Why can’t I be Guest of Honour all the time?

I will confess that I was nervous about going to High Voltage ConFusion. There were several reasons for this:

  • I’m afraid of cold places. And Detroit in winter is COLD.1
  • I’d never been a guest of honour before and was worried I’d be crappy at it.
  • I was aware that most of the people at the con would not have heard of me or Scott and was worried that they would feel dudded of a proper author guest of honour what wrote adult sf and fantasy.

I need not have had any concerns at all. I was right that most of the people there didn’t know us or our work (unless they were a teen librarian or had teen children—there were precious few actual teens in attendance). But it turned out to be a really good thing. No pressure and no expectations. It was really relaxing. One of the most relaxing weekends I’ve had in ages.

Mostly because of Anne Murphy, our liaison. I had no idea that guests of honour get someone to take care of them. It was fabulous. Anne made sure we were fed and happy. She is the best liaison of all time. Thank you, Anne! Why can’t she take care of us all the time? We’re lost without you, Anne!

There was much fun. The Opening Ceremonies were hilarious. A picture of which below. Scalzi interviewing us was very silly and totally enjoyable. Though I was bummed he didn’t bring up unicorns or quokkas.

We got to design our own panels. Thank you so much con organisers for indulging us! And thus were able to vent about stuff that’s been bugging us for ages. Why is there so little sport in fantasy and sf? Why did our audience turn on us during that panel back in Boston in 2004? Do they really just love wheat?

Thus the wheat panel which was FABULOUS therapy for me and Scott, though audience members expecting us to follow the panel description might have been disappointed. Sorry about that! But thank you for not turning on us. You were the best audience ever. Actually, all the panel audiences were smart and engaged and awesome. Me and Scott were dead chuffed that as the weekend went on more and more folks were showing up to hear us gasbag and pontificate. Yay!

The sport panel was also wonderful. Though we had way too much to say and not enough time to say it in. I especially loved that the audience was almost entirely women. Hah! There was also a sports writer, Dave Hogg, in the audience (he really should have been on the panel) who turned out—along with his partner—to be a huge Detroit Shock fan. Go, WNBA! We had an excellently geeky women’s hoops gossip.

I’ll admit that my last few cons had left me with panel fatigue. But now I love them all over again. I wish I’d gotten to see some of the panels I wasn’t on. I heard that all of Kevin Dunn’s (the science guest of honour) were brilliant. He explained soap and and all sorts of other Caveman Chemistry. I can’t wait to read his book.

You’ll be shocked to hear, however, that the best fun was not had during the panels, but at the parties and in the bar, and just generally hanging out. The ConFusion organisers and regulars are the best people on the planet. Seriously I got into so many great conversations and arguments and teasing contests. I can’t wait to go back!2

May I share with you the three best words in the world?

Roaming Pirate Party

Thanks again, Hugh, for the photo.

I haz met the Roaming Pirate Party. They haz rum3 and pirate hats and jollity by the galleon load. Best pirates ever! I shall treasure my pirate hat and t-shirt for ever!

We got to catch up with old friends like Karen Meisner, John & Krissy Scalzi, and Doselle Young. Why don’t they all live MUCH closer to me? I miss you all already. Waahh!! Not to mention making stacks of new friends. You know who you are! Yanni! Brian! Aaron! And SO MANY OTHERS! You all made it the best weekend ever.

Hell, we even got to see a movie: Cloverfield and it were good. Very good indeed.

If anyone needs a guest of honour me and Scott are so up for it!

  1. How cold? Minus a million cold! That’s how cold. So cold that I’m back in NYC and it’s freezing and it seems warm in comparison. []
  2. Any chance you could move it to a warmer time of year? []
  3. Though, obviously, being a YA author I didn’t drink any of it. Heaven forfend! []


  1. Camille on #

    Welcom back to NYC! I’m a native and I feel like I will never, ever be warm again. I feel your pain.

  2. Camille on #

    (Grrrrrr…. “Welcome!” Need… edit.. button… :-D)

  3. rebecca on #

    confusion sounds fun. πŸ™‚

    it is cold here too. it is not supposed to be cold in texas. it’s warmer in portland, for crap’s sake. the only thing cold is good for is making ice days so that school closes. if school won’t be closing, it had better be 60 or higher, else i’m not getting out of bed. *hibernates*

    although i bet it’s warmer here than nyc. you should come be a guests of honor down here. i’m sure we could arrange some event or other. πŸ˜€

    arrrrrr, matey.

  4. hereandnow on #

    Roaming. Pirate. Party.


  5. J on #

    HA! I was one of the precious few actual teens in attendance! So take that!

    And I was not at all disappointed by the wheat panel.

  6. Steve Nagy on #

    Confusion is a good convention. It was the first SF con I ever attended. Back in ’00 I believe.

    And it’s always cold. Though the weather seemed unusually nice. There’s usually a snowstorm iirc.

    Don’t always get to go, and this year was no exception. Daughter came home from college. Sorry I missed you. Glad you had fun. It sounded like a good con from all the posts I’ve read. πŸ™‚

  7. Aaron on #

    Excellent to know you had a great time and that you survived the cold. It must be said that is was colder than usual and the ConChair had traded cold for no snow. Now Yanni, Brian and I all need to plan a trip out to NYC to see you again.

  8. Travis on #

    You can be my guest of honor. To what? To my Awesome Person Festival. Never been held before, probably never will, but if it is, you’ll be my first guest of honor!

  9. Yanni on #

    You were a most excellent GoH and Brian and I were pleased as punch to hang out with you. I think my stomach muscles still ache from laughing so hard!

  10. Roaming Pirate Party First Mate Lisa on #

    Arrrr! Ye be welcome to roam the high seas of ConFusion with our scurvy crew anytime!

  11. Patrick on #

    doesn’t scott treat you as the goh at your house? other than that, you just need the roaming pirate party to swing by and you’re all set!

  12. Dave H. on #

    You two were fantastic GoHs – as good as anyone in my five ConFusions. Think of yourselves as the WNBA of GoHdom – not as famous, but more approachable and a lot more fun.

    The wheat panel might not have been what people expected, but it was great. I suspect you, Scott and Scalzi couldn’t do a boring panel if you tried, but that one combined an interesting topic with exciting war stories about wheat-crazed fen.

    The sports panel was also great fun, especially since no one talked positively about Quidditch! I just wish I had more of a chance to talk to Doselle about boxing.

    Next time you and Scott come to CF, we’ll have to do “Fantastic Sports II – All The Stuff We Didn’t Have Time For in 2008”.

    Since I want you two to come back, I probably shouldn’t mention that was the best weather we’ve had for CF in years. Last year was even colder – the lobby was like Antarctica – and we had blizzards every year from 2004-2006.

    But come back anyway! πŸ™‚

  13. Ellie on #

    Sorry about the cold. Too bad you weren’t here a couple weeks ago when it was 50 degrees rather then -40.

  14. Sean on #

    I vote that you come back to Michigan, so I can see you! πŸ˜€
    Oh, and I needed to tell you, I won 60 dollars in club Keno, with your magical numbers! I used the Fibs up until 55, and threw in a 39, for Midnighters luck. So I won 60 dollars at dinner, and now I filled out a real lotto ticket, so if I win millions of dollars, I’ll have to share some with you. ^_^

  15. Joe, the Pirate Captain on #

    doesn’t scott treat you as the goh at your house? other than that, you just need the roaming pirate party to swing by and you’re all set!

    We can be bribed — er, I mean, encouraged — to show up at places other than ConFusion.

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