull. andres_s_p_b tried the It's a Joke panel first, but fled after the introductions revealed the panelists as fundamentally not very funny.

andres_s_p_b and brooksmoses were very interested in the 7:00 As You Know Bob panel, so we skipped the 5:30 ones in favor of dinner. andres_s_p_b wanted to eat outside the hotel, so we found a little diner called the Peninsula Grill. The food was lousy, but it was cheap and there was very strange art on the walls. People made out of food, dancing and lounging about all sexy-like and (the bananas) peeling each other....

The As You Know Bob panel turned out not to work very well, because the moderator and one other panelist were missing. So the two authors up at the front sort of took a quick stab at the topic, gave up with "Well, you have to figure it out yourself, really," and then discussion kind of alternated between audience members who wanted to talk about a favorite novel for a bit and audience members who asked vaguely relevant questions. Moderators are a Good Thing.

We (this is where we picked up platypuslord) then attended the Masquerade, which was very short. There was a game show afterwards, which was intermittently very funny, and then everyone who'd presented a costume got a prize (or two). Afterwards, we wandered down to the concert room, where I learned that Alexander Adams (Heather Alexander that was) still has the sexiest voice in the world, which was a great relief[1]. There were also other singers, but they had the sound turned up a bit too loud, so we didn't stay long after Alec's song(s) (one was a parody of the other[2], so I'm not sure whether it counts as one or two).

I wanted to check out the consuite and the fanzine lounge before we left. We stuck our heads in both of those and the gaming room, but there wasn't anyone I knew around and the guys were getting pretty tired[3], so we headed home.

In between panels, we managed to see most of the display of movie art (concept sketches, storyboards, etc.), the entire art show (some very nifty stuff, which I might post links for once our official note-taker sends me said links), and various scans of the dealer's room. There were some interesting objects in there (various sorts of jewelry, very nice carved wooden dragons, and some clothing I didn't actually get to look at too closely), but all we bought were some books[4] and the CD "Where's Neil when you need him?" I'd only heard about Tori Amos being involved in this CD, but I picked it up because it had Neil Gaiman's name on it (Really, no matter what context it's in -- cover blurb? Check. Author of one short story I've already read? Certainly. "This book has nothing to do at all with Neil Gaiman!" would probably work....) and noticed that three bands I quite like and a couple more who've done mixes of other bands which I like are also on it, so I went ahead and got that along with the books.

So yeah, I do like this convention thing. Thought so. I am, however, pretty sure I'm not up for more than a day at a time, so I will be sticking to local things. I could see that changing if I got to know lots more people, such that (a) the social aspect got to be important and (b) I would get my dealing-with-people-I-don't-know energy refreshed by hanging out with people I do know, but this area is fairly well-supplied with local cons, so there's not any particular reason to go too far afield. Also, next time I should bring my backpack so as to be liberally supplied with notebook and writing implements and safe place to put my sunglasses and suchlike handy things.

[1] I'd only seen her in concert the once, and then discovered that her voice doesn't record well at all, so I was sad when I learned that I wasn't going to be able to hear her in concert any more. But it's okay! His voice sounds different, but it still has the quality in question! Huzzah! ::stomps on floor::

[2] Yo Ho!/Workin' on a slaver/What do you do with a drunken sailor? and... the Christmas version... Ho Ho!/Workin' on a sleigh team/What do you do with a red-nosed reindeer? It was totally cool. :)

[3] I fixed my caffeine levels at dinner, so I am Not Tired At All, and won't be for another few hours yet.

[4] I bought Kelly Link's short story collection Magic for Beginners and Andres bought (used) all the Earthsea books, one Tanith Lee novel, and the Dune boardgame. Oh, yeah, and they also gave us free books at registration[5]. :)

[5] Which took ages. They declared me the day's emissary of the Trickster God, because when it came my turn, things kept going wrong with the computer and the badge printer and the laminator and the actually-that-information-was-entered-wrong-so-now-we-have-to-start-over-er and so forth....
Tags: events
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