Category Archives: Convention Reports

Upcoming Appearances

  • June 10, 11am Almaden Library

Intolerance in Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts

  • June 15, 4pm Joyce Ellington Library

Newt Scamander’s Care of Magical Creatures

  • June 17-18: HydraCon, Santa Clara Convention Center

https://www.hydracomiccon.com

Promote Your Work! Saturday in Great America Meeting Room 1 from 10:30AM-11:30AM.

The Heroine’s Journey Saturday in Great America Meeting Room 1 from 3:30PM-4:30PM.

Steam and Dieselpunk Superheroes Sunday in Great America Ballroom K from 1:00PM-2:00PM.

  • July 22: Congregation Beth David, Saratoga, CA

Artists’ Club: Jewish Scifi Fantasy 130pm

CBD Artists Group Flyer 2017 07 22 Valerie Frankel

  • July 28 Fremont Library 12-1

Outlander, Myths and Symbols

Outlander is much more than a television romance about a World War II nurse and a Jacobite in a fetching kilt. The series has been categorized as a period drama, adventure saga, military history and fantasy epic. Inspired by the Irish legends of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the prophecies of Brahan Seer, the storyline is also filled with mythology and symbolism from around the world, from the Fair Folk and the Loch Ness monster to wendigos, ghosts, zombies and succubae. The series is also rich with its own symbolism: heather and white roses, the dragonfly in amber, Claire’s blue vase and wedding gown, her wedding rings and pearl necklace. This presentation by Valerie Estelle Frankel (author of five books about the Starz series and novels) untangles the myriad of myths, legends, symbols and literary references found within.

  • Aug 19, 330pm: Santa Teresa Library:
    Newt Scamander’s Care of Magical Creatures

All are invited to everything, though conventions have admission fees. Library and bookstore events are free.

Happy summer break, everyone!

Dancing with Donna Flier 2018 Hawaii

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Comic-Con News and Announcements

Ah, Comic-Con. The weekend when EVERY FRANCHISE shares upcoming news, trailers, first glimpse, and spoilers, in such a way that my own projects go crazy. I don’t just geek out — as those who know me know, I use the new info to write books on Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and the fans themselves (there’s a big fat list of my books at http://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Estelle-Frankel/e/B004KMCLQK/). So as I collect all these juicy announcements on my favorite fandoms, complete with writeups and articles, I thought I’d post them all in one place…then see how many new books I’ll be writing.

The Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel sounded like overpacked fun…jokes, bloopers, and Sand Snakes casting (writeup at http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/07/game-of-thrones-panel-sdcc-2014). With FIVE books on GoT, I think I’m covered.

BBC One has confirmed that Sherlock series 4 and a new special will be filming in 2015. http://www.hypable.com/2014/07/02/sherlock-series-4-special-filming-announced/ I have a book on the canon and pop culture references in seasons 1-3, but I’m sure another Sherlock book is due. Perhaps on relationships and characters.

News and promos for the third Hobbit. Peter Jackson said they hope to have a museum one day of The Hobbit and LOTR (unsurprising — the Harry Potter one does well). My Hobbit parody (on the first movie) is much-liked, but the sales figures aren’t really high enough to push me to write a second, not to mention a third. We’ll see.

Just when we thought Battlestar Galactica was completely over, the movie is on its way…I hope. http://www.hypable.com/2014/04/07/battlestar-galactica-movie-universal-screenwriter/ … And yes, if they make it, I’ll do a BSG analysis book.

Marvel’s AvengersAssemble Season 2 is coming: http://youtu.be/Tku2Pgdftx8. Age of Ultron approaches as well, after Guardians of the Galaxy. I am writing an essay on Black Widow for an anthology, so I’m keeping an eye out for all her different versions. Also, I have planned (okay for years) to write a book on the heroine’s journey among superheroines. With so many Black Widow adaptations and now a Wonderwoman movie in the works, the time may be right. ish. And I have an Avengers book planned in time for Ultron.

Trailers for Insurgent (I have one book–that should cover it), Mockingjay (two books–again, covered), The Giver (childhood staple) and The Maze Runner (just read book one) all showed. I COULD do a Maze Runner/Giver book on boys’ dystopias having done three on girls’ dystopias.

