the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘conventions

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We have returned, victorious from GrandCon!  A new gaming convention in Grand Rapids, MI, GrandCon featured pre-scheduled gaming events, a ginormous gaming library you could sign games out from, a Pathfinder competition, table top roleplaying, game demos, a really nice dealer room,  seminars, and more.   I’m happy we got there early in the morning on Saturday, as the registration lines only grew and grew into the afternoon.  I heard at one point that over 1200 badges were printed and that they ran out of programs.  I think they’re gonna need a bigger hotel/convention location next year!

There was also an adventure to a brand new comic/gaming shop in the city, and an unintentionally SFnal dinner involving LED lights in a sushi presentation.

While I write up a longer post about the super cool World building panel that was presented by Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, Steven Schend and Jeff Grubb,  you should enjoy these photos.

photodump commencing in three. . . .  two. . . . and we have lift-off/photo dump!

These huge cardboard monsters were set up in the lobby, they were part of an oversized gaming demo for King of Tokyo

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The game comes with regular sized dice, and regular sized cardboard characters that go on a regular sized board, but throwing big plushy dice is so much more fun!

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Today I’m over at SFSignal talking about Conventions. It’s a new column over there, Convention Attention!

oh, also, this.

btw, this is just the beginning of a kick-ass awesome week. stay tuned!

Long story short – It was ah-maz-ing.   another weekend of my geekgirldreams brought to us by the very hardworking folks at Stilyagi.

but, in case you are interested in the short story gone overly long, here ya go:

Last year at ConFusion I was about authors, authors, authors, and just for good measure more authors (also, one particular author, but that’s a different story). But this year I wanted to branch out a bit and see what else was going on. Luckily, the programming made that even easier for me. The sheer variety of programs and panels was amazing. There was an entire Science track, a Doctor Who track, lots of guest artists doing artwork in the hotel atrium,  and a Studio Ghibli movie marathon on top of all the amazing author readings and “such-and-such in Sci and Fantasy” panels.  And the best part? I was totally cool about this year. A little bit less of the running up to authors and babbling ohmygodIloveyourbookssomuchwillyoucomehomewithmecanicookyoudinner going on. Also, I cosplayed for the first time. Now that I’ve worn a tail, I can see why people don’t want to take them off.

Friday afternoon was saying hi to friends, hitting up the dealer room, finding the consuite (on the first floor, down the hall from all the panel rooms = WIN) and playing “spot the famous person” (omg, there’s John Scalzi! and he has a ukelele!). I made it to 2 panels on Friday, Fun with Liquid Nitrogen, and the Opening Ceremonies of the Con.

Liquid Nitrogen with Dr. Jennifer Skwarski.   I always thought if the stuff touched you, that part of your body would shatter off. not so! (wait, scifi movies lied to me??) Apparently you can splash it all over your hand and be OK, although I don’t recommend trying that.  Also, it makes a really neat snapping noise when splashed all over the floor. Demonstrations included the amazing whirring around ping pong ball, frozen vodka, frozen soap bubbles, crunchy expanding balloons, and of course making ice cream!

The epic immersion blender of awesome.  Also, liquid Nitrogen ice cream! Epic brain freeze.

The epic immersion blender of awesome. Also, liquid Nitrogen ice cream! Epic brain freeze.

Not too much to say about the Opening Ceremonies, except that Mary Robinette Kowal had the best ever marionette story.  I’m hoping she posted it on her blog somewhere, because if I try to tell it I’ll mess it up, and also it’s not my story to tell.  And, Yes, she had her Hugo. Perhaps it was a prop for this?   Also, Charles Stross has a really cool accent.

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This weekend is WorldCon, in Chicago. I hear there were a record number of Hugo ballots received this year, and it’s expected to be a pretty big crowd, due to Chicago being a fairly accessible and get-to-able city for most folks in America. Twitter is afire with messages from my favorite authors and editors saying things like “heading to the airport!”, “ready for WorldCon!”.

I DEMAND blog posts from ALL OF YOU when you return, you hear me? I want photos too. Tweets are also appreciated.

Them’s my demands, and I’m sticking to them! You should also check out my most recent local radio segment, and let me brag about my guestpost on SFSignal.

In return, I agree to finally finish book reviews and post them of Maureen McHugh’s After the Apocalypse, and Steven Brust’s Jhegaala.

