Monday, May 1, 2017

Raven Con Mini AAR

Many apologies! I know this is a day late, but when I got home yesterday after a long drive and a tutoring session, I was basically falling asleep on my feet.

This is going to be a very tiny con report. I was only at Raven Con on Saturday, and some allergy-induced breathing difficulties eventually forced me to head back to my hotel room a little earlier than I initially intended. What I was able to see, however, was interesting and fun.

The highlights?

Well -- I went to the Baen Roadshow & Traveling Prize Patrol, of course. These Roadshows are my favorite things ever -- and not just because they bring free swag. I love that Jim and Tony let their authors and artists talk about their work and how it came to be. Often, the stories are funny -- and as Kelly noted at one point, a lot of them start with "so we were at Liberty Con," which is a wholly mysterious coincidence.

I also went to see a few Baen authors talk about surviving the zombie apocalypse. I'm pretty sure I'm toast if we ever do have a deadly global pandemic, but on the off-chance I get lucky, I at least know how to stockpile my prednisone and some other important drugs thanks to Tedd Roberts and his medical bug-out tips.

Finally, I made sure to see Chuck Gannon at one of his many panels. Said panel focused on the grimmer side of military science fiction, and it was pretty outstanding. I appreciate that some authors (like Chuck) are thinking seriously about portraying the realities of combat -- like, for example, the fact that your best laid plans often don't survive contact with your own troops (let alone contact with the enemy), or that, often, the military is stuck at the sharp end trying to enact what is, in truth, bad foreign policy.  I also appreciate that these authors recognize the importance of balancing realism with the expectations attached to their genre. As Mike Massa remarked several times on Saturday, "We're writing science fiction, not horror." 

The rest of the day was spent wandering around the convention space to see what there was to see. Among the cosplayers I noticed were a Beauty and the Beast duo whose costumes were quite impressive and one young lady whose mask prompted me to ask how she managed to get around without bumping into things.

Going to Raven Con was a last-minute, spontaneous decision, but overall, I'm glad I went to the trouble. I just wish I could've stayed a little longer.

Oh well. Maybe next year.  

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