Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yeah, I'm late with the Armadillocon report

So sue me. Life's been a bit busy. Armadillocon 34 happened almost two weeks ago, and I'm just now barely getting around to writing up a report. And guess what? That report's going to be fairly terse. And I'm not identifying everyone in the photos--you kids can tag those you know once this blog post imports to Facebook. Yeah, I'm that lazy.

Armadillocon, through circumstances beyond my control, turned out to be the only convention I attended in 2012. This is not good for me, since 1) New Braunfels is not known for its writer community and 2) I depend on the writerly interaction I experience at conventions to recharge my enthusiasm for whatever projects I'm working on. This year, for the second year in a row, Monkey Girl attended with me, hitting the gaming demos, wreaking havoc on the art show and generally attending any panel that caught her attention. We arrived around 5 p.m. on Friday, after a miserable drive up in my car with the non-functioning air conditioning. My apologies to anyone who happened to be standing downwind from me--I normally don't smell that bad, I swear (on the upside, I now have a new car with a great AC system!). Monkey Girl and I checked in at registration then headed over to Fire Bowl Cafe for dinner. When we returned, we found the disconcerting sight of two fire trucks parked outside of the hotel. And fire alarms going off inside. Nobody seemed to take evacuation too seriously, so she and I wandered in and out.

Turns out there was no fire, but rather some genius decided to hang something extremely heavy from one of the fire sprinklers in a room on the fourth floor. Which promptly broke, flooding the room, and adjacent rooms, and rooms below, and eventually the lobby while setting off all the fire alarms. Stop me if you've heard this one before. The moral of the story: People are dumb.

I caught the tail end of the "Texas Is Fantastic" panel, interrupted often by a voice over the intercom muttering something unintelligible about the watery apocalypse ongoing on floors 1-4 and the lobby. Opening ceremonies were fun, with A. Lee Martinez as the toastmaster. He promised not to get mushy, then got all mushy and life-affirming and geeky. Other guests of honor included Anne Bishop, Liz Gorinsky, Chloe Neill, Julie Dillon and Bill Parker.

My one panel on Friday was "The Still Changing Definition of Urban Fantasy" with Anne Bishop, Chloe Neill, Nancy Holzner, Stina Leicht (my arch-enemy) and Ari Marmell. About half the panel came to Urban Fantasy through the works of Charles de Lint, and the other half some time after de Lint, Emma Bull and others had done much to define the sub-genre. I'm still not clear one the changing definition element, other than the fact that Urban Fantasy has proven flexible and moved beyond the old "elves in the modern city" stereotype it once had. We also distinguished it from other forms of "Contemporary Fantasy," such as what someone like Jonathan Carroll writes, in that music seems to play a big part in Urban Fantasy, and the subgenre is very much a product of the time it is written, steeped in pop culture and the flavor of the era (ie Wizard of the Pigeons etc.). Holzner moderated well, giving everyone an opportunity to contribute to the discussion. Fun panel, and I got to rub elbows with two of the GoHs. Does Armadillocon treat me right, or what? Afterwards, I chatted with various folks a bit then, as there were no room parties that night (second year in a row nothing happened on Friday evening--a disturbing trend) I gathered Monkey Girl and headed home. Hey, I'm old and she's young, so we've got to manage our time wisely.

And with that, I'll stop for now. I'll try and wrap up my report and post the remaining photos I took in the next day or so.

Now Playing: Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords
Chicken Ranch Central

1 comment:

  1. Jayme,

    It turns out the water leak was due to a 1 inch pipe giving way at a seam, according to what we heard from hotel personnel. I thought it was the fire sprinkler cause as well.