My day began rather earlier than I would have preferred, because a mixture of shouts and amplified speech carried all the way from the ground to my room on the eleventh floor of the hotel. The shouts came from excited fans getting ready for the annual DragonCon parade. The speech was courtesy of a man who was letting the entire convention-going crowd know that they were going to hell because they were worshiping false idols.
I am all for free speech, so I respect the man's right to buy a mic and an amp and try to save the crowd. I am also fine with his wanting to save us all. What I find annoying is the assumption that any of the people here were actually worshiping false gods. Though I believe con-goers are passionate in their interests, I've never met one who had a lick of trouble understanding the difference between God with a capital G and any of the actors, performers, writers, shows, games, or whatever else they enjoyed. I further believe that the vast majority of the con-goers self-identify as having some serious religious conviction. So, to that one loud man: Dude, know your audience.
Anyway, I watched the parade from my balcony, where the view was excellent and I didn't have to fight a crowd. I couldn't see any details, obviously, but I had no trouble recognizing all the groups--including this one, from Baen Books.
The parade lasted about an hour and a half and featured many types of groups, from the Battlestar Galactica crowd to the Star Wars storm troopers, and from the comic-book superheroes to the Doctor Who characters. I was happy to see a small set of Monty Python gumbys.
After some work and a shower, I grabbed a quick lunch and joined the Baen Books Traveling Roadshow panel. Because I haven't yet finished the next Jon & Lobo book, I had nothing to contribute to the panel, but it was still a fun time.
Work was light, so I devoted the next couple of hours to wandering through all of the many vendors in the two floors full of dealers. Though most of the stuff on offer here does not appeal to me, I still enjoyed looking around.
Dinner tonight was an amazingly good meal at Gunshow, a relatively new Atlanta restaurant. The food was so good, and the experience sufficiently interesting, that I'm going to write a separate entry on it later. (I now owe you three restaurant reviews; I am keeping track.)
Around eleven, I went strolling for about an hour, checking out the usual spaces and also going to another hotel, the Westin, that I rarely visit. The people-watching at the Marriott was as good as always--and the crowd was the biggest yet.
With all of the thousands of people here, and with all of the folks in the SF/F community whom I know, I did not encounter a single person I know. Not a surprise, but a testimony to the sheer size of this beast of a con.
Another day at DragonCon.