From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Con Report: OutlantaCon (Atlanta, GA)

OutLantaCon, Friday 5/1: First impressions: it’s small. Not surprising as this is the first go at holding a three-day convention for the organizers (after running successful, annual single-day gaming events). After getting registration out of the way–a swift and painless process–my husband, Matthew, and I headed over to see OutLantaCon’s edition of Match Game. Their celebrity guest panel included comics/media author and DVD producer Andy Mangels, actress Tucky Williams, writer/producer/director Joe Castro, and my friend, Vandy Beth Glenn, who stood in for the tardy Joe Castro for a round and then did double-duty as a contestant. Serendipitous that, as I’d say there were no more than 20 folks in the audience to draw upon for contestants.

The write-up claimed that the questions would be sci-fi themed, but they ranged from political (“If Ronald Reagan was known as the Teflon president, George W. Bush will be known as the ____ president.”) to mildly suggestive (“Roger was so stupid that when he saw the sign that said ‘wet floor,’ he ____.”) to manifestly twisted (“The zoo keeper really likes animals, the other day my friend said he saw a hicky on the _____”). I think there was only one genuinely sci-fi question: “While Kirk was away from the Enterprise and Spock was in charge, Spock declared for his pon farr that instead of miniskirts, yeomen will wear _____.” And the resultant answers were sometimes a bit Dada-esque–the surrealism undoubtedly augmented by the unknown, bright red cocktails members of the celebrity panel were sipping–as well as bawdy (of course).

Afterward, I made my way to the “In the End: Greased Love Poles, Brown Winker Stinkers, and Other Mood-killer Metaphors in Fiction” panel, presented by authors Kayelle Allen and Keirnan Kelly. With under a dozen people in attendance, including the panelists, it was an informal affair with plenty of audience participation. Much mocking of the more colorful and painfully unsuccessful prose writers have employed in erotic fiction was enjoyed with some true gems recorded on the Whiteboard of Fail. Some of my favorites: “turgid bayonet,” “cave of love,” “winking rosebud,” and “hooded inquisitor.”

I hoped to run into my fellow fantasycon reporter, J.M. McDermott, tonight, but the stars did not align. Tomorrow.

The host hotel (the Holiday Inn Atlanta NE) is much closer to my house than I expected, so I don’t have to wake up as early tomorrow for my first panel. Win! But after looking over the program book, the panel which I thought was at 11AM is actually at 10AM. Gah! Fail. I sleep now.

Eugie Foster calls home a mildly haunted, fey-infested house in metro Atlanta that she shares with her husband, Matthew, and her pet skunk, Hobkin. Her publication credits number over 100 and include stories in Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Cricket, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, Baen’s Universe, and anthologies Best New Fantasy (Prime Books), Heroes in Training (DAW Books), and Best New Romantic Fantasy 2 (Juno Books). Her short story collection, Returning My Sister’s Face: And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, is now out from Norilana Books. Visit her online at EugieFoster.com.

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