owlmoose: (quote - questions)
I have returned! Yet another successful FogCon: in the books. Probably jamming two days into one post is too much, but no matter how much I tell myself I can wait for tomorrow to write about today, the fact is I'm very unlikely to do it.

My first panel of the day might also have been the best of the con, and certainly the one that I heard the most people talking about over the rest of the weekend. It was entitled "When Do You Pick Up A Blaster?" and was about revolution: how revolution is depicted in speculative fiction, what fiction gets right and wrong, what can we learn about real-life uprisings from fictional ones, and what is, or should be, the tipping point for the decision to use violence as a tool. One of the panelists, guest of honor Ayize Jama-Everett, suggested that there are types of violence other than physical, namely social and economic violence, and said that the "objective of violence is free the colonized mind from the colonizer. How you define violence is an interesting topic -- another panelist said that he doesn't consider property damage, like bombing empty buildings and shattering store windows, to be the same thing as violence, and although I'm not convinced I agree, it's an interesting point. (Or going back to the previous point, you could consider it a form of economic violence against the property owners). To cover the discussion property would take better notes than I took, but a few other points I wanted to consider: a definition of revolution as when the unimaginable becomes commonplace; the suggestion that you should be willing to risk dying before you risk killing; that you lose something when you fight, even when you win (sometimes it's worth it, but take the costs into considerations); revolution will always take longer than you think it will. As you might imagine, I got a lot to think about here, and took more notes than during any other panel. Lots of discussion centered around the Black Panther Party, and although I'm going to save most of my book recs for another post, I wanted to make note of one here: Black Against Empire, a recent history of the Black Panthers.

Lunch was the annual FogCon banquet, where I sat with friends old and new and chatted about a number of things -- for one, I ran into a fellow Dragon Age fan, and then we decided to stop boring the rest of the table to death and talk about the Hugos instead. Then my afternoon consisted of two guest of honor events. First was an interview with the other guest of honor, Delia Sherman, who talked about her writing process and her stories. After that, Ayize Jama-Everett gave his GoH presentation, a conversation with Afrofuturist Lonny Brooks. The theme of the talk was Jama-Everett asking Brooks to help him imagine a future that isn't bleak. A challenging project in these times, but I think also a worthy one. Some of Brooks's ideas included looking at Peter Diamandis and his thoughts on abundance, platform cooperativism (a worker-centric alternative to the so-called sharing economy promoted by companies like Airbnb and Uber), and diverse communities that celebrate difference rather than fighting against it or practicing separatism.

After dinner -- I crashed an event for members of a writing message board, and had a great chat with a doctor from Illinois whose name I unfortunately cannot remember -- was my one panel of the con, "Between the Pixie and the Crone: Middle Aged Women in Speculative Fiction". Other members of the panel included the aforementioned GoH Delia Sherman and the always-entertaining Ellen Klages, so that was not intimidating at all. Unrelated in any way to the panelists (they were all great), the discussion got tense in a couple of places, which I think is a risk with any panel on a topic that deals in a trope about women at a con that tries to be feminist -- it's going to hit too close to home for some people, feel completely off the mark to others, and it's easy to fall into talking stereotypes. But overall I think it went pretty well. Folks seemed engaged, asked good questions and made good recommendations, and almost no one left before the end, which are all positives, and I got to make most of the points I had planned, including a comment about not falling into the trap of defining all women by their relationship to motherhood, even including women who are mothers, which got a little "whoop!" from someone in the crowd. Last up was a panel on podcasting, which focused almost exclusively on fiction podcasts and never even got to fannish pop culture reviews, although I did get to rec Black Tapes and found a few new shows to look up. Afterwards I wandered by the bar, where I hung out for a little bit before bedtime.

