Outbrief on illogiCon

This past weekend I had the honor of being one of the guests at the first-ever illogiCon, a local fan-run science fiction & fantasy convention.

(At the panel on Ethics in Science Fiction. L-R: Gray, Kij Johnson, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, Guest of Honor Joe Haldeman, and John Kessel.)

I had a terrific time at the con, and it seemed that everyone else did, too. At times I was a little over-awed by some of the other writers on my panels — I felt as if anything I had to say would be trivial, and would have preferred to just sit and listen — but had fun and sometimes lively discussions on topics ranging from “Do We Need a New Definition of Literacy?” to “Interstellar Transportation.”

Friday evening I had my first official reading, which was an interesting experience. I was paired with Tony Daniel, the newest full-time editor at Baen Books, who read from his novel Guardian of Night — he described it conceptually as The Hunt for Red October in space, and it features an alien species that communicates in a very unique way.

I started my part of the reading with a song: the debut of “A Ship With No Name,” which I think is a fun little number to the tune of “A Horse With No Name.” I was gratified that folks actually laughed in the right spots, and sang along with the “la-la” parts.

Then I read the opening of my story “Sensitive, Compartmented,” which is scheduled to appear in the April/May issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine — my first publication in Asimov’s. The best feedback I got was when two different people asked me to remind them of when and where the story was going to appear, because they wanted to see how it ends.

The rest of the con was a mix of panels and socializing, which is always a good mix. I met some new folks, and even got to hang out with the Guest of Honor, Joe Haldeman, and his charming wife, Gay. The only disappointment was when I went upstairs late Saturday night to what I thought was going to be “open filk” and found the room empty except for hotel staff who were cleaning up.

But, all in all, a good time was had by me. I hope the illogiCon staff is pleased with how well the con went. Great work, folks!

Next up for me: MystiCon in Roanoke, Virginia. Hope to see you there!


Image Credit: Calvin Powers, from http://www.cspowers.com/illogicon-2012-con-report/. Permission requested.

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