Kage Baker loved science fiction conventions, She hadn’t thought she would – she went to her first couple in anticipatory terror and distrust, prepared to be made mock of by hundreds of other people’s fans with bad pointy ears and too much sugar in their bloodstream.
What she found was a really strange bunch of people whose manners were occasionally a bit raucous but whose hearts were kind and welcoming. Some of them were brilliant costumers and prop makers. Some of them were Kage’s own fans! The pointy ears were better done than she had feared, and everyone was willing to share their sugar. Plus, they wanted Kage to be there; and there were dealer rooms full of books and toys; and we got to stay in nice hotels and visit elegant bars.
So going to conventions was ceremoniously entered on her list of Things We Do.
Baycon – a staple of Memorial Day Weekend in the Bay Area of Northern California – was always on that list. For one thing, it’s reachable by car; which is always preferable to f lying. Kage hated to fly. Even more than flying, though, she hated getting on board and taking off; which she regarded as a tour of Hell. I poured cocktails into her and steered her carefully, and she always survived. But Baycon was practically in our back yard!
I am going up to Baycon tomorrow – a little early for the Friday events, but I have other errands in the North as well. Kimberly is making sure I have the tools I need – pens, pads, the Buke, the manuscripts I agreed to critique for several hopeful writers-yet-to-be, clean underwear. Neassa is meeting me at the Con to be my entourage and see I get in and out of my room and to all my panels. Last year, I think it was, I locked myself out – Neassa ran off and found a spare key.
Apparently, when you are the entourage – as I was for Kage – your brain still works. When you are the writer (as, most unlikely and insanely, I now am) the survival portions of your brain evidently subsume into scented mist, and you wander around glassy-eyed … Neassa is used to this by now, though, and at need will simply knit a quick leash and tow me around like a helium balloon.
So tomorrow, I head out along I-5 with the A/C cranked up as far as it will go. I’ll travel through the heated dreams of the Great North Road, and hang a left at Gustine; speed through those dinosaur-rich hills, stop at Casa de Fruta for some of the best dried fruit in the world, and so on up to Santa Clara. And by the time the sun sets over the Bay, I will be sitting – glass in hand and Kindle on my lap – watching the western sky go up in flames and enjoying the delights of the Hyatt Regency.
Reports from the Road, Dear Readers. As they occur and as weirdness merits.