DragonCon: This was fun!

The-New-Dragon-Con-LogoIt’s been an utter whirlwind these past several days here at DragonCon, so I’ve been leaning far more on Twitter than the blog to get my thoughts and impressions down. But now that it’s Monday morning, and I don’t have any more events or programming, I thought I’d share some overall thoughts and impressions. And photos, of course.

I participated in both the Alternate History and Writing tracks, and the panels I participated in were very thoughtful and had great panelists and audiences. A huge thank-you to Doctor Q and to Nancy Knight for putting me on such great panels. My favorite was the “Race and Gender Issues in Alternate History” panel Saturday night, moderated by the amazing, passionate and creative Diana Pho. The discussions were respectful and open, the panelists and audience were encouraging and welcoming.

I’ll admit to having been a touch nervous, only because I know so many folks are really passionate on these issues, and I’m still learning the vocabulary and nuances of the topic. But I was given such a warm welcome — I even got applause when I mentioned it was my first DragonCon — that I would readily do this panel again. I love that fellow panelist Milton J. Davis is bringing alt-history to the African experience, and costumer Tony Ballard-Smoot (aka Capt. Antony LaGrange) had a refreshing and empowering take on cosplay. Author Stephanie Osborne shared some difficult and thoughtful experiences on the subject, and Miss Emmett Davenport (a fellow Vermonter!) had great insight into gender in steampunk. I was proud to have participated in such an important panel with such fine creators.

My other panels, on worldbuilding, bending historical tradition and writing, were likewise engaging and fun. And holy crap, I was on panels with folks like S.M. Stirling, Cherie Priest, Mike Resnick, Delilah S. Dawson, Gail Z. MartinD.B. Jackson, Leanna Renee Hieber, Clay and Susan Griffith, James R. Tuck, Faith Hunter…seriously, I tried to keep the fanboy squee contained. I hope I succeeded, or at least didn’t make an ass of myself.

Speaking of authors, they are among my very favorite people to clink glasses with. To wit:

Because Chuck Wendig is, apparently, our spiritual glue. Especially when drinks are around.

I met many other authors and fans at the con, too many to list, but everyone was just utterly fantastic. You helped make my DragonCon something special, and I thank you.

Sadly, my haul of freebie books never arrived in Atlanta, so I didn’t have any to give away. But I hustled shamelessly, and of the 250-plus bookmarks I brought with me, only a bare handful remain. And at the two book vendors in the vendor hall — the Missing Volume and Larry Smith Books — there are only a few books left as of this morning. Given how much stock I signed Friday, this brings me no shortage of joy. Thank you, book buyers!

And now for the photos! Man, there are some intensely creative cosplayers out there. Here’s a sample of the ones I saw:

Really, I loved being at this con. Great people, so many awesome fans, a welcoming and fun environment. If I can manage it, I’ll be back next year!



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