Con Report: FogCon 2015

This past weekend, Jennifer and I went to FogCon, a small science fiction and fantasy convention based in Walnut Creek. It was fun — a LOT of fun — but now I am suffering the post-convention blues. Big time. Sigh. Maybe a quick blog post about the con will help me recover.

For one thing, the is probably the first convention in a long time where I haven’t participated in the writers’ workshop. For one thing, I just didn’t get to the application process on time; and, for another thing, I feel pretty sure that I’ve gotten as much out of these workshops as I am going to get.

The highlight of Friday (day one), was a reading which featured my friend Andrea Stewart, who read from her upcoming novel Loose Changeling (which will be available on April 1 from Amazon — check out the Changeling Wars website). Andrea is a fantastic writer. You should definitely check her out and buy her stories and books.

Saturday morning I attended a panel called “The Road”, which was essentially about road stories in science fiction and fantasy, and variations of the theme. It was interesting, and I came away with plenty of ideas for various stories. During the panel, I noted one fellow who had hearing aids that were wired to purple discs that were attached to the sides of his head. I was fascinated by these, but I didn’t have the chance at that panel to ask him about them.

I did meet up with him in the lobby later that day, though. We were headed in opposite directions, but I (probably quite rudely) stopped him and said, “I’m interested in those purple discs attached to the sides of your head. What are they?”

“Oh, they’re cochlear implants,” he said, which I found interesting because I always thought that cochlear implants were internal, not external. We chatted about this for a few minutes, then he looked down at my name badge.

“Wait,” he said. “Richard Crawford?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Richard SCOTT Crawford?”

I looked at him askance. How did this guy know me, and how did he know my middle name? Maybe he was a fan of my writing, though I didn’t think I had any fans outside my circle of friends.

But then he showed me his name badge, and I was delighted to see it was Aahz, a friend of mine from college (though I originally knew him as [REDACTED]). We hadn’t seen each other for almost thirty years, and meeting him at the con seemed pretty random. He introduced me to his primary partner, and we had a fun conversation, though we didn’t really get a chance to catch up with each other until Sunday at lunch. Turns out he’s learning how to be a square dance caller, something which I found really interesting; there’s a host of things to know about square dancing, as it turns out; in addition to the basic moves of square dancing I learned in 8th grade at Lawrence Academy, there are something like 100+ moves that each dancer must memorize and execute on the spot the moment it is called out. And the caller has to pay attention to the music, its beats and its melodies and nuances, and call out the most appropriate move. I hadn’t thought there was so much complexity to it.

Sunday afternoon (Jennifer wasn’t able to make it to the con on that day), I went and attended another reading, this time featuring Sunil Patel and Effie Seiberg. Both of them are very talented writers, and I really want to spend money and buy things that they’ve written.

All in all, a great con. I’m looking forward to going back next year.

Oh, and there were guests! Catherynne Valente and Kim Stanley Robinson. And the ghost of Joanna Russ. All of them worthy guests, although I wish I’d gotten a chance to meet up with Ms. Valente to have her sign my copy of The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland. It’s a great book. I recommend it.

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