Today I took it a little easier, as I usually try to do on the last day of the con. The first panel of the morning was the guest of honor reading, which I always try to attend and almost never disappoints. I was completely sucked in by Ayize Jama-Everett's reading and bought all three of his books (the only other time that's happened was all the way back in FogCon2, after Nalo Hopkinson read from The Chaos). For lunch I walked over to the farmer's market with [personal profile] forestofglory, and after I went one last panel on how to write dystopian fiction in the age of alternative facts. The panelists agreed that, for all the stories where false information is commonplace and fed to people by the government, no one ever saw coming that we would impose the world of wrong facts on ourselves, without a repressive regime forcing us into it. The discussion was mostly about real-world information bubbles and info overload, less about fiction, but it was still interesting. As usual in this type of conversation, I walked away convinced that librarians are more necessary than ever, and I need to do a better job of turning my information literacy skills into political activism.

Next up: WisCon! Two and a half months away, and I can hardly wait.
owlmoose: (lost - sawyer)
It's actually now the end of Day 2, but last night I was out and about and doing stuff, and I haven't had many opportunities to sit down and take some notes. Much much good stuff has happened today, too, but I want to keep this shortish as I need to get to bed soon, so for now I'll limit myself to yesterday.

Yesterday I went to four events. First up was a panel that ended up more of a round table discussion on how games of all kinds are changing. It's a pretty broad topic, but we still managed to hit the three major types of games -- tabletop (meaning board and card games), role-playing games, and videogames -- and many current trends in gaming, both good and bad. Topics included the role of Kickstarter (great for board games and card games, perhaps less suited to videogames), the rise of co-op board games and how that might relate to the popularity of Pokemon GO, and the ways in which gaming relates to learning, such as this research on virtual reality games as a potential treatment for dementia.

The next panel I attended was entitled "Looking Forward/Looking in the Mirror", regarding the ways in which stories about the future inevitably reflect the time in which they were written. The panelists freely admitted that this question has a different weight to it than it would have in early November, and there was some speculation about how speculative fiction written in the next year or so might change. One panelist freely admitted that she has much less interest in writing dark futures right now, to the point that she's trying to revise story to give it a more hopeful ending. There was quite a bit of talk about Arrival, and the ways in which it sometimes feels like we're living in a dystopia right now (to quote Debbie Notkin, "Get me out of this bad Harry Turtledove novel!"

Next up was dinner with [personal profile] forestofglory and Robyn, a writer who we'd sat next to during the previous panel. After that we went to our last formal panel of the night -- which Robyn happened to be on, although we'd already been planning on it -- which was about writing across genres. Discussion began with the question of why we have so many sub-genres in speculative fiction anyway; marketing is the obvious answer, although some panelists also talked about the value of knowing what to expect from a book before you open it. Sometimes you want a new and exciting experience from a story, but sometimes you want predictability, and ultimately there's nothing wrong with that. Of course, this brought us to one of the inherent dangers of cross-genre writing, because when readers doesn't get the experience they were expecting, the resulting disappointment can affect book sales and reviews. The panelists, who were all pro authors, each brought up various examples from their own experiences, some causing more trouble than others. Someone in the audience asked why genre bending seems to be more of an issue with speculative fiction than other genres, and after some discussion we all came up with an intriguing theory: other genres of fiction (mystery, thriller, romance, etc.) tend to be defined by their plot structures, while speculative fiction genres are defined by their elements (spaceships, wizards, being set in the future...) but can follow almost any structure. I suspect this makes specfic highly flexible but also gives the writer more places to "go wrong" in terms of reader expectations. In the end, the panelists concluded that you can't be too worried about those expectations -- write the story that calls to you, and worry about how to sell or market it later. Lots and lots of book recs out of this one.

Last but never least: ConTention, the annual tradition where a bunch of con attendees get together and argue for an hour and fifteen minutes. This year's debates included some oldies but goodies (Star Wars vs. Star Trek, privacy vs. safety) and some newer ones (The Force Awakens vs. Rogue One, what's the scariest Dr. Who monster, can WorldCon survive if it continues to be primarily based in North America).

And now it's late (and soon to be even later, yay Daylight Saving Time), so I'll come back with today's report tomorrow.
owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
Today I went to two events (a reading and a panel), and also had a lovely, wide-ranging lunchtime chat with someone I met randomly in the bar. Maybe it just takes me this many years of being in the same place with largely the same people to get comfortable putting myself forward like this. I thought about staying for the post-con feedback session, but decided it was time to leave Con World for everyday life.

