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.

31 Comments on “ConFusion Wrapup, 2008”

  1. I forget exactly what you said to weasel out of it this year, but next year, you must bring your juvenilia to read to us. This will likely prove your thesis that teenage writing sucks. Of course, as Justine said, that’s not a difficult thesis to prove.

  2. It must be said.

    Who’s that weird guy mucking up the picture of that simply gorgeous woman in that hot-flash-inducing outfit?

  3. If that picture is at all representative of the goings-on at the con, I think that hand sanitizer would not have done you any good. Unless you bathed in it, that is.

  4. Hugh57:

    “I forget exactly what you said to weasel out of it this year”

    Well, I wasn’t scheduled on the panel, for one. but if you really can’t live without seeing how I wrote as a teen this should work for you.

  5. Having seen it myself, I’ll agree that Rikhei was most excellent to keep you on track and in the right place.

    And I don’t think you saw it, sitting at the table yourself, but during the Juvenalia recap in the bar, the fabulous Merrie Haskell’s piece caused PNH to do what would have been a spit take had he received his drink by that time. That scene alone was worth the price of admission.

  6. I see you’re smart enough to put the gorgeous Mrs. Scazi in front of you at least some of the time.
    Congrats, once again, for convincing her to marry you.

  7. In the picture you linked there’s an amazing resemblance between you and the Italian erotic filmmaker Tinto Brass. This is NOT a good thing!

    NB: searching “Tinto Brass” in Google Images is absolutely NSFW.

  8. Okay, now that I’m over my selfdepreciating anger, it looks like you all had a fabulicious time. Some of the pictures by Anne Murphy are really awesome.

    Krissy (as always) looks great in the gothish Snow White ensemble.

  9. The “context” picture is what led to one of the quotes from my con recap – we were sitting on the other side of the lobby and the flash caught our attention.

    “Wow. John Scalzi’s wife is really hot.”
    “Actually, that’s not Scalzi’s wife. That’s Yanni.”
    “Oh. Is the other one his wif … no, that’s Anne, isn’t it?”
    “Yeah. I think his wife is in that group around him somewhere.”
    “That’s more of a harem than a group.”
    “Yeah. Poor guy.”

  10. Yes, I’ll add to the already expressed canon:

    John, I like you for your brain and elegant wit, but… your wife? She’s simply hot!

  11. I saw you at the con but I failed to receive a ribbon…it was in between panels or something. Oh, well, there’s always next year I suppose.

  12. Wow. I did not receive any instructions, but before the opening ceremonies, Chuck told me himself what he’d done and his fear of retribution, and I said, “Oh! YOU’RE the one!” having heard of the head-licking here. After the opening ceremonies, I merely assumed that revenge would be had at some point. Late Saturday night, I ran into Chuck at some party and asked, “Has anything happened yet?” And he turns a paranoid pair of eyes on me and asks, “Why, do you know what’s GOING to happen???”

    Glad I could do my part. :)

  13. Nope wasn’t at ConFusion.Didn’t have hot Babe on arm. Was at at Arisia tho,and would really recommend going your local convention.Lots of fun ,get to hear what the authors had in mind,
    Of note is that each convention has its individual feel,Arisia is kid friendly and is very lifestyle oriented(ok i’m being polite it can be very kink oriented) Boskone which is coming up is more literature oriented and is also fun and I wouldn’t miss either .

  14. Juvenalia was A LOT of fun, as were the other umpteen panels I saw you at. Great toastmaster speech, too. Was the guy who licked your head last year the one giving out Browncoat ribbons? I vaguely remember a leather kilt…

  15. Is this Dermott McSorley who lived in Denver in the late 1970’s? Would think so just from the language of the post,,,,,,,,,,, pls lset me know..

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