Sunday, March 31, 2013

Minicon Report - Day Two

From facebook:
I was wearing a bright red turtleneck and black pants from J Jill yesterday, and I felt I was too talkative and assertive. I even talked through a guy in the audience, which I never do. So today I am wearing a dark brown turtleneck, jeans and pearls. I feel the pearls will induce decorum, and the dark brown turtleneck with mute my mood down to morose and withdrawn. Unfortunately, I have no panels, so won't find out if this makes me a better panelist.

Along with the pearls I am wearing a 40-year-old Yves St. Laurant silk scarf that is brown, tan, green and bright reddish-pink. So the costume has a certain amount of cheer. The scarf is there to provide color and elegance.
Most of the time, I throw on a pair of jeans and a turtleneck and am dressed. But I pay more attention to what I wear at cons. I am an accessory kind of person, so I especially pay attention to jewelry and scarves. Thus this post.


I realized, bringing these comments over from facebook, that my con report is all about me. What else can I say?

Minicon is 48 years old this year. It exploded in the 1990s, and people split off into three other cons. Many of the younger people went to the new cons, though I did notice a number of young people at Minicon this year. I saw two or three people of color, all African-American, which doesn't seem like enough. A lot of the attending fans are old, in their 50s or 60s or 70s. It's like going to a science fiction convention in a retirement village. The energy level is pretty low. There are a lot of canes.

The interview with the Guest of Honor, Judy Czernada, made her work sound interesting. I will look for it. Her background is in biology, and she appears to know her science; and her books sound fun.

The annual panel on the best SF of the year was good, as usual. It consisted of Russell Letson, who reviews for Locus; Greg Johnson, who reviews for New York Review of Science Fiction and The SF Site; and John Taylor, a really bright and interesting linguist, who teaches science fiction (among other things) at South Dakota State. I took notes.

At one panel, I don't remember which, I learned about reverse shoplifting. This is done by authors, who want to get their books sold and read. First, you order a copy of your book from (say) Barnes and Noble. This puts the book in their system. Later, you begin putting copies of your book in the science fiction/fantasy section of Barnes and Nobles stores. People pick up the book and take it to cashier. Because it's in the system, the cashier can sell it. Voila! You have sold a book.

I don't know about the accounting and record keeping consequences. Do you get royalties? Does the sale show up in compilations of book store sales? I know it is hell for accounting, since the store has sold a book it doesn't, according to its records, have.

I want to know more.

Mostly I spent my time at Minicon talking with friends. I have friends in the Twin Cities Metro Area, people I really like, who I only see at cons.


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