First up was the honored guest reading (which is always on Sunday morning and always a must-see for me). Ted Chiang (whose panels I somehow managed to completely miss) gave an excellent and thought-provoking talk about life-logging and its potential effects on memory, both good and bad, a sort of non-fictional response to his story The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling. Donna Haraway read from her work in progress (and covered very much the same ground as the presentation she gave yesterday; it was well down, but I found myself wishing that she had done something different). And Jo Walton read a sonnet and the opening section of her book The Just City, which may have moved somewhat further up my to-read list. Walton is a particularly gifted reader -- she infuses her words with life and humor.

After lunch came the Draconic Appreciation Society panel, for which I had high hopes, and those hopes were realized. Marie Brennan was on it -- always a plus in a panel, for me, but especially since I really love the dragon series she's currently writing (the Isabela Trent books). Jo Walton was on the panel as well, and it was just generally a good mix of entertaining panel and enthusiastic audience. Discussion started with the history of dragon myths in Europe, and Jo Walton's theory that Northern dragons are based on stories about snake creatures -- when there were no snakes in Scandinavia. From there, they talked about dragons in different cultures (and the curious fact that many different types of creatures are all recognizable as dragons), books that disappoint their readers by having dragons in the title but not in the story, whether dragons always mean fantasy (like space ships always mean science fiction) and what that means for books like Pern, and whether the discovery that dinosaurs had feathers is going to start influencing dragon design in the future. I was actually the first person to bring up the Temeraire series, in the context of dragons as partners to humans rather than either pets (ala Pern) or threats (like Smaug or Dragon Age), but then someone in the audience linked that to the different dragon myths in cultures around the world.

Afterwards, I had my second opportunity of the weekend to geek out over Dragon Age with Marie Brennan, which is one of the things that has most boggled my mind about going to cons: the idea of chatting with authors who I admire about totally unrelated works that we're both fans of. I'm glad to be getting less shy about that sort of thing, and I hope I'm able to not become completely star-struck when the time comes at WisCon.
owlmoose: (ff8 - dance)
Lots of good stuff today!

- Breakfast with friends
- Panel on the ethics of magic, which covered all kinds of great territory. Dragon Age was mentioned a few times, and afterwards I actually went up to Marie Brennan (author of the Lady Isabela Trent series, among others, whom I admire both as an author and as a speaker) to talk to her a little bit about it.
- Lunch with [personal profile] forestofglory and her family, including a really tasty dish of ice cream
- I missed the start of the first afternoon panel, so instead of wandering in late, I checked out the dealers room (which I escaped relatively unscathed, only bought one pair of earrings) and dropped by the con suite, where folks were discussing one-note actors and WorldCon.
- A character building exercise with Guest of Honor Jo Walton, which turned into a world building and storytelling exercise, a process both fascinating and entertaining (and thought-provoking to me as character-driven writer who has always felt inadequate to developing plots and original worlds).
- The official lecture by non-genre Guest of Honor Donna Haraway, who had a lot to say about the history of science and mythology and how human culture has developed.
- Ventured out for dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant, where I read through and enjoyed a couple Nebula nominated stories (as Hugo homework).
- My last panel attended tonight was about the domestic in fantasy, which was so interesting that I took actual notes, and I plan to write a bit more about it tomorrow.
- Hit the bar and then the con suite; in both places, I got into entertaining conversations with people I know, people I've seen around the con, and people who were new to me. And when I left, it was because I was getting tired (and wanted enough time before bed to tap out a few notes about the day), not because I wasn't enjoying the conversation and/or was feeling socialed out, which is seriously progress for me as far as cons go.

It's taken six years of attending, but I finally feel like I"m not starting from scratch every year, like there are people who remember me from previous years and are happy to talk to me again. Like it's a community, not a new collection of strangers every time. Maybe that's because this con is still fairly young, or maybe it's just that I'm getting better at it, but it's a good feeling, and it makes me happy.

