Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

OddCon: Sunday

After having fiddled with the Sleep Number Bed controls we got up Sunday
having slept somewhat better than the night before. Garrison Keiler
regardless, neither of us like these beds very much, and the fact that
they are in all the rooms is the Radisson's biggest drawback. (For those
not initiated, the Sleep Number Bed consists of a pneumatically enhanced
mattress that can, in theory, be set from extra firm to very soft and
any gradation in between. In practice, the units always have sluggish
and inexact control that results in two choices: table-top hard or

I had one panel on Sunday, "From John Carter to Harry Potter: The Appeal
of the Series," along with Richard Chedwyk, Patrick Rothfuss, and Jason
Waltz. While waiting for the panel to start, we had one of those
wonderfully fannish moments that frequently occur on Sunday at a con
when people are getting a bit loopy. Richard, Patrick and I had
congratulated ourselves on retaining possession of our con-issue tent
name cards. I suggested that people who do a lot of cons, like pros,
might like to have permanent customized name cards, like some people
have name badges. Then Patrick suggested one might have his equipped
with spring-loaded deely-bopper stars to be triggered and spring out
when the speaker thought he had made a particularly good point. We then
speculated about potential "escalations" including placards with
programmable LED crawls which might do anything from promoting one's
website to expressing snarky comments. Next was the idea that one might
have a mobile card that would move and squat in front of other people's,
or even attack and flip them over, ala "Robot Wars"--.

The audience was saved from much more of this lunacy by the actual panel
starting, and we gave a good exposition of the history of series in
genre fiction; accidental series vs. planned series vs. great big books
(like Patrick's "The Name of the Wind,") that have to be split up into
volumes; and which series we particularly liked or disliked. The
audience participated with great enthusiasm throwing their own
candidates into the ring.

Emma Bull read at 11:30, giving us her highly regarded poem on the death
of John Ringo (the outlaw, not the writer), the beginning of the first
chapter of "Claim," the sequel to "Territory," and a piece from a
forthcoming installment of "Shadow Unit" ( )
the innovative story website for which she is "Executive Producer."
"Shadow Unit" reports the cases of the "Anomalous Crimes Unit",
described as "Criminal Minds" meets "The X-Files". (I came across
reference to Shadow Unit while doing research before the con and it
looks fascinating.)

Given the continuing bad weather on Sunday, we left a bit early and
drove home, taking with us a load of good memories.
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