FogCon 2013: The Report

I am home.  I have even been to bed.  It’s wacky.

The short of it is that FogCon was great and I had a great time.  I was also on OMG all the programming ever.  So of course I liked it, because there are few things more fun than making people listen to me talk getting to connect with new, cool people and share conversations with them.

I went to the “Will the ticking bomb go off?” panel and enjoyed it a great deal.  The answer, as expected, was “Yes, in the scenario as constructed, it will.”  More entertaining for me was that about a third of the way through the panel I go, “You know, military interrogation sounds an awful lot like my sales process.”  Two-thirds of the way through the panel Terry Karney, the military interrogator on it, mentions that it’s hard not to buy knives from him. Take that, used car salesmen.

Charismatic Criminals went quite well which, as my first stint at moderating a panel, pleased me.  I made it most of the way before ordering everybody to go watch Luther.  We developed consensus that Lady de Winter is kickass and we’d like more characters like her.  One of my panelists was actually better prepared than me, having printed out the questions I’d sent them as “I’ll probably do something that looks vaguely like this” and developed researched answers for them.

Friday night involved me staying up in the consuite chatting with folk until the clock said it was my usual bedtime.  Since I was in California it was rather significantly past my usual bedtime, and I was concerned about the likelihood of me behaving, er, unprofessionally before my morning panel next day.  So I did something very uncharacteristic and was among the first to go to bed.  The universe did not implode.  There was rejoicing.

The Spec Fic singularity panel was pleasantly lively.  I simultaneously argued that there does, in fact, exist a cannon, while arguing that it can’t be definitively listed and nobody should feel obligated to read it.  There was a bit of push back on the first point, but mostly we all agreed that there are a ton of good books we want to read.

That was followed the Anarchists in Spaaaace panel.  This conversation wandered widely, and didn’t really dig into the bits of it I think it needed to.  Mostly there was a lot of unchecked idealism that I wanted to pull apart and destroy explore further, but there wasn’t time.  Also, this panel had me doing the thing I sometimes do on panels where I want the table to be a bit curved so I can see the other panelists without craning my neck.  Then again, my sofa is curved.  I’m strange.

Where Do I hold my Virtual Sit-in was probably my favorite panel.  There was really good discussion about the nature and tools of protest, the ethics, and the efficacy.  The moderating, Naamen Tilahun, is such a genuinely nice guy that I got to be an insensitive asshole and look like I was just providing balance, rather than being me.  Then again, Nancy Jane Moore ended the panel saying she felt reassured about the current state of protest than she had at the outset, which leaves me thinking I did something wrong.

My last panel (yeah, there’s another one) was the Liar’s panel, which I got put on mid-day to fill in for a panelist who might not be able to make it, who then showed up anyway.  I had no idea what a Liars panel was, but the part where everybody who did went, “Oh yeah, you should do that,” was a little telling.  I did an awful lot of talking about cannibalism and my practices thereof.  There was a point where I was clinging to Vylar Kaftan for protection from Ellen Klages.  There was another point where Vylar was fishing a paper lobster from Ellen’s pants.  I offered a twelve-year-old heroine and her dad didn’t call the cops.  You now know as much about how a Liar’s panel works as I do.

Saturday night featured soaking in the hotel hot tub after running off very drunk high school baseball players with out-loud readings of atrociously bad sex scenes.  I’m pretty sure I get karmic credit for participating in that.

Sunday was a long day.  I had my reading with David Levine and Nancy Jane Moore.  There were three other people in the audience, all of whom were brilliant, attractive people destined for happiness and success.  The cookies were, as expected, still moist and tasty.  There were also just a wee bit spicier than I’m used to them being – I’ve curried peanut butter cookies before, but they’ve never had the opportunity to age four days.  I was a fan of the results.  If the part where not even the crumbs came home with me is any evidence, so were other people.

There was more hanging out in the consuite, followed by dinner (Pho!) followed by packing and chatting with Gary Kloster, my roommate for the weekend.  Then I caught a plane, flew home, and worked a fuller-than-usual Monday.  So, technically, I think FogCon went until about 12:08am CST, Tuesday morning, because that’s when I finally went to bed.  Or maybe that’s not how it works.  I can’t tell, my eyes are bloodshot and full of sand. I think that’s a sign of virtue.  Or an awesome con.

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