And while all the cool kids are chillin’ in Chi-town, I’ll be at a pizza party. But not just any pizza, it’s the third annual pizza cookoff, hosted every year by some foodie friends of mine.  Hubby and I have been experimenting with different pizza toppings and sauces, resulting in a possible cook-off winner (we knew it was a contender because we fought over who got to finish the leftovers), and one pizza that was so disgusting it went right in the trash after the first bite.

if ya’ll post WorldCon photos, I’ll post bizarro pizza photos. equal trade, right?  😉

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This is part FOUR of my EpicConFusion posts. Click accordingly for parts ONE, TWO and THREE.

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Come on.

this is me.

of course there is a massive fangirlish Scott Lynch post.  If you’re not a fan, or you don’t know who he is, or you don’t care, skip this. It’s 100% fangirl drooling.  But now I can say I’ve met him!!

if you’re just here for updates on Republic of Thieves,  it’s about two thirds of the way to the bottom.

He was very nice. and tall. and has a lovely voice. and didn’t freak out too much when my attempts at wit came out horribly awkward.  Sunday morning I was pretty much following him around like a puppy.  Luckily his girlfriend (the wonderful Elizabeth Bear) was cool about it. Apologies that this may not be perfectly in chronological order. Epic ConFusion was that kind of weekend.

There was a mass autographing session on Saturday afternoon.  Not knowing how crowded it was going to be, I got in line early, planning to find Lynch’s table as soon as I got through the door. Not only was his the first table I went to, but I was the first person in line for his autograph.  I awkwardly said something about how I came to this con just for him, and that I’d been stalking him online, and if he registered for a restraining order against me by the end of the weekend I would feel like my mission was completed.  He politely signed my well loved copies of The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies:

For Andrea: You need to set more things on fire to get a restraining order. Cheers and Best Wishes, Scott Lynch

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This is part Two of my EpicConFusion posts. Click accordingly to read parts ONE, THREE and FOUR

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Ahh, the panels.

This was where I needed one of those time spinner things Hermione has, because at times I had to choose between three different panels that I wanted to go to.  There were that many, and there was that many hours straight of good programming.  I have this undiagnosed blood sugar issue thingy, and it means I shouldn’t go hours upon hours without eating.  When given the choice between going to yet another panel and eating, I chose wisely: I went to the panel (and then started shaking).  They were scheduled to be 50 minutes long, which included  Q&A time, so everyone would have 10 minutes to eat and potty break inbetween. The way it really worked was most panels went over, the next group would have to kick the previous group out, and people were late to their next panel.  Surprisingly, that turned into a win-win for nearly everyone.  I have no idea when the authors got to eat or go to the bathroom.

Highlights of the panels I attended include (and sorry for the horribly blurry photos):
Worldbuilding 101, moderated by Cat Rambo, with Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett and Brent Weeks – there was discussion of how to introduce the reader to your world, and how much information to give and when. Infodumping is the classic no-no, and the authors seemed to agree that it was best to give the reader less that you think they need to know. . . so they are interested in always wanting to learn more instead of feeling like they are getting inundated with information.  Building the world through characterization, because if you’ve got good characters, you can overcome just about anything.

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I have returned from EpicConfusion!

And it was incredible.  I was in geek heaven. Everyone’s first con experience should be like this.  There were authors hanging around, authors doing organized and well planned panels, authors autographing stuff (not just books!), and plenty of cosplay, humorous music (Rocky Horror Muppet Show!) and every flavor of crazy and fun.  I met so many wonderful folks, authors, artists, other.  Rothfuss was incredibly friendly, Lynch was gracious, Elizabeth Bear said I had pretty hair, Abercrombie may not be aware how irresistible that “British rogue” thing is to American women, Ahmed wins for nicest guy and best hair, Kameron Hurley is insanely interesting, Myke Cole gave me a hug anyways, and Peter Brett let me interrupt his dinner to talk about a panel he’d just done (btw, don’t interrupt peeps who are trying to eat. It was a total asshole thing I did), and Jim Hines is even more hilarious and friendly than I expected, even when he was completely exhausted and I was bugging him. When people found out it was my first con, they told me I picked a good one. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time, and I was not disappointed.

I’ve so much to tell. . . .  and so many blurry photos to post (wait, what? my camera has a low-light setting? Why didn’t someone tell me that before!).   To keep you from having to slog through stuff you might not be interested in, there will be a post on fun/funny author interaction (that’s gonna be this one, by the way), panels, cosplay and of course, Scott Lynch gets a post all to himself.

I was that girl who faux pas’ed my way through my first con by hijacking conversations and bothering people and talking to anyone and everyone who looked interesting (including the goth cross dresser) and now I’m gonna be that girl who gives WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. read at your own risk, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

There will be a giveaway for peeps who survive all of these ridiculous posts.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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