By the time I got to the con on Friday, things were already in full swing. I got through registration and scanned around for next steps. Bill Ledbetter was on a robotics panel so I went to that briefly, got bored (sorry panel!) and then ducked in to Steve Stirling’s meet and greet, and that was fun, but had to leave for Adrian Simmons’ reading, from his novel about a Stone Age era twelve-year-old going through his manhood rites – and things going very bad. He put that poor kid through hell, let me tell you, but the sensory detail was amazing.

Sean Scarber ran a fantastic discussion on the surveillance society in which we live, and the panel was pretty lively and thoughtful. Room was freezing, until one brave soul got up from the audience and turned off the air conditioning. Bravo, sir! We spend a lot of our time in office buildings where thermostats are just for show, so I am aware of the lack of initiative while also very impressed by someone who tried the obvious.

Let me diverge here and say that so far the programming has been stellar. I foresee a lot more panel hopping because the options are so good.

Dinner. Dinner was uh-maze-ing. We settled on the hotel restaurant, which was pretty meh and also confusing (they brought out strips of bacon on the veggie burger) but the company was phenomenal. Astronaut Stan Love was seated to eat alone before his presentation, and we (okay, listen, it was me, I did it, I said it, and I’m proud of that fact!) asked him to eat with us, and he did and it was great. He’s also a writer and he had sent his story to the Baen Science Fiction contest which Bill Ledbetter and Michelle Muenzler read for, and so that was great. Love is also an interesting guy and did I mention he was an astronaut? Best dinner conversation in a while.

And then after all that, Dr. Love went to his presentation on Mars, and we stayed at the table and totally missed it.

My reading went well! People were there! And liked it. I read from Fog Season and it was fun.

BarCon was also successful, although again, the bar and restaurant were a bit confused. Regardless, it meant I missed opening ceremonies and the reception and although I did get to see the liar’s panel, which was pretty funny (any panel with Mark Finn and Selina Rosen is bound to be) I did miss the traditional opening of the convention.

A few of us made the rounds on the party floor, even though the official parties are not til tonight, and we barged into one suite that held a pretty rocking pre-party and stayed for a while. Thank you for the lovely scotch, Paul Abell!

That was kind of the last thing that happened, unless you count going to bed knowing I was going to be a tad hungover. And I was. But if age has taught me anything, it’s how to nip that in the bud right there. I’m ready for the day, and lots more panels.

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