This is going to be my year of cons. Not that I plan to make out like Moist von Lipwig or anything, but with two books, The Leopard and The Lady (volumes one and two of the two-part work Marakand) coming out from Pyr in June and the autumn respectively, it seemed to be the year to emerge from the backwoods/backwater/place-at-the-edge-of-the-country-that-nobody-abroad-has-heard-of and go conventioneering, though it’s hard to get there from here.
Doesn’t matter where “there” is; it’s hard to get to there from here.
I’m heading to Ad Astra in Toronto in April. This is the practice run. Last time I went to a con was . . . hmmm. Well, I’ve been a guest at InConsequential in Fredericton and a guest at Animaritime in Moncton twice, and attended Halcon as a representative of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia on a recruiting drive a few years ago. And the first con I ever attended was Halcon as well, way back in the eighties. The Mount Allison Simulations and Gaming Association went to Halifax en masse, on the train (there were trains almost every day back in the dark ages), and slept all in a heap in one hotel room. I dyed my hair green for the occasion and was, along with a friend, seriously misquoted in the paper we called the Chronically Horrid saying it wasn’t what we expected. Or rather, that’s what we said, not what they said we said. Our Beloved Leader in MASAGA was somewhat displeased with us.
Anyway, Ad Astra in Toronto. (Okay, it’s a nice excuse to go to Toronto and see my friends there, too, and one of them, a more seasoned conventioneer, is going to come along to hold my hand. It’ll be fun. We can play undergrads again.) So Ad Astra will be the appetizer.
Then — the main course. I was invited to Loncon 3, which utterly floored me. Me? Go to London? But it’s not real, it’s a place in books. (My London is comprised of a strange amalgam of Edwardian children’s books and modern mysteries, with assorted lumps of history.) “In those days the Bastables were still looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road …” writes Lewis, and you know, they still are. Plus, watching New Tricks, we do keep expecting them to call in the Folly to help with some cold case or other. That’s London.
Real place or not, thanks in part to a travel grant from ArtsNB, and in part to assorted relatives for whom I am instructed to bring back lots of photos and assorted Twinings teas that are no longer sold in Canada because the parent company has apparently decided we are Americans and don’t need Vintage Darjeeling any more, I am able to go. So, if you are too, look for me! I’ll be reading from The Leopard at some point, and also taking part in panels, particularly one on children’s fantasy literature, wearing my “author of Quests and Kingdoms and Beyond Window-Dressing” hat.
My third con will be DragonCon in Atlanta in the US. That one’s almost definite, though I’m still waiting to hear if a few other people are going, before I utterly commit. After Loncon, thought of it is not as intimidating as it was. And the travel time is actually longer.