eastercon wrap-up

Hello, readers.

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the line for platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross



A six-step survival guide for EASTERCON 2015 in case you are me and end up going back in time.


1. You should take the next the train.

Be aware that the train you board with eg and sd will, alas, receive the wrong signal and end up going in the wrong direction, forcing everyone on the train to alight, cross over, go backwards, and then board and go forwards and arrive an hour or so later than they expected. So, when you meet sd on the platform, and see the train with your destination show up, skip it. Take the next one. It’ll be faster. Trust me.

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me and my shoes.



2. Meet all the people.

The best part of any convention is the people. Friends, old and new. People who surprise you with their energy and awesome shoes. People you’ve worked with but never met in person and so have no idea how fantastically tall they are. People you’ve read but never thought you’d meet or share Indian food with. People you’ve known only a little while but will discover new secrets about their hair and the problematics of “not presenting as geek.” Crazy cool panelists who surprise you with their collection of rubber guns and monkey’s faces. Crazy not-so-cool but totally fascinating people who wear capes and quiz you on your knowledge of dungeons and dragons. You don’t immerse yourself in crowds very much. But, you’re here now. Look. Listen. Take notes. You might end up with awesome quotes like: “It was basically sex pollen,” or “It was cool. He turned into a bird,” or “I had dinner with Yoda’s mum!”

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aliette de bodard reading awesome.



3. Seanan McGuire

The lady’s a troubador. Go. Listen. Enjoy the show.

the picture of a troubador



4. Don’t bother with Periscope.

Look. It’s the future. I’m traveling back in time. Live video is big. People do it. You’re not ready for it, though. You’re too self-conscious to hold up your phone for any length of time worth people watching your live video of EASTERCON. Maybe, someday when they allow people to volunteer to periscope panels and get to set up a tripod.

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the girl with a fake fireplace.



5. Be prepared to ask ridiculous questions of yourself and the people sitting next to you during panels that feature people saying things that bug you in the best and most interesting ways

Such as. Why does everyone always assume robots possess no morality? Did they not see that tear in T2? Or, if they’re robots from outer space, who built them? And if no one built them, doesn’t that mean they’re aliens?

truth, justice, and the home office w/charlie stross, jim butcher, and a woman whose name they forgot to put in the program. 😦



6. You don’t have to eat according to a regular schedule, but you should probably drink more.

Look. It’s totally fair to eat Indian food for dinner, and lunch, but also there’s fruit and rice cakes and granola. It’s portable. And healthy. And less likely to result in a bag full of curry sauce and a food box full of dry vegetables.

Also. Carry a bottle of water. Keep it full. Drink it. Dehydrated con-goers are sad con-goers.

putting fantasy into history, and history into fantasy. w/kari spelling, jacey bedford, ce murphy, tiffani angus, and clearly a fifth person not in the program. eastercon, look into an app next time^^



7. Surprise

Be careful how much cash you carry. There are usually book stores at cons, and, at this one, there’s a used book store where you can buy 5 books for 5 pounds. You don’t have enough space in your bag for the amount of books you want to buy.

Happy fandom, readers.



eastercon 2015

Hello, readers.

I’m off to the British National Science Fiction convention today, otherwise known as Eastercon, and this year known as Dysprosium.

Looking forward to meeting internet friends and colleagues and basically having a weekend slumber party with a bunch of beautiful nerds who are smart and fun and stuff.

Follow the adventures on twitter, @cuvols.

I might even Periscope some stuff.

The future!

It’s here.

Happy good weekend, readers.


WisCon 1.0

Hello, readers.

When I was a younger boy, I watched coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con on TV*. It looked like heaven. It looked like a place that make-believe could make as much belief as it wanted. People dressed up as Ghostbusters! As Skeletor! As various shades of pink! It was cool. It was exciting. It was geeks being geeks. I never thought I would get there, though.

And then I went to Clarion and I got to go there and lose my ability to even.

