About Convergence: it's in Bloomington, MN, and is basically a huge volunteer-run SF/F con, with author panels, an art show, dealer's room, big gaming area, some media guests (this year they had Marina Sirtis) and costumes, costumes, costumes. There were over 6000 attendees and most of them were wearing costumes. It was awesome.
The hotel also had a large interior court with a pool, surrounded by two levels of "pool cabana" rooms with balconies. This was where the consuite and parties were. Individual groups could reserve the cabana rooms and have events or evening parties there, and it was also awesome. There were rooms for Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, an Arkham Asylum, various games, etc. It reminded me a bit of MediaWest, when the hotel would let people decorate their hotel room doors and the hallways. The court area itself was a gathering area and used for things like a bat'leth tournament.
So my trip to Convergence started out Wednesday when I drove to Houston and ended up helping friends change a tire when their SUV hit a concrete block that had fallen into the street. Then I got up at 4:30 to drive to the airport for a 7:30 flight. Fortunately the flight was on time, because I had the Skiffy and Fanty Panel at 2:00, with Michael R. Underwood, Carrie Patel, David Annandale, Shaun Duke, Paul Weimer.
(The Skiffy and Fanty Show is a great podcast that's nominated for a Hugo this year. They recorded the panel and also Paul and Shaun interviewed me later in the con. I'll post when both those are available.)
Then at 2:00 I had a reading (I read from the first Raksura novella in the collection that's coming out September 2, "The Falling World") way up in the Oscar Wilde Memorial Dorian Grey lounge on the 22nd floor.
Then I went out to dinner with Kelly and Laura McCullough to the French restaurant in the Sheraton, which was the hotel next door, and ate excellent food. Then I went back to my room and collapsed, because I'd been up since 4:30 in the morning.
Saturday I didn't have any programming until late, so I went to the dealer's room and art show and the artist's alley room (where the actual artists sell their work and do commissions), and went to Kelly's reading and a panel. Then Catherine Lundoff and I went out to dinner (same restaurant) and had excellent food again. Then I came back for my 7:00 panel with Kameron Hurley, Kelly McCullough, Sean M. Murphy, and Doug Hulick on magic and whether it needs to be explained or not, why some people like it explained and others don't, etc. One conclusion was basically that you make the leap of faith to suspend your disbelief that Thundercats actually exist, then just keep it internally consistent.
Then I did a signing with Dave Annandale, and then I went back to my room and collapsed again because I was really tired. (This was a theme throughout the weekend.)
Saturday there was a panel on fairy tales with Dana Baird, Christine Norris, Emma Bull, and Roy T Cook that was also a lot of fun, and then I just wondered around the con again for a while. That evening Lee Harris took us out for a big dinner for Angry Robot books authors, and I had a fabulous time. We got back to the con about 11:00, and I again collapsed.
Sunday I did the interview with Paul and Shaun for Skiffy and Fanty, and then sat at the Angry Robot books table for a while and signed copies of Emilie and the Sky World and Emilie and the Hollow World, then did the panel on Women in Genre Not Talking About Women in Genre, with Damarra Atkins, Lynne M. Thomas, Danielle Indovino, Naomi Kritzer. That was a huge amount of fun, and we ended up talking about first experiences in fandom, fanfic and how much fun it is, and fannish things we got into as kids, including those odd memories where you watched something as a kid and conflated it with another show, or your memory of it is much longer than the real show was, and other things like that. It was a great last panel for the con for me.
After that, I'd skipped lunch for some reason, so I was really starting to physically crash. I went and had late lunch/early dinner, and then came back as the con was getting ready to shut down at 5:00. I went to my room and basically collapsed, and watched Acorn.tv on my iPad until it was time to go to sleep. I got up around 6:30 the next morning, made it to the airport, and made it to Houston, then made the two hour drive home, when I also collapsed.
Some photos (I didn't get photos of individual costumes, because the crowd would move so quickly, and the variety and imagination of them was just overwhelming.)
July 8th, 8:27