Loncon was pretty amazing.
It was well-run, with the only really visible snafu being that they weren’t prepared for 3000 people to show up at 9am Thursday, imagining, instead, that they’d show up more gradually through the weekend. So Thursday there was a Very Long Line to pick up registration materials, but they handled it super well and kept it moving. A highlight was my friend Kate, after walking from one end of the very long convention centre concourse to the end where Loncon was taking place and then discovering the very long line to stand in, tweeting “Nobody told me I should bring a scooter to Loncon!”
Within seconds Loncon had responded with, “We have scooters. Do you need one? We can get one to you if you need one!”, leaving Kate to say, “No, no, I meant a kick scooter to vroom along with!” Indeed, I saw more than one person over the weekend who had one. :) But they were really on top of their social media and keeping good track of things like that. Kudos!
I will be here the rest of my life if I try to write out the con as I saw it in detail, so to keep it short, my panels all went pretty well (the moderator didn’t show up for one, causing me to take over, and it went–almost as if I’d prepared to be moderator. There were a couple things I failed to pursue that I hopefully would have if I’d actually prepared, but it went pretty well), and I got to meet a variety of people on them (Mur Lafferty! KELLEY FREAKING ARMSTRONG!!! Kate Nepveu!), which was lovely.
I got–perhaps because I was there 4 full days–to actually talk to *nearly* everyone I wanted to, often for a quite respectable amount of time. I caught up with a bunch of writers I’d met at previous Octocons (bless you, Irish fandom, for the access to and subsequent friendships with, so many absolutely fantastic and talented people). That was amazing, since most cons involve shouting, “We must have coffee!” at one another across a crowded room and then never seeing each other again.
I saw my former and current Del Rey editors (and also sat nearby and listened to Scott Lynch talk to said editor about the next Gentlemen Bastards books, all the while thinking, “There are hundreds of people at this con who would flay somebody to be sitting here listening to this,”), which was on both accounts absolutely lovely.
I also, *finally*, got to meet Ursula Vernon. I have known Ursula online for fifteen or more years (“We’ve known each other what, six or seven years?” she said, and I was like, “No, no, we’ve known each other this entire century, Urs,” and she was all WHERE DOES THE TIME GO!?!?!?!?!) and it was freaking. brilliant. to meet her. She’s just like herself. She was also barely inside the door when she saw someone in a Digger Kickstarter t-shirt and went up to the woman and said, “I like your t-shirt.” The woman said, “Oh thank youGLALGDLSIHSGHAGLHGFFFAAAAAH!”
It was awesome. *Lots* of people did things very similar upon realizing that That Was Ursula Vernon, and Ursula was bemused while I was amused. :)
(I did something like that myself, actually, to a woman two people ahead of me on the escalator. She turned to the lady between us and said something like “Are you CE Murphy?” (I have no idea why; I never saw the woman’s badge, so maybe she was a Murphy?) and the woman said, “No,” but happened to be glancing down at me as she said so, and finished, very smoothly, with, “But this is.” The first woman nearly fell off the escalator. :))
On a professional level I made a couple of contacts, one of which was a renewal of an acquaintance and which may prove very fruitful, so I’m so very, very glad I got to go.
On a personal level I GOT TO MEET KIM STANLEY ROBINSON OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG ahem and actually–didn’t quite hang out with him, per se, but on Saturday after a panel he remembered me (like, my actual name, not just CE, as it said on my badge) from his kaffeeklatch thing on Friday and invited me to walk downstairs with him for a brief chat and then Sunday I ran into him and happened to know where he wanted to go and he didn’t, so I walked him there and then let him go, but OMG, I actually got to like spend seven or twelve minutes really chatting with him, which was pretty well #diesofsquee.
Also Lawrence Watt-Evans recognized me (from Twitter) even after having just arrived at the con and being jet-lagged. #diesofsquee
Okay, who are we kidding, I had a lot of total fangirl moments this weekend. :) (Michelle Sagara introduced me to Tanya Huff. “Oh!” I said, delighted, “I love your books!” “And I love yours!” she said. They had to pick me up off the floor after that…)
Although actually I think the tip of the hat goes to Kate, who got to buy Brian Aldiss and his wife a cup of coffee and sit and have a chat with them on Sunday, and also had her picture in the Guardian. Twice! That’s pretty well out-of-this-world awesome. :) (She also said to me yesterday, “I was telling Cory Doctorow that my friend CE Murphy had gone to Kim Stanley Robinson’s climate change panel–” but I had to make her stop after the first ten words I had to make her stop and repeat that, because wut. I’m not sure I’d ever seen her quite so pleased with herself. :))
People I did not know came up to me and asked just how much fudge I was going to have to make. (The fundraiser is down to its last 5 days and 11 pounds of fudge now!) And, as it had been requested, I brought fudge, and was offering it to people. The best one of those (besides the marriage proposal) was when I offered Kate Elliott and my friend Camille a piece.
Kate said no thanks, she didn’t like fudge, and Camille (for whom I found & tweaked until satisfactory last year’s ginger-maple fudge) took one eagerly and said “She makes incredibly good fudge.” I said, “I do make incredibly good fudge,” very matter of factly, and Camille said, “See, she can’t even be modest about it because it’s so good,” and Kate said, “Okay, I have to at least try this,” and she took a piece and had a bite and said “Oh my GOD. That’s like a brownie and fudge mixed together. Oh my God. I don’t even like fudge and that’s good fudge.” So that was cool. :)
Um. There was one other really specific thing I wanted to mention and right now I can’t remember it at all, so I think I’ll go ahead and post this and call it good. (Especially as this is a 1200 word post, which, given it’s the *short* version of a con writeup, seems like possibly more than enough…)