A Sad Excuse for An After Action Report

So, I went to Fencon. I did not get a T-shirt.

I had gone to Fencon 10 years ago, but this time was nothing like it was then. It felt smaller to me, but that might be because It was wholly taken over by our people.

As you probably know Larry was the Guest of HOnor, and he was great, as usual. I got to see Bridget, and Yeah, I had sort of seen her at Liberty, but we were both so busy….

This con I only had two panels, but got hauled into the piracy and smuggling panel by Kal Spriggs (It was good to see him again, too. It’s been years.)

Got to see the Texas troublemakers. Got to go to dinner with Snelson and his wife when we first arrived (Well, we’ve known each other for ages, but we didn’t know them in person. Yes, they’re nice.) Then kidnapped random people and ducttape families for all meals but one.

Our last dinner there was with Synova and her husband who got to talk computers with Dan (making them both happy.)

Meanwhile I met so many of you, and hung out with so many of you I’ll never be able to mention you all, but it includes Cybersmithe and Jolie.

Right now, I can’t think of names, so I require that all those who met me, self-denounce in comments please. It’s not that I don’t know your names, I just didn’t take notes and now I’m completely confused. I do remember I made two grown men (Separately) squee upon meeting me. It’s always good.

Oh, Yeah, Dr. Robert Hampson, AKA speaker to Lab animals, grew a beard and somehow this makes him completely unrecognizeable. We went on the assumption that he is speaker from an alternate universe, but unfortunately he wouldn’t admit to being a rat shifter.

Also there was no midnight sex (use thereof in SF!) panel or such. I need to make suggestions if I can go next year.

Oh, yeah, and I finally managed to make it to a “No Shit There I was” panel which was great, including hearing Lawdog telling Pinkie’s story in person.

More stuff will surface in time, but I’m requesting help to tell this….

If you didn’t see, the lost half of the novel was found.

Now headed for bed, as soon as I feel awake enough to navigate stairs.

It was probably one of the nicest cons I’ve been to, but I managed to do very little but hang out with friends. So, why am I so tired?

Oh, yeah, no longer used to people-ing. This too shall pass.

Tired now.

70 thoughts on “A Sad Excuse for An After Action Report

  1. Tired now.

    An insane person might order you to rest but I’m not THAT insane. 😉

    So, I’ll just plead with you to rest.

    Oh, the Promos could wait until Wednesday.

  2. You are a role model for us Odds. We appreciate the sacrifices you make. Maybe we don’t appreciate them enough, but we do appreciate them.

    1. Oh, DEAR LORD. So, I couldn’t remember PAM’s name, which tells you how whacked I was last night.
      I saw Pam for the first time…. in ten years? And of course immediately threatened her with giving her blame/credit for Skippy’s books.
      I also saw Free Range Oyster for the first time in … 7 years and can confirm, mollusk got legs.

  3. I was there, despite rumors to the contrary. Apparently sitting in plain sight, but writing, renders even me hushed kitty whisper invisible. end hushed kitty whisper

    It was great to see the Free Ranging Oyster and Oyster Wife in person at last. And to meet Blake.

    1. Second best way to be invisible at Cons: volunteer for something. Staff is always overlooked. You get to know where the quiet stairwells are to hide in, the times that rooms will be empty, and the halls to avoid if peopling is contraindicated.

      I can neither confirm nor deny any allegations of Con-lurking at any specific places, times, planes, or dimensions. Cons tend to have way too many people in them.

      Which is good. And not-so-good (CRUD!).

  4. FenCon was great. I got to meet Larry and Bridget and several other internet friends for the first time. Blake was there! Dorothy and Peter were unable to come and they were missed. It was great to see Sarah and Dan. So much talking to so many people!

    If it weren’t for the freeways (which make no sense whatsoever) Dallas would be a nice place.

