May 29th, 2013

Wiscon 37, Sunday, Part Two

Georgie was on "Monstrous Females and Female Monsters" at 4PM. Georgie had some good things to say on the mythic monstrous females, as did Catherine Lundoff, Zen Cho, Joyce Frohn, and Micole Sudberg. Although speaking skills varied widely among the panelists, the audience gave them good attention, and kudos to those who were showing courage as first-time panelists.

For dinner, we met with Darlene Coltrain and Steven Vincent Johnson and friends, and went down State Street looking for a meal. Kabul was the original goal, but when we found them full, we went next door to Husnus'. Husnus' is a Turkish restaurant, so similar to Kabul in some ways, but different in others. We had a plate of excellent hummus and very good bread as appetizer. Georgie had a very nice entree of sliced chicken breast in an orange sauce with apricots and artichoke hearts (Asmali Tavuk). I'm very fond of the Koftachalow (meatballs) at Kabul, and decided to try Husnus' equivalent, Izmir Koftesi. The Izmir Koftesi is made with tenderloin, and so was tasty but a bit drier than the Kabul version. The sauce was a thinner style, but complimented the cooked vegetables that came with nicely. (In addition to the potatoes and carrots mentioned on the menu, there was also cauliflower and green beans.) A good meal but my vote goes to Kabul. Darlene had the lamb shank special, and said it was very tender and tasty lamb, but somewhat lacking in the Middle Eastern spicing she was expecting.

Surprisingly, Husnus' had only one server on for the dinner hour. Perhaps most WisCon members don't get past Kabul? Since we expected there would be goodies of various sorts at the parties, we skipped desserts.

Back at the hotel, we waited a bit to get seats for Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches, but got decent seats. Joan Slonczewski gave a short and very engaging talk about her work as an author and as a scientist. Jo Walton was warm and witty talking about reading and writing.

After the speeches, we went up to our room and changed for parties. We both dressed Steampunk since one party was a "Steampunk Speakeasy." However, we found that room to be too loud for comfort, and spent much more time across the hall at Joan Slonczewski's Purple Sharers party, which we found much more comfortable and chat-friendly. We retired after a visit along the hall to the other party rooms.

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Wiscon 37: Monday

Our event Monday was the panel on "Marvelous Women of the Middle Ages," at 10AM. This time it was "our" panel, since I was pinch-hitting for Betsy Urbik, who ran out of prep time due to the danger of flooding at her home. Betsy, however, had notes from Cynthia Gonsalves, who couldn't come at all due to family issues. I filled in since Betsy had been going to present on Joan of Arc. Although Joan of Arc isn't obscure, there was much to tell about her that was new to the audience, and Joan is closely connected to two of the other women we were discussing, Yolanda of Aragon, who may have helped work Joan into the confidence of her son-in-law, the Dauphin of France, and Catherine de Pizan, first female professional author and feminist writer, who eulogized Joan in her epic "Poem of Jeanne d' Arc."

Besides presenting on Yolanda of Aragon, Georgie covered "Black Agnes" Randolph, defender of Dunbar Castle. Betsy/Cynthia, Madeleine Robins, and Valerie Guyant all contributed pieces on fascinating women and we had some good audience participation as well. Unfortunately, I wasn't taking notes at the time and don't recall names, but Georgie was and will be doing a writeup on the panel that I will post here when she gets it done.

We had a reasonably safe drive home though the fog and rain, and so put another WisCon to bed. We are signed up for next year, as usual.

Guests of Honor for WisCon 38 will be Hiromi Goto and N.K. Jemisin.

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