Friday, August 29, 2014

On the road again: DragonCon, day 2


Unfortunately, I spent almost all of today's daylight hours in my room, again, working.  I did get out for a quick burger for lunch and a walk through the large art show.  While on that walk, I ran into and chatted with Dan Dos Santos, an artist whose work I very much like.  He did the cover for The Wild Side, and I liked it so much I bought the original painting.  In person, he was friendly and humble and altogether delightful.  I quite liked him.

I also spent a few minutes talking with Annie Stegg, an artist whose work I had never seen before.  Her paintings were lovely, pieces that frequently exhibited a strong Pre-Raphaelite influence.  I will certainly be on the lookout for her art in the future.

At 5:30, it was time to do my comedy show.  The audience numbered around 40, larger than I'd feared, smaller than I'd hoped, and big enough that the sound of their laughter carried into the hall and drew in more people.  As best I can tell, the show went quite well; I know the whole audience laughed for nearly the entire set.  (I'm dropping the bits where they didn't laugh.) 

After the show, I gave myself the reward I had mentioned yesterday:  a trip to the local Jeni's for some ice cream. Publisher Toni joined us, and we had a grand time talking and enjoying scrumptious ice cream sundaes.

Back at the hotel, work had piled up once again, so I spent a few hours catching up.  I then headed out to people-watch, first in the lobby of the Hyatt, and then in the Marriott's lobby.  The crowds tonight were way larger than last night's.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Downstairs, a small rave was in progress, the beat pounding upward, the dancers all having a grand time.


I stayed for a surprisingly long time, watching the people, listening to the music, and finding myself smiling and invigorated at the sheer energy of the crowd.  The enthusiasm here is contagious.

I routinely read and hear discussions of how SF/F is dead, but this con, like many other large cons, puts the lie to that statement.  SF/F has carried the day, moved into video games and other games of all sorts, into TV shows and movies, and into the culture at large.  Sales of paper books may be down, but overall book sales--ebooks do count--are up.  The people at this con are, by and large, young and engaged and passionate about their interests.  Those interests touch every aspect of the fantastic.  If you asked them if science fiction and fantasy were dead, they would wonder if you were insane.

Are they all reading SF/F novels?  Most assuredly no.  But some of them are, and they are numerous.

I have always been hopeful for our field, and I am even more hopeful now.




2 comments:

David Drake said...

Dear Mark,

You were scheduled against dinner. That's a respectable turnout.

Hang in.
Dave

Mark said...

Thanks, Dave.

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