Let’s see… it was really interesting to have Dragon*con the week after Worldcon. I think it was the first time I had the two of them so close together and that gave me a chance to contrast them.
In order of freneticity (is that a word?), Comic-Con is the most jam-packed, frenetic, crazed of the three conventions. Comic-Con seems to be concentrated on the Exhibitor’s Hall and, with over 100,000 people, that just gets to be wild.
Dragon*con is the next frenetic but as it’s spread out over a number of hotels, it’s a lot less claustrophobic than Comic-Con. Also, because Dragon*con caters to a more diverse audience, there are always a lot of interesting people. This is not to diss Comic-Con, just to recognize the differences. I’d say that there are more costumers per person at Dragon*con than at Comic-Con — not that there aren’t a lot of costumers at Comic-Con (especially as Comic-Con is about three times the size of Dragon*con).
Worldcon is the smallest of the three and correspondingly more laidback. Conversations can develop to their fullest at Worldcon. There are fewer costumes, too. And I’d say that Worldcon is the most literary of the three.
As for this year’s Dragon*con, it was great! I arrived on Thursday, flying out with Marv Wolfman, two of the cast of “Land of the Lost”, Paul Dini and his wife, Misty — although none of had none the others were going to be on the same flight. I’ve known Marv on and off for nearly twenty years so it was good to have a chance to catch up with him.
This year the Worlds of Anne McCaffrey/Weyrfest room was in the Marriott which was a change. It worked out well, all the same.
On Friday my first panel was “The Worst Pern Film Ever!” where we worked out the worst possible cast and crew for a Pern film. After this, everything looks good. If memory serves right we chose Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”) as Lessa and Roseanne as the voice of Ramoth with Fabio as F’lar and Carrot Top as the voice of Mnementh. It went downhill from there.
Next, I had two late night panels in the YA Lit track, “Sheroes in HP” and “Divination Class: Harry Potter Theories and Prophecies”. In the first we talked about Hermione (naturally), Ginny, Luna Lovegood, and all the other strong female heroes in the Harry Potterverse. I was thrilled to see that everyone loves Luna just as much as I do! (I think I also got a rousing response when I suggested it’d be a shame if Luna and Neville don’t end up together).
Saturday I started with a panel on Pern science and later had a panel with Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett, “Don’t count your dragons before they’re hatched!”
I had been eyeing the Utilikilt wares for a while and decided, finally, to get one. In fact, I got two — a blue curdoroy and a nice olive green. I had fully intended to wear one or the other to the Saturday evening banquet but noticed that a kilt is a great device for highlighting the ol’ spare tire, so I opted out, promising myself that I’d wear a kilt on Sunday.
Saturday evening was the award banquet. I had tickets for me and a guest but as I hadn’t brought a guest with me, I asked my good friend Natalie Hubble if she’d join me. We had a great time, the food was marvelous and the entertainment great (although I wish the band had played a bit more quietly).
Afterwards, I returned to the Weyrfest room for what has become our annual “Are you a Werewolf?” game. There are several different version of “Werewolf” (also known as Mafia), we tend to play with some limited role-playing (we say what we do as villagers) and that results in very bawdy games with lots of innuendo — which is really the bulk of the fun!
Sunday I was dutifully kilted up in the blue curdoroy. I was accosted by the people from TheDevilsPanties.com who asked if they could blow air up my kilt. Now, a kilt’s actually more comfortable than trousers in hot steamy weather but a little breeze is still welcome. You can see the results here.
Sunday I started with a reading from the current version of “Dragon’s Heart.” That was quite interesting as I used the audience’s response to discover what worked and what didn’t. That’s the third time I’ve read part of the new novel to a group and I’ve changed it every time!
Later I was over at the YA Lit track on a panel, “Here Be Dragons” where we talked about the prevalence of dragons in today’s fantasy, and gave several examples. It was interesting because I threw out the suggestion that there might be a backlash against dragons as there had been against unicorns — too many dragon books. The audience overall agreed that this was a possibility (sigh).
The next panel was “Is Dumbledore Dead?” but we all know that J.K. Rowling has already said that he is. I brought up the point that Dumbledore made to Draco Malfoy, with regards to Voldemort, “He cannot kill you if you are already dead.” (Page 591, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.) We all agreed that Ms. Rowling has been known to be creative in the past but the majority opinion was that Dumbledore is a goner. We then went on to talk about who else we figured would “get it” in the seventh book. It was a lively but very respectful conversation, not nearly as heated as the panel I was on at Worldcon.
After the last panel, I returned to the Weyrfest room for yet some more “Werewolf.” One day, maybe we’ll get tired and try another game but as it’s really more of a social event, I doubt it.
Monday I had a panel at 1 pm, “Q&A with Todd McCaffrey.” I don’t think anyone asked me any major stumpers.
I was also thrilled to meet Lilith Saintcrow. I’d been looking for her the entire convention (we’d met at the Science Fiction Hall of Fame) but she was in an entirely different part of the convention. However she tracked me down and I dragged her in to the Weyrfest room to plug her books, “Working for the Devil” and “Dead man rising” and agreed to meet me after the panel.
After the panel I pulled Lilith over to meet the YA Lit people because she’s such a cool person (hey, she’s got two kids, a mechanical engineer husband, and writes — what more could you ask?) and then we went over to the Dealer’s Room. I got accosted by the Pegasus Publishing people and told to sit until Scott Meredith came by. In the meantime, I picked out several polos and then, while we were waiting, Lili and I started hawking shirts for them. Well, not so much hawking as being asked like we knew what we were doing. I had a good talk with Scott, who is in great form.
All in all, it was a great convention!