Tag Archives: radcon 2013

Radcon 2013: Sunday and after-action

Radcon is a science fiction convention held in Tri-Cities, WA.

Wouldn’t you know that the only day I get decent sleep is the day when I need the energy the least. There was one panel that was important to me, and I was on time, but it was about half bust. Some panelists just boggle my mind with their not-getting-it. If the panel is about how to write, the minute you say ‘Have you seen Suchandsuch movie?’ you have lost me, because the point is that you have tools available in film that you do not have in print. What is worse: then talk for five minutes about how the movie did it. That’s simply not helpful to the writer or editor, unless the panel is about screenplays and making movies.

I did pick up something for Deb and some books for Jenn, so that was productive. Sunday at Radcon is usually pretty lax, with a lot of goodbyes and such. Some years I don’t even show up for Sunday.

Overall I think that the all-volunteer organizing bunch at Radcon does a pretty good job. Some of the vendors are fairly lousy at business, and it shows, but the only ones that hurts are themselves. The panel subjects have gotten fairly stale, there was a lot of ‘they have that every year.’ But I’m firm that I’d never go back with a mobility impairment, nor encourage anyone else with one to go. Security simply makes zero effort (that I could see) to keep kids from running people over. I realize that they have a hard job, and I think what they want to say but dare not is this: “Look. The day belongs to the adults, the night belongs to the kids, so just go home at night, if you would please.” Which is convenient for them, but isn’t what I came for.

There are several panel ideas I could suggest to freshen up the lineup, but I don’t think they’d be very receptive, since I’m not part of the old line Tri-Cities Radcon in-crowd and am not a big name, so I just elect not to make a nuisance of myself with ideas and suggestions. It is probably my last one anyway, for other reasons. There are a lot of people involved that I’ll miss, as the people really are the highlight, but a lot of the actual con content is fairly much the same from year to year, and I assume that’s how the majority prefers it, so, fair enough. Overall it was a good if physically painful experience, where all my guests seem to have had a good time and enjoyed the con and each other. That really is the main overriding thing.


Radcon 2013: Saturday

Radcon is the annual science fiction convention of Tri-Cities, WA.

Naturally, we stayed up until four last night being raucous. Naturally, I knocked back half a quart of tequila and woke up with a headache after less than five hours’ sleep. Had some special commitments before and at Radcon that made it somewhat necessary to get moving before one was thoroughly ready, but all was handled in good order without screwing up.

Tell you this: Radcon’s vendors should love up on me. I think my friends have dropped $1000 on the dealer room–and happy to do it. Nyssa and Jeff’s leather goods and clothes are some of the best going, as are Jane and Elizabeth’s at Seams Like Magick. Rebekah went in her medieval stuff complete to the gray cape with the elegant chicken guts on the sleeves, hand-sewn. Marcel’s self-designed and created musketeer costume could buckle the swashes of the Radcon women any day if Jenn weren’t along and equally imposing in her Victorian black silk dress. As before, I was the spud without a costume, except for the white beret.

Made it to a couple of panels, which were pretty good, and caught up with Sharon for a good long catching of up. John did the filk/jam stuff again, toting his violin around all day, and Rebekah reprised her normal role as force of nature. I got to unwind a bit at Bottles & Shots (room party) with the friendly and kind Joe and Adrienne, and met some very nice folks there. This is composed during some upstairs raucosity back at my place (they don’t need my help to be raucous; it comes naturally). Deb has been a saint of taxiing, cooking, prepping, cleaning up and otherwise making everyone feel not just welcome but comfortable and cared for. I totally married the right woman–not because she does such things, but because she wants to. It’s great to see everyone getting along and forming their own relationships independent of the hosts, which is how it should go.

Didn’t get run over by any kids tonight, perhaps because someone said something, and perhaps because this time I was going to brace and take advantage of being built like a bridge abutment. Radcon staff seems to do pretty well in most ways, always remembering its all-volunteer nature. I still have to say, though, that it just is a difficult con for a mobility impairment.

There is no way I am getting soused tonight. None of my guests are–they bring the merriment as easily cold sober as drunk, and none are big drinkers anyway.

Radcon 2013: Friday

Not a very eventful Friday; only went to one panel and no parties. I think everyone had a good time, though. Panel on steampunk was quite good, with no monopolizers and pretty good panelists. It feels very weird to experience Radcon at 50-55º F; I am used to it being ball-lifting cold. Registration looked at first like it might be a return to the goat rodeo days, but they adjusted well. Some rooms have actually been moved from the past; art room is where the dealer room always was. The panel variety is fine, though there are a lot of repeats from every year. I guess there are subjects they simply always must cover.

I had not realized how much mobility impairment affects the Radcon experience. Frankly, I would not advise anyone with a mobility impairment to attend, period, ever. Too many very young people simply plowing heedlessly into anyone using a cane or whatever, and security is disinterested in the situation. And I’m one of the lucky ones, substantial enough not to be easily bowled over. If you are mobility impaired and you would feel comfortable walking through a busy skate park, definitely attend Radcon, and just accept being slammed into by stupid kids.

The greatest fun, of course, is seeing all those people one just does not often see.

Now I want tequila and my recliner.

Radcon 2013: pre-function

Naturally, having this also be V-Day was not the normal way. I have an amazing wife who is willing to put herself on call for two whole days just to make sure people get to and from Radcon (see previous posts) with an ice cold sober driver at the wheel. As I write this, though a filter of straight tequila, I have to say that it was only just that she got to tie one on tonight. And she did, Alaskan that she is.

It was actually a very musical evening around our place, once we got all our rabbits in the net. Jenn and Marcel made it in from Canada without much border trouble over Marcel’s swashbuckling sword (evidently the US border guards took it inside and played with it). John, whose plane was on time, is a master of the stringed instrument and Mattias is a capable mixer, guitarist and singer. After Deb’s delicious lasagna (later punctuated by Jenn’s amazing huckleberry pie and cheesecake…good lord), we marshaled in the living room for animated discussion, song and instrumentals. I’m not much of a singer at all, nor much of anything musically, but a rendition of a Kingston Trio Spanish-themed tune had folks listening quietly and applauding (not something my voice usually obtains). Through it all I marveled again that the people who had traveled the least to arrive here were Canadian. Much song, no dance, few dogs (Leo found our sound frightening and hid from the obvious apocalypse) and great people. This is why we do this.

Eagerly awaiting Rebekah (late Friday night), and a meetup with Sharon (a room-lighter, like all the women of this group). Mattias is the only Radcon noob, so I’ll handle the orientation part. We expect to check in with Joe and Adrienne’s bash Friday night, and with any luck I won’t have to crawl to Deb’s car on a bad knee.

Maybe this is how you do Radcon right if you’re the home team: start two days early. It will be rather miraculous if I’m able to post coherently tomorrow night.