Last weekend was my second consecutive weekend spent at a con. This time around it was Armadillocon, a little local Austin con that was an entirely different experience than Worldcon in Denver. I had a good time at both cons, but I found Worldcon a bit overwhelming, and Armadillocon was more my speed. I had a lovely time meeting and hanging out with several people I’d only known online and/or through their work before — Steven Utley (impatientape), MK Hobson (mkhobson), Lon Prater (lonfiction), Sheila Williams, Eric Marin (ericmarin), and Patrick Swenson (tbclone47) to name a few (and apologies to several others who I met but haven’t listed!). It’s always great to meet people whose work you admire and discover that not only are they good at what they do but they are also nice people to hang out with.
I also got to spend a bit more time with camillealexa (who I met at Worlcon), Maureen McHugh (who I see entirely too little of, given that we both (in theory) live in Austin), and of course the lovely ladies of my writing group: jess_ka, ellevate, and tacithydra.
Programming highlights for me were:
– Maureen’s interview of Editor GoH Sheila Williams, where Sheila talked about how she got into editing and her vision for Asimov’s.
– An interesting panel on women in slipstream, which not only cleared up for me what slipstream is (each panelist had their own definition, but the components that I took away from it were that slipstream has a literary feel, with strangeness unexplained — the sort of fiction that shows up in LCRW), but also highlighted several authors that I ought to read more of.
– The Broad Universe rapid fire reading (Which I thought was a neat concept — each of the eight or so authors involved read a five minute snippet of their work. It was a nice way to get a taste of what a lot of different people were working on, so that I know who to look for later on)
– Several individual readings: Steven Utley, Maureen McHugh, Jessica Reisman, and MK Hobson.
– The closing reading, which is traditionally done by Howard Waldrop. Howard couldn’t be at Armadillocon this year, so instead a panel of his friends and colleagues each read a few pages (in sequence) from his story “The Ugly Chickens,” and Howard read the last paragraph himself, over the phone.