I’ve recovered — more or less — from my Guest of Honor gig at MarsCon. This was my first time at MarsCon, and it was a great deal of fun. The fact that Virginia is significantly warmer than Michigan right now was a nice bonus. The hotel is located on an actual Civil War battle field, which was interesting, though I didn’t get the chance to get out and look around. I did go for a little walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg on Friday with the con’s YA Guest of Honor Carrie Ryan. (Who was delightful, by the way.)
Interesting note: Within 24 hours of arriving in Virginia, I had been called “sweetie” more times than in the rest of my life combined.
The convention was very well run, in my opinion. I had program info well in advance. Panels all had designated moderators. They turned the con suite into a castle/fairy forest to put all other con suites to shame. Everything I saw ran pretty smoothly, aside from one or two scheduling delays. Big props to the concom and the volunteers.
Friday morning, I hooked up the laptop and did an interview with the folks at Sword & Laser, which was interesting. Challenge #1: Trying to get a decent signal at the hotel. I may end up looking like an old 8-bit video game character. The second challenge was finding an angle that gave us a relatively neutral background while still letting me keep the laptop plugged into the network jack. I think I looked relatively normal on the screen. What you don’t see is the twisted angle of my lower body as I tried to contort myself into a position that wouldn’t yank cables free. (Fortunately, all of that cover posing has prepared me for JUST SUCH A CRISIS!) It was a lot of fun, despite a certain person trolling me with werejaguar questions, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
For the rest of the weekend, I got to MODERATE ALL THE PANELS! We talked about fairy tales (spoiler: Alethea Kontis IS fairy tales), humor (weasels!), writing female characters, and more. I also read most of my Frosty the snowman fanfic, which seemed to go over well. (If you were at the reading and wanted to know how the story ends, or you just want a copy of your own with which to traumatize small children, go here.)
There was a good-sized contingent of costumers, which was awesome. Stormtroopers and Mandalorians and Jareth & Sarah and lots of Doctors and much more, not to mention a steampunk Dalek and Marso the Martian. Yes, that’s right, MarsCon has its own mascot.
When is Penguicon going to get a life-sized penguin costume in SF uniform for the con?
The convention was also working to raise money for the humane society, which meant there were cats and dogs at the con along with humans and aliens. I approve. The charity auction shattered last year’s record, partly because they auctioned off a Dalek, but I prefer to think that the presence of Carrie and myself brought out everyone’s generosity and inspired ALL THE DONATIONS! She and I both donated books to the auction. Carrie’s set sold for $70. So when it was my turn, I stood up and told the crowd that I had to beat Carrie Ryan’s total!
My goblin trilogy sold for $69. Because MarsCon is full of smart-asses. (But seriously, that was a lot of fun, and I’m happy to see so much money come in for the puppies and kitties.)
And then before I knew it, it was time to come home.
All in all, a most excellent weekend. I got to meet and hang out with lots of cool people, and had a great time. Thank you, MarsCon!
January 27, 2014 @ 11:07 am
Glad the book went for that much.
January 29, 2014 @ 3:38 pm
I notice you conveniently forgot to mention you volunteered to be the practice mouth-to-mouth dummy in order to sell the donated CPR lessons… The things one does for charity.
Thanks also for helping to make it a great weekend.
Jim C. Hines
January 29, 2014 @ 3:44 pm
I’ve been working very hard to conveniently forget that, yes 😉
Cheryl Lynn Jones
January 30, 2014 @ 12:36 pm
Glad to see you had a good time at Mars Con despite our misadventures at the airport and whatnot with the late flight. 😉 At least the sign worked!
Ame Morris (Pink-haired Consuite Lady)
January 30, 2014 @ 4:49 pm
Thank you very much for being our guest. It was a pleasure to have your company for the weekend. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Sincerely, your Marscon Consuite Staff
Jim C. Hines
January 30, 2014 @ 5:33 pm
I did indeed, thank you so much!
Jim C. Hines
January 30, 2014 @ 5:35 pm
The flight was a bit of a scare, but it got worked out. It certainly wasn’t enough of a hiccup to take away from the fun of the weekend!
And thanks again for getting me to and fro!
January 30, 2014 @ 5:39 pm
I agree with Ame Morris. You were a joy to be around! (I hope I wasn’t one of the people calling you “sweetie”…if I did, that means I was even more out of my mind than usual.) :p
Jim C. Hines
January 30, 2014 @ 5:42 pm
And the “sweetie” thing didn’t bother me in the slightest! Just a bit of cultural adjustment, that’s all 😉
February 1, 2014 @ 5:43 pm
I sat in on a couple panels you were on and the discussions were awesome (and you’re right about Alethea). Thanks for coming to the convention, and I’m glad you had a great experience. We hope to see you again!
Jim C. Hines
February 1, 2014 @ 7:43 pm
Thanks, Crystal! 🙂