Whew! Liberty Con 30 ended a week ago, but it’s taken me this long to recover from it – which is a sign of a great con, if I say so myself. (Also a sign that my hotel room had some of the worst soundproofing in the world. To my next door neighbors, congratulations on the child you will inevitably have in nine months.)
Liberty Con in Chattanooga, TN is a unique sci-fi and fantasy convention in that it limits attendance to 700 or so members and nearly half of those members are authors, which means that the fan half has a pretty significant chance of, oh, just running into John Ringo or David Weber or Kevin Hearne or [Insert Other Bestselling Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author Here]. There’s even an event on Sunday (the Kaffeeklatsch) that literally boils down to “Sit Down and Have Coffee With Your Favorite Author.” (I didn’t have coffee with Kevin Hearne, but I totally picked up every Iron Druid Chronicles book I didn’t already own and now have signed copies of EVERYTHING YESSSS.)
The con’s also a smorgasbord of smaller-name-but-equally-awesome authors, like Terry Maggert, whose Banshee I reviewed earlier this year and whose series starters I picked up in the Author’s Alley; Lydia Sherrer, who wrote the other wizard-with-a-talking-animal series at the con – Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus – which I picked up in full; Dave Schroder, who wrote the Xenotech Support series, which I basically picture as “Office Space In Space With More Tech Support” and so of course picked up the first book in that as well; and Edward F. McKeown, whose Maauro Chronicles I started solely because of that cool anime-styled character on the cover DON’T JUDGE ME.
This was also the first con where I had the opportunity to be an active participant as well as an active nerd, so I did my first reading ever with Beth W. Patterson (author of The Wild Harmonic, which is about shapeshifting were musicians. SHAPESHIFTING WERE MUSICIANS, GUYS). I also shared a panel on “YA SF & F Literature – How to Keep The Young Mind’s Attention in the Age of Video” with Michael J. Allen, Taylor S. Hoch, Nan Monroe, and S. Andrew Swann, wherein I mostly said “Yes!” and “I agree!” because it was Sunday at 1 and I was zonked, y’all. I apologize to all who came to that panel to see me, but I promise, find me at any other convention and I will talk your ears off and probably the ears of your neighbor, too, so bring extras.
I also somehow got lured into scoring the final round of the Killer Cutthroat Spades Tournament at 10:30pm on Saturday night, despite only learning how to play Spades three weeks ago, but such is the surreal experience that is Liberty Con.
If you ever get a chance to go to Liberty Con, whether as author or fan, I highly recommend it. It’s that rare convention that feels less like a hyperactive mob, more like a family reunion where everyone is a nerd, some are authors, and some are literally rocket scientists or nuclear physicists – so, the best and smartest family reunion ever.
Also, if all the questions I got about my Author’s Alley display are any indication, I can apparently hook you up with some sweet goods that will make your author table pop at a con – so many questions, in fact, that I promised a blog post compiling all my answers. If you’re one of those inquisitive authors, keep your eyes on our feed. Part 2, or “FAQ: Where’d you get that…?” is coming soon!
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