World Fantasy, which I attended in 2012,  was lovely and amazing but not full of the same geek-fervor of SDCC. Most things aren’t.

A week or so ago, after a 24-hour-plus journey (including a linger in Chicago as Obama passed through), I arrived in Madison for my first WisCon. WisCon is not at all like SDCC except for that sometimes people are pink or blue or glittered**. Also, that they are geeks. Geeks for feminism, for discourse, for conscious consideration, for science, for robots, for korean dramas, and so forth, and so on. At the Con, I went to a few readings and a lot of brunches. I heard discussions of hidden narratives and monsters. Of the growing roles of women in Korean dramas, and the proliferation of time travel in the same. I saw a Dalek lingering in the hotel hallway’s linger lane.

There’s an energy to WisCon. It comes, in part, from how small it is. Just a thousand or so people who gather to ponder and celebrate a certain corner of the geekverse. In this it’s the inverse of Comic-Con, which is a gathering of an astronomical amount of people to celebrate all corners of the geekverse.

At WisCon, I discovered that the wonder of all wonderful conventions is meeting old and new people and old and new ideas that you get to discuss with those old new friends. Plotting novels and life goals in a hot tub is another good thing which is a plus for WisCon.

Below are pictures and more words.

Awesome awkward robot design by @egcosh

Madison, it turned out, is a fantabulous city what features lake-front cider, delicious gluten-free muffins, buckwheat crepes, and delicious coffee.

This is a picture of a lake-front Sam J. Miller (@sentencebender), who is, while not gluten-free, still fantabulous.

The panels and readings I attended were the following:

  • Three Awesome Women, in which did read three awesome women: Elise Matthesen, Delia Sherman, and Nene Ormes; as well as one awesome Wesley Chu.
  • Awkward Robots Read***, in which I, and many others of Clarion 2012, did read scary, funny, weird things. There was wine, cider, and beer, in the back.
  • Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, in which I for the first time ever attempted to live-tweet something as it happened live rather than wait until it was over and say things about what happened
  • Guest of Honor reading by N.K. Jemisin, in which mountains moved
  • Women in Sageuk/K-dramas, wherein Ha Ji Won was awesome and I learned what Sageuk meant and how popular time travel is of late in Korea****.
  • This Might Get Weird: Stories by Writers You Just Met Last Night, wherein Clarion alums, greatly from 2010, got weird and wonderful with their words.
  • Questionable Practices, wherein Karen Joy Fowler, Pat Murphy, Eileen Gunn, and Nisi Shawl rocked. Karen Joy Fowler stood on a chair, for example, so that all could see. Nisi sang a song. Which she does every reading, apparently, which is awesome.

I’m not sure why I bulleted these things, reader, but having done it I feel pretty good about it.

Here are more pictures.

This Might Get Weird (from l/r: Tom Underberg (@tomatlarge), Leah Thomas (@thomtinuviel), Jessica Hilt (@bzztbaa), Holly McDowell (@hollymcdowell), Dustin Monk (@dustinjmonk), Eden Robins (@edenrobins))




People gathered to hear what THE STATUE says about exquisitely sticky cinnamon.


Sageuk/K-drama panel in which something magical has just appeared off-screen right.
Sageuk/K-drama panel
Post-floomp dancing with @egcosh
Post-floomp dancing with @egcosh


Happy conversations and cinnamon, readers. Listen to THE STATUE.


*Specifically, Tech TV, ZDTV, and now, I suppose, G4, unless it has changed names again.

**The floomp dance is a thing wherein people at WisCon dress up in ridiculous handsomeness and dance. This being my first WisCon this was my first WisCon floomp. It was terrifically glittery and I wore a rainbow.

***Reading with Awkward Robots = gluten-free carrot cake with awesome sauce. You know. If you have to be gluten free and enjoy awesome sauces.

****In dramas. Not, so far as I know, in real life. Though possibly in a novel I’m writing.