    1. Synova I have been to Dallas at least 3 different times and had a car twice. The interstates aren’t bad (although busy and MOVED in my memory 65 was rightmost lane dawdling). The main streets on the other hand were a joy (Remember I’m From Boston/Worcester/New England). The streets are clearly labeled on the traffic signals including house numbers. That is less of an issue now with everyone with a cell phone but in the late 80’s/early 90’s it made navigation a breeze. Even today only the foolish (or desperate) drive into Boston’s North end, especially if you’re in anything bigger than a Civic. Even a phone/gps is of limited use there as the tight sight lines due to narrow streets and 4-5 story buildings kill GPS reception. The planned grid though boring beats the random twists and turns and narrow roads with on street parking that define most New England cities :-).

  5. I met you the last time you were at Fencon, Sarah, although I don’t expect you to remember me. Between a wife who hasn’t reached the drive again stage of recovery from knee surgery, job obligations, and a hard writing deadline, I wasn’t able to make it.

    I was wanting to meet as many of you in person as I could if I had been able to attend. I hope most of you go next year and I can join you.

  6. It was an honor and privilege to meet you in person at last, Sarah. I’ll be sending you the information about remote viewing that you requested soon.

      1. Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World has had a fair number of interviews with folks who did that, and I still think it is hilari-sad how much it sounds like other military programs.

  7. Next time there a big con in nTX you’re all at, I’ll have to go by and meet people.

    Who knows, I may have finally achieved competence in the art of the pork picnic, and could have a small horde over for dinner some time?

  8. Evil League of Evil Faceless Minion #6969 finally reported in to the Most Mischievous Mistress of Mayhem.

    Seven years late, but that seems near average for the horde.

    She even agreed to sign one of my books to “Just the Worst, I Can’t Even”.

  9. Oh, hey, I saw Sandra Miesel hanging out in the comments section on Amy Welborn’s Catholic blog, Charlotte Was Both.

    She was pointing out that St. Mary of the Assumption church, in Nashville, is almost restored after the big tornado, and should be looking pretty by next year (assuming anybody has a Nashville convention/comic convention).

    I got to work this weekend. Other than the cheese pizza thing, it was a pretty good weekend. Yesterday morning was kinda dead because of all the people staying at home or at their work desks to watch the funeral, and then everybody flooded the place after a certain point in the day. So tired. Now I’m so happy to be off today resting.

  10. As pointed out, I was there. I made a point of seeking out and meeting all the people that I only knew on-line that I knew would be there. Apparently I missed a bunch of people whose names are familiar here. C’est la vie.

    1. I finally got to meet you Saturday afternoon and get my book signed. You looked very tired so I just introduced myself and got my books signed. Hopefully I will see you next year or at Liberty cons… if I can get tickets.

    2. Sorry , I meant that reply for Sarah, but I did enjoy meeting you when you introduced me to Brian because my name is Byron. I had a great time.

    3. I pegged you in in hun mewe chat as “I have no idea who that is but he’s an interesting conversationalist”. 🙂

  11. I couldn’t handle the drive to Dallas, or the cost of a hotel – but I vow that I shall try to make the next Fencon … or any con in South Texas …

        1. Yes – I’m in two mind about anything to do with Austin, after our last road trip to the Daiso outlet, before Wee Jamie was born. The graffitti, the boarded-up downtown buildings and the homeless everywhere were … unsettling, to say the least.

    1. The only thing FenCon has announced for next year is the intent to hold a con. If there’s interest, and if such things are possible, I would consider holding a Hun party at FenCon next year.

        1. What I mean by “if such things are possible” has to do with the arrangement with the hotel.
          If I can’t get a party room, I’m not going to hold a party, no matter what the interest level is.
          This year, I was supposed to have a room on the party floor, which I think was supposed to be 12. Of the Sheraton. That went away when I got moved to the Doubletree. Which is under construction. I got a profuse apology from the hotel liaison because my room wasn’t supposed to have been moved, but it didn’t matter in the end.

          I know most of the FenCon people and, further, they will admit to knowing me. I’m on a first name basis with this year’s chair, next year’s chair, and this year’s hotel liaison. If you were to bet that the hotel will be different next year, I would not take that action because it would take a series of amazing coincidences for them to go back to the Sheraton.

          The thing to do is to wait and see what happens and make plans based upon that.

          1. That sounds wise. I know that the current staff at the Sheraton were very friendly, and tried hard. The mess wasn’t their fault, and the folks at the DoubleTree that I happened to cross paths with were great.

