TL;DR – This past weekend was Convolution 2015 and I had a very good time.
Convolution 2015 started on Friday morning for me with a panel on the Legacy of Lovecraft. It was run by a woman named Carrie who was on my panel about myths last year and was a great panelist then and she was a good moderator this time. The other panelist with us, Chuck, was also fun to have on the panel and the conversation between the three of us and the audience flowed really well. No one panel-hogged, the conversation was collaborative, it was good.
Friday night was the Your Book is Why Daddy Drinks panel and it went mostly well. It was a bit of a struggle to keep people on track, it was the same way our second year when we were doing a single book rather than an anthology, but I heard from people they had fun and that’s all that matters.
Oh, that and the panel was all wearing fur bikinis. No, you don’t get pictures.
The second panel I was on was kind of…meh. The “secret” panel, the discussion topic we were given was basically how to murder the other panelists as a kind of creative exercise. The panel got super dark super quick and each subsequent round of the discussion (all about death) got a little uncomfortable. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the “how to murder your fellow panelists” had been one round of the panel but the overwhelming darkness of it was a bit much, even if it was creative and did have parts of it that were funny.
The other “bad” thing about the panel was another one of the panelists. While I won’t mention him by name, he was on my panel last year about Fifty Shades of Gray and kink. At that time, despite it being a panel about a specific book, he proudly admitted he refused to read it and instead spent most of the panel basically saying “This book sucks, buy my kinky books instead.” I get that authors, editors, and publishers go to cons, at least in part, to self-promote through participation but to actively take part in a panel to discuss a specific book, ignore that book (and essentially the whole reason of the panel), and try to hijack the thread for your own purposes? Bad form.
He was on the panel this time and, joy of joys, ended up being my partner. He’d set up his table-tent with his name, his little book stand to showcase his latest book, and had a stack of other books in front of him. As it became quickly obvious that this was not going to be a panel where he could talk about himself and his books, he looked more and more unhappy and ended up playing with his phone, packing up, and basically told me he had a call had to take and bailed before the panel even really got started. Meh.
The last panel I was on was the one I was moderating and one of the topics I came up with, Modern Boogeymen. I wanted to have a discussion about the concept of boogeymen, where they came from and what they were used for, and how they have changed over the years and why. On the panel I had Tyler Hayes and my friend Kendra Pecan, two people who I have known for years and are also very knowledgeable about the topic.
What came from it was a great conversation with the audience participating a fair amount, asking questions and offering their own opinions. The only “bad” part of it was an older gentleman who I don’t think was neurotypical, judging by the vocal and physical tics. He kept interjecting at random points and while the topics were about “boogeymen”, they were more about the political concepts of turning people into boogeymen (Jews and blood libel, Red Scare, etc.) and conspiracy theories. So it was on topic…kind of, but the way he interrupted the conversation was jarring but I think the three of us managed to minimize the hijacking, touching on what he said a little bit and then moving on.
The con itself seemed like it was well-run, the schedule was managed by an mobile app so it can be updated on the fly which was nice. The dealers’ room and the art show were in the same space which helped get foot traffic to the dealers. I didn’t get to see much of the other events but I heard the masquerade was a full room (good show to Radar for organizing it).
Can’t wait for Convolution 2016.