One more day!
owlmoose: (Default)
Turns out it's difficult to spend a whole lot of time documenting your con experience when you're busy participating in the con experience! ;) So, no real-time updates today, but both of my panels went really well, I think -- we got good discussion going, and I feel like I made useful contributions, and people said complementary things afterwards. I also hung out with [profile] forestsofglory, had dinner with friends, and played a game of Pandemic with Jed (which we lost, badly), and dropped by [livejournal.com profile] zahraa and [livejournal.com profile] zyxwvut's room party, and have just generally enjoyed chatting with people and listening in to good conversations. Now I am winding down before sleep, getting ready for the long full-con day tomorrow. My active participation parts are done, so now I get to go be in the audience for the rest of the weekend. I kind of wish my panels had been spread out better, but on the other hand it's nice to just relax, too.
owlmoose: a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded by fog (golden gate bridge)
I guess the weather gods didn't get the memo that today is supposed to be *Fog*Con, because it is raining cats and dogs out there. Best wishes that everyone traveling to the con stays safe and dry! I'll probably head over around lunchtime.

I'm on two panels, both today, both in Salon A/B. One is in the first afternoon slot, so hopefully at least a few early birds show up. :) Saturday and Sunday I'll just generally be around, so come find me! I'll have both KJ and owlmoose on my badge.

3pm: The Transformation of Fandom

8pm: Good Villains & Bad Heroes: the transformation of the "good guy/bad guy" trope in modern media

Looking forward to it. :) As usual, I expect to be documenting my adventures on Tumblr, so if you're curious for more real-time updates, you should watch over there.
owlmoose: Picture of a beanie moose and a small brown owl (owlmoose)
I'm making good on my personal threat to attend lots of cons in 2016: I've now registered for FogCon (as always), WisCon (which I've been meaning to attend for a few years now and the stars finally aligned), and WesterCon (SE's suggestion; Scalzi is the guest of honor, and it's in Portland, which is a city I've always meant to spend more time in). So that's the first half of 2016 scheduled up.

I finally watched Daredevil. I'd been meaning to get to it for awhile; wanting to finish before Jessica Jones drops next month finally pushed it up the queue. Overall I enjoyed it, although I also had some issues. Some of the more pressing complaints are detailed in this Tumblr post ('ware major spoilers). I want to write a longer post about it soon.

Instead of other things I'd been meaning to read, I picked up the biography of Alice B. Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr.). I've never read any of Tiptree's fiction, but I've heard the bio is excellent, and so far it has delivered.

Finally, just because I haven't posted about it here doesn't mean I'm not caught in the full throes of a Hamilton obsession. If you've been wondering what the heck Hamilton is, or this is somehow the first you've ever heard of it, the short answer is that it's a Broadway musical based on the life of Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The cast album was released a few weeks ago, and made available to listen online shortly before that, and half the Internet has been freaking out over it ever since. Here's a good primer (thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link). If you want a taste of it without committing to the whole album (although it's free on Spotify), check out Miranda's White House performance of an early version of the first song. Warning for highly addictive earworms.
owlmoose: (Default)
Something that I've meant to do every single year but never gotten around to is researching and writing up all the book, story, blog, and other recommendations I get at FogCon. In the spirit of diversifying my reading, and getting things done, I'd like to fix this. So I'll start with the most recent year and then hopefully work backwards.

Note, this is by no means comprehensive; it's just the various recs I got via panels and random conversations around the Con that I found intriguing enough to write down. But I hope that people besides me will find the list interesting.

owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
I feel derelict in my duties for not having written up more of my FogCon experience, but maybe it's okay that I just experienced it this year, rather than feeling the need to write it down. I did get involved in an interesting conversation about cultural appropriation and assimilation tropes at the last panel I attended. We were a small group in a large room and would probably have been better off sitting in a circle, but it worked out. I got to recommend "The Goblin Emperor" and a Kate Elliott essay, so my work was done. (I also rec'd Goblin Emperor in a conversation in the con suite, and I rec it to everyone reading this post as well. It is just That Good.)

