In on the Con

The blog entry below, with its extensive list of relief organizations for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, jarred me back to reality. You see, there’s something about attending a Con that shifts you into an alternate reality of sorts, an otherworld that consists of nothing but photo ops and schmoozing and non-stop panel discussions about genre-related topics.

Cascadia Con PanelI attended a number of interesting panels today, including a fascinating discussion about the factors that guide a writer’s decision whether to set a particular story in the near or far future. In this photo, Virginia A. O’Dine (obscured), Bruce Taylor (who sports a white top-hat and is known as “Mr. Magic Realism”), Susan Matthews and Andrew Nisbett III tackle this subject with gusto. Bruce Taylor, who is a gentleman, also sold a story to the Northwest Passages: A Cascadian Odyssey anthology, by the way.

Tonight, I participated in a panel presentation given by some of the writers who sold stories to the Northwest Passages antho. Although I knew that the official “book launch” party is scheduled for tomorrow, I was totally unaware of tonight’s presentation until I browsed through the program schedule and happened upon it. Several contributors fortunate enough to have copies of their stories with them were allowed to read for five minutes. Those of us who didn’t were asked to speak extemporaneously about whatever aspect of our stories we wished to discuss. Luckily for me, since I had already blathered on and on about my story’s setting on this blog, as well as my after-the-fact visit to the San Juan Islands, I felt comfortable speaking at length about that subject in front of the audience.

I finally got a chance to meet some of my fellow contributors to the anthology, including Suzanne Church (who also has a story appearing in this month’s Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine), Louise Herring-Jones (whose Northwest Passages story features a giant slug that destroys Seattle), Donna McMahon, and the charming Mary E. Lowd.

Mercurio Rivera and the Cat Man!I also met Dennis “Cat” Avner, a fellow known for undergoing surgeries designed to slowly transform him into his Indian “totem,” a tiger.

Speaking of human/animal hybrids (what a segue!), my hotel is swarming with humanoid furry creatures. Yes, I mean “Furries,” people who for various personal reasons choose to dress up like furry fictional characters. If you want to read about this alternate lifestyle, including the competing “Furvert” vs. “Clean Fur” camps, check out this article.

See what I mean about the Con’s skewing of reality?

My final report from Cascadia Con will appear Monday.

8 Replies to “In on the Con”

  1. Hey Matt and Mercurio!

    Here’s a website — — where a sf fan with a charitable organization is trying to coordinate a relocation effort for Gulf Coast fans who’ve been rendered homeless by Katrina. If it hasn’t been done already, would you post the info at the CascadiaCon info board?


  2. The panels sound…interesting, but what about the good stuff? How are the groupies? What’s the partying like? Any good gossip?

  3. Dotty is right! Let’s hear about the seamy, underbelly of the Con from a man on the inside.
    On a lighter note :), congratulations on your panel appearance. Lou and I wish we were there to support (and ocassionally heckle) you.

  4. Look at me. Look at what you’ve done to me. I am officially addicted to Matt’s blog and have to read it as a required part of my morning ritual. But like coffee, I’m sure it too has some sort of anti-oxidants that, if taken in the right quantity, will add *years* to my life. Apparently, I’ve had more than the morning dose today…

    Dave! You’ve finally done it (and by that, after looking at the cat photo, I mean, gone off the deep end with the kind of people you’re choosing to hang out it with. Those con folk will be the end of you.)

    Many congratulations on your sale again and sharing your genius with the public 🙂 I hope the panel went excellently (seems like it did) and I can’t wait to hear about it. In the next blog, of course (stop me before I read again…)


  5. — Thanks, Matt.
    — Dottie and Steve, not to worry, I am tracking down (and rolling in) the dirt and will have more to report in my next and final entry on Monday.
    — Steven, great to hear from you, fellow Con man. I have posted the weblink as requested.
    — Lou, welcome to the club. I’ve been addicted to Matt’s blog for a while now. Keep reading! It will be back up to snuff as of Tuesday.

  6. I like your use of hyperlinks. Perhaps you could annotate your next story published online in a similar fashion. Enjoy the rest of the Con!

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