Copyright 2014 by Paula S. Jordan
As I’ve mentioned here before, among my many reasons for attending SF&F conventions are the things to be learned there about science, fiction, fantasy, and the world in general: what other writers are up to, what readers like about the books and stories they read, and what experts in various fields are excited enough about to come down to the con and share it. Neat new stuff to stir up the brain cells and stimulate the writing. Plus the art, music, theater, and games of the SF/F worlds, and always those amazing costumes. And the surprises. This time there was a wedding. Really! And a dragon wedding cake that roared.
The panels, always a high point of the con for me, were both entertaining and instructive: discussions of logic in fiction, humor in horror, costume building, minding your nerdiquette, issues regarding human cloning and artificial intelligence, and the crafting of alternate universes, aliens, and social systems. On this panel, Gail Z. Martin, Michael A. Ventrella, Gray Rinehart, Tally Johnson, and Michael Pederson gave new writers pointers on “Tooting Your Own Horn.”
Highlights of the readings and performance scene included great new stories from Gail Z. Martin, Stuart Jaffee, and Guest of Honor Todd McCaffery. Gray Rinehart and Danny Birt provided filk songs together with their fiction, and Danny followed up with a full filk concert.
The most touching moment of the convention came when Charles and Emily, dressed in their Medieval finery, spoke their marriage vows. When the minister pronounced his benediction the audience responded with a forest of lifted arms and hands giving the Vulcan sign of good wishes: live long and prosper.