Buffy season ten (comics), Angel and Faith comics, possible Wastelanders and still no news on our precious Doctor Horrible 2. But I just did a book on pop culture in the Whedonverse and I have more Whedon books coming any minute.

And plenty of beloved authors, costumes and classics, as the con is more packed than ever. Looks like I have some writing to do…

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Filed under Books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Comics, Convention Reports, Films, Game of Thrones, Pop Culture, Sherlock, Superheroes, The Hunger Games, Tolkien: Hobbit and LotR, Young Adult Fantasy

Hugo and Nasfic award for 2013 YA and Middle Grade Recommendations

This year Detcon1 (this year’s NASFiC) is offering an award for Young Adult/Middle Grade SF/F books.

There are many worthy series and novels out right now—YA is getting bigger and bigger with lots of Steampunk, fairytales, and dystopias right now. In the last eleven years, two children’s books have won the Hugo Award for Best Novel against all sf and f novels, kids and adult: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (2001) and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2009). (Gaiman’s Coraline won as Best Novella in 2003.) So show your support for YA/Middle Grade, and start nominating! These books are also all eligible for the Hugo Award for best novel, and some really deserve it!

Your own comments/recommendations are welcome here of course.

Books I enthusiastically recommend:

These are fun for adults as well as teens and really something special in the spec fic world. As for my taste, I like epic fantasy, retold fairytales, and some steampunk but mostly I don’t like the teen books that feel like literature lite, with shallow, vapid prose and a love triangle as the main plot. Nonwestern fantasy and action heroines are a plus, but basically, I like the story to be as dense and interesting as adult novels. Humor’s good too. Here are some I found really exceptional:

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

With Valente’s typical poetic beauty, a rough-and-tumble Snow White sets off adventuring through the old west. Unlike anything ever, and that takes talent.

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

A delightful steampunk comedy of manners with vampires, werewolves, and a finishing school for accomplished spies. Fun and funny, for a younger crowd than Carriger’s previous romantic adventures.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

As a teen goes off to college, she must reconcile her geeky obsession with a beloved character, Simon Snow, with her desire to fit in and grow up. It’s a book for the fan in all of us and a sensation sweeping through the teen community.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices book 3) by Cassandra Clare

The author of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (this past summer’s hot teen movie) wraps up her steampunk trilogy delightfully—it’s sweet and romantic, epic, and roll-on-the-floor funny. The snarky, loving, tragic and conflicted teens drive the story as they’re caught in an atypical love triangle and battling the confines of their society.

(For normal Hugos, apparently there’s a part of the rules that allows an entire series to be nominated if the final book in said series was published and is eligible in its own year. I’d recommend this for The Infernal Devices, absolutely.)

Books I also recommend

Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

The Scarlet Pimpernel retold in a pacific island dystopia, with a female hero battling the legacy of genetic engineering. Yes, she’s a bit teenagerish, but also a delightful mistress of disguise and subterfuge, like the original.

Pivot Point by Kasie West

A girl who can see into her future must look to see how her life will unfold—living with her mom among those with mental gifts or with her dad in the normal world. This “sliding doors” style double story has intriguing parallels and twists between the two adventures.

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar

This debut fantasy novel hails from south Sudan, for those seeking something a bit different. Jevick, the pepper merchant’s son, sets out for Olondria, a land filled with books, unlike his own. Accompanied by a young girl’s ghost, he faces a civil war between rival cults as he struggles to understand the true magic of reading.
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

After a nuclear winter, survivors in Brazil sacrifice their summer king eachc year. This dystopian debut explores society’s corruption as a soulful young artist is chosen.

The Girl with the Iron Touch (The Steampunk Chronicles book 3) by Kady Cross

This book wraps up a delightful, fast and funny steampunk romp in the style of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In this final adventure, the clever Irish mechanic who intuitively links with machines attempts to win her lover—the cyborg she created—as her misfit team of heroes battles to save the queen.

House of Hades

A new Percy Jackson, in the Roman series with more multiculturalism and more depth. This book featured a character coming out, and the typical web hullaballoo accompanying such things.

Inheritance by Malinda Lo

The author of the literature-sweeping “lesbian Cinderella” novel Ash brings out book two in her science fiction dystopia. Reese and David, adapted with alien DNA, are on the run for their lives as the heroine faces a love triangle with a girl as well as a boy. The author’s writing is warm, surprising, and delightful honest and personal.

