Tulkon AAR

Sorry for not giving you warning guys, but after recent threats, (the ones here, and others) I think it might not be a brilliant idea to tell people where I’ll be. Yes, I know that’s counterproductive, and of course I’ll start announcing these, just right not it didn’t feel like the sanest thing to do.

Anyway, we went to Tulkon, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It’s a little town, in its second year, but for a little con it sure is packed with talent, my fans, and my old friends.

It was very nice. Busy, because as at Liberty con I couldn’t go more than ten steps without bumping into a friend or fan I hadn’t seen in years.

It was my first post-lockdown con. Not my first gathering with friends, of course, but my first con, and I felt… weird.

Apparently you can lose the knack for pretending to be an extrovert for the duration of a con. It was more …. consciously done.

If you saw me in a corner, glaring, it wasn’t you, or that I wasn’t enjoying myself. I was just tired and my itnernal alarms were ringing with “toooooooo mmmmmmany people, RUN.”

I didn’t run.

Even the panels were enjoyable. They were the guinea pigs for the first panel I did with younger son “Teaching my mom to write comics in the 21st century.”

This means, btw that yes, G-d willing we’ll do the same panel at Liberty, and MAAAAYBE at Fencon?

Younger son was unexpectedly great at it for a raging introvert. And yes, he still spent a ton of time hiding in the room (TBF everyone did, in a way, because we were all out of it/out of practice) but he actually made an effort at socializing.

Someone btw put Jim Curtis in charge of moderating a panel with David Weber and me on it. He made it through 3 of his planned four questions before we ran out of time. SOMEONE should give him an award for that. He might have broken the universe. Most people run screaming into the night. I mean, once at Liberty con I lost my voice from violently agreeing with David Weber for 1 hour.

The Texas Troublemakers hosted maybe the room party of the century. If you have to ask about the shower ducks, you weren’t there. 😉

So… Tulkon? A few growing pains, but massively fun and friendly.

I’m hoping they let me go back next year, despite the fact I accidentally blew my last panel.


Well, there was construction going on, and they couldn’t get one of our rooms de-featherized. So I was having asthma attacks, and sneezing and coughing like a plague carrier (if you saw it, feather allergy is NOT contagious.)

So I somehow missed that I had a panel at 1 pm, called “with fans like this.” and we headed home.

I hate it when I do that. When it’s necessary, I usually find the organizers and give them a heads up.

Hopefully they understand and they let me come back next year, and when I should be more organized and able to do more, too.

And maybe a couple of you want to join me next year?

I mean, if you can’t make it to Liberty con, either geographically or because of the membership limits, come to Tulkon. The water con is fine.

76 thoughts on “Tulkon AAR

  1. I had no idea this was even a thing, here in my hometown. Ah, well. Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit! And if you get the chance, tell the con folks they need better press coverage!

    1. I found out by accident from a random Facebook ad. They really need to do better outreach.

      1. They’re working on expanding their outreach. I’m working with the con to get better Facebook ads and things like that but if there are other places you look for con information, I am all ears!

        1. Local TV news outlets will usually do at least a mention. They used to do reports from TrekExpo when it was a thing.

  2. Pictures! Please Post Pictures!!!! 😉

    Oh, I know all about BEING PEOPLED OUT!!! [Crazy Grin]

    I’m assume that you back home (at the undisclosed location) so take care. 😀

    1. I’m afraid I didn’t take pictures the entire weekend. Probably should have of the bathroom at the Big Ass Book Launch with the sign taped on the door “Art Gallery.”

      …it had a shower stall full of many kinds of rubber ducks, from astro-ducks to dragon-ducks, robo-ducks, and everything inbetween. And the tickets to the party were panels from LawDog’s Astrolizards colouring book, which attendees were encouraged to colour Outside The Lines and then tape to the bathro… art gallery walls and mirror.

  3. Sarah, Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll sign up for it. I haven’t traveled for a few years, until my recent trip for work. I’m still trying to fill out the expense report. Don’t get me started.) but am hoping to travel to a few Cons when I retire. Heck, I might even have a book or 2 out by then. Just went to the local Con, the first since the Great Panic, and it was a lot of fun.

  4. Two thoughts. (Well. Three, really.) One, I plan on looking that “teaching mom comics” panel up at LC this year, assuming it squeezes in. Two, I would SERIOUSLY PAY MONEY to watch you and David violently agree with each other for an entire hour.

    And three, even as a raging introvert, I seriously CANNOT WAIT for LibertyCon!

    1. Oh, it was fun! As was the sudden pauses of “I finished a mental paragraph (or a chapter), and wait, Jim Curtis is motioning that I should let the third guy on the panel have an opinion! And… yes! We went there so enthusiastically that we already answered the moderator’s next question again!”

      1. 9-10 hr drive but hopefully finances will allow the trip/con next year. 😀

        1. A bit longer for me (you don’t have to get through Indiana first!), but I’m considering it for next year, assuming things haven’t gotten worse (knocks on wood).

  5. Glad you made it back! Sorry that there are people who would really threaten you. Pretty certain that’s a short-lived phenomenon, especially if they do it when your fans are out and about.

