Browsed by
Category: Personal Stories

Monster’s Ball

Monster’s Ball

My friend, Deb, is part of the mystery writers group that blogs as Jungle Red Writers, and it was her turn at bat last week. When she turned to me, searching for ideas, we brainstormed our way through Halloween décor, pumpkin-centric agriculture, and spice cake recipes before I suggested she investigate Halloween music and the tradition of the monster’s ball. She wasn’t sure what I was talking about, so I dragged Camille Saint-Saëns, Modest Mussorgsky, and Edvard Grieg into the…

Read More Read More

An Archon Overview

An Archon Overview

It’s time for an Archon Overview. Time to look back from a bit more than a week’s distance and share my thoughts about this year’s event. This was the penultimate convention for my four-con “season,” but for today’s post I want to focus just on Archon 46. This concom (convention committee) gets a lot of things right. They have a long, solid history of good art shows, now ably helmed by Anna Mulch, and a dynamic programming team. This year…

Read More Read More

The Road to Archon 46

The Road to Archon 46

The road to Archon 46  has almost come to an end. As you read this, we’ll be packing up final things or literally be ON the road, driving toward Collinsville, IL. But anytime we come to a science fiction convention we bring artwork, books, free promotional items, plus carefully chosen clothing and accessories and all the other needed “support items” to make the trip a success. When I think about all of those elements, and all the time it took…

Read More Read More

The Right Name

The Right Name

I got a new truck. That was the fun part. The hard part was coming up with the right name for it. The truck is a 2023 Ford Bronco Sport in a color they call Shadow Black. That’s basically black, but shiny, not matte. No blacked-out chrome or anything that would help me hide in the woods if I wanted to go off grid. This truck was built for off-roading, though, with standard four-wheel drive and adjustable G.O.A.T. modes. That…

Read More Read More

Good Friend/Bad Influence

Good Friend/Bad Influence

By G. S. Norwood I’m convinced that everyone needs a good friend who is a bad influence. You might want to wait to get such a friend until after you’ve logged enough years as an adult to genuinely understand the basics of right and wrong: But once you get those habits ingrained in your soul, you need to find a good friend who can be a bad influence on you every once in a while. A Good Friend A good…

Read More Read More

The Year for Horror

The Year for Horror

By Jan S. Gephardt Apparently this was the year for horror. At least, when it came to author readings at SoonerCon 31, it certainly seemed to be. I’m not sure why quite such a consistent stream of horror prevailed at the readings I attended. Perhaps living in the twilight of the Pandemic could be some of it. Maybe life at constant risk of mass-shooters the banners of books has done something to our collective psyche? Whatever the reason, SoonerCon 31…

Read More Read More

A SoonerCon 31 Summary

A SoonerCon 31 Summary

By Jan S. Gephardt I promised a SoonerCon 31 summary, and I mean to deliver in today’s post. But this overview won’t be our last glimpse of SoonerCon. I love this convention, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. However – as at every convention – this one provided some “learning takes.” Our dealers table experiment continues, although after SoonerCon 31 the effort is looking ever more dubious as a genuinely money-making proposition. We had another unfortunate entomological…

Read More Read More

ConQuesT 54 Challenges

ConQuesT 54 Challenges

By Jan S. Gephardt My ConQuesT 54 challenges provided yet another rough sf con experience. I love ConQuesT. It’s my “home con,” and I’ll go to every one I can. But ConQuesT 54 was kinda hard to love in several ways, and for several reasons. Post-Pandemic, and somewhat like DemiCon, it’s a smaller convention struggling against some bad breaks. Don’t get me wrong: there were a lot of bright spots, from my perspective. I reconnected with old friends, met some…

Read More Read More

Going to ConQuesT

Going to ConQuesT

By Jan S. Gephardt I’ve been going to ConQuesT or about as long as I’ve been going to science fiction conventions. I think of it as my “home con.” It’s sponsored by KaCSFFS (we pronounce it “KAX-fuss”), the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. I was “discovered” by Robin Wayne Bailey and his wife Diana J. Bailey, when I showed my artwork at a relatively short-lived convention at a local community college. That was back in 1982. KaCSFFS friends…

Read More Read More

My last DemiCon?

My last DemiCon?

By Jan S. Gephardt DemiCon 34 may have been my last DemiCon. I have a lot of great history with DemiCon as an institution, and as an eagerly-anticipated annual event. I’ve blogged about it in this space for the last several years, as veteran readers of this blog may recall. It was the convention that primarily inspired my 2019 post “Why I go to SF Conventions.” For a profile of DemiCon at its recent best, take a look at my…

Read More Read More