itching for a full-on convention experience for too long.
Star Wars Celebration III in Indianapolis marked the last time I went
and stayed and dove head-on into a multi-day rush of general geekery and crowds of fandom. Couldn't make Celebration IV; tried
hard to make space on the calendar to hit MegaCon with Jim; when that
failed, I made a desperate grab for Dragon*Con – in fact, Jim &
I actually had plans in place and a room in Atlanta booked before a
combination of things threw a wrench into those works; and hanging
out over the past year at some of the local Jeff Harper shows and the inaugural Screaming Tiki really got me hungry again for a road trip. Wizard World Chicago and the Motor City Con
taunt me annually with their relative proximity.
I've got it bad, man. Baaaaad.
So after checking my wife's work
schedule and the family calendar and getting an all-clear to buzz the
tower, I made the call last week to the Crown Plaza in Romulus,
Michigan and reserved a room at Penguicon 7.0. Budget-wise it's loads
cheaper than Dragon*Con, it's an easy couple hours' drive, it won't
require taking more than a day off work, if that, and it just sounds
like a boatload of all-around fun with a nice mix of guests and
panels and stuff to see and do.
For starters, I'm completely addicted
to fellow child of the '80s Wil Wheaton's blogging and writing, and
I'm hoping to get my copy of “Happiest Days” signed. He doesn't
seem to make many trips to our half of the country, so when I saw
he'd be at Penguicon, I took a really long look at what else would be
going on that might make it worth a weekend.
Spider Robinson will be there,
and I'll admit to coming up short on his reading list, he's still a
science fiction legend, and I have read Mindkiller, which still
stands out as having one of the greatest “OhMyGawdthat'sAWESOME”
mid-book revelations ever. (As it happens, there's no book on my nightstand right now, so maybe I'll put some Spider there.)
Apart from the guest list, I see more than enough stuff to catch my interest: an Intro to Linux panel, making ice cream with liquid nitrogen webcomics, podcasting, and the Chaos Machine to name a few.
I registered this morning.
Still, what I'm really looking forward to is the whole experience of just being there. For as hectic and exhausting as Celebration III was, there were at least a dozen times a day when Jim and I just stopped and breathed and took things in, feeling that mental excitement and energy all around and said, "Holy shit, this is so. Much. Freaking. Fun."
That's the best.