Allegiant

Book three of the Divergent series wraps things up much as Mockingjay did—by turning everything on its head and revealing a far different revolution than the teen heroine was battling in the first two books. Epic and stunning. Book one will be this spring’s big teen movie.

(For normal Hugos, apparently there’s a part of the rules that allows an entire series to be nominated if the final book in said series was published and is eligible in its own year. I’d recommend this for The Divergent Series…I just liked the first two better.)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

A startling and grisly adventure in a world of vampire segregation, in which a teen girl tries to overcome her guilt at the death of her mother.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien became the prince’s champion in book one. Now in book two, her heart is torn between lovers, as plots spin from the court intrigue.

The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade #1)

by Zoë Marriott

A Japanese warrior-girl with her magic friends and magic katana. This fairytale adaptor brings adventure, magic and fun as the heroine quests on an epic adventure.

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson’s new series in the Mistborn world. It’s a superhero story of the Epics and the few ordinary people who battle them, packed with fast-paced adventure and excitement.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan 

Lady Isabella Trent, the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist, tells her diary-style account of a thrilling expedition amid romance and heart.

In the world of self-promotion, I must add that many of my nonfiction works are eligible for the Hugo for best related work. I’ve made two of them free for the next short while for anyone who would like to try them:

Winning the Game of Thrones: The Host of Characters and their Agendas

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/315593

Free with coupon code HM23E or available in paperback with many reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Game-Thrones-Characters-Agendas/dp/0615817440

Doctor Who – The What, Where, and How: A Fannish Guide to the TARDIS-Sized Pop Culture Jam

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/405591

Free with coupon code PU82T  or available in paperback with many reviews at

http://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Who-Fannish-TARDIS-Sized-Culture/dp/0615922430

Many thanks for reading!

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WorldCon 2013 Report

LoneStarCon, the 71st World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention had a lower attendance than usual (3800, I heard, with an additional thousand who pre-supported or bought memberships but couldn’t attend)…this may have been competition with DragonCon—the two are usually the same weekend, but Worldcon isn’t usually as close as San Antonio, TX. On the upside, there was a massive group of first-time attendees, proudly wearing rainbow colored ribbons. Many were locals from San Antonio, and the long-term fans seemed enthusiastic about offering encouragement and insider knowledge. It’s a friendly convention, with as many females as males, eighty-year-olds and twenty-year-olds, and total strangers all acknowledging we’re part of the same fannish world. Those strangers were also kind enough to snap many photos of me on request, displayed here with grateful appreciation. I was also touched by the many people (some rather famous) who greeted me by name or asked “aren’t you the heroine’s journey author?”

 

For more, please visit http://thetemporaryescape.blogspot.com/ who will be hosting my guest post 🙂

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Filed under About Me, Convention Reports, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Uncategorized, Writing

I’m Back!

Okay, I realize I haven’t posted in quite some time…but I’ve been writing a book! I’ve been so busy writing, in fact, that I haven’t had time to write. Meanwhile, The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen should be out this summer (though it may have a title change)! It explores the main character and her trilogy across many genres, analyzing Katniss as a dystopian heroine, a warrior woman, a leader in kid power, a child soldier, a character on the heroine’s journey, and so forth. It’s been fun to write, and I’ve been reading tons, from all the popular dystopias, to Collins’s Gregor the Overlander series, to other teen favorites, like Cassandra Clare. Piling on the steampunk novels and fairytale retellings too, so my list is getting quite long.  Many I’ll include lists of all these in the appendix of the book…

Had three conferences in November (National Women’s Studies Conference, ConVolution, LosCon). In December I’ve had a California Writer’s Club one-day workshop and the delightful Steampunk invasion of Dickens Fair. Also fighting off a nasty ailment which is really slowing me down.  So keeping busy as always. Trying to sell books on Game of Thrones, Avengers, and any number of other topics. Meanwhile, my next book after Katniss should be The Heroine’s Journey for Young Readers (almost certainly not the real title). It’s under contract with a small press, and writing’s in progress. I’d also love to finish the Steampunk novel and maybe the fantasy novel that have been cooking on my back burners for FAR too long.