One sort of recurring theme for me at FogCon is that I'm not very good at making lasting connections. I make contributions to discussions in the structured context of a panel, and I'll force myself out of my shell to make conversation during unstructured time, but it's very rare for such an interaction to end even with the exchange of contact information. So I have no way to continue the connection beyond the con, and when I come back the next year, I feel as though I'm starting all over again, even after five years of seeing many of the same people around.

This year, I actually opened up to a few people on my feelings about this, and I discovered other folks who feel much the same way. So I'm glad it's not just me. At the post-mortem session, I thought about saying something, but my thoughts aren't well-formed enough on this point to say anything coherent, and I'm not sure there's much the con culture could do about it anyway -- I have similar feelings about the professional librarian conferences I've attended, after all, so it is at least partly on me! For one thing, I do intend to seek out more folks on social media and see if I can be at least a bit more engaged. So if you're reading this post because I've recently added you on some platform or another, and you're trying to figure out why, now you know. :) Also I renew my semi-regular pledge to attempt to engage on Twitter more, since that's where so much of the sf/f fandom action is these days.

Will it make a difference in future years? Maybe. It certainly can't hurt, and having more cool people in my online social circles is always a good thing. I have hope for it, anyway.

Do others of you who go to cons feel this way? If so, what if anything have you done about it? I'd be interested to hear about other people's experiences.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
I have been keeping with FogCon, just with quick hits over on Tumblr rather than doing wrap-up posts here. Mostly because I haven't felt inspired to do detailed write-ups of the panels I've been to. Not that panels haven't been interesting or stimulating -- they have been, for sure. I just haven't walked out of them with a whole lot to say.

I did want to mention tonight, though, for myself if nothing else. It's been a really nice time: I lucked into a table of friendly and interesting people at dinner, in part because I noticed someone that [personal profile] renay had told me to look out for (and she was right). Then I went to the Catherynne Valente author event where she chatted with people, gave autographs, and wrote on people's skin a la Palimpsest. I wasn't sure I was going to get up the nerve to ask for a handwritten note, but then I did, and I told her that my very favorite of her books is The Orphan's Tales, and she said she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

After that I went upstairs to join a game of Slash hosted by Jed. Imagine Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, except the cards list fictional characters, historical figures, and celebrities, and your job is to make the best (or funniest) pairings (OT3s or even more are acceptable, if you can't choose). Ever since he first told me about this game, I've been dying to play, and I was not disappointed. (Note, the rules and gameplay demo'd at the link above suggest a very competitive style of play, but we didn't even keep score -- it was just about having fun and embracing the silliness and new ways of looking at familiar characters.) When we wrapped up, I resisted the urge to vanish and spent some time hanging out in the bar, chatting with people. It's these kinds of more casual interactions that I'm not so good at, and want to get better at: both for the practice networking, and because I feel like I'd get even more out of FogCon if I made more lasting relationships with people, rather than feeling like I'm starting over nearly from scratch every year.

More about that later, when it's not almost 2 AM and about to be almost 3 AM, and I want to be up and alert-ish for the guest of honor readings at 10:30! Good night, internet.

FogCon

Jan. 27th, 2015 06:24 pm
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
I finally stopped forgetting to register for FogCon today. I don't know why I didn't just do it at the end of the con. Means I missed all the early bird rates but oh well. I also got a hotel room and raised my hand to be on a couple of panels, both fanwork-related. Even if I'm not a panelist, I hope at least one of them makes it onto the track -- as far as I know, there's never been a panel about fanfic and/or transformative work at FogCon, so it's high time we had one. (Yes, I realize I could have just proposed one. But I never came up with a good angle. So I'm glad someone else finally did that for me.)

Anyone else going?
owlmoose: (tea - tea cup)
Not much to say about today. I went to two panels -- the Guest of Honor "reading" with Seanan McGuire and Tim Powers, which ended up being a fairly loose and fun Q&A because neither of them like to do readings, and another panel on secret worlds in fiction, which despite covering a lot of the same ground as Friday's panel ended up feeling quite different. Then I decided I needed a real lunch, so I skipped out on the wrap-up session and headed home, where I have been alternately relaxing and trip planning. Soooo much to do in the upcoming not-quite-a week, yikes.

