Sunday, August 13, 2006

Armadillocon

Armadillocon was held in Austin this weekend. I didn't go. Conestoga was just two weeks ago. I really enjoyed it, and didn't feel like making the effort to turn around and go to Austin two weeks later.
This year has been tight on money, what with car troubles, hospital bills and the wife completing her last semester of student teaching. I figured a few weeks ago I needed to drop a con somewhere; DilloCon seemed logical, since I wasn't a guest. All the other cons I've been to (ConDFW, AggieCon and Conestoga, plus FenCon so coming up in September) have been nice enough to invite me as a guest. Nobody would miss me at DilloCon.
I met Julie Czerneda (the GOH at DilloCon) at Marcon in Columbus back in 2004 - we were on the same panel. She's a nice person, and a great writer, but she works more in the long form. I think the gremlins that run DilloCon seem to be more impressed by novelists that short story writers.
I have back-to-back weekend trips coming up in September, since the next Turkey City is the Saturday following Fencon.
I met the FenCon folks at Conestoga, and they seem to be nice bunch who've got their act together. I'm looking forward to the Con.
Strangely enough, Tulsa is a lot closer to where I live than Austin. It took me three and a half hours to get to Conestoga, but it's at least an hour more to Austin (part of the problem is the fact it's a straighter shot to Tulsa from here in the environs of Texarkana than to Austin, because to get to Central Texas I have to head due west to Dallas and then south).
The biggest incentive for me to attend DilloCon would have been the chance to meet James P. Hogan - but he was also a special guest at Conestoga. We weren't on any panels together - and unfortunately all his signings were at times I WAS on panels.
Saturday afternoon I found out when he was doing his podcast, and I went up to the room. I sat through the podcast (which was a very interesting interview) and then buttonholed him.
I had taken a half dozen books with me, and we went down to the bar, where he was nice enough to sign them. We sat and chewed the fat for a couple of hours.
I think the funniest thing was when he opened a book and saw it still had a Hooks Library card in it (it had been taken out of circulation - I bought off the remainder table).
He raised his eyebrows and said "Ah-Hah!". Of course, he assumed I had stolen it.
Of course, I mumbled my explanation. I don't know whether believed me, though.

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