The first thing I realized when I arrived at the hotel was that I had been there years ago before for a WorldCon and had completely forgotten. That was very strange, let me tell you! I figured the insanely complicated parking system, checked in, and did con stuff. Some highlights:
I had breakfast with Ye Agente, and we spent more of it talking about family than we did publishing. 🙂 But we finally did come around and discuss future projects and strategy.
The weather was ridiculously wonderful–sunny and in the 70s. I ended up leaving the con and poking around Columbus. The government district was very interesting, with lots of old buildings to admire. I texted some photos to my husband Darwin. A row of Victorian houses facing a park was particularly stunning. I’ve always wanted to live in a big Victorian house, with peaked roofs and a tower and staircases in odd places and maybe a secret room. But practical me says those houses are a LOT of work to keep up, and what do Darwin and I need with six bedrooms and five bathrooms? Especially when all those rooms would need vacuuming and dusting? And the exterior needs an extremely complicated paint job every few years? So I admire these houses rather than make a goal of them.
I was surprised to find myself liking Columbus for a number of reasons. They have bike lanes on all the major streets and bike rental kiosks all over the city. There’s a car-sharing service as well (a Columbus version of Zip Car). The North Market is a European-style stall market that sells foods (both raw and prepared) of all kinds from all over the world. The only thing thing wrong was a lack of greenery and being in a state with a distressing amount of support for Donald Trump.
Back at Fantasy World Con, my one panel was about music and fantasy writing. I was the moderator, and as I’ve noted before on this blog, the convention’s Guest of Honor, Mercedes “Misty” Lackey, was on the panel as well. Misty and I are passing acquaintances from other conventions, and I’ve always liked her. The panel itself went very well. No one tried to hog the floor, and we had a lively and interesting discussion about everything from the history to the folklore to the science of music. Afterward, a number of people stopped me in the hallways to say they had enjoyed the panel quite a lot, so it wasn’t just my perception. Cool!
There was also the Great Book View Cafe Luncheon, held at North Market. There were five of us, and we had fully intended to discuss BVC business, but we spent most of our time sharing bits of books we had with us instead. The family one table over ended up getting interested in our discussion as well, which was an interesting bonus. We did discuss BVC some. A little. Bit.
I ran into fellow UWGer Christian Klaver as well, and the two of us intrepidly shared dinner and then tried some party hopping on the party floor, and were mystified to find . . . no parties. Or rather, we found a couple-three people holding parties and no one attending. It was weird! Even the party that had a well-stocked scotch and whisky bar was deserted. Christian and I were utterly baffled. So we went downstairs to the hotel bar, which was busy with con guests and World Series fans watching the Cubs lose on a huge projection TV. There we got into a conversation with a couple of Christian’s friends and from them we learned that a whole bunch of parties were happening on a different floor, NOT the party floor, and everyone had just now been kicked out for being noisy, so all the party-goers had descended on the official party floor at last. But by then Christian and I were firmly ensconced in the bar.
We did pop into the art reception for a while, and Christian bought a print he liked. I kept my hands in my pockets during this process–Darwin would have killed me if I came home with a painting.
And then it was time to go home. It was a good con, a relaxing one.
–Steven Harper Piziks