Much to the surprise of my Wednesday self, on Friday night I found myself braving the treacherous winter conditions en route to Detroit, MI to attend Epic ConFusion - my first ever con.
I really didn't know what to expect except that I would probably see a great line up of authors. Big names like Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, and John Scalzi as well as a few newer authors that I've chatted with including Saladin Ahmed, Kameron Hurley, Bradley Beaulieu, Myke Cole, Douglas Hulick. Throw in a few more-established favorites like Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Peter V. Brett, and Brent Weeks and I couldn't not go. Plus this guy was going to be there.
As it turns out, the line-up and the winter storms combined to make for an incredible weekend. For every author that was there, there were ten fans that weren't, resulting in what had to be a 2:1 author to fan ratio. I couldn't stumble across the bar without falling into one of my favorite authors and every one of them was more than willing to sit down and have a drink or a bite to eat. I could go on and on but I don't think I could it justice. Here's a brief rundown of the things I learned this weekend:
- Joe Abercrombie apparently refers to playing Skyrim as "writing RED COUNTRY." He's about 80% done.
- As far as epic duels go, none would be as epically epic as a cute-off between Rothfuss's rugrat and the Buckell twins. If such an event were to occur, civilization as we know it would cease to exist.
- One Cthulu is terrifying. Two Cthulu is barely comprehensible. An overweight woman wearing two stuffed Cthulu's as a bra and little else? THE HORROR. THE HORROR.
- 100% of the women polled agreed that Joe Abercrombie was sexier than China Mieville. On a related note, while I listened to him give a Gaiman-caliber reading from THE HEROES, my wife watched him say something in a Britishy accent - she's not quite sure what.
- A prophecy was spoken - 2013 will bring the reign of the Mormish One, who promises blood and guns and magic. More on this when things are officially announced.
- Peter V. Brett believes its okay to comment on reviews. Except in the case of those posted on Staffer's Musings - Justin is huge and will kick your ass.
- If Douglas Hulick is the Peter Mayhew of the SFF world, Myke Cole is the Kenny Baker.
- John Scalzi is an ARC troll. He paraded his newly printed copy of REDSHIRTS around like a 2001 third grader with a Charizard foil card. I was sorely tempted to steal it from him when he let me hold it but my ethical side prevailed. (Okay, his wife might have tackled me when I was running from the room.) The prologue he read at his panel was incredible. When can I haz?
- Saladin Ahmed inexplicably has an inferiority complex. THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON might only be 300 pages of words but it contains 600 pages worth of awesome.
- The only thing cooler than having a book signed by an author is having a book signed by an author twice. Apparently, I grabbed the wrong copy of GOD'S WAR off the book shelf...luckily Kameron Hurley is awesome.
- Joe Abercrombie is an Arkansawyer, a shameless self-promoter, and a huge fan of Two Truths and a Lie. This is not always popular.
- There appears to be a correlation between authors who are very successful and authors who focus on story before world building.
- Patrick Rothfuss's beard is to quiet contemplative brillance what Samson's locks were to strength. Hopefully his legend will end with all involved structures fully intact.
All in all - I laughed, I cried, I saw things I can never unsee, and I met some people I look forward to seeing again. Epic ConFusion lived up to its name and then some.