I had a wonderful time at FenCon, Gentle Readers. It has renewed my faith in conventions. Let me explain . . .
I tend to think of conventions as coming in categories:
- SF/F local cons (anywhere from 200 to 2000, but usually around 800)
- steampunk cons (you never know they seem to be growing exponentially)
- WorldCon & World Fantasy (800 – 2000 these days)
- Industry events (library association gatherings, literary events, book expos anything from 100 to 20,000)
- The big beasts (DragonCon and ComicCons – huge)
Each different kind of gathering has qualities that make it wonderful and flaws that make it difficult. I’ve been getting a bit jaded over the past few years and seeing only flaws. FenCon has given me renewed pep.
Partly because I started out attending small local conventions, I tend to feel if you are going to start anywhere, start with them. FenCon has everything that makes a local convention wonderful without any of the drawbacks. It’s well organized, well run, and (apparently) lacking in any of the drama I have come to expect in a fan run convention of any size. The hotel was ideally laid out with everything you need in a convenient loop on one floor. For the first time in my life, I did not get lost once! Anytime I was late it was because I was having a wonderful conversation with someone and couldn’t get away, not because I was lost.
Taken by in ineffable Mr. Tee Morris
Yes, I know, being GoH makes a difference. But I’ve dabbled in organizing a convention myself so I know how unbelievably hard it is. I was looking for the cracks in the woodwork and for the fires being put out. Not to criticize such issues but so I could help if needed. The one thing the GoH can do is step in to be the “oh, shiny!” and distract in a crisis. Well, from my vantage point, it was seamless. I know there were fires, there always are, but they were so well dealt with I didn’t even smell the metaphorical smoke.
If you want to try a convention for the first time, try FenCon. Is not only the behind-the-scenes organization either, the attendees are also so friendly. Could be Southern Hospitality, could be Texas, could be FenCon fandom, but I had many fun chats, surprise breakfast companions, and great times with fellow authors. I went in knowing only three other guests. Usually, that makes me nervous. I’ve said it before, one of the deciding factors these days in whether I go to a con is if friends will be there too. You don’t need a safety net at FenCon because friends you didn’t know you had are already there.
I know I promised you no more convention write-ups but I simply had to give FenCon a shout out. Go Dallas! Or more precisely, Go To Dallas! Next year, for FenCon!
In addition to all the other fun, there was an Ivy Hat Contest. I’ve posted about it on Retro Rack.
I enjoyed every panel I was on and they made the mistake of having me moderate one of them ~ Gail turns into Moderation Natzi under such circumstances. “Say on Topic! Stay on Topic!”
My FenCon schedule it still up on my website so if you’d like to get some notes and thoughts from any of my panels let me know which ones and I’ll formulate a blog post for ya’all.
Convention Round Up
- Outfits worn: 3.5 + Travel
- Meals eaten out of Consuite: 7 (if you count tea, which I do)
- Loot: So much I had to ask the staff to mail me a box back
- Dallicks: 1
- Ice cream consumed: 3 (I’m a bad girl)
- Hot tubs taken: 4
- Pairs of shoes: 4
- Purses: 2
- Luggage: only carry on (praise me!)
- Bottles of water: 8
- Cups of tea: 21
- Business cards collected: 6
- Strange Foods Tried: 3
I also got a flyer for something called AggieCon LINK. I visited their room party and learned all about the phenomenon. AggieCon is university convention. Isn’t that nifty? Get’em while they’re young! Makes me think they are training fans up right in Texas and that’s why the FenCon peeps are so cool.
GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Your Tisane of Smart . . .
From the London Party at FenCon. Three of my favorites!
Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Devourer of Books reviews Soulless. “All in all it makes for a very enjoyable romp of a read. I definitely plan on continuing in this series.”
Quote of the Day:
“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”
~ P.J. O’Rourke