As ‘cons go, this one was pretty sleepy and during the (admittedly short) time I spent there, this seemed to be the general consensus of the people I spoke with (one more blunt critic termed it a ‘lame sandwich with a side of lame sauce’). Maybe I was spoiled by Norwescon and Balticon. Probably I was, since this was the first ‘con I attended where I didn’t have anything to actually do other than just, you know, attend the ‘con. Still, it was very small and the panels I checked out were decidedly meh. The book market they had set up was probably the most interesting thing about it (that and getting a chance to visit with up-and-comer reservist-turned-writer Myke Cole who is, to put it mildly, a hoot). I would say it’s worth swinging by and checking out if you happen to live in the area, but I wouldn’t recommend buying a plane ticket for it. Your mileage may vary.
I did pick up a copy of Machine of Death while I was there, which I’d been meaning to do because I love the idea of it. The first few stories have been interesting. When I bought it, I had one of those moments I very often seem to have whenever I mingle with the public, in which I appear for cosmic reasons to be out-of-sync with the rest of my species. If you’ve ever been to one of these things, you know that in the little book market area there are many booksellers all squished in together with sometimes vague markers indicating where one ends and the next begins. I picked up my copy of MoD and headed over to the bookseller I thought was associated with the rack where I had picked up the book (spoiler alert: she wasn’t) where I waited in a short line so I could speak to her. When it was my turn I presented the book to her and we began making what I thought was polite ‘transaction conversation’. I told her where I’d first heard of the book, about their open submissions of M0D2, etc. We spoke for a full minute before I then attempted to actually pay for the book, whereupon she informed me she did not sell that book. Essentially, this woman (and knowing what I know now I have to give her credit for this) managed to maintain a perfect smile and demeanor while this apparent nut job waded out of the crowd because he couldn’t wait to show her some random book he had picked up and tell her everything she never wanted to know about it. Needless to say she eventually pointed me over to her right where the actual bookseller was sitting.