ConFusion Wrapup, 2008
My mother-in-law is busy being a putzteufel around the house at the moment, which makes it hard to concentrate on novel-writing (vacuum cleaners = inability to compose a thought), so let me do a quick wrapup of the ConFusion convention, which I meant to do on Monday before the sickness took me into a coma-like state for the better part of the last two days.
Basically, it was a tremendous amount of fun. I’ve noted before that ConFusion as the first regional con I had even been to (before that I had only been to a couple of Worldcons), so I was really happy when they offered me the toastmaster position, because it meant it would also be my first guest of honor gig, and I liked the symmetry there. I was also very happy that the con also picked Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier as the author Guests of Honor; aside from being entirely worthy of the selection, they are also great friends of mine, and because they were showing up, other really excellent friends of mine went out of their way to show up as well. And Krissy also decided to accompany me to the con, which was only the third time she’d gone to a convention (she decided to get dressy, as you can tell from the above picture, taken by William Dyer). So ConFusion became an excuse to hang out with some of my best friends in the science fiction world, and there’s no way to complain about that.
I’m happy to say all my events also went off without a hitch, no small feat considering I was programmed out the wazoo, and by halfway through Saturday I was a little slaphappy. I credit my liaison Rikhei with keeping me on track with both her knowledge of where I had to be and when, and her miraculous ability to produce Coke Zeros for me without me even asking. Having a liaison is an excellent thing, and I recommend it for everyone. It also helped that most of my panels were entertaining; the highlight of them was the juvenalia panel, in which Justine, Scott, and Merrie Haskell read excerpts of material they wrote when they were much younger. I refer you to Justine for the full wrapup on that panel, but suffice to say that when she says that Scott’s juvenalia was so bad I literally couldn’t look at him at points, she was entirely correct. The good news is, Scott’s writing has gotten much better since then. Even so: painful.
Another highlight for me was having my revenge on Chuck Firment. Two years ago, Chuck was the Fan Guest of Honor and in that capacity announced to everyone at the convention that they were required to kiss the top of my head during the convention. This caused lots of random head-kissing, and in one case, someone licking my skull. So as a Guest of Honor this year, it was fully expected I would return the favor. And indeed I did, but rather than do any particular thing, what I did was make Chuck paranoid all weekend long. This was accomplished by spreading the word around that everytime people saw Chuck, they were to ask him how he was doing, and make some sort of indication that they were surprised that he continued to be unmolested (so: “Chuck! How you doin’? You’re still dry, I see”). At one point, Chuck went to sit down next to someone, and they lept up and moved away, saying “I’m not sitting anywhere near you until after the con, Chuck.” Needless to say, Chuck was on pins and needles the entire convention. Then on Sunday he went home, convinced that he’d escaped unscathed, only to find something I left for him there. Yes, yes, paranoia was had by Chuck, and it was good.
I noted that there were some interesting pictures of me taken at ConFusion, which has led to demands for said pictures. Well, here’s one:
The players in the picture, clockwise from left: Jim C. Hines, Chuck Firment, Patrick “Amazing Head” Rothfuss, and yours truly (in the background: Jeff Beeler. Photo by William Dyer).
Yes, there is context for this picture. No, Patrick’s nickname doesn’t have anything to do with it. I swear. Nevertheless, it’s pictures like this that will keep me from being president one day. There are worse things.
But to wrap up: ConFusion was awesome. If you were there, you know this. If you weren’t there, well, I hope you had a good weekend anyway, but I doubt it was as much fun as ours.