After four years of living in Madison, I finally made it to WisCon for the first time. Up to this year it’s just never been in the cards for one reason or another, and I never thought much about it because, hey, there’s always next year. This time around I realized that, actually, I’m cursed and was never meant to make it there. I figured this out around 6:45 EST last Thursday, when Frontier told me that my flight was delayed and they probably couldn’t get me back to Madison until Saturday. As it turns out, I was not the only person nearly trapped in New York and trying to get to the con, and as far as I know, we all made it by begging rides from Milwaukee off various friends. What this meant was that the night I had set aside for sleeping between visiting my sister for her graduation and the con was instead spent watching for cops hiding among the rabid orange cones of Jefferson County on my way home from Milwaukee. (Oh yeah, Wisconsin is broke – that’s why they’re completely redoing the highway again)
To summarize a very full 3 days, WisCon kicked ass. Walking in, I knew approximately four people there in the flesh, and maybe a dozen more via the magical interwebs. Once I got there it turned out I knew a few more from my occupying the Capitol, which I really should have expected but hadn’t.
The panels were, I am sure, uniformly brilliant and spectacular; in a complete reversal of my prior con attendance habits, barely made it to any panels because I was distracted by actual interaction with people. I’m okay with this. I did make it to the panel about the protests, after much trepidation over whether or not I should go. Ultimately I went hoping that it would either be a discussion for locals about ongoing strategy, or an info session for non-locals to explain the messy details (which I could then steal from for my own explaining purposes). Instead it was mostly locals venting to each other and patting each other on the back. It seemed to work for most people, but I regret skipping the Military SF panel for it. I also went to the Dr. Who panel where I had a great time. Killed much time after the panel disagreeing with people, which is always fun.
As I was badly sleep deprived and either on the verge of developing a cold or suffering from the local flora’s unmannered breeding habits (I still can’t tell which) I spent most of the con wondering where my words went. I think I burned my limited wit quota Friday night when I gave a command performance of the Epic of Gilgamesh in 7 Minutes or Less at the FogCon party. The audience was good, I ran over time, and somebody threatened to make me do it as a panel at FogCon II. I suspect between con-madness and FogCon mead he won’t remember my name and nobody else will be subjected to my rendering of conversation between Gilgamesh and Enkidu with only the word, “dude.” Otherwise, I’ll have to figure out how to do the Ramayana in under ten minutes.
I definitely have going back on my calendar for Memorial Day next year. Maybe next time I’ll, I don’t know, not leave the state immediately beforehand. And I’ll definitely plan differently so I can dress up for the gender floomp. (Sure my cargo pants come from the men’s section, but they’re no good for dancing in)
BTW, any of you who took bets on whether I could spend a weekend with feminists without inciting violence, you are bad people and owe me a dollar.