Kage Baker loved people watching. The Faire was the best place for it, and we spent many a hot afternoon with our feet up, mugs of ale in hand, watching the tide of customers go by.
It was always fun identifying the various species: the Conehead Princess who had not tracked fashion changes since the 1100’s. The Knights Templars, the Vikings, the blue-stained Picts – who had all been extinct for generations. The generic barbarians dressed in a few strategically placed chamois cloths: how did those guys ever sit down on hay bales? Klingons galore, and every branch of Star Fleet. And usually King Arthur and Patsy, complete with cocoanut shells …
To Kage’s delight, Science Fiction Conventions turned out to be just as fine a venue for the hobby. In fact, we often saw the same folks at Conventions that we had seen out under the oaks of the Faire. It was no end of fun.
I’ve spent a few hours today in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, happily taking in the show. I’ll do more of it over the next few days, too – sitting with a venti Latte from the bar, my Kindle and my knitting to hand, watching those with fewer years and more energy than me proudly walking around dressed as the crew of Firefly. Or yet more Klingons and Star Fleet personnel. Or various non-specific steam punk adventurers in Victorian clothes – as few as possible, it seems, for the ladies – plus air tanks, gauges and goggles.
There are the usual wizards, sorcerers and fairies, as well; there has been an enormous boom in wing technology the last few years, and multicoloured wings up to 6 feet tall are not uncommon, now. Some, all black velvet and tulle, are obviously moths … I saw a lady in resplendent moon-green wings being trailed by her little girl; who was gamely dressed as a spangled, sequined, shimmering – caterpillar.
Jayne passed me this afternoon, carrying a flame lance from Star Gate. There was a Storm Trooper in a white utili-kilt. There were portions and variations of renaissance clothes all over the place, usually enhanced with ray guns or combat boots. Mysterious veiled figures drifted past frequently; I don’t know if they were vacationing from a harem or a Bene Gesserit convent.
My whole afternoon was made when I rounded a corner in the corridor outside my room, and ran smack into one of my own dear folk – the beautiful Thomas Noe, resplendent in full Victorians and looking remarkably like some new incarnation of Dr. Who. At least, if the Doctor had a stuffed monkey in the breast pocket of his frock coat …
All in all, I’ve had great hunting today. I expect even better tomorrow, because tomorrow night is the Masked Ball. Strange eldritch creatures will multiply in the halls and lobbies all day, to culminate in the Grand Processional in the Ballroom.
Me, I’ll be dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and huaraches. And if anyone asks what I represent: I’m on a sabbatical from Amber.