A Quiet Lunacon

Lunacon has its roots at the dawn of science fiction fandom and has run continuously for decades. It has a seriously literary bent but for all the time I have been attending, it has been small and intimate. This year, for whatever reason, it felt smaller than usual. It did not help that during peak periods, there were as many as eight tracks of programming so no one panel saw a packed room.

The halls of the Rye Hilton, otherwise dubbed the Escher Hilton, felt sparse and there was a distinct lack of energy in the air. The art show felt small, the dealer’s room seemed desolate, and the masquerade, which used to be a showcase, had eight entries.

I go to see the fans, although I stopped signing up for autograph duty since I rarely signed anything; but I mainly go to see friends and do some business networking. And this year not even all the usual suspects were on hand. The upside to that meant I could sit and have extended conversations with those who were on hand and that was terrific. Being a freelancer and now a student means not circulating in person and I miss that. Sure, it’s fine to share e-mails or Facebook posts, but nothing beats sitting and sharing space, warmly hugging friends, and sharing experiences.

I did two panels on Saturday and both were fine but small. About half-a-dozen came to hear us talk about the business side of freelancing and two came to hear a few of us talk about playing in other people’s sandboxes. Circumstances required me to go home so Glenn Hauman stepped in to handle the trailers which comprised the brief halftime show during the Masquerade.

Given how Saturday went, when other matters reared their heads and demanded my attention, I decided the sanest decision was to skip my two panels on Sunday. I suspect is was all for the best although I did miss out on talking to those I barely said hello to on Saturday.

Professionally, it was a wash. I had lunch with freelance editor extraordinaire Marco Palmieri and we attended several panels together. On one about mistakes rookie writers make, a stray comment unlocked a thought in my head and a stalled story suddenly resolved itself. Unfortunately, rather than get right to it on Sunday, I finished a paying gig.

With luck, next year’s show will rebound if they do some better outreach and marketing.

2 comments

  • Michael

    I’m glad you attended Lunacon. My sense of the con is much the same as yours: small, very low energy, very diluted by the vast number of programming tracks. Nothing in particular seemed to go wrong or to be badly run; it’s just that most people–fen, guests and staff–seemed just to be going through the motions without really having much fun. I think 2011 was probably my last Lunacon.

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