Balticon 47

I’ve been mulling over how to approach this for a couple of days now. I’m not sure I’ve figured it out, but waiting longer makes the post less relevant and harder to recall for me.

Balticon is my favorite convention. My first one was number 27, but this year was my first time attending as an invited guest – one of the folks on the panelist side of the table, not the audience.

It probably sounds a bit silly to some folks, but this is actually a milestone. Being invited achieves one of the goals on my author’s goals list. Yes – I made a list. No – I’m not sharing how many steps are on there before WORLD DOMINATION.

Anyway I was super excited about the weekend and I wasn’t let down. For anyone that spoke to me you’ve heard this before: I threw myself on programming’s mercy – and programming had no mercy. In the end, after eliminating double bookings, I was on 10 panels (I think – the details are a bit fuzzy). That actually brings me to a fork in the road for this review. One path is all about how I wasn’t feeling at the top of my game before the weekend started (ill and under doctor’s care) and one is about crazed rantings that probably shouldn’t be public…

So, it’s true. I have been a little ill off and on for a while now. Just before the convention my doc decided that a 30 day run of antibiotics twice a day was the next step. Pure joy. What that meant was leading up to and for most of the con I didn’t really feel all that great. I was usually totally wiped out by about 10 p.m. (and on Sunday that meant one panel still to go). I would like to think what happened for me over the weekend was similar to the sports phenomenon where an athlete has some kind of illness and then has a career game. I feel really good about the panels I was on. I was in over my head more than once and all my fellow panelists were nothing but super (even when they clearly didn’t need to be). I even believe the panel “Pictionary for SFF Fans” that didn’t have any paper and a missing panelist turned out to be a lot of fun.

Yeah – pictionary panel without paper. There were issues with how the programs were set up and how people were (or were not) advised about where they should be. I got a list of a dozen panels I was supposed to be on via e-mail, but only showed up 4 times in the program listing. I’m hoping that it’s a small glitch and next year will be stronger (I’m also hoping to be invited back again).

The art show was not nearly what it has been in the past. I was very disappointed. The thought crossed my mind to attempt to put something together for next year and display something, but I was running about so much I never got the chance to talk to the person in charge of the art show. We’ll have to see how things go between now and next year.

I hope this year’s Liar’s Panel was recorded someplace. It was the funniest one I’ve ever heard. Ever. You should have been there. You should be there next year (and bring your dollar bills to challenge folks so nobody slips one past us again)!

All in all I had a really good time, got to see a lot of great folks (not nearly long enough in most cases) and did some really neat stuff. I hope the folks that attended my panels thought things went as well as I thought they did.

OH – that reminds me. I also had an author reading at the Mega Book Launch. Best Laid Plans was on display and I was reading from that – to all 3 of the folks that showed up. My wife, her girlfriend and the editor of the book. Since you missed that (and if you’re not one of those 3 folks, you did) you should go and buy the book!