Thursday, April 7, 2011

Belated Anomalycon Wrapup

I was surprisingly stressed out on the approach to AnomalyCon 2011. I've been into Steampunk since it first had a name (around the time Gibson and Sterling's Difference Engine hit the scene.) It's a genre I've enjoyed for quite a while, and the very first novel I completed for NaNoWriMo is in that genre. (It will probably never see the light of day.) Still, I had no real handle on what the crowd would be like, and Jeff and I, by vacuuming up any panel space that came free when the inevitable cancellations cropped up, had both a reading and a topic panel to give.

As it turned out, it was a lot of fun. The Tivoli Student Union building is a defunct 19th century brewery, still replete with much of the equipment - a large steam engine, keg management equipment, and so on - so it was a perfect setting for the con. It is also enormous, so when the con ran to three times the number of people the staffers reasonably expected to see, it still didn't feel crowded or harried, and we weren't getting the hairy eyeball from some hotel staff. The LLC running the con did a remarkable job for the first time around. Kudos to them.

Our presentation on Saturday was on Steampunk in post-future worlds. What this translates to is that Jeff's Drumlin world, while strictly by date, is set in the distant future. However, because the people of the colony have undergone a technological regression (they were never expecting to colonize a world from scratch, so the information they brought with them was on consumer grade electronics - which only lasted 10 years or so.) What our talk centered around was what forces made the original Victorian era occur, and if, given the same or similar values in the culture, it would recur in this future world. We concluded that not only would it, but between cultural DNA (they had lots of pictures and some pattern books) and manufacturing technology, it would likely /look/ very much like the Victorian era.

On Sunday, we did readings from our double novel: Drumlin Circus/On Gossamer Wings. It was reasonably well received, though we were across (and literally right below the balcony of) a somewhat more popular panel. Fortunately Jeff and I are both experienced readers who can fill a decent sized room with sheer lung power.

The downside of the Tivoli building is that the light is absolutely terrible in it. Getting good pictures inside the con was very much hit or miss, even with my mighty F1.2 Pentax-A lens, which is the fastest camera/lens package I own. So I don't really have any compelling pictures to share.

A fun con, and I'll most likely be going again next year, with intent to read and/or panelize.


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