I do plan to write up and share my to-read list, per [personal profile] renay's request on Tumblr, but since some of my notes are a little vague, I have to do a little research first. Hopefully in the next few days.
owlmoose: (hp - monsters)
Another day of good panels and good chats. Also, they announced not just the theme for next year's con ("The Traveler"), but the guests of honor: Kim Stanley Robinson and Cat Valente. Color me officially excited!

Some thoughts )

One day more.
owlmoose: (kh - roxas)
First day down. A really strong set of panels today. As usual, my to-read list is exploding. :) And I didn't even go to the "lesser known writers that need more attention" panel. The highlights:

  • A panel on secret worlds in fiction: portal worlds like Narnia and Oz, and worlds hidden in the shadows of our own like the wizarding world in Harry Potter. This is where I got most of my best book recommendations.

  • Another panel on the related but separate topic of secret histories in fiction. ("Secrets" is the theme of the con this year.) More discussion of what makes a good secret history, and more book recommendations of course.

  • Dinner with people -- I went up to say hi to a friend, and she was gathering people together for a pre-planned meal, and she invited me to tag along, which was nice. The conversation was mostly about con planning, which was quite interesting even if I have little to no practical experience with the subject. :)

  • ConTention: an annual event in which folks get together for a good old fashioned hour of arguing about things. This is one of my favorite things at the con, because everyone attends it with an open mind and without taking it too seriously -- people often end up switching sides on a topic, sometimes more than once. I did more listening than talking this time, although I did get pretty involved in the question of whether the Game of Thrones tv series is superior to the books. (I argued on the side of the books, and my main issue with the show -- that it plays straight many of the fantasy tropes that GRRM is subverting in the books -- was well received by the crowd.)

  • A very well-done panel about rape in fiction. One of the guests of honor is Seanan McGuire; she was on the panel, and the jumping-off point was an infamous question she received from a fan about when one of her female characters was going to be raped. Not if; when. As if rape is an inevitable fact of being a female protagonist in a fantasy setting. The discussion centered around the problems with using rape as a plot and character development subject. It was an excellent panel, well-moderated, thoughtfully handled, and so many times I wished I was live-tweeting because Seanan is so very quotable. (If you are a fan and get the chance to see her in person, take it. So much fun.)

  • And then a stop by the con suite and a room party, and then back to my room to take my notes and decompress. A good day, but I am ready for some rest. Especially since I'm doing a panel tomorrow morning!
owlmoose: (da - varric)
In contract to last years multi-week extravaganza, I had a nice low-key birthday today: vet appointment in the morning, quiet afternoon at home, dinner out with a few friends. The vet trip was Tori's regular check-up, which now happens every couple of months or so. The news was extremely good -- all of her blood tests came back in the normal range for the first time ever, so we can keep tapering down her meds. Best birthday present I could have gotten.

I did get another gift, for myself: an iPad Mini, dark gray with a bright red cover. Finally, a multi-purpose tablet that's exactly the right size for me to use as an eReader! Is this the moment that I being to shift away from paper books? Perhaps, although I don't expect I'll ever ditch them entirely.

Tomorrow will be another quiet day, and then Friday is the first day of FogCon. Yay, FogCon! If you'll be there, let me know and we can find a time to meet up.
owlmoose: (cats - teacup)
I am home from FogCon, and just like last year and the year before, I'm happy, but also pretty fried from so much mental stimulation and socialization with people I don't know well. I expect this will be common to any con I attend. Worth it -- I just have to be prepared for it as an aftereffect. And now, thoughts on today's activities:

Longish, a bit rambley. )

Then I attended the post-con feedback session and then I came home, where I flopped out until it was time to go to the grocery store. And now that I've emptied my brain of its post-con thoughts, I can take the rest of the night off -- and turn around in the back of my mind whether I ought to finally make good on my long-held temptation to attend WisCon this year.
owlmoose: (library - sign)
A full day at FogCon! Getting down the notes quickly while it's still in my head...

