Breakfast of Champions: Jody Lynn Nye (left) and Anne McCaffrey (center) read the newsletter of fellow author Carole Nelson Douglas (right).
For me, every Dragon*Con has a theme. This year’s was set bymartianmooncrab when she suggested we get together Wednesday evening, August 27. I thought we’d have tea and jabber.
Well, we had tea.
With Anne McCaffrey.
Yes, you read right, the Grand Lady of Dragons herself. Martianmooncrab was helping her at DragonCon, ably assisted by koolness and Anne’s son Todd.
That lovely session set the tone for the entire con. Not a day went by where we didn’t run into each other or shared a meal. At the DragonCon banquet, I shared a table with a guy who claimed to have sprung the cork on the champagne when Anne became the first woman to win a Hugo in 1968. It was his first drink. He was fourteen. (Don't worry, the Statute of Limitations is long past on that one. And he turned out okay. He's now a surgeon and runs the annual Dragon*Con blood drive.)
martianmooncrab & koolness
Even the darling spouse got in the act, FedEx-ing me copies of the Analogs containing Anne’s first Pern stories. He bought them when they were first released and suddenly couldn’t live without having them autographed. Then he wouldn’t let me mail them back or pack them in the luggage. I had to hand-carry them home. LOL
I wasn’t trying to be a fan girl. Honest. I was just trying to hang with martianmooncrab, who has the coolest earrings evah--tiny beaded portraits of Marvin Martian made for her by Elizabeth Anne Scarborough. Nothing beats Marvin Martian earrings. Nothing.
Jana Oliver (right) & me following the 2008 DragonCon Awards Banquet.
As for the rest of the best, nothing beats reuniting with friends you never see enough. I had a blast rooming with cymrieges and Carole Nelson Douglas. The Press Room Gang and I toasted missing friends. (Here’s looking at you qnotku.) We dressed as pirates and got into trouble--but not so much I couldn’t make it to my panels.
A certain somebody who shall remain nameless scheduled me for a 10 a.m. panel the morning after the Cruxshadows concert. To be fair, we both thought they’d be scheduled for Sunday night, but such was not to be. Fortunately, the other panelists were brilliant and I had prepped enough to (literally) talk in my sleep. I did, however, call Susan Sizemore “Sue”. *headdesk* As somebody who spent her childhood insisting her name had two words instead of one, I’m especially sensitive to getting names right. So I’m going to be gnashing my teeth over this for years.
(From left to right) Dead Authors C.S. Lewis (hobsonphile) & Mary Shelley (me)
Another stand-out panel was the Science Fiction/Fantasy Literature Track’s Attack of the Dead Authors Society, in which Van Allen Plexico tried to ride herd on John W. Campbell (Larry Davis), C.S. Lewis (hobsonphile), Mary Shelley (me) and the one, the only Robert E. Howard (Joe Crowe). As you can see from the photo, Van wasn’t quite prepared to host REH for the third year running. My only regret was they were all behaving so nicely I didn’t get to thrash anyone with my fan. Playing an agnostic vegetarian on a panel with Lewis and Howard, I had such high hopes of it too. Dangnabbit!
Van Plexico (left) reacts to the introduction of Robert E. Howard (Joe Crowe, center) for the third running. John W. Cambell (Larry Davis) looks so serene, he must've been expecting this.
This year, I also sat on a panel with a rock star. Ego Likeness singer/songwriter Donna Lynch penned the horror novel Isabel Burning, which meant she went the writers’ panel route too. Lovely, talented, bright and nice--it’s almost too much in one package. And to make things even more intense, Steven Archer, the band’s other half, is also an artist. His 365 Days of Blasphemous Horrors is currently running on the Weird Tales web site and on the LJ community weirdtales_mag
I really wish I could’ve seen this year’s Ego Likeness show, but with two concert tracks running every night of the con, even a music-crazy person like me was guaranteed to miss a lot. I made it to the Emerald Rose, Voltaire and CruxShadows shows. Those are a given. It simply isn’t Dragon*Con without them. And for at least the past two years, I have enjoyed a little bit of Ego Likeness at the end of the CruxShadows’ set. I also bought too much music and danced myself to jelly.
CruxShadows Dancers & Vocalists Sarah Kilgore (left) and Jessica Lackey.
From another perspective, however, the most interesting concert was the Mindless Self Indulgence show. With a name like that you’d think they’d be a perfect DragonCon fit. The punk/industrial music worked fine. But security wasn’t prepared for a true mosh pit. I’m not sure if you can see it in this photo, but yes, they are getting ready to throw that guy on the stage. And he wasn’t the only one. Apparently, somebody was nearly crushed against the stage too, necessitating a call to the local EMT service. I can’t help wondering if the experience will affect next year’s concert program.
Mindless Self Indulgence fans heft another person onto the Hyatt's Centennial Ballroom stage.
By the time I zipped up my suitcases, I’d taken over four hundred sixty photos. Thirty-nine of them weren’t total dreck. I’ve uploaded them to Flickr.com and will post a link as soon as I finish the captions. Meanwhile, these will have to do.
I just wish I’d gotten a good shot of the earrings.Maybe next year…