As one might expect, attendance was up for the weekend days of Denvention. There were more people, hence more costumes and more variety of people. Contrary to popular assumption, a sci-fi convention is not 100% basement dwelling geeks and Star Trek references. This particular convention (I haven't been to enough to generalize) seemed to be more book oriented than TV or movies. I saw only one woman in a Star Trek uniform, though I'm told that some of the guys in Utilikilts were wearing Klingon boots. (Guys in modern kilts was another common sight, probably due to the independent "I'm proud to be different" attitude of many sci-fi geeks.) They were showing Hugo nominated films, like Battlestar Galactica: Razor, in one room, so it wasn't completely excluded, but most people there seemed to be the bookish types. If anyone in my audience is more familiar with conventions, maybe you can enlighten us on when George Takei and Jonathan Frakes are dragged into these things.
On Saturday, the four of us gathered to hear Lois McMaster Bujold read a couple chapters from her current work in progress, a new book in her Miles Vorkosigan series. I haven't read all of them -- actually, I'd only gotten through the first two, the ones about his parents, before getting distracted and moving on to something else -- so I was unfamiliar with the main character, but Bujold's writing sucked me right in. It was funny and exciting and made you want to read more. Fortunately, she's not sure when she'll finish it, so I have time to catch up on the series.
Afterwards, we went up to wait in line and have books signed. She signed for at least 2 1/2 hours in one sitting. She must had have terribly cramped hands at the end! That, on top of the fact that she had a cold and was losing her voice, showed what a trooper she was.
We also went to ambush John Scalzi. Tania tried to sign us up for the "kaffeeklatch" (a ten-on-one roundtable session) with him but was foiled by a miscommunication on the part of the organizers. So, she represented the UCF at the kaffeeklatch. So, we waited around to get a photo with him afterwards. After all that buildup, I saw Scalzi for about ten seconds as he graciously paused to let us give him a UCF t-shirt and photograph ourselves with him and then he was off to dress for the Hugo awards ceremony. We didn't go to the ceremony (Jeri and I went to Stacey's house instead) but Scalzi ended up winning a Hugo for Best Fan Writer.
After accosting Scalzi, we headed to P.F. Chang's for some much needed celebratory food. There were seven of us, Janiece and her Smart Man, Tania and her dad and her friend Lance, and Jeri and I. We ate lots of food (did it family style and passed stuff around) and talked lots. It was great. I'm so glad we got to have so many UCFers in one spot and really look forward to more.
Sunday was more low key. Jeri, Janiece, and I went to a panel with Bujold and two of her best writing friends, Lillian Stewart Carl and Patricia C. Wrede, who also happen to be famous writers themselves. They had a great rapport between them and lots of great stories over the years (they had become friends before any of them were published, I believe).
Then, after waiting around for more book signings (Elizabeth Moon, for me) and a final wander around the merchandising area, Tania joined us and we four went to lunch at Appaloosa Grill. You won't be surprised when I say we ate good food and had a hell of a lot of fun talking.
Oh, I forgot to mention that on Sunday I decided to wear a sari to the convention. It was mainly because I could (not much call for saris in my usual workaday world). Jeri took this picture of me, next to the Stargate. The gals were quite impressed.
You can read more about the convention on Janiece (Day 4, Day 5), Jeri, or Tania's blogs.