Gen Con was third convention in 4 weekends. It was a rough convention to end on. But, it was really a good time. As always, conventions are about the people I got to meet and see again.
Walter Koenig – I didn’t even know Walter was signing at Gen Con. I just happened to walk by at the right time. There was almost no line and I hadn’t talked to him since I ran StarQuest ’95, the first Babylon 5 convention. He didn’t remember it at all and I didn’t mind. As he put it, when I ran into him later in the elevator, “Conventions tend to blur together.” But I enjoyed my small moment with him and got an autographed picture as well as this one.
Ken Hite – Ken is a wonderful man to have a drink with. Super smart and knowledgeable. It’s unfortunate that I had to cut the drink short when my tummy disagreed with my dinner. But the short time I did have was worth it.
Jason Sanford – I’ve know Jason online for years. It was a great pleasure to meet him in person finally. Easy going and fun to hang with, I look forward to doing it again.
John Helfers – My editor of many things (Shadowrun, Battletech, Karen Wilson Chronicles, anthology stories), it is always a boon to meet up with him face to face, have a conversation, and plan to take over the world. Kerrie Hughes is often a part of these meetings, too, which makes them that much more awesome.
Jim Hines – Jim is always a lot of fun to talk with. I caught him at his signing and saw that he had the UK versions of his Magic Ex Libris books. I love those covers and asked if I could buy those. I think he brought them only for show but he was kind and allowed me to throw money at him. I consider this one of my biggest scores of the convention. These covers are amazing.
Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon – I finally got to meet Misty and Larry in person at this convention after knowing them online for ages. I’ve written for Misty’s Valdemar and Elemental Masters anthologies and I used to game with Larry online. I had the chance to sit with them for about 30 minutes and then again while we were all signing at the same time.
Saladin Ahmed – One of the humblest authors I know, Saladin is an amazing author. Misty actually stopped signing to come over and tell him that Betsy Wollheim of DAW told her that he was one of the best new authors she’d ever found. Saladin was so taken aback, he was almost speechless. Then Misty told the line of people waiting for her autograph that they should buy his book. I agree.
Cat Labs Games – I got to see and hang out with many of the Cat Labs folk—Randall, Loren, Herb, Jason S., Jason H., John, Heather—and listen to the chaos that is them at a convention, brainstorming, pranking each other, and doing business. It is amazing to see it all in action. Most of the time, I just sit back and enjoy the ride. I do have more stuff coming up from these guys and it is all good. Shadowrun and Battletech fans have some sweet things to look forward to.
True Dungeon – Most years, I don’t do True Dungeon. If I do, I only go if I can go with my friend Dylan Birtolo. This year, we had the uber-smart team: Dylan Birtolo, Chris McEniry, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Paul Peterson, John Helfers, Kerrie Hughs, R.T. Kaelin, Pat Rothfuss, Pat’s Librarian friend (whose name I forget), and me. This group gelled together so well that we finished almost every room in 5 minutes or less. It was a real joy to play with them all.
Harebrained Schemes – Jordan Weisman and Mitch Gitelman from Harebrained Schemes gave a presentation on what’s coming next for Shadowrun Returns. I came by to support them and to say hello. My favorite moment was when they gave me a shoutout in the panel and the audience had the collective reaction of an inhale of breath and then applause. It made me feel like a rockstar. Also, I got to meet up with @UGplex (RC) what’s coming next for Shadowrun Returns is going to knock your socks off.
Writer’s Symposium – I was at Gen Con this year because of the Writer’s Symposium. Run by Marc Tassin, it was a blast to be a part of. Professional, well-run, and well-attended, we had a packed house most of the time. I love the space we’re located in and I can’t wait to do come back next year. There’s a lot of good information for writers who want to learn about all aspects of the publishing industry.
These are some of the highlights but, by no means, all inclusive. These are what my addled brain can remember right now. There were so many good people and events that I can’t list them all.