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Wiscon - a con report of sorts - Zer Netmouse
May 30th, 2009
11:08 pm

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Wiscon - a con report of sorts
Ok, my prediction that I might get to a con report by Thursday? Way optimistic.

But here goes. So. First I should mention I had the fabulous luck to spend Wiscon as roommates with sumanah and vogelein. Sumana was busy promoting and handing out copies of her new anthology Thoughtcrime Experiments, and getting to know other writers and editors. Jane was promoting her work, and doing self-study in support of her comics writing, studying cultural appropriation and other issues. I was there primarily to touch base with some Carl Brandon Society folks and also to hear more about how to make cons safer spaces for fans of color, as well as to hopefully meet various people I'd seen online and never met in RL. Oh, and to help throw a couple parties. We all had substantially different convention experiences, though they overlapped, and we all felt we benefited hugely by starting Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning out with (early!) morning conversations between the three of us. I commented later that it made the convention a much more cohesive experience for me.

Because I drove (yeah, 8-hour drive. I'm a little crazy), I brought a cooler, books to give away, some books to get signed by GoH Ellen Klages and Tiptree winner Nisi Shawl, and what felt like too many clothes but turned out just about right. I also brought a book with a story in it to get signed by my friend Doselle Young but it somehow ended up on top of the TV so I forgot about it until we cleared out the room on Monday and by then I had to go and I think he was already gone. I'll have to catch him another time. Worldcon maybe.

Let's see. What to say. I met some awesome folks, including Nisi Shawl, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and Ben Rosenbaum, with whom I had never interacted before, and some people I knew online but not in person like Candra Gill (who absolutely rocked my world on the Better Living Through Technology panel), Jed Hartman, Claire Light, and N.K. Jemisin. Also some influential journal writers in recent genre race discussions, like ladyjax, vito_excalibur, liminalia, and badgerbag. I didn't meet as many people as I'd hoped to, but I made some progress. Partly due to not feeling well, and also due to not being very known, wanting to listen, and not being very comfortable in the heavily raise-your-hand-to-speak culture, I spent the weekend on a bit of an introvert setting compared to how I sometimes am.

Eileen Gunn pointed me to kate_schaefer, who helped found the Octavia E. Butler scholarship, and Kate sat down with me and gave me a rundown on the history of the scholarship and listened to my ideas about how to step up fundraising through Worldcon and other efforts and hopefully get it fully funded in the next couple of years so it can run off of interest (I still owe you a write-up; I have not forgotten!). I followed that up later with a conversation with Victor Raymond, whom I know from my long ago stint of Minicon fandom (which was my intro to smofdom), who then added me to the volunteers backend of the CB society so I can get involved with the other volunteers. Victor emphasized that help is welcome from All People interested in supporting the Carl Brandon Society and we discussed the misconception that efforts within and to promote the society should best be left to POC. Also over the weekend, Candra was showing off the new society brochure - let me know if you'd like to take some to a con and I'll get you some.

I had some good meetings/talks with Terry Fong about Anticipation, including about how RaceFail and other related discussions should influence Anticipation programming. Saturday evening I took lsanderson and Catherine Crockett shopping for the Reno in 2011 and Anticipation parties (another reason to have a car with me), and throughout Saturday night I kept mixing new and different batches of punch for Reno in 2011. I stayed up much later than I expect to Saturday, which was nice because it was because people were interesting. We got compliments on the punch, so that was nice. (The secret is to add a lot of juice. well, maybe more than that, but that's important.)

asim was one of the wonderful people who came in at 3 am to help us finish off the punch and close down, and I also got a belly dancing lesson from him on Sunday. For those and other reasons, I have decided he is very cool and I hope to get to know him better. A few times over the weekend I met troubleinchina and seaya, and it was good to review with them over dinner on Sunday our perceptions on how Saturday's lunchtime "Allies meeting" went. Not as well as we'd hoped, but some lessons learned for future efforts, I think. Naamen was awesome on the Not Another @#$! Race Panel so I hope to see him more in the future as well - wish I'd gotten to talk to him more off-panel, and such is true with many folks.

There were a fair number of people I already knew at the con, and I didn't get to spend enough time with pretty much any of them, especially author vylar_kaftan, with whom I went to college. We got talking at one point and then I got pulled away by someone I knew and lost her. I'm sorry about that. It was an intense con. I should post about the programming I went to later. But for now I've done most of the name checking, I guess. so that's some progress.

For now, to sleep some more.

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Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:vylar_kaftan
Date:May 31st, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
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We'll reconnect. No worries. My con schedule for the year is Readercon and World Fantasy.
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From:jeffreyab
Date:May 31st, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
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You must have just missed Nisi Shawl during her Dawntreader and downtown Borders days, she was also a fixture at ConFusion in the late 80's and early 90's. I still think of her as an Ann Arbor who has just moved away for awhile.

I also got her to write Chip Delaney's bio for ConFusion 17.
[User Picture]
From:netmouse
Date:May 31st, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
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I was noticing her bio mentioned Michigan and wondered... I did not start attending ConFusion until I came back to town in the late 90s but I might have met her during my high school days, I don't know.

[User Picture]
From:jeffreyab
Date:June 1st, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
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She worked in the underground or female Dawntreader back in the day.
[User Picture]
From:troubleinchina
Date:June 1st, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
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*waves hello* I still haven't decompressed enough from WisCon to write about it.
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