i left my con schedule with the schwag bag that i dropped off at my house, so i just wandered in randomly to the panel where the judges were explaining their process for choosing the fantasy awards. gordon van gelder was there asking a few questions, mark finn asked a number of questions, and ted chiang sat in the back as quiet as a churchmouse that someone had gagged.
you will notice that the judges spent so much of the last year reading all the eligible material that their eyes blew out, forcing them all to wear glasses.
then i went to the green room to swipe a schedule, so the next panel i went to i went to deliberately. it was all about howard studies.
i was soon shocked to discover that this had nothing to do with howard the duck. but mark finn ("who bestrides this convention like a colossus"-tompkins) had already closed the doors, so i was trapped.
i ended up being noticeably late for the panel i was actually sitting on because the howard panel went into overtime while everyone argued over whether or not interpreting robert e. howard’s imagery as homo-erotic meant that REH, and the panel by association, were all gay.
my panel, which closed out the convention, was: "will somebody please explain this book?"
i have never seen so many people attending a single panel and i was the exact last person to walk in. sharyn november moderated the panel with amazing aplomb, keeping the topic moving, focused, and as silly as possible. i managed to work in a couple of snarky comments edgewise and failed to stick my foot any farther into my mouth than is normal for me. i would have felt stage fright, but because i came directly from the howard panel, for the entire hour i had to pee reallyreallyreally bad, and that was the first thing on my mind.
checkout this water dispensor they had at the arboretum renasaince hotel (steve demonstrating).
this place was so fancy that they put cucumbers in the water! this made the water extra fancy and, um, as tasty cucumbers.
(i would have added this last comment a little closer to the ending of the con, but when i got home my roommates introduced me to the concept of "shotgunning" cans of beer)