karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

Balticon recap

Today is the last day of this year's Balticon. Ages ago it was on Easter weekend, because they got great hotel rates that weekend. I never went back then, because I had a family and Easter meant Easter baskets for the kids in the morning, followed by a hunt for eggs, and then a big family dinner. Ever since they moved the con to Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I have gone whenever we could. It's a good con, and reasonably well run, other than the occasional logistical problem, like the lack of microphones in the largest room for panels, and one room that is, for some reason, always set up like a boardroom with a huge conference table and chairs around it. It's very awkward for a panel and the seating is much more limited than it should be for a room that size. Perhaps the hotel won't let them rearrange it?

Balticon is big enough to attract a number of well known writers from some distance, including from New York (from upstate, Patricia Bray and Joshua Palmatier, and from NYC, Laura Anne Gilman) and Illinois (ever heard of Gene Wolfe?). The “local” folks included Scott Edelman, David Louis Edelman (no relation), Jeri Smith-Ready, John G. Hemry (aka Jack Campbell), Dave Williams, Catherine Asaro, Stephanie Dray, and Tom Doyle. There were too many to mention, but a complete list is on the program page, along with the various guests of honor and the new Compton Crook winner.

I had a lot of fun, went to some good panels (on humor, marketing, torturing characters, alternative publishing, the editing process, and the short story market), indulged myself in the dealer's room and the art show, had some great conversations in the bar and at restaurants, and got to show off my Kindle (writers really like to see their books in new media).

In short, I had a wonderful Balticon! Next year, at Hunt Valley!

Tags: conventions, writers

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