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A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Weekend and Welcome To It

I spent the greater part of Memorial Day Weekend at KC's ConQuesT 41 (yes, this convention has been held 41 years, folks) hob-knobbing with other authors, visiting with fans, participating in panel discussions, and generally immersing myself in fandom in a manner I haven't done for a couple of years.  Some things I noticed during the weekend:
1.  We're like a big family; sometimes dysfunctional, sometimes silly, sometimes a little weird, but in general, we get along just fine.
2.  We have a varied view of the genres this convention covered; SF and Fantasy.  There's the hot item right now, Steampunk, hard SF, sparkly vampire people, High Fantasy (like I write), and just about everything in between.  But that's OK; we respect each others thing and party hard together.
3.  There are some really fine minds in these genres, not only authors and artists, but fans as well.  The participation in the panel discussions and feedback from the audience usually creates a real interactive experience. 
4.  Take for example the topic of the first panel, in which about a dozen authors participated; The Fall of the Written Empire.  This panel discussed the electronic print medium and how it's affecting hardcopy books.  Kindle, Sony Reader, even the iPad (of which two were sitting in the front row listening), the electronic age is in full swing.  It would be a terrible irony if SF was left behind by a medium it predicted over 50 years ago.
5.  Digital art is now a significant portion of the work seen at conventions.  I saw digital art printed on canvas that was almost indistinguishable from traditional brush-work.  Amazing.
6.  Finally, fans are still fans.  Heck, even artists and authors are fans.  We love our SF and Fantasy because we get to enjoy it together at functions like ConQuesT.  We sit and talk about it for hours, discuss it over drinks and dinner, sing filksongs in the hotel lobby, and parade around in our garb and costumes like we wear them every day (and I knew a lady in the SCA who did just that!).  We do it because we still have that child inside us that loves to pretend and hope for a better world somewhere down the road.
My thanks to all the fine folks who stopped by my dealers table during the convention, and to the authors I was fortunate enough to share time with on the panels or at dinner.  And a special thanks to the organizers of the convention for a job well done; may ConQuesT live a thousand years.

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