Just got back from my very first DragonCon. I attended something called Altcon in Tallahassee in the Spring, which wasn’t bad, but it was a one day affair with two or three presentation rooms and no one really famous. This was the real deal. Four host hotels in downtown Atlanta, plus some overflow hotels (I was actually out at the Airport Hilton, miles and miles away, but with shuttle buses and Marta it was not a big deal). Tens of thousands of people. Authors and celebrities that most people have heard of. And Costumes. Some kind of ridiculous, like the overweight Spartan with the spray painted abs. Some fantastic, like the cow headed demon who projected smoke through his nostrils and several Iron-Man suits that were flawless. Or the Star Wars Storm Trooper with the Ewok head on his spear. Really cute girls dressed as elves, anime characters, you name it. Sometimes there seemed to be too many people, and I thought of new and inventive ways to do in large numbers of people while trying to get through them. Those methods may go into future books. I talked to lots of people, and found many who had loved the same books, movies and TV shows that I did. Standing in one line a guy looked at my name tag and told me he was reading the third book in my series, then asked what was going to happen in book 4. I loved that, and really want to see as much of that as possible in the future (more on that in another post).
The parade was really first class. Squads of Boba Fetts, platoons of Storm Troopers, quartets of Batmans, scores of boxy superheroes, a guy in an authentic, and very hot, Wookie suit. Even a Jurassic Park Jeep and a Batmobile from the original series. I stood next to a Thor with a really cool hammer, but also saw a Bubba Thor wearing overalls and carrying a hammer made with a Budweiser box. I went as Indiana Jones on Saturday, and got in a couple of pictures. I soon found that wearing a leather jacket in Atlanta in August was not really a good idea. And some people were in costumes that had to be hell to wear.
I originally planned on seeing a lot of the celebrities, especially William Shatner and George Takei. After attending the writer’s workshop I signed up for it shifted to seeing authors. And getting worn out walking from hotel to hotel got me focused on going to presentations in the writer’s track that were in adjacent rooms. And the networking I really didn’t expect that may lead to some really great things in the near future. I will do a future post on the authors I met and how impressed I was with them. Of course a convention meant not enough sleep. Not because of noise. The Airport Hilton was very quiet. Just a different bed and not the same little noises I’m use to.
The one true celebrity panel I went to had Christopher Judge on it, Teal’c on Stargate SG-1. On the show his character is almost always wearing a frown. On the panel Christopher was constantly laughing and telling jokes and playing the crowd. He was a riot. I asked the panel about the writing for SG-1, which featured very good treatments of scifi themes from many of the classics. He explained that the writers were real science fiction fans who understood the genre and respected the fans. Was glad to hear that, because so much else I heard during the Con was about how Hollywood will change scripts so they won’t effect the spin off marketing, and how they really don’t respect the intelligence of scifi fans. Christopher was unusual because he played college football to get the scholarship so he could study theater and acting. Very intelligent guy and I left the presentation hoping there were many good things ahead for the big man.
My next post will be the final installment of A New Life, the serial short story I have been posting. After that I will a couple more posts on DragonCon, One will cover the authors I saw and my impressions of them, almost all good. And finally about how the networking I did, mostly unintentional, could lead to some big things.