Last Notes on BayCon From The Ruins of My Mind

Kage Baker was given to truly abysmal migraines. While most of them were untriggered and just appeared out of the blue, she got them often enough after strain and effort that she developed a philosophy about them.

I’m just glad I got as far as I did, she would opine in some satisfaction. Now please make a lot of strong coffee, and turn out all the lights. I gotta be dead for awhile.

Four riotous days at BayCon, the long drive home and bouncing around the house telling my stories to my family have laid me low. I am fighting with a migraine and, as is normal for a migraine, losing for awhile. But I still have a little tunnel-vision to spend on typing.

The last day of BayCon was wild and busy, but wonderful. I had two back to back panels once more, but they were in the same room again – so thoughtful of BayCon to do that! The meeting room had a nice view of the hotel pool, where – to my amazement and amusement – mallard ducks were peacefully swimming. I thought at first glimpse they were toys, like the pool noodles and so forth, but no: they were actual living mallards, a pair of sleek drakes, paddling about like clockwork toys in a big cocktail.

The first panel was on “Paper Books vs EBooks vs Audiobooks”, more or less. The panel was erudite, and the audience was interested. I had proposed this panel more or less as a joke, since in addition to my beloved Kindle, I also have sufficient boxes of physical books to build myself a serviceable hovel in the backyard if I ever need it. However, what became obvious was that the determined reader (which is most science fiction people) doesn’t give a serious hoot about the medium. It’s words in a row, the door that opens on the page and the screen, the story being told: that’s all that matters. We had a lovely discussion of the pros and cons of all the formats, people traded new sources of research and free books all around, and a good time seemed to be had by all.

The second panel was “Science and Urban Legends” and it was a hoot. Few things get people as excited  as discussing cryptid animals and foil-hat conspiracies, and everyone was madly interested by everyone else’s favourites. We had a mild difficulty restraining a few folks were wanted to monologue on the anti-vax movement and chem trails – two of the least likely and most infuriating forms of urban garbage, in my opinion – but our moderator was a man of iron whim and managed to keep us all in control. Funny animals, vanishing Y chromosomes, how much of our brains we really use, the gasoline pill, the Moon landing … all were bandied about, and the actual science behind or disputing them was disseminated. It was great.

By the time I hit the road, I was wired to the eyebrows on caffeine and good fellowship, which was really handy considering the mess the road South became. Still, I had a wonderful time at BayCon, and I thank all its staff and attendees most sincerely.

But now, the silver filigree of thorns is creeping out from the edges of my vision. Dark lightning is flickering closer and closer in my brain; and soon I won’t have even the mythical 10% to use … also, my head hurts, and I really hate just plain old vanilla headaches at the best of times. So, Dear Readers, I am gonna drink some cold coffee, put on my sleep mask to defeat the light, and fade away. In the immortal words of Kage Baker, I’m glad I got as far as I did. I gotta be dead for awhile.


About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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2 Responses to Last Notes on BayCon From The Ruins of My Mind

  1. greenmtngrrl says:

    Thank you for updating us before you faded away, Kate! I am so glad you’re back writing again. I love reading your posts every day. May you feel better soon.


    • Kate says:

      Thank you – now that it’s the next day, I just feel a little flat. But my brain is back on line, and as long as I keep guzzling coffee, I will be fine. I don’t spring back as quickly as I used to, but (OTOH) I appreciate the comforts of home more. There is always a silver lining.

      Liked by 1 person

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