All that said, I want to post lots more on pop culture up here, so The Hobbit film seemed like a good place to start. I’ll be writing that review next. Good to be back…

 

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Travels in Florida: Manatee swim and more

Right before Ascendio, the big Harry Potter con, I visited Kennedy Space Center and took Florida Dolphin Tours to see the manatees and swim with them!

On my first day, I’d scheduled a very very early morning pickup at a hotel a mile from mine. I knew I’d be jetlagged the bad way, but was all packed and ready to go. However, I had hoped that the disgusting sauna weather wouldn’t strike that early and that if it did, the buses would be running first thing in the morning. I was wrong on both counts.  I arrived, hot and worn out but in plenty of time for my tour.

First we went and visited the manatees in Crystal River. At the last minute, I got a wetsuit, not because the water was cold, but to protect lots of exposed skin from the sun (my sunscreen, oddly, wasn’t waterproof. Perhaps because it had mosquito spray, meant for this very excursion). Of course, sitting on the boat in basically a black rubber turtleneck as we searched for elusive manatees was less than pleasant. By this point, I’d truly had it with the weather. After a long search (it was off season, but even our boat captain was getting frustrated) he spied a group swimming with a pair and we went in. The cold water was wonderful, and I found I could snorkel all right, even though I hadn’t tried since I was twelve.

I looked down and oh my! There was a giant brownish creature hovering maybe five feet below me! Manatee etiquette determined that we float on the surface and only touch when they bobbed up for air—no chasing, grabbing, or riding. I floated for some time, admiring the whiskery face and huge body. And yes I got to touch a few times—though he was completely coated in algae. After, I felt much cooler, and we headed for the state park and wildlife reserve. They had wolves, gators, and a host of other creatures, including more manatees, who adorably devoured about a barrelful of lettuce. They warned us that here we’d want mosquito spray, so I piled it on, unaware, that everywhere not covered by the wetsuit was already covered with bites from the first trip. Guess we took too long  to get in the water.

Halfway around the preserve, the heavens opened, and I discovered that my pretty sun parasol, black with sequins, embroidery, and glitter, makes a perfectly fine rain umbrella (I was reasonably far from the gift shop and it was really coming down). After, however, it was much cooler out. The tour had provided a breakfast buffet at Sizzler (about the last thing I wanted that morning) and a bag lunch. The ham and cheese was annoying for me (kosher) and others on the tour (vegetarian) and the cookies and chips included made for a pretty junky lunch. Of course, the park had food, so I settled things with an ice cream as big as I was. (no judgment please, but I have to wonder about the oblivious lunch providers).

Our third stop was an airboat ride into the swamp (again mosquito warnings). It was my first airboat ride with no gators, but pretty enough, and our captain enjoyed spinning the boat in surprising ways.  These excursions were a good distance from Orlando—we finished two annoying kiddie movies on the bus (though I also wrote a bit. The kids found my writing career and upcoming conference quite amusing, as did their mostly-British parents.) All in all, this trip managed three lovely excursions and I‘d definitely recommend it.

Though I didn’t take video or underwater photos, this promotional video covers my tour pretty well: http://www.floridadolphintours.com/sightseeing-tours/florida-wildlife-manatee-adventure-tour

I got back in time for many silly souvenir shops. Until midnight, everything’s open, and International drive had a carnival atmosphere, compete with midway, arcades, junk food, and even a few alligator petting zoos. Lots to see and do. At last I got back to my hotel and collapsed in a dead state, knowing that I had another early tour booked for morning.

The next day I had a bus tour to the Kennedy Space Center (perhaps 20 miles outside Orlando in an enormous wildlife preserve). This time I got to meet an astronaut (on my other  visit, I had missed this, probably because I didn’t know it was an option.) This time, Jim Reilly did a talk about his spacewalks and time in the space shuttle, going up to repair parts of Mir and the International Space Station. Day to day life in weightlessness was fascinating to hear about. Then there were the actual space shuttles and lots of posted history of the program. There were lots of videos of astronauts speaking, including the very famous ones. The Space Shuttles, in use since the eighties, are being retired now, in favor of a new international system. One of these, Atlantis, will be housed at Kennedy as a museum piece next year. One is going to LA—I must find out where.

