Bubonicon 44 was only my second scifi convention ever and it differed from Dragon*Con in many ways, the greatest being the size. Bubonicon, held in Albuquerque, NM, is quite a bit smaller, but this only meant that I was bumping into authors all over the place – the vendor and art rooms, elevators, and even bathrooms. Truly, it was a cozy atmosphere where fans mingled freely with some of their appreciated writers.
While I could only give one day of my weekend to Bubonicon, it was a packed day with panels, readings, and the group book signing. Of the two panels I attended, the rise in popularity of post-apocalypse and dystopian literature and the science and mysteries of exoplanets were discussed. Author David Lee Summers sat on one panel and acted as the moderator for the second. I was able to attend four readings, which is something I missed out on at Dragon*Con. Walter Jon Williams reading was the most entertaining as he did the voices for the characters with enthusiasm, accents and all. If I had been drinking during his reading, I would have laughed so hard, and unexpectedly, that snort-laugh spray would have been the embarrassing death of me. He read from his novella, The Golden Age, which will be in a forthcoming weird western anthology from Titan Books. He also has a forthcoming novella, The Boolean Gate, from Subterranean Press. David Summers read one of his most recent short stories (The Vrykolakas and the Cobbler’s Wife), about an undead but not uncaring man, which was published in Cemetary Dance magazine, Issue 66.
Some of the other authors I stalked throughout the day included John Maddox Roberts, S. M. Stirling, Steven Gould, and Brandon Sanderson. George R. R. Martin was also around, but as I have yet to get to that section of my TBR Mountain, I let others fulfill the obligatory writer worship role. He did have rad suspenders. John Roberts read a segment from a science fiction novel he is working on and then had time left over to answer questions about his Roman Empire novels. I know this author through his SPQR mystery Roman histories; they kept me entertained through another bout of necessary bedrest a few years ago. It was a real treat to see him at this convention. Brandon Sanderson read a piece from the last novel in the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series (yet another series I have not read) and then he read a tidbit from his novella Legion from Subterranean Press. This looks like a very good work and I am looking forward to picking it up. He was really interactive and seemed to truly enjoy this smaller convention.
Throughout the day, I only saw perhaps a dozen costumes. I was unable to stay for the costume contest Saturday night, but I did see some dude in the parking lot dressing in a full chipmunk outfit with blue latex gloves. At least, I hope he was there for the costume contest. There were several folks in what I think were Mad Max – Road Warrior outfits, which fits with the post-apocalyptic theme of Bubonicon 44. I also saw 1 Star Trek officer and a handful of Firefly enthusiasts.
At the book signing, I was able to track down all the authors I had come to see, including Brandon Sanderson. Most authors had just a handful of folks in line and the heavy hitter lines were quite reasonable, with me only having to wait about 20 minutes to obtain Sanderson’s signature. My man did a little happy dance over his autographed The Way of Kings, which he read no less than 3 times in 11 months. I asked several of the authors to sign books, as well as the back of my Kindle, at which a few did happy dances right there in their seats as they had not signed a Kindle before. It was cool to see that I had unintentionally given back some of the joy and excitement of the convention.
At the exoplanet panel, New Mexico author Ian Tregillis, who was new to me, impressed me with his animated speech and friendly knowledge. I have already dug up some of this works through my library and online. A local author, Kirt Hickman, sold me his pitch and a signed book, Fabler’s Legend, in the vendor room.