Karl Gallagher (selenite) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

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Fencon 2009 Report

Oh, bliss--a weekend where all adults in the family can go play, thanks to the wonderful Lee Ann being willing to babysit the whole time. celticdragonfly and I got to fencon mid-afternoon. fordprfct came straight from work so he didn't get to join us at Lois and Lillian's panel. The two writers discussed how their friendship had evolved and helped them become writers. It also had some interesting illustrations of how technology and fandom had evolved since they met in 7th grade (which was before I was born).

After dinner I wandered into the game room and caught up some with bonafidelis. We got into a game of Galaxy Trucker. Fun game, but I like the building ships part more than the knocking them apart. After that bonafidelis pulled out his complete Munchkin set and rounded up a group for a game. We settled on merging Munchkin Booty, The Good, the Bad, and the Munchkin, and Munchkin Blender (the pirate, western, and meta versions respectively). fordprfct and some other people joined us so we had seven players, not counting the replacement for the teenager who dropped out early (He was upset to discover that nasty behavior provoked retaliation. Hopefully the lesson will stick.). Fun game, but when we got to end game it Would Not End. Too many screw-you cards in the deck let us keep someone from winning round after round. So when it was finally over I was ready for bed.

Saturday morning I skipped panels for chatting with friends and wandering the dealer's room, then went back to gaming. I was wanting to get some role-playing in and it looked like I was in luck. Someone had scheduled a Serenity RPG game and another group trying to promote their superhero game was talking about doing an SF scenario. While I was killing time waiting for them I joined a session of A Game of Thrones. It's a Diplomacy-meets-wargames board game based on George RR Martin's fantasy series, which I should probably check out as I've liked his SF. The game was convoluted enough to make me play very cautiously, which got me stuck in a corner of the board with no place to expand to. So as we got closer to the end I struck out with some attacks on my neighbors, motivated more by a desire to learn how the combat rules worked than any sensible strategy. Still an interesting game. Unfortunately for me part of why I joined was that the GMs of both RPGs mentioned above were playing so I could be sure of not missing when they started their sessions . . . but the board game went on long enough to eat their time slots. So no role-playing for me this con. A couple of people were talking about starting up new campaigns, hopefully I'll be able to join one.

It did end early enough for me to see Lois's keynote speech, which she made a Q&A session. Pity, her keynote from Barcelona was printed in the con book and it was a fascinating essay, but I grant she can't come up with those all the time. And lots of people did have questions. We ducked out on the end of Carla's GoH concert to figure out dinner plans. Once we had plans, we tossed them to go join jazz007, kd5mdk, tygerr, and cawingcrow. Had lots of fun hanging out and catching up with them. It's hard keeping up with friends in other cities.

After dinner the three of us went on a bookstore run. Which is pretty coals to Newcastle given what the dealer's room was like, but they didn't have the next book in the series celticdragonfly was reading and this Had To Be Fixed. We got back for the end of the Cabaret and watched from an overflow room. Unfortunately the quick side remarks that make that kind of thing fun is exactly the sort of thing I have a hard time following through that sound system so I wasn't catching much. Afterward we went back to our rooms as celticdragonfly was feeling tired and stressed. A head to toe massage did wonders for the stress, but added to the tired so I wound up sampling room parties on my own. Which is to say with jazz007 and kd5mdk.

Room parties can be cheap entertainment unless you do foolish things like buying a pre-supporting membership for the San Antonio Worldcon bid. I've never been a Worldcon and I figure if I can't go to one maybe one will come to me. The Armadillocon party was brightened by Lois holding court (though I'm sure she thought of it as an informal Q&A). I had a chance to ask my question. Lillian's introduction essay in the con book had mentioned that the Sharing Knife stories were partly influenced by the question of how Rangers and Hobbits would really interact given logistics and culture clashes--"a counter-argument to Tolkien." She told me what sparked that was reading LotR fanfic online, which I find a fascinating example of new ways authors can have indirect influences on each other. I never did make it to the Apollocon party . . .

Sunday's highlight was Lois reading from the next Vorkosigan book. Great stuff. We're getting more of Armsman Roic, and seeing Miles from a new character's viewpoint. My favorite lines were still in Miles' voice though. It's more than a year until the hardcover is out, so Baen can look forward to getting our money for an electronic copy.

I was up for more time at the con, but the rest of the family was wanting to get home, so we packed up and headed out. Lee Ann and the kids had a wonderful time over the weekend so everyone was happy.

What did I miss--I got to see a bunch of ORAC folks but they were usually too busy running the con to chat. Now that Alanna's getting older we may start getting to meetings again. We did get to see macgyvergal and her lovely granddaughter Kaylee. Other folks I was happy see again include faxpaladin, filkferengi, lolleeroberts, and ziactrice. People are the best part of a con.

Worst part? Well, one of my buttons vanished. I don't know if it was theft, accident, or poor maintenance . . . but since it was my Hanlon's Razor button I figure I have to go with poor maintenance.
Tags: cons, science fiction
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