Conjecture has wrapped and i met some fun people. Getting to meet sartorias , shweta_narayan ,gregvaneekhout and half a dozen others was fun. I got to catch up with old friends, and was saved the wrath of a con chair when someone else brought up a topic i was told not to mention. Conjecture was a smallish fairly laid back con. The hotel wasn’t bad, in fact for the cost of the rooms you got a real nice place to leave your things while you wandered around to parties, panels and other events.
The Darkcon party was a blast and had some interesting mixed drinks. I may some day be forgiven for assisting my friends and other party goers in trying some of them.
It’s sorta funny how all cons have their own vibe and how much or little the vibe changes year year. I’ve been lucky enough to get to Ravencon is a quietly intense literary con that is moving strongly towards being more of a general SF con. Right now it has a feel that is remarkably similar to Boskone despite the lack of cross over.
Arisia, which is only a month and half a city away from Boskone is very different. Arisia is very much a general con, and a great place to make friends across the sf/f fandom spectrum. Costumes are probably as high as 1 in 10 people, where as i don’t recall seeing anyone at Ravencon or Boskone in costume.
Pi-Con is higher-than-most-energy con, with a much younger base than the others I’ve mentioned and is heavily into gaming, with strong filk, fannish, and literary elements.
Conjecture, which was about the same size as Raven had a good mix of interesting people, but I think it needs more people from outside the immediate area to get it from a fun con to a great con. Myself, Jason Cordova, and David Drake seemed like the only real "outsiders" at the con. Everyone else seemed to know each other. This can be fun, and it was but there was a lack of spark that you get when new elements are mixed in at the right proportion. I do intend to go back some day because I did enjoy it, and i’ll probably decide to make a real vacation out of the trip.
One thing I won’t be doing if I go back is visiting Hunter’s Steakhouse. We had reservations, got their at 8:45 Saturday night, and it wasn’t too busy. We got sat pretty much right away. It took 15 minutes before our drink order was taken. The two tables that were sat after us, one by fifteen minutes, one by thirty both got their food before we did. In fact when the first of them was sat, the waitress had our drinks in her hands, put them down on an empty table, took their drink order, walked back by the drinks and our table like none of it was there. She then came back with something for the new table, and again walked by our drinks three times.
This is when one of the people i was with got up and got our drinks. The waitress came back as we are all drinking and apologized, saying that she was coming back to give them too us. Ten minutes had elapsed while our drinks sat there. Were now almost forty minutes into our window to eat and get back for one of the party of six to get back to a panel.
Time goes by…
Our orders come, I looked at the steak of the person who had ordered medium well. Generously speaking it was medium, honestly speaking it was too red for a lot of people who like medium rare. Not surprisingly she sent it back. About three minutes later the steak is brought back, it’s still medium. Again it goes back. On the third try it was close enough to medium well for this person to eat. I’ve eaten with this person before, and never seen her send anything back. I’ve cooked and waited tables, and getting it wrong once is sad, but forgivable getting it wrong twice is about the time you should start worrying if the pooch is on birth control. It took us almost two and half hours to get in and out at a half full restaurant.
Conjecture was the last con of the year for me, and much as I wish i could go to WFC, Calgary is just too far to when I’ve been to Denver and San Diego already this year. I should be at WFC next year, and in Montreal. Ravencon and Lunacon are the only definite dates at this point. I’d like to go to Arisia, Balticon, and Boskone this year but other events might push them down the scale.