Orycon 28, or Some Bits of It, Anyway

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Like the previous year, my Orycon experience was mostly sitting behind a table and trying to look helpful and approachable so as to sell Nippon 2007 memberships to people. The big difference was that this year, I actually sold a couple memberships. Woohoo! Most of the rest of the time was passed in doing origami and offering to subtitle badges with katakana, which enough people were interested in that I decided maybe it was worth writing up a how-to after all.

I was in a terrific spot for crowdwatching. The Marriott layout-- at least the one they've had until now, who knows what it'll look like after the renovation-- causes everyone going from function to function to cross paths in the open area on floor L, causing quite the merry, talkative crowd between panels. I saw plenty of Cory Doctorow, who appeared to be working hard as the Writer GoH, but someone has got to have a talk with him about his posture before his writing career is tragically cut short by crippling back pain. We're not talking a little slouch here, we're talking standing at all sorts of odd angles to the ground. You may find some kind of nifty symbolism in this, but if he keeps this up, by age 50 he's not going to be able to be anyone's GoH anymore.

Friday afternoon was left open for panels (having remembered, this time, to make up a nice-looking sheet in Word to leave at the table to explain that it would be manned Saturday and Sunday), but, due to my usual procrastination, I spent most of it finishing up Picofarad #7. I did go to "Great Books We Read This Year", and heard about lots of great-sounding books, but didn't write any titles down because one of the panelists took it upon herself to record the list and submit it to the con newsletter. The only flaw that developed in this plan was the newsletter didn't print it.

Friday was also the only time I went to the dealers' room, which was just as well, because the Susan C. Petrey scholarship fundraising people had come up with a new and dangerous idea: eggs. Plastic eggs, that is, each containing a slip of paper entitling you to a prize in Class C (paperbacks donated from someone's library or overstock), Class B (hardcovers from someone's overstock, plus some prints), or one of the grand prizes. At $2 an egg, awfully tempting. I managed to keep myself to just five and drew mostly Class B, which is where I wound up with those copies of The Algebraist and Dead in the West.

I still managed to make it to the three things I absolutely don't want to miss at Orycon. First, Gareth von Kallenbach's annual presentation on upcoming sf movies had luckily been scheduled for Saturday evening this time. I don't know why I have to go to this, because all I ever learn there is that the next couple years will be remake after remake after rerun after sequel, but somehow it's enormously entertaining. Being expanded to two hours this year just meant it was twice as much fun.

I was able to catch half an hour or so of "Cereal & Cartoons" Sunday morning, and found a quiet moment Sunday afternoon to slip away from the table for a couple minutes and stop by the chocolate tasting.

The chocolate tasting is a PorSFiS fundraiser. $1 gets you one small plate which you can then fill with as much chocolate as it will hold from the bounteous selection available-- milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate; molded chocolate, chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses; homemade fudge; brownies, with and without chips; and that Mexican drinking chocolate which you're supposed to melt and then cut with cream or milk, but which we just eat straight.

And that's why Orycon always leaves me with a great feeling.

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