It has been a busy few months. Which is a little like saying, “Justin Bieber’s semen is questionable.”
I would like to sum up the last few months for you, but you’d be bored reading about it, and I’d be bored writing about it. Instead, I will give you some choice bits from Dragon Con 2014, at which I direct the Fantasy Literature track, and where you should have been this past weekend. Actually, the con estimates 62,000 people were there, so some of you probably WERE there last weekend. But not all of you. Unacceptable.*
- I got Jim Butcher and Lev Grossman in a room together to talk about magic in modern fantasy. I’m calling the resultant entity “Butchman” or possibly “Grosser.”
- At the Dragon Sex panel I run with my buxom and mellifluous Second, Angel, our friend and regular attendee Jay had a question about what happens if a male dragon misses. Like, if Tab A doesn’t line up with Slot B. Midair. It’s better if you don’t think about what we described next. Don’t go jogging when dragons are fucking, is all I’m saying. Or at least wear a wide-brimmed hat. And a poncho.
- If this guy gave you a gold coin for pounding his box (lol), know that this is my ex Loren and that this is his third year enacting this idea, so ingenious in its simplicity, but his first year doing so dressed as Luigi. He is well on his way to Dragon Con institutionhood.
- I explained to a room full of gay and gay-friendly people that I was very nervous about talking to them about GLBT themes in fantasy literature, even though I set up the panel, because it was a dicey subject and I’m cishet so what the fuck do I know, but that I would try to be intelligent and sensitive. Then I immediately fucked up the distinction between “sex” and “gender” so I teleported myself into a nice comforting volcano.
- Still, somehow lots of people told me I’m good at moderating panels. It’s a very strange and specific superpower I can literally only use four days out of the year. Like a werewolf who turns into Jim Lehrer. A lehrwolf. I am a lehrwolf.
- I got a personalized advance copy of Naomi Novik’s next book, Uprooted, and I am SO PSYCHED to read it because Naomi Novik is awesome for 100,000 reasons and I’ve been trying to get her to Dragon Con for literally years so that everyone else can bask in her particular brand of petite (read: concentrated) epicness.
- Dustin just walked around grinning like a moron for four days. He wore a chain mail shirt and a tabard he made himself, like, years ago, but they still fit because that’s how Dustin rolls. He was adorable. Here he is with gender-bending Lestat and Louis.
- My Daenerys costume wasn’t perfect, but still vastly better than last year’s initial attempt. I met approximately 50 other Daeneryses who were all fucking adorable. Oh and also THIS ACTUAL DRAGON.
- KHAL ME MAYBE
- I had a nice chat with Vince Caso about snorting cats like a line of coke. It was Monday. We were very tired. Getting his autograph completed my collection of signed Guild headshots. He signed it, “Charlotte, do you wanna date my avatar? Also, snort some cats…” I said, “In a year, I won’t know what this means.”
- I took this picture to make Wil Wheaton feel bad about not going to the convention but I don’t think it worked.
- After the convention was well and truly over, a bunch of us went over to the Westin to play Cards Against Humanity. The downstairs bar was closed, so Dustin and I were like, okay, we’ll go to the restaurant at the top of the hotel for some beers, no problem. The kid at the desk said, “Just take it up to the 72nd floor and walk the stairs to the 73rd.” I said, “Great.” He said, with a caution I didn’t understand, “Just so you know, it’s a glass elevator.” I said, “Okay.” Then I got on the elevator. And I was like, so what, it’s a glass elevator, I’ve been taking these all weekend OH IT’S ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE BUILDING AND IT IS GOING 72 FLOORS I GET WHY YOU MIGHT BE CONCERNED ABOUT MY LEVEL OF APPREHENSION, which was actually fairly low. Then a little German woman got on the elevator and the doors slid closed. She said, heavily accented, “At least zuh elevator is inside,” and Dustin said, “I think that’s just for the beginning.” Sure enough, THE LIGHTS DIMMED and a blue light came up like we were on Spaceship Earth, and as our capsule ascended, a pleasant female voice not unlike Majel Barrett’s explained that we were riding to the top of the second tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere. And the poor German woman turned her face into the door and moaned while I thought very hard about the two times I saw Adam Savage hang by interleaved phone books because he trusted science. I trusted. I trusted and was rewarded. We looked down on buildings capped by helipads. I-75 snaked away in parallel ribbons of white and red, viscous and arterial, between tilt-shifted skyscrapers. Even the poor German woman rallied for an appreciative glimpse. Any metropolis worth its salt is brightest at night. We surmounted it, affixed ourselves in its diadem.
I sent Todd McCaffrey, waiting downstairs with our friends, a text encapsulating this moment of singular awe: “HOLY BALLS THIS IS HIGH.” He said, “Pope’s balls or JC’s?” They should have sent a poet.
And, just in case you remembered last year’s unpleasantness: my car did not get broken into. The guy who manages the valet at the W, where I was staying, felt so terrible about what happened—I’d parked in a crummy lot because I didn’t want to pay $30 for the W’s valet—he gave me two nights free, so I could park affordably and without fear. Thanks, W. I’ll sleep in your hotel’s shamelessly ostentatious purple plushness any time.
*Actually it’s perfectly okay, because too many people coming to conventions is why conventions start to suck, and which is why I will probably not be going to SDCC like, ever. Also, the costumes at Dragon Con are better.