    Not that your fans would be violent. It’s just that threats have a way of rebounding on those who use them. Psalm 91 and all that entails.

    1. Just looked up Psalm 91 and noticed this part:

      He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;

      And now I’m picturing God as a giant bird.

      He must have a very strange self-image, given that He claims to have made us in it. Where are MY wings, damn it? 😛

      1. You gotta read the whole book to find out, DGM… Gotta read the whole book… I don’t want to spoil your joy by giving away the ending…

        Oh, and there are these new-fangled prose devices called “analogies” and “metaphors”. Reading up on how those are used could help, too… /good-natured ribbing

        Here’s an example of what Moses, who is traditionally credited with that Psalm, may have been thinking: https://www.sortra.com/dad-bird-carries-his-offsprings-tucked-under-his-wings-and-looks-like-he-has-10-legs/

  6. Sounds like it was a lot of fun, and definitely worth going to if my own move works out! And that part’s still very much up in the air, sadly…

  7. It has been a long time since I attended a Con. (less than four decades, but not by much) Now that I’ve been reading a bit of science fiction again, it might be worth a try. At the last one I attended, the group I was with sort of kidnapped James Hogan to take him to lunch. The lunchtime conversation was better than any panel. As near as I can tell, the local Con looks like a woke mess, still wrapped up in covid fantasies, so I might be looking for one where people I actually read would be guests.

    Some of the Texas Troublemakers are partly responsible for my revived interest in such things by recommending Larry Correia on a podcast (VC) a while back.

    1. The only con in southern Oregon is a Comic Con in Medford. 2021 cancelled due to covidiocy, 2022 also cancelled due to multiple reasons. (Explained on FB, but I don’t go there. Lizardman has to work harder to track me…)

      The only SF/Fantasy con I saw listed is in Portland, and No. Freaking. Way.

  8. It was a good Con. The panels were fun, the dealer room (and tables outside) successfully lightened my wallet and my TBR stack is now that much higher than when I left. The panel I was on, I succeeded at informing and entertaining the audience. (I think. At least, entertaining.)

    The Big Ass Book Launch Party appears to have been a raging success… It certainly went on and on long after I introverted out and went to bed. And we sold out of all of the copies of Astrolizards (LawDog’s latest colouring book with Cedar Sanderson), as well as going home with a lighter load than we brought. (Not counting things we bought) Other attendees were happy… and I heard a couple people, for whom it was their first con, saying they had an awesome time. So, yay!

    …Of course, this means Certain Persons are likely already planning on next year’s logistics. Me, I’m planning on laundry, and seeing if I can get the next book finished. Maybe by LibertyCon, maybe by FenCon. Because the rest of the Texas Troublemakers throw a grand party, and why not give them the excuse?

  9. It was nice seeing you again. It really has been a while but I think the last couple of years have been busy for everyone, dealing with a lot of unexpected stuff, so you’d don’t really notice. Until you run into someone and suddenly realize it’s been YEARS. Yeah, it’s insidious, but that’s what they were counting on…

  10. Sarah, your comment on “…. rrrruuuunnnn!” made me laugh. I’m glad you had a good time.

  11. Since we’re talking about Cons, there’s one more thing I’d like to mention. Sharon and I went to Cons for years before she started getting asked onto panels and then to moderate them. We were frequently annoyed by panels where the writers would spend the first 15 minutes hawking books we’d never heard of before getting on with it. When we heard someone we weren’t familiar with say interesting things, we could no longer recall what books they had written and were supposedly touting.

    As usual, when Sharon was asked to be moderator, she had a solution. She warned the other panelists, and started with, “Just say your name and what you do, and about 20 minutes in, we’ll have a commercial break where you can tell people what books you have for sale.” Most of the writers were extremely grateful. They thought they had to do the selling part that writers tend to be awkward at up front, but after some interesting back and forth, they were much more relaxed and didn’t feel the need to be salesmen, just tell people how to find their stuff. The audience loved it too, and I’m sure everybody sold more books. It quickly spread to the rest of the panels. May not have reached beyond San Diego though.

    1. That sounds good. A lot of podcasts do the thing where they stop X minutes before the end, and ask the guests what projects they want to promote.

  12. Glad you got out and about (trying my UK English). But I understand because I’m the same way (frowning in the corner). It has gotten so frikkin crazy that it isn’t safe to tell anyone your address anymore.

    1. Hmm, the giant mutant crocodiles in the moat at Chez Phantom (they have frickin’ lasers!) have been getting hungry lately, since I told them to stop eating the postal delivery persons. Maybe I could do the world a favor, post my address and get a steady diet for the mutants… they get cranky when they’re hungry. >:D

      1. The crocodiles have lasers? Do they know the moat is only to keep people out not to keep you in? Where’s my mirror suit?

        1. It’s Canada, so they have to be mutants because winter. Iced-over moat, very inconvenient for your giant crocs. The lasers let them cut holes in the ice so they can jump out and eat intruders. Like the Fedex man.

          I’ve been scolding them for that. Hard to get deliveries, and what does one do with a line of abandoned Fedex and UPS trucks on the road in front of the house? Hence the scolding. They do seem contrite, but it is hard to tell with a crocodile.

