I had an all-around wonderful time at Apollo Con, and I’m only just now recovering from the weekend. I rode down with Renee Babcock, a friend from Austin, and we had a wide-ranging conversation there and back, making a long trip much shorter and more enjoyable with the company.
The writer’s workshop on Saturday was small, with only two workshoppers and two auditors, who didn’t have stories to be critiqued but who came for the discussion. I was able to give the students plenty of attention and I think they got a lot out of it. We talked about editors, markets, the editing process, etc. One of the things that surprised me was how isolated people can be if they live in small towns in Texas, as one of the attendees was. Science fiction and fantasy are still looked at askance in some areas. Cons are great way to let people who maybe are the only ones at work or school interested in science fiction get together with their real community.
I’ll talk about my panels in a later post, but for now wanted to talk about some of the features. The dealer’s room and the art auction are always fantastic, and I bought several books (well, there you go — booksellers are a bunch of pushers, they are): A. Lee Martinez’s Monster, Sharon Shinn‘s Fortune and Fate, and Gail Carriger‘s Soulless. I also bought this lovely figure, who lives in my writing office now:
I was kept pretty busy during the convention, but I made sure I got to go to the panel on Class M planets. Fascinating stuff about what we know about extra-solar planets and what a planet needs for it to be habitable by humans or for life at all. If I had my way it could have gone on for hours. Fantastic discussion, and exactly why I love science fiction conventions — it’s the science.
The masquerade is always great fun, and there were plenty of creative and funny costumes.
Sadly, this time I didn’t get to see any of the movies, and Apollo Con always shows such great features.
The con was a great way to hang out with new friends and old. I enjoyed meeting fan guest Jeanne Gomoll and hope that I get a chance to run into her at another convention elsewhere. Such an interesting and engaging person. I also got to chat with Ann VanderMeer for a bit. I WILL sell another story to Weird Tales. There were the usual suspects from Austin and Houston and points around Texas, and the parties on Saturday night were a blast.
All in all, an excellent convention and I’m already looking forward to next year.