CONvergence 2012, an early review

1. The programming that I went to was excellent. Granted, I went to things I suspected I would be interested in. But those things were there for me to go to.

I’ve complained in the past about CONvergence programming. Namely, that it was shallow, or comedy-oriented, or both at once, to the exclusion of other sorts of discussions. Instead this year I found a variety of sorts of programs at CONvergence, both the ones I was on and ones I merely attended.

– “Just a Minute” was hilariously funny. Guest of Honor Sophie Aldred was trolling the audience in a completely delightful and welcome way, the other panelists were quick-witted improv talents, and Paul Cornell played the put-upon straight man role with a suitably hangdog demeanor.

– The panel on how to age your audience as they ostensibly grow out of your Y.A. books was, instead, an hour-long chat between editor Sharyn November and award-winning novelist Tamora Pierce about anything that felt like discussing. I will always sit through panels in which blisteringly intelligent people speak passionately about topics of interest to them.

– A panel I was on, “How to Talk to Girls at Con,” was packed on a Thursday night. We panelists tried to keep the conversation amusing and informative and not hostile. I think we did amusing well, veered on occasion towards hostile and then recovered, and were somewhat informative. I’m told that people enjoyed the panel, though, so that’s good. (I have Thoughts, it turns out, about how to explain complex social interactions to people. Particularly when some of the people in the audience give the appearance that they may not be completely neurotypical. To wit, “you just go by the signals” is already not working as a strategy for some folks, so how can we explain it differently?)

– The world’s most charming wee moppet told Sophie Aldred, at the Q&A, that she wants to be like Ace when said wee moppet grows up. Or words to that effect. Cue three hundred people going “AAWWWWWWWWWWW” en masse.

– There were other programs, all of which were good, barring some minor gaffes by irritating panelists. But the irritating panelists were, in my experience, few indeed.

2. I did not do the party circuit, save for eighty minutes sitting with friends at a badge station on Saturday night. I understand it was reasonably exuberant.

3. I saw a screening of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec. Here’s the trailer on YouTube:

I STRONGLY encourage you to see it, if you ever get a chance. It’s a Luc Besson film, so, know that going in. But it has mummies, pterodactyls, a snarky young female journalist adventurer, Science!Magic, and unexplored tombs. It’s kinda totally awesome.

4. I didn’t spend a huge amount to time in Theater Nippon this year. I did see a few episodes of Spice and Wolf. My question is, is this actually an anime about medieval Italian economics? Because it certainly seems to be.

5. I did not spend as much time with all the people I would have liked to spend time with, but those I did see, I was very glad to.

6. The convention hashtag on Twitter is #cvg2012. Go, look it up, see what other people had to say about the con!

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2 Responses

  1. Re: Spice and Wolf – it’s a fantasy rather than European setting (obv), but yes, pretty much. All about medieval-era economics. Somehow manages to make it reasonably interesting!

  2. @Caroline Hah! I got about three episodes in, and I was thinking …. Huh. This is anime about Medieval economics. Who knew?

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