I cast magic missile on the darkness.

Crossed Genres has posted pictures of the anthology that I was will appear in. I had gotten a sneak peek a while ago, but fought off the urge to post anything until they had something on their site.

I had a good time. I mostly attended panels either on writing or a couple futurist panels that overlapped with my interests. It seemed like a relatively small convention. If their site is to be believed, it’s not Ambercon-small, but I didn’t honestly see that many people moving about. I may post a more thorough blow-by-blow review, but quickly:

The Good:

  • K.C. Ball. She was on several of the writer panels I sat in on, and I just thought she kicked ass. I wasn’t prepared to take notes or anything, so I was frantically jotting down notes into my iPhone. Which probably made it seem like I was frantically texting with someone, but really: She mentioned so many good things and had such awesome insights that I just kept having to write stuff down. Even though it wasn’t said directly to me, she had several things she said that made me feel taken to task for my own sloth as a writer. If I really want to do this, I need to do this.
  • The panels were mostly interesting and I generally enjoyed hearing the panelists opinion on subjects. Not necessarily on topic all the time, but certainly interesting.
  • I sat in on a “First Time at RustyCon” panel my first day. I was really the only new person there, probably because not many people like to out themselves as a newb. So I got a lot of attention from the three panelists. But thanks to that, I had a couple people checking in with me as they passed me in the hall throughout the convention to make sure I was doing okay.
  • Though this is probably not a good reason to recommend a convention, this was the first time I heard the term “fan-fic ghettos.” It filled my heart with sinister joy. It came up from a panelist

    A lot of what I might dub “not so good” really just seems to be a product of the size of the con. They did the best with what they had, and that gets major props. I think the only thing that really detracted from my experience was some of the attendees. Nothing truly offensive, just some eye-rolling moments. I had been on the fence about whether or not I wanted to stay for one more panel, but one of the attendees in the last panel was so frustrating that it killed the last of my patience. It was just as well: the bus ride home was two hours, and I was crazy from low blood sugar by the time I walked through the door.

    I didn’t really do any networking. I brought business cards for naught. The only publishing companies that had a presence were small game companies, and I’m kinda done with that. There were a few fairly experienced authors that I got to see on panels, but I felt iffy shoving cards on them or trying to talk up my writing. There were a few people in the audience who were postcards of, “What I don’t want to sound like,” so I mostly just kept my mouth shut unless asked a question.

    I will definitely go back next year. It’s a small convention, and I know a few of my fellow writers and geeks were a little dismissive of it. But it was a pleasant convention, with nice people and interesting things to do. If, in a year or two, I’m at a point where I might be tapped as a panelist (hopefully because of my writing), I’d consider myself doing well and in good company. I’m debating whether or not I want to stay at the hotel. It isn’t cheap, and would drastically multiply my cost to attend. Assuming they are in the same neck of the woods next year, the bus ride is loooooong and parking is a pain.

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