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The Old Blog

This is not my first blog, though I’d like to post regularly this time around. My old blog, available at HarryPotterParody.com, my books’ site (specifically at http://66.123.188.52/hpxx/news.htm) offers many of my conference reports through 2007-2008, my Birthright Israel trip in 2006,  the step-by-step details of writing my Harry Potter Parody in ten days straight, and so forth. I believe I’ll copy a few con reports below in honor of Book Expo America this week, one of the best cons ever, even though I didn’t make it this year.

 

6/2/08 Home from Book Expo America at last. (Gone Tues-Sun).  I took only a few photos—far too overwhelmed.  I drove down Tues, attended the Writers Conference/Agent pitch session Weds, and saw relatives Thurs. Then the gigantically overwhelming Book Expo America, (only broken up by my cousin’s Friday night Bar Mitzvah). Sunday as the con ended, I drove home, car packed to the metaphorical rafters with books. 

I think since I was listening to Bridget Jones’s Diary both ways (hilarious!) I’ll organize the trip this way:

Pitch session agents who requested my manuscripts: 12. Excellent.

Pals I knew at the con: 4

New friends made of adolescent authors: 3

Hours spent waiting for signed copy of Eragon: 2

Books picked up while waiting for signed copy of Eragon: 2

Hours spent waiting for signed copy of new Salmon Rushdie: 2

Hours spent wondering why I was bothering: 4

Number of other Harry Potter derivatives: 2 (Mine was cuter!)

People who recognized me or my book: hundreds. Cool.

People who have now heard of my book: thousands. Also cool.

Postcards I hand-distributed: 1000 (Literally).

Books I signed: All (125).

Publishers who requested my manuscripts: About 20. I was busier than last year, but also excellent.

Relatives/friends I visited: six

Relatives I spoke with at the Bar Mitzvah: Probably 14. Cool.

Celebrities I saw: Quite a lot.

Free books I acquired: Hundreds. Very Nice.

Gallons of gas to drive to LA: 10. Sounds good.

Hours spent listening to Bridget Jones: 12

Hours spent listening to other audio books: 3

Hours spent in traffic: wince.

Number of frantic emails in my absence: About 200.

Number of times checked email on trip: Once, briefly.

Number of emails sent on trip: 2

5 am wakeup calls: 4

Hours of missed sleep: wince.

Hours walking while dragging books: almost all of them.

Pissed-off knees: 2

Signings: 2. Both went well.

Booths displaying my book: 3. Nice.

Sample books the booths distributed: about 9 (all of them).

Bananas eaten in place of meals: 5

Free chocolates eaten: hundreds. But they were yummy.

Diet cokes drunk: probably 12

Guess I should finish up like the credit card people and say Conference: priceless. Yawn. The proofs have come for Deathly Paper Shortage. Time to get busy again.

Phoenix Rising 2007

My first Harry Potter con was so cute! Lots of people in costume, lots of fanfic authors and artists, lots of Harry Potter goodies and treats. I spoke on several panels and even a few podcasts. To say nothing of my light up ballgown (which doesn’t photograph well).

 

Book Expo America 2007

The Expo was truly enormous. It seemed every publisher was there, to say nothing of all the booksellers, librarians, and authors. I met lots of really famous ones, like SE Hinton, Dave Barry, Judy Blume. I got to meet all three of them, and get signed copies of the latest books. So cool! Hundreds of authors and publishers were ALL offering FREE copies of their latest books. As you might guess, I picked up piles and piles (and somehow managed to close my suitcase). Also lots of cute freebees and promos– everything from cookie cutters to cookies. 🙂 Lots of new technology: Margaret Atwood was signing books from Canada with this interesting computer option. Lots of interesting publishers and book-related services.  Plenty of hot YA fantasy authors there too.  Some people were interested in my Heroine’s Journey book, but that’ll have to wait till I get back.

 

Westercon 60 2007

Westercon (The Western US scifi fantasy con) was on the small side, but fun, with the people I usually see at Baycon. Dad and I wore costumes (and presented them at the Masquerade) chatted, observed, collected ribbons, and so forth. We also won a few Baycon memberships and loads of other goodies at the Scavenger hunt (first place!). I spoke on a number of panels and sold some books in the dealer’s room.

