I went to Windycon this weekend, just for Saturday and some of Sunday. Though the conrunner in me collected lots of little comments I could say about lack of signage and how the hotel was confusing, none of that seems to have put anyone out considerably. There was a lot of people helping other people get around and find the program items they were heading to, and the programming I attended was all terrific. People seemd to generally be having a good time. I certainly had a good time. shsilver is to be congratulated for putting together a good program. Just, next time, Steven, please assign moderators in advance.
Highlights of the program for me were probably attending Nate Bucklin's guitar workshop, and participating in the discussion at a panel on the next generation of computing in which Neil Rest reminded me why he's such a fun and interesting person to talk to. The panel on Space Opera was also good, and I hope to remember to check out the book the Witches of Karres, which was recommended there. I was pleased to meet Bill Holbrook, whose work I have enjoyed for years. And I enjoyed visiting with Lisa Freitag and Greg Ketter, of Dreamhaven Books, in the dealer's room; I look forward to reading the anthology Greg put together a couple year's ago of stories where a bookstore is effectively one of the characters.
There were a lot of semi-familiar faces of people I don't really know, who passed me in the hallway. Windy is not a con I regularly go to, although I have been before. I was pleased to see sleigh, as always, and to meet his wife Denise. It was also good to see Steve and Elaine, though we never really got a chance to talk. Erik V. Olson and I had lunch together on Saturday, which was nice, and I managed to make myself helpful a few times to Gene and Rosemary Wolfe, who are such nice people. the_leewit and I had a lot of fun traveling through the halls on Saturday night being Guacamole Fairies. (At least that's what people called us. We were not in costume, but we were standing in various places with a bag of Tostitos "Scoops" and a bowl of guacamole that we'd just made, offering it to people. I think I shall use lime juice in my guacamole from now on. This was ten avocados, half a medium onion and one large roma tomato (both finely diced), and the juice of one lime. It was quite well received.)
We eventually came to ground at the GT party, where we hung out chatting with kevinnickerson, marsgov, tanac, and Seth Breidbart. Moshe handed me his new book, The Pebble and The Avalanche: How Taking Things Apart Creates Revolutions, to look at, and I ended up reading a good third of it lying there on the bed in the middle of the party, something for which I was quite rightly teased by sleigh. What he didn't know was that by that time I had nearly lost my voice due to a combination of the pre-existing sore throat and too much talking. I should have been in my own bed by that time, and we did retire not long after. I now have my own copy of the book and plan to post a review when I finish it.
I didn't do too much smoffing. I put out flyers for ConFusion and spoke to Nate Bucklin, Neil Rest, and Dick Smith about whether or not they might come this year (sadly, all said that due to schedule or finances, it doesn't look likely, but I will still hope). I promised Uncle Vlad that I *will* find the password to the Midfan site in my backup discs and update the website, and how I'd be willing to help put on a MidWest Construction in Pittsburg if it's in the spring as we've been discussing. I had an intriguing conversation with Alex von Thorne about how Detroit could host a NASFIC in 2010 (assuming Australia gets the worldcon) and how tammylc and myself might figure into such a thing. You know, as part of our training for the worldcon we/Tammy will inevitably chair one day. ;) Some people seemed disappointed that ConFusion didn't host a room party - I got a lot of inquiries as to whether or not we had one as I walked around on Saturday night.
So yeah, I had a good time, and now I have no voice. Oh well. ( If I didn't specifically mention you, don't think I wasn't pleased to see you. I don't want to feel like this con review was just a name dropping exercise, so I had to stop somewhere. ) It was nice to go to a con where I had no particular responsibilities. I had almost forgotten what that was like.