Things I learned at Dragon*Con

September 4, 2008

  • Like many things associated with hotels, the internet access is a rip-off. And even if I’d decided to pay for it, I doubt if I would have had the time or inclination to post.
  • There are tons of those little “Free Sample Chapter” books floating around. That’s nice, but it’s going to take forever for me to get through them because I’m hardly going to prioritize reading a collection of teaser chapters over everything else on my plate. The one complete book I got for free went straight into my “read soon” pile, even though it doesn’t sound like something I’d be into.
  • You need to line up early even for some of the book-related panels or else you’ll end up 6 people behind the last person that fits through the door.
  • Rachel Caine is really nice.
  • As interesting as some of the fan panels going on at the same time may sound, it really is worth it to line up and get in to see the third Firefly celebrity panel of the weekend. The cast members who attended were that entertaining, and each day’s event was better than the last.
  • Even small, informal panels could use a moderator, because someone needs to curb that one guy’s tendency to spend ten minutes talking about random bullshit instead of letting the rest of us listen to the authors talk about the topic. The panel is only an hour, nobody cares about how you’re a unique little snowflake who started reading adult fiction at a very young age (just like almost every other hard-core reader in the world).
  • Despite the widespread mockery of people who go to a con and can’t maintain basic hygene standards, there are still people who do this. Trying to cover up your funk with cologne just makes it worse. In fact, everyone in that type of situation should just leave their perfume at home. Some of us are sensitive to that stuff, and if you get on an elevator with me while doused in it then you’ve just given me an icepick-behind-the-eyeballs level headache that will last for hours.
  • The book sellers in the dealer rooms aren’t that hot, most didn’t have much better selection than my local chain shops. There was a small-press booth that was interesting. But it was too crowded to really spend much time browsing and I didn’t want to buy their pricey trade paper format without at least reading the first few pages. I was really hoping for a booth with some out-of-print used books, but it either didn’t exist or was hidden too well for me to discover.
  • This is something that I already knew, but rum is the perfect party liquor. It mixes well with so many different things that you can easily just stick a small bottle in your bag and spike whatever kind of soda or fruit juice that’s convenient.
  • If you’ve managed to properly squeeze every last bit of fun out of the weekend, it’s going to take days to rest up and get back to a normal schedule.

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