 

 

Prophecy 2007

This conference took place only a few weeks after book 7 arrived.  I spoke on tons of panels: discussing symbolism in Deathly Hallows and Horcruxes in lit and myth.  I was also a “Visiting Professor” in Mythology and Fantasy Writing.  (Most of my papers and presentations can be found here).  I wore all my beautiful costumes, and sold about 50 books to people in the corridors.  I was definitely amazed by some of the lookalike outfits there (Harry, Voldemort, Luna, Umbridge….)  This con also had gorgeous decorations in the common room (featuring a fireplace, colored cushions, and every HP game in existence) and Hall of Remembrance (with touching shrines to all the characters who didn’t survive the series).  All in all, it was a great con.

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Baycon 2012 Wrap Up

Baycon is always lovely—it’s my home convention, and it was wonderful having so many people call me by name and ask about my books. (I have several new ones this year). It’s a friendly, all-inclusive con, happy to encourage new authors and welcome discussions on the most re-hashed of topics. On the other hand, it felt a bit more scattered than usual.

This year’s panels had some serious organizational problems—some people complained that they were on eleven panels, while others complained they were only on two (I had the latter problem). One fairytale talk, overloaded with about eight panelists, clearly should have been split in half (Hey, fairytales are popular this year—they would have gotten attendance!). I didn’t make it to the Birds of a Feather Talk but I heard the Whedon one wasn’t well attended. I had to explain that my heroine’s journey panel opposite had slurped up half the Buffy fans, in one of many awkward scheduling conflicts. Speaking of that heroine’s journey panel, it oddly went forward with my book’s title and description on it, despite the fact that no one else on it had read anything on my version of the heroine’s journey. One panelist kept telling me she had nothing to contribute, and another quite literally discussed nothing beyond her own novel. The third panelist (other than myself) had a strong background in myth and girl-power fantasy, and in the end, we mostly opened the talk to the audience and had a lively panel. My other panel on fairytales had many knowledgeable panelists, all of whom had plenty to say.

There were some new and different things—Cliff Winnig played sitar and there was an impressive armor and weapons demo. There was a “remembering Anne McCaffrey” track, hosted by her son and a few others who had known her. As usual, the evenings offered Rocky Horror, boffers, Regency dancing, a ball, concerts, gaming, and many parties. Chris Garcia’s Hugo Award made the rounds—I heard it was being used to power a steampunk gun, among other fascinating uses. The Consuite seemed to be the only example of the cruise theme, with lovely decorations and a staff daring people to put odd syrups in the free sodas (there was one ribbon for mixing in three, and another for anyone brave enough to try the “bacon flavor.”) Though Unwoman went to Clockwork Alchemy this year, she returned the last day for an impromptu concert. Toastmaster brothers Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin were quite funny, from their Karaoke-basedintroductions at Meet the Guests through the “A Shot Rang Out” impromptu storytelling at con end. I also went to a number of Brandon Sanderson’s talks—he’s fun, and was quite good natured at a Monday talk at which none of the other panelists showed up.

The hotel itself featured crowded elevators, a broken escalator, and a fire alarm that went off during Avalon Rising’s rendition of Disco Inferno…ah, timing. People went light on costumes though there was a small Masquerade contest and as always, a few special offerings. A baby in a mistcloak (from Sanderson’s Mistborn) was particularly precious. As always, my dad and I dressed very elaborately each day and never managed to meet the hall-costume awards…maybe if the awarders got around more, more people would dress up. I got an all-time high of 47 badge ribbons, all from making friendly chitchat at parties and in the hallways. Saturday night’s parties were literally too crowded to get into most of the rooms, though Sunday night’s were much saner. I loved Westercon 66’s drink-making robot, which was generating a substantial line. My own book sales were low, though I found some pretty Victorian accessories in the dealer’s room. The Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society was there, aggressively scooping up members and selling many new writer’s books.

Baycon was in trouble this year, with a new Steampunk con funneling away many of their fans—already often leaving for Fanime and Wiscon. Programming jumbles and panelists not bothering to put in the effort only made things worse. So where is Baycon heading? I’m not certain. To be fair, next year’s chair seems determined to fix the flaws, and is actively seeking fannish suggestions to make that happen.

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