This was the first year in a very long time that I was not running nwcMUSIC or some other all-consuming event at Norwescon. As I was explaining a lot this year, I’m the sort of person who is very good at building somebody a neat toy, but I’m not the person to maintain the neat toy. I get bored and frustrated doing the same thing repeatedly, and those are two very bad adjectives to describe a supervillain. Do Not Let the Supervillain Get Bored. So: handed off!
And I have to say, Norwescon as purely an attending professional and congoer is a completely different experience. Goddamn, there is a lot to do at Norwescon, and knowing that on paper and trying to get to it are completely different things. I missed some great events – I didn’t get a chance to play Artemis, I didn’t get to Death*Star’s party-wing show, I didn’t get to Kadesh Flow’s Grand 3 show – so much missed! But there was just too much to hope to make it all.
Even being at a lot of the same events felt completely different a lot of the time; the gap between “doing something” and “doing something while making sure everything else happens” is pretty dramatic. As, I note, is the difference between “room in (quiet) staff wing” and “room in full-time party wing 5b,” which is where I ended up this year.
Wing 5b’s not so bad, though. First, I’m a late-nighter and partier regardless, so waiting ’till after parties wound up (2am or so) for sleep wasn’t such a big deal, I do that anyway. And second, I could just go all “Could you not?”/”I could not” and wander by party rooms playing my Cajun accordion as loudly as possible at any time of day. This was hilarious. For me, anyway. 😀
#no I didn’t do it after 2am #thought about it
I took a lot of notes at panels, particularly panels I was on, and I wish I’d taken more. They put me on non-music panels too – Nicole Dieker’s “The Tumblr Effect” panel turned into a lot of language geekery, for which I am always ready, particularly when discussing hashtag language and typography as linguistic expression. And being on a costuming panel after being out of cosplay for so long before edging back into it the last few years – I was just thrilled to be included and geek out about making props. Everything everybody brought just looked amazing.
Shubzilla totally crushed several panels I saw her on, not just when talking music, but also about cultural issues in fandom. I also have a bunch of new-to-me nerdcore artists to check out, like upstate New York artist Sammus. (And fans should definitely check out The NPC Collective.)
Thanks to Jonