Much of the fun of ConQuesT happens at the parties and con-suite. Here's Nate Williams, John Scalzi, and me doing our best to follow the photographer's (chernobylred's) dictate to "look like we like each other." Turns out that this Scalzi guy is charming, entertaining, and quite likable. Plus we have a lot in common.
The pin I'm wearing serves as a transition; it's a Bland Lemon fan-club pin, made by James Hollaman, that Brad Denton handed out during his reading. Here's Lemon in action at Room Con 2009:
Because the con takes place in Kansas City, a herd of us naturally had to dine at Arthur Bryant's BBQ. Here's Diane Turnshek, Nate, and me enjoying our plates-full of pork:
I ordered a huge rack o' ribs and bowling-ball-sized plate of fries, that Ellen Datlow (and, to be fair, everyone else) helped me finish in return for some of her BBQ (she wouldn't take some ribs without reciprocating). As you can tell by the photo of the line beside us (which went out the door), we arrived just in time, as it was only a few people deep when we arrived.
Eric Reynolds of Hadley Rille Books held a room party with prizes, food & wine, book launches (including Camille Alexa's Push of the Sky and Lawrence M. Schoen's Buffalito Destiny), and 5-minute readings from attending Hadley Rille authors (Nate Williams, Mary Chambers, and me).
I had a great time hearing the adventures of James Hogan.
Oh, I also did a full-length reading from the first couple chapters of my upcoming novel, Transcendence. Thanks to those who came to listen!
I also did a couple of writer's workshops with two very receptive and promising writers.
The weekend pretty much wrapped up with the Charity Auction (benefiting AboutSF). It was a huge success - not only as a fundraiser, but also for finally getting artist Mitchell Davidson Bentley naked! Backstory: For a while now, Mitch has "offered" to strip off a piece of clothing for every $100 bid during the auction. I should point out that he's grown wise to our ways and arrived garbed in two jackets, three shirts, and assorted other items. Well, this year the audience was determined to naked him up! When he got down to just his jeans, he took off across the dealer room, only returning after a few minutes wrapped in a blanket. The next couple of bids resulted with his underpants ending up in the audience. Much joy and laughter ensued. Here's proof, as photographed by Star Straf:
A sincere thank you to Mitch, ConQuesT, and everyone who bid on the items there. We really appreciate your ongoing support of our outreach program - which will be expanding quite a lot very soon.
Finally, some hanging-out as everyone's energy dwindled. Made my good-byes to everyone and headed home to sleep for a hundred hours.
If you live within driving distance of the KC area, you really ought to check out ConQuesT.
PS: If you posted photos and con reports, link to 'em in a comment, please!