This got long. )

One more day. Now to decide whether to go back out there or crash a little early. Right now I am leaning toward the latter, but we'll see! Maybe a second wind will present itself.

Conning

Mar. 9th, 2013 12:48 am
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
First day at FogCon: complete! The first panel I wanted to attend was at 4:30, and I got here about an hour before that, which was plenty of time to check in to the hotel and settle in. That panel was about building a world and creating a criminal justice system based on that world, and it was fun and serious and silly and just very hard to describe. After that was the dinner break, which I spent about half in the con suite snacking and chatting with people, and about half in my room writing up a few notes for my panel tomorrow. Next stop was ConTention, which is not so much a panel as an event, during which the attendees have moderated arguments about all kinds of science fiction and fantasy related topics. This is a tradition at FogCon, and I have to say it's one of my favorites -- having intelligent discussion about all kinds of topics, with an opinionated moderator who's good at not letting things get out of hand, and chatting with folks afterwards. And I had a great shining moment, too, when I introduced the moderator and a few other people to the concept of slash goggles (in the context of whether the text of Harry Potter supports J.K. Rowling's contention that she intended Dumbledore to be gay).

There were a couple of late panels that sounded interesting, but by then I was really hungry, so I grabbed dinner in the hotel restaurant and then went back to the con suite, which was hopping with nice people and fun conversation, and I spent two hours standing around and chatting with people about all kinds of things. Once nice thing about FogCon is that every year, I feel like I find more people who are in fandom and who are familiar with the fanfic community -- there are a lot of writers at this con, most of them writing for publication, but many of them write and/or read fanfiction as well -- and it's one of the few offline places that I can be really, truly comfortable with being open in my identity as a writer. I have to say, it feels pretty good.

And now to wind down a little bit before bedtime, and my Big Afternoon. Let's hope I don't die of nerves between now and then.
owlmoose: (book - key)
Another day, another post about representation of women authors in best-of lists. This time, it's the NPR YA List from 2012, and although women tend to receive more recognition as YA authors, there is still plenty to discuss. The bloggers over at [community profile] ladybusiness were kind enough to let me post my thoughts over there.

The NPR YA List: Playing Favorites?

If you are interested, take a look!

In other news, yesterday was my *mumbles age that ends in zero* birthday. I had a lazy day, then went out with friends for drinks and dinner, including a Flaming Mai Tai, which was free, and mighty tasty too.

FogCon is this weekend, and I'm pretty excited. Also a little nervous, because I'm on my first panel, ever, about copyright issues in fandom as they relate to both creators and fans. On reflection, and in conversation with my fellow panelists, it's probably too big a topic for an hour, but we'll see how it goes! I intend to represent as fan, librarian, and OTW member (although hm, maybe my membership has lapsed; I should check) as best I can. Wish me luck!
owlmoose: (book)
I'm about to fall over from tiredness -- a combination of post-con collapse and lack of sleep from work stress (long story) caught up with me actually around lunchtime, so I left then rather than sticking around for the last panel session and the post-mortem -- but I want to make note of the last things I did so I don't forget it all.

I went to two sessions today. The first was a panel on loving problematic things, which was big and messy and complicated and sometimes frustrating and could have been at least an hour longer. It ran almost ten minutes long as it was and left a lot unresolved. I might have more to say about this one later. It was definitely worth going: I know I got some food for thought out of it.

The other was the Guest of Honor reading, which I attended mostly for Nalo Hopkinson, who is a wonderful reader -- her writing has a strong voice, and hearing it in her own voice gives it a stunning musicality. She read from her new YA novel, Chaos, which I immediately went to the vendor floor and purchased. I hadn't been familiar with Hopkinson's work at all before she was announced as one of the GoH (the other, Shelly Jackson, was unfortunately not able to attend at the last minute), so I made a point of going out and picking up a couple of her books -- I didn't do that before the last FogCon, and I regretted it -- and read one, Brown Girl in the Ring, which I totally recommend.

After that, as mentioned, I was pretty wiped out, so I grabbed lunch and headed home. Sorry, if anyone seeing this missed saying goodbye to me, or catching up with me at all! Next time, for sure.

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