Saturday, September 3, 2011

On the road again: Dragon*Con, Atlanta, day 3

Yesterday, I thought this con was huge. Today, all the people who couldn't get off work on Friday joined the crowds, and suddenly Dragon*Con went from huge to ginormous. Walking anywhere is, consequently, rather difficult, but the compensation is that the people watching is absolutely amazing.

Quick notes from the day:

Woke up to the sound of the parade beginning. I'd heard of the Dragon*Con parade before but never really considered it, preferring instead to dismiss it as some small fan thing. Mistake. It is huge, impressive, full of joy, and a ton of fun to watch--which I did, from my hotel room balcony. Using only my iPhone's camera, here's a shot of the crowds lining the part of the route that I could see.

That's only a tiny section of the total distance the parade covered.

The event lasted about 45 minutes and contained hundreds of people in all sorts of costumes. Some entrants were even complex floats, such as this smoke-breathing rock monster.

I quite enjoyed it but ending up running a few minutes late to my reading because of it. To my pleasant surprise, four people showed up--and I didn't know two of them. Both of those folks had read every book of mine, seemed to enjoy the Diego Chan section I read, and asked intelligent questions.

After the reading, I rushed over to Glennis' booth for The Missing Volume to be available to sign books. A half hour to make it from one event to another would be more than generous at most cons, but here it was tight.

From there I headed back to the Hyatt for the Baen Traveling Slideshow, where I spoke about the covers of a few books of mine. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic and very supportive.

I caught a scheduling break next, because the panel I was to be on moved from another venue to the same location as the Baen presentation. I actually had time to breathe, then took the stage with Christopher Robin (a con staffer), John Ringo, and Mike Williamson for an hour-long session on libertarians in space. The room was packed and the discussion far-ranging, but everyone seemed to have a good time.

After a break to grab some food and do work came the banquet. The food was pretty darn bad, the chicken about as rubbery as it could get, so we were glad to have already eaten. The banquet provided two treats, however, that made it worth attending.

First was a short performance by James Darren, who is still quite the entertainer.

The other was the pleasure of watching William Shatner receive both an award from the con and a proclamation from the City of Atlanta. He is a fun speaker and definitely livened up the event.

Evening brought more work and a couple of hours of wandering and people watching, which as I noted earlier is quite a treat here.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be a charity auctioneer for an hour!

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