Since this is the home of Wildside Press and Prime Books, they were heavily represented and I spent accordingly while chatting with Sean and telling him how incredible catrambo is and how incredibly brilliant he was to pick her for Fantasy. Also, Larry Smith Books. He carries everything that's out there in the mass market. Picked up oodles at his spot. I had a huge stack going behind the table (he does that for folks) and the Dude hadn't even started looking yet. Larry even remembered me from last year. All novels by people that the Dude must read to tell me if they're any good. I get to focus on all the short fiction I bought (and a few silly romances). But there were more tables than these two and I spent accordingly. It was a tad crowded in fact. In my car and in the dealer's room. Though by the time I was done buying things on Sunday, the dealer's room was looking much less crowded.
The hotel was questionable, but who cares, other than I liked where we were before. It's in renovations, so it had no facilities to speak of. The room we had Friday night was decent enough. It had already been renovated. But there's no restaurant, just a room with tables. Lots of restaurants up and down the street. Everywhere. The thing about Silver Spring is that it has trees and character. Rockville Pike has neither. On the other hand, I was startled that it was still daylight when we left for dinner on Sat night. Hadn't seen the out of doors once since looking out the window at daybreak.
The panels were pretty good. I, of course, have a badge with no ribbons. It's sort of the way I am. Some day I will be on a panel about why I'm not on panels. I think it will be called: "Panels, Threat or Menace?" Honest. I never, ever want to be on a panel. I enjoy listening to them. Heck, I can't even think of a question to ask. How would I ever actually think of something to talk about on a topic, with a moderator even? I realize that Green Room admittance is one of the privileges, but not at a con this small. And I'll live without the privilege for now.
I needed to be professional and meet and greet some writers, so I was all dressed up and purdy. Today I am back in sweats and flannel shirt. At least my nice clothes got to go out for a couple of days.
I had breakfast with Andy (he's on Blogspot) and Sydney Duncan (Andy sends greetings to rachel_swirsky and Cat (see above link) and gee, something about Boris (Blogspot), too). At breakfast, we had a free spot and so I finally got to talk to Michael Swanwick (Blogspot) and then a brief intro to Ellen Datlow, the editor GoH (now an lj user, yippee). She was kind enough to ask a few personal questions. Later, I was able to speak with Jeff Ford 14theditch, the GoH, for a few minutes and we chatted about Richard Chwedyk and frostokovich and their incredible talent. He also was kind enough to focus in and asked me very piercing questions about how I knew these two [characters]. And I've already emailed Rich to tell him Jeff said hello. And all that happened on Saturday. On Sunday, I had breakfast with Karl Schroeder, who critiqued the Wendy story at LAConIV. We babbled about lots of stuff, mostly personal. He will be in Vancouver in 3 weeks, Canadian readers take note. Assuming the silly bookstore gets back to him soon, he'll be there for a reading/signing.
Lots of panels were interesting, lots were duds, frankly. I won't specify which was which or name names. The panels on doing anthologies and editing were depressing. They all made the work of editing anthos sound as depressingly unprofitable as the writing life. A panel on Library Thing with klingonguy was an interesting look at what's online for cataloging your own collection or searching for free books to download. A panel on romance in sf was heavily 'manned' by women authors. Who knew Mary Jo Putney was a local? Bud Sparhawk was the token man. I picked up several books as a result of that panel, so they did their job pushing their own work.
I'm exhausted. But I do like a con this size. World Fantasy will be 4 times as big and the big names will be playing with the big names. But it will still be fun.
Scott Andrews was sadly absent. I think he had a conflict. But I was able to do dinner on Sat night with client/friend/seamstress jehanni and her husband, Laning. They kept trying to engage the tax side of my brain to make it a business meeting. Doesn't work that way. My writing side was fully engaged in its own business. And yes, a client called about his tax return on Sunday morning. My poor brain resents shifting. But I guess I get the con as business since I did both tax and writing business.