Home » CONsummation: LibertyCon After Action Report Part 2a

CONsummation: LibertyCon After Action Report Part 2a

lcfbOkay, quick recap from the last part. I took off for last year’s LibertyCon without realizing that Lissa didn’t know I was going. Due to other obligations, I only planned on staying a few hours, to meet a few people, and then return home. I spent the rest of last year in a skillful campaign to get Lissa interested, and due to my masterful strategy (It involved copious whimpering and pleading looks,)  we decided to attend this year’s con. She made us shirtstorm shirts (and ironed them as a symbol of the oppression of females by males) and I cooked 4 pork butts to bring to the ConSuite. We attended the Sanderson-Begley wedding/Hoyt vow renewal Thursday evening, and were ready to start our lives as Con goers Friday afternoon.

Wow. It took a lot more words to get through that the first time.

So, with our lanyards, badges, programs and phone apps, we descended into the chaos that is LibertyCon. Come to think of it, a Con really is like chaos, with an order carefully hidden under the seemingly random collisions of people and strange attractors. Lissa and I wandered around a little bit, just to get our bearings, looking through the Huckster room, the meandering over to the Centennial theater for the Opening Ceremonies. Other people have talked about what a wonderful job Howard Taylor did as MC, so I won’t embarrass him by layering on yet more praise. I will say that after he introduced all the writers, artists, scientists, and other guests, I felt like Lissa and I were the only two people that weren’t official guests! LibertyCon has that many professionals attending! With 700 attendees and roughly 150 guests, that’s about one guest for every 4 attendees. You’ll never get anywhere close to that ratio at a Dragon Con or Comic Con.

A quick word about the LibertyCon app here. It is a truly helpful gadget. While there are times when a paper schedule is more helpful, being able to pull up the schedule of what is happening right now is useful beyond measure. I would like a few refinements, but it gets the job done as it is right now.

Our first panel was the “What’s New in Space Opera” and boy, did it set the tone for the rest of the con. It started off with defining the difference between space opera and science fiction, (Space Opera=Star Wars, Science Fiction = Star Trek) but quickly devolved into a discussion of the appendages of mythological creatures. We were told that this was ‘not that sort of panel,’ but it seemed like most of the panels we went to were that sort of panels.

This is a good thing.

We headed over to the ConSuite for dinner, and wedged ourselves at a table after collecting some salad greens and tortilla chips because the chili wasn’t warmed up yet. The room that held the ConSuite did not have a breaker big enough to handle all the appliances needed and that was a constant battle for Vonn and her volunteers. They seemed to adjust well because the food was ready to go close to meal time for the rest of the con. After dinner, we headed over to the Huckster room to get Cedar to sign some books, and I wanted to meet John C Wright. For those who don’t follow SciFi, John set a record this year for most Hugo nominations in a single year. He’s also set a record for exploding liberal heads as he is both conservative, and what I call a paleo Catholic. By that, I mean John can probably recite the entire Mass in Latin, as it used to be celebrated before the Catholic Church lightened up and allowed the Mass to be said in English and other languages actually spoken conversationally. What makes this rather ironic is that he converted from atheism to Christianity at 42, then to Catholicism a few years later. He is a strong, traditional Catholic and while that’s enough to anger some on the left, in person, he is genial, affable, courtly, (pulling out my thesaurus) amiable, and approachable. While Lissa spoke with Cedar, I introduced myself to him and his wife, and asked if he would be willing to autograph a book later in the con. It was a copy of his sequel to The World of Null A by A.E. Van Vogt, and he was thrilled to do so. We had a nice conversation about the book, and A.E. Van Vogt. I also bought a book and had it signed by Ms. Lamplighter because it would be rude to come to her signing and only get something signed by her husband.

After getting Cedar’s autographs, we headed back to our room for a moment, before visiting the reception for Cedar/Sanford and the Hoyts. On the way over, I saw a very familiar looking face, Oleg Volk. We had never met, but we had acquaintances in common, so I introduced myself and Lissa and told him about our mutual acquaintances. He was going to get pictures of the reception; we told him where we thought it was and went down to our room.

When we got to the reception, the party was in full swing. We congratulated the bride and the groom, who still seemed stunned by his good fortune. Sanford then introduced himself to my wife by kissing his way up her arm. It takes a lot to fluster Lissa, but that did it. She giggled and blushed as he went back inside. In what was to become a theme for the con, the Hoyts were late. To be perfectly fair, this was not their fault. Over the 48+  hours of the Con, I think Sarah was on 47 panels, and if she wasn’t on a panel, Dan was. That plus the wedding was enough to cause complete mental shutdown. Dan kept her on her feet and pointed in the right direction. Most of the time.

As we stood in our little corner of the reception room (I’m not good at walking up to people I don’t know and starting a conversation) Oleg walked in. Finding that the Hoyts weren’t there yet, he began taking pictures of guests, and got a shot of Lissa, me, and then one together. One thing to know about Lissa, she HATES to have her picture taken. Loathes it with a purple passion. But when Oleg held up his camera to take her picture, she giggled for the second time that evening and allowed him to take the picture. Now I can brag that my wife is a Volk model!

We ate a little of Sarah’s baklava, both the sugar free low carb and the fully leaded versions, and they were delicious. We then headed back to the Centennial Foyer for the 1632 mass signing because I wanted to get Eric Flint’s autograph.

Eric Flint is an interesting man, and my hat’s off to him. Not many men would go to a convention where the large majority of guests and attendees stand in fundamental disagreement with their basic philosophies of life, but Mr Flint was gracious each time I interacted with him. I saw him in the huckster room on Saturday, and he was going around to some of the dealer booths, autographing their stock for them. He was friendly and greeted fans with a warm sincerity. There may be differences among fans right now, but it was reassuring to see that people on both sides of the disagreement were willing and able to bridge those differences, even if just for a weekend.

After getting Eric’s autograph, I ducked in to catch the last part of the What’s New in Mil SF panel, then Lissa and I settled in for what was hands down funniest panel of the Con, Social Justice for the Undead.  Err, alternately living.  Err…transvital. Lead by Mike Williamson, the panel discussed vital (Living privilege! Using a term indicating that something alive is more important than something dead is a micro-aggression against the transvital!) issues surrounding the various kids of undead through the lens of Social Justice. We quickly learned that DMV’s needed to hire sketch artists so vampires wouldn’t be disciriminated against when getting a license. Assembled Americans (Frankenstein’s monster and all his kin) needed special gender classifications since their plug and play nature made changing genders simply a meeter of swapping out parts. At some point, Sarah Hoyt began recoiling in fear as Robert Hoyt began asking uncomfortably detailed questions about the sex life of Assembled Americans.

Needless to say, all those participating in the panel, and the audience as well would have been thrown out of many other Cons; at LibertyCon, it was a highlight of the evening. It is sure to be repeated next year, so if you missed it this year, make sure to circle it on your schedule.

And that was the end of Friday. Still very new to the Con, we decided not to crash any parties because as I mentioned  earlier, neither of us are very good at meeting new people. We went to our room, and got a good night’s sleep.

Okay. This entry was supposed to go through the entire con. I’m at 150% of my normal length, and I’m just finishing up Friday. So, in honor of Douglas Adams, this AAR trilogy will now consist of 4 posts.

Next up, Saturday, where in the pork butts are consumed, John Ringo claims to have slept with Chuck Gannon, and the Mad SCientist panel blows our minds. And a special appearance by the Hero of Canton!

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