            Wait and see, then plan.

            1. The staff at both hotels tried hard and it mostly worked out. The shuttle bus thing didn’t work very well, but I suspect that they were improvising a solution that they’d never tried before. To be honest, my issues with the weekend stemmed more from some lack of preparation on my part than anything that the hotels did. Oh, and I was embarrassed when some people I was with unloaded on one of the Sheraton’s front desk staff. That wasn’t called for.

  12. Last time you were there while I was still in Texas, I was sick and decided not to inflict a nasty crud on anyone. Sicker than WuFlu, but lower pain levels. Now I get to miss out of all the Texas fun.

  13. Re: not much of an AAR

    I think Ringo has used the term “hot wash” in some of his action-adventure books.

    So you gave us a hot wash of the con and hit the rack.

    Sounds good.

  14. All that matters:

    You had a good time.
    You met lots of good people.
    You survived.

    Enjoy the recovery time! 🙂

  15. I liked the panels you were on. The one on Smuggling and Bribery was especially interesting. It was also somewhat disconcerting given that I’m one of those people that is absolutely clueless about reading people and working out how things are “actually done.”

    Sorry I didn’t say hello, I’m terrible at talking to people in person.

  16. I don’t know if I qualified at ‘Squeeing’, but I was certainly thrilled to finally get to meet you in person. I also require no special recognition for donations made, but if I get on some list, I won’t be upset, either. I haven’t been able to get to a con in several years, and while this might not be quite on the order of what I have heard of LibertyCon, it was certainly highly worthwhile, without being overwhelming. I was generally only disappointed that I couldn’t be two other places at the same time, instead of six. If Texas wasn’t so far away from home, I would certainly be signing up to volunteer. But just getting there taxes my resources enough that I need to ‘con’ as much as possible. But I do miss volunteering for wonderful, worthwhile cons.

    Someone mentioned the ‘cost of the hotel’. Uhm, the convention rate was actually quite reasonable. The place my wife stayed in Waco ( which was the least expensive place that she could walk to her desired attractions ) was easily three times as much, on average. The first night was only slightly more expensive, but Friday and Saturday night were ruinous. When she found out, she felt bad for wanting to come. Sadly, she wouldn’t have enjoyed the con much, but did quite enjoy the things she DID do, so it worked out. To get a room in Dallas for Thursday, oddly, cost more than HER Thursday rate, so naturally I stayed in Waco Thursday night.

    1. If you contact the hotel liaison, you can usually get the con rate for the “shoulder” days: Thursday and Monday. That’s what I did because I didn’t want to drive home Sunday. It also helps the con to do that.

      1. I will keep that in mind. I don’t know if I will be able to make it next year. I have to work around my wife’s travel plans. But I will keep an eye open!

  17. Another possibility for attendance being down is the tail end of all the covidiocy. Although Texas has been a relatively free state, not all members of the SF/F community desire to exercise their freedom. I don’t get too upset at them: they are victims of the fear-mongering and, as long as they don’t try to impose it on me, we can agree to disagree.

    I normally go to Albuquerque’s Bubonicon. Usually meet some very neat people whom I usually only see there. However, this year, even at the end of August, the host STILL REQUIRED people wear “masks”–and prominently featured it on the registration website, along with dire threats of expulsion (no refund) if disobeyed. So, the day before, I decided not to go.

    Looking at some of the panel pictures, it appears that they did not enforce this drastic policy, at least on panelists (!). Perhaps I should’ve gone and taken the risk. We’ll see about next year: I’ve been going for a couple of decades now, and do miss it.

      1. It’s about half the size it was a decade ago. I think it’s probably the result of a variety of changes, including Covid, the general state of the economy, and certain changes in the makeup of the committee. (That is, I believe that some of the people who did the most work promoting FenCon were gafiated for a while.)

        1. Is “gafiate” a transitive verb that you can do to someone else? I always thought it was only reflexive.

  18. We hugged in passing in the bar and I got to shake hands with Dan, but we never got a chance to talk. Glad you enjoyed the NSTIW panel!!! 🙂

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