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FogCon 4: Day Two

Another day of good panels and good chats. Also, they announced not just the theme for next year's con ("The Traveler"), but the guests of honor: Kim Stanley Robinson and Cat Valente. Color me officially excited!

  • My first panel of the day was also the one where I was a panelist, about books with unreliable narrators, plot twists, and other such devices. It ended up being more of a group discussion than an traditional panel, which was totally fine with me, and the audience seemed to enjoy it, too: I got several unsolicited compliments from attendees afterwards. Although the stated subject was books, we also talked about movies and other media -- I got to talk about Varric as an unreliable narrator in DA2, and at the very last second realized I should also recommend "Welcome to Night Vale". In many ways, it was easier than the copyright panel from last year, probably because it's not a topic that I care as passionately about, so I could just relax and have fun with it.

  • After a solo lunch break and some jewelry shopping in the dealer's room, I went to the panel on the "ghost of honor", James Tiptree, Jr. I've heard of Tiptree, but never read any of her work, and I felt like I ought to get to know more about her, and it was a good call: the discussion was really interesting, and I walked out determined to read Julie Phillips' biography of Tiptree and to give her fiction a try.

  • The next panel, on building a fictional system of magic, was interesting, but ultimately frustrating, because I found the panelists' views on magic versus technology versus religion to be somewhat limiting. That's okay, though, because the following session was a really fantastic discussion of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl and the Angel in the House, and how these tropes are limiting (and how they are related, which isn't something I'd thought of before), and recommendations of stories that subvert and break away from them. Another significant set of additions to the reading list came out of this one.

  • I spiffed myself up a little for dinner, which was nice (and where they announced the theme and guests for next year). I was joined by zahraa, her husband, and a friend, and I got to chat more with them as well as the couple who I had earlier joined at the table. For hotel banquet food, it was more than decent, and I'm glad they've started offering the option.

  • After dinner was Q&A with Seanan McGuire and it was every bit as great as I could have hoped. She opens the floor to almost literally any question, so she talked about her life and her writing and her research and her fandom, and she tells stories, and she gets serious and then monumentally silly, and it was thought-provoking and entertaining and awesome. Then was my last planned event, the Liar's Panel, a tradition in its second year, where the panelists basically spend an hour making stuff up, being goofy and fun. I laughed so hard I got hiccups. Then I hung in the con suite for a bit -- I would have stayed longer, because there were multiple good conversations going on, but given the time change I wanted to make sure to get enough quiet time in the room before bed.


One day more.

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