    2. “toooooooo mmmmmmany people, RUN.”

      I’m familiar. I’m the guy who sits in the corner of the bar nearest the fire exit. Because then you have -two- walls at your back and an escape route if you have to flee. Never had to actually flee, but having the option is golden.

      I’d be interested in touring down to Amuricuh for a con if Sarah felt it was worth attending, but currently I’m trapped behind the beaver dam of the Canadian border. Not to put to fine a point on it, the un-vaxxed are forbidden to travel. You would think that was a Cold War joke about Russia or a comment on China, but it isn’t.

      That’s a minister in the Shiny Pony government telling the world why the un-vaxxed are a threat to the vaxxed, and why they cannot be allowed to travel. Note that he’s talking about third and forth doses like that’s a good thing. As predicted, the Overton Window has rapidly moved from “Two Dose Good!” to “Two Dose Deplorable!” And they are deadly serious about this too, you show up without Official Vaxx Papers, you don’t get on the plane. Show up in your own car at the border, they won’t let you out. Or back in.

      So I’d like to go hang out with you guys, but MY GOVERNMENT says I have to stay home.

          1. From a conversation between C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien:

            Question: Who is most concerned about escapees.

            Answer: Jailers.


            1. From the as-yet unreleased Angels Inc., a comment on hiding:

              “Doesn’t sneaking defeat the purpose of something as showy as a Valkyrie?” asked Charlotte. “The whole point of you girls was to be something huge for everyone to look at. If you’re lurking and invisible, they can’t see you.

              “Oh, that only makes it worse!” laughed Gudrun. “What’s scarier? The giant tank you can see on the beach, or the one you know is around somewhere close, but you can’t find it?

      1. So a public admission that the vax doesn’t help much. And that is the reason the unvaxxed shouldn’t travel. Got it.

      2. Sometimes there are good reasons for human trafficking (in the sense of illegally crossing a border). Like escaping from NKLite before it goes poof.

      3. Good grief. The US is a dumpster fire right now, but at least it’s not Canadia. Unfortunately, that is exactly where our so-called progressives want to progress to. Here’s hoping they all die (metaphorically speaking) in that great big garbage fire they created.

      4. I have friends in Canada…unvaxxed friends…we refer to it as prison planet, and they are considering ways they might sneak over the border…

      5. Just tell them that you identify as American and that they have to affirm your choice . . .

      6. I met a couple of Canadian deplorables here in Mesa. They are defiantly unvaxxed. This means they are more or less trapped in the U.S.

  13. I have never been to a con. Never thought I would consider actually going to one.

    I would love to see the panel “Teaching My Mom Comics” How fun to be working with your son on it.

    I am so glad you got a chance to experience that with him. What a great and marvelous thing.

    Of course asthma had to interfere. Because of course it did.

    Maybe some day I will be healthy enough to venture forth to something like this. But I am so happy this happened for you. Getting back to some semblance of normality will do you a world of good.

  14. Our hostess said:

    Well, there was construction going on, and they couldn’t get one of our rooms de-featherized.

    OK this is interesting. Did the construction slaughter thousands of pigeons? Or was there a horrible pillow storage accident caused by construction equipment? And yes feather allergies are bad (there is a reason I lived on solid foam pillows as a child). I just would to have love to have heard the explanation the hotel staff provided to explain why they had to defeather the room in the first place.

    The con sounds interesting, but Oklahoma is a bit of a haul from North Shore Ma. if you don’t actually have a undetectable speedster (or have forgotten where you parked it as it is by definition undetectable, I imagine Wonder Woman had this issue from time to time…).

    1. A couple of the North Texas Troublemakers will probably be at Marscon in January. Don’t know if that’s any closer but… should be fun.

      1. Norfolk Va . That is closer than Tulsa by a fair bit, but still beyond my decrepit body’s ability as an only driver. 🙂 . I’m suspecting this will have to wait until I retire and I can justify flying somewhere.

  15. It was really great to meet you and spend time talking! Hope you’re feeling better now. I’m planning on Fencon, so maybe we can chat again!!

  16. Will be attending LibertyCon with my son – my first con in 30-ish? years. Looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the NTT!

  17. I looked up the distance from my home and a 14 hour drive is not in the cards for me. Neither is an airplane ride until things settle down more. sigh

  18. If you saw me in a corner, glaring, it wasn’t you, or that I wasn’t enjoying myself. I was just tired and my itnernal alarms were ringing with “toooooooo mmmmmmany people, RUN.”

    This is why there’s no point in inviting me to a big party. I’ll spend far more time in a room by myself (or out in my car) recharging my social batteries than I will around the other people there.

  19. Yes, it was a fun con, and great to see y’all! I ‘think’ the reason I got to ‘attempt’ to moderate y’all was that I know all three of you (Something to the effect of ‘Give it to Mikey, he’ll try anything!). Dave Carrico and I chatted afterward and he was surprised that I could even maintain a modicum of control… LOL

    1. Well, seeing as it was originally me set to mod that one and I had 3 other conflicting assignments at the time, I might have suggested you as a decent replacement for that reason. So…. yes!

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