ICON Report

I’m back from toastmastering in ICON 40 in Iowa.

Shut up, spellcheck. Toastmastering is totally a word!

Anyway, it was a fabulous weekend, as always. The concom and the rest of the volunteers did an excellent job. My thanks, as always, to everyone who spent the past year working to make this happen. My only real complaint was that United cancelled my flight back home, meaning I ended up having to spend a half hour on the phone and then leave the con earlier on Sunday than I intended. My apologies for missing my last panel and closing ceremonies.

I took a bunch of pictures, because that’s what I do. Those went up on Facebook yesterday, and Flickr today.

Things started with a group booksigning event at the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble. That’s one brave bookstore, willingly taking so many feral authors into their midst, but it went well, and they now have plenty of signed Jim C. Hines books! Plus some books from some other author types, if you’re not into that Hines fellow’s stuff.

The next day, a group of us took a morning field trip to Riverside, Iowa, which is famous for being the future birthplace of one James Tiberius Kirk. As soon as we got there, a guy on the street looked at us and said, “The place you’re looking for is up one block and to the right.”

Marker for James T. Kirk's future birthplace.

Photo by Dennis Lynch.

There was also a little Star Trek and Riverside History museum, which included a woodcut statue of Captain Kirk, lots of autographed photos, costumes and models, and a collection of Trek tie-in novels. (They opened up that display so Joe Haldeman could autograph his.)

Then it was back to the hotel for Dreamcon (an afternoon workshop with some local high school students), panels, and opening ceremonies. I had notes for how I wanted to introduce each of our guests of honor. For Ann Leckie, I would talk about her work and all of the awards she’d won, and then mention that her latest book, Ancillary Mercy, had just come out. I planned to joke that this one hadn’t earned any honors yet, but hey, the weekend was still young!

Well, before we could even get to opening ceremonies, the news broke that Ann and her book had made the NYT Bestseller list! Geez, Ann. Could you at least let me get through my introduction first? (Also, congratulations again!!!)

Terri LeBlanc and Ann Leckie

Terri LeBlanc (Left) and NYT Bestselling author Ann Leckie (Right), each holding a can of refreshing Fiction Wine.

Opening ceremonies also saw the tribble incident, wherein we dumped a crate full of tribbles onto tribble-master David Gerrold…who then proceeded to tuck one into the waist of my pants. Ann dubbed it the Trouser Tribble. TT came home with me and now enjoys a place of honor on the shelf of trophies and memorabilia. (It also took a brief detour on the TARDIS.)

David Gerrold and Jim Hines

David Gerrold, me, and the infamous Trouser Tribble.

The rest of the weekend is a blur. I got to chat a bit with artist guest Sarah Clemens, though I sadly wasn’t able to make it to her theremin demonstration. I photographed several of costuming guest Kalli McCandless‘ awesome costumes. I caught up with lots of wonderful people, sat in a Delorean, ate too much food, and soon found myself wondering how the heck it could be Sunday afternoon already.

One of the most awesome moments was seeing Pamela Orth Webster show up at my reading, cosplaying as Danielle from The Stepsister Scheme. It was amazing and perfect and made my whole weekend!

Pamela Orth Webster and Jim Hines

Pamela Orth Webster as Danielle (Cinderella), complete with awesome glass sword. (And also me on the right.)

Special shoutout to Terri LeBlanc, who was the liaison from heaven, making sure I had food and getting me wherever I needed to go.

Feel free to check out Flickr for the rest of the pictures. As for me, I’m still in recovery mode, trying to readjust to the real world after a great weekend. All I know is that I’m very much looking forward to ICON 41 next year. As toastmaster, I’ll get to introduce Seanan McGuire. That should be entertaining 🙂