This past weekend was my first ReaderCon, and the first fan convention I’ve been to in forever (27 years, if you want to get specific). I attended all four days and am still decompressing.
I think my favorite panels… oh, there were many good ones. The two-parter on “The Real Middle Ages” (Europe and Anywhere But Europe) gave me some ideas about the novel I’m currently working on, while “From Seed to Story” reminded me of some tips for treating those ideas as I turn them into stories. “Graybeards Beyond Gandalf” showed there are many examples of older characters doing things in genre fiction beyond dispensing advice, but we always need more. I caught a screening of Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, hosted by Tananarive Due. I am too chicken to watch most horror movies, but I just love learning about the stories behind them, so this was catnip to me. Looking at the schedule, I see all the panels I wanted to attend but just couldn’t, which simultaneously disappoints me and makes me smile, because isn’t it great to be surrounded by so much good thinking?
My favorite part was meeting people. I am going to drop names here, and I get that such may seem obnoxious, so you’re welcome to skip this paragraph. I only mention these encounters because I am still excited about them. John Clute signed my Encyclopedia of Fantasy, which I called the Bible. I got to talk to Theodora Goss about learning Hungarian, and later went to the launch party for her new book. (Technically that was my second launch party ever, but only because I dropped in on another one earlier that evening. Saturday night was packed!) Arkady Martine gave me opera recommendations. Zig Zag Claybourne had the coolest T-shirts and pen name. And finally, I got to meet Charlie Allison, the first fan of Sternendach (my vampire novel) who didn’t know me before reading it. He was on both Middle Ages panels, so we got to share some nerdery.
I am so wonderfully amazed by how friendly everybody was. It made just hanging out and chatting with people easy and fun. I also participated in a round-robin read of Eye of Argon, so I feel like I’ve been initiated into something.
I already got my ReaderCon membership for next year, and I’m looking forward to it.