A few precious moments linger in one’s life, the still frames that define us, or perhaps, define a portion of us previously out of focus. These moments, sometimes, are experiences one might expect: birth of a child, diploma day, loss of virginity, a first fiction sale. Sometimes the experiences come later in life, unexpectedly sweet.
Yes, my friends, I have experienced my first con.
Granted, Balticon hasn’t the turnout of a Worldcon: yes, this much I concede, but when friends gather and such guests present — Charles Stross, Kurt Miller, Scott Sigler, and the ever elusive, Edgar Allan Poe — well, numbers in attendance don’t seem to matter so much.
With Stephen Segal as my guide to Conning 101, we set up a Weird Tales table then made our rounds. Sadly, my search for Poe proved useless, but I did have the opportunity to meet and hear a lovely reading by Hugo recipient, Catherine Asaro, the work, her newest release, Diamond Star. I made new friends, among them, Donna Lynch and Steve Archer from whom I bought two Lovecraftian oils and an Ego Likeness CD, The Order of the Reptile. I can only describe both mediums as hauntingly sultry with a kickass beat. Particularly delicious for me was the purchase of my first Steampunk hat, a tasty accessory I’ve been lusting over for quite some time now.
Walking the halls and dealer rooms, I enjoyed disembodied women with clockwork abdomens. I giggled at crocheted aliens, listened to Samurai Chewbacca playing bass to Dune: The Rock Opera. Truly, I was amongst the geek “eclectica,” and all I could think as I traversed the crowd was, Honey, I’m home.
After Chinese and sushi with Sean Wallace, Stephen and I finished the evening with the Masquerade Extravaganza, a mix of novice and master crafters strutting their wears, emceed by Marty Gear — a founding president of the International Costumers’ Guild and director/MC of Balticon since 1979.
Yes, I am indeed hooked and looking forward to Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts this July. Happy conning, and see you at Readercon.