The theme this year is steampunk, and the costumes are pretty fantabulous. I'm going to just go on a tour with my camera at some point, should I ever achieve any real downtime. Of course, my perceived lack of downtime has absolutely nothing to do with my schedule. It's personal choice, and shiny people.
Unfortunately, I haven't been to a single panel yet. There is an interesting one I'm missing right now, in fact, but the lure of the internet was too strong to allow me to go see if Baen really is for boys and if DAW is really for girls. (I think I know the answer, see, so watching other people debate it is slightly less interesting to me than it would otherwise be. Plus, we sort of pre-had the panel last night, hanging out in the lobby.)
This is not unrelated to the fact that I frequently find myself at panels and having the rude awakening that not everyone realized that my corner of the internet reached a consensus on something a few years ago, so why are we even debating this? And this is simple stuff, like how to deal with some minute technical aspect of writing, and not important stuff like how to be a socially responsible writer/fan with regard to feminism, violence against women, women in the military, racism, anti-racism, etc. But I also run into that, too. "How can you be so uninformed?" I marvel. "Don't you read ktempest? Or jimhines? Or at least Scalzi's blog, which I thought everyone read?"
But, in fact, my tendency to frequent saner places on the internet means that I forget there's a lot of insanity out there. And because I have a modicum of awareness on certain topics, I forget that there are people out there who don't even really know what the implications of colonialism really are. And don't care how you're problematizing post-colonialism in your alien invaders story. Which is also a rude thing to realize, in a way, even though you freaking knew that when you wrote the story, because that's why you put that entertaining stuff in it. You know. The Story part.
Ran into Rich Horton in the Green Room while getting my panelist sticker and ribbon, and offered to buy him a drink. We'll see if he takes me up on that. I thanked him profusely for liking my fiction, which is a strange thing to thank someone for, because it's essentially a visceral reaction, isn't it? But nonetheless. He swears Unplugged is coming out by the first of December, and I have to decide on the politics of giving anthologies containing one's own work out for presents.
I found dendrophilous, and had dinner with her and Erika... Found some really nice Thai. Remembered that I love coconut milk because it's like milk, but no lactose intolerance! I mean, I had that visceral "uh, oh, and me without my lactaid" reaction to the sauce on my Pa-naeng, but then remembered nothing bad was going to happen. Happy day.
Spent some good time in the lobby chatting with Elizabeth (dendrophilous and jimhines, and everyone who passed by. Jim knows a lot of people. I'm not surprised, I guess, since he's been doing this for a while. Met the archivist for SFWA, Lynne Thomas, and her daughter Katie, and her husband who I am ashamed to admit that I don't remember the name of. (Chris? But there was another Chris (Gerrib) last night, so clearly, there can't have been two! These things Just Don't Happen.) Also met Kerrie Hughes and John Helfers, which was cool. I learned an incredible amount about anthologizing just from random asides they both made.
Now, I'm spending my last nine minutes before kelly_swails comes to find me. I have had to drop the logline for my book on people about three times, which makes me glad I finally figured it out, even though I think the hook is too much of a spoiler. The logline, btw, is "An herbalist's apprentice in 15th century Romania becomes queen of the Underworld." This is a semi-problematic logline--there was no actual Romania in 1489--and at least one person asked if I meant the criminal underwold, and not, you know, Hades. But it works. Everyone looks vaguely intrigued when they hear it. Good enough.
In completely un-convention news, I got to visit my friends Elena and Stefano yesterday, and meet their little boy, Luca. They live in faculty housing for University of Chicago in Hyde Park, and their apartment is absolutely fantastic. Location, size, general niceness... all just wonderful. Elena and Stefano took a cat that dannimal and I rescued at the cottage a few years ago, and with them, the cat (Tina) has lived in Ann Arbor, Santa Barbara, and now Chicago. Tina is plump and happy, and absolutely adores Luca (and vice versa). I love a happy ending. Anyway, it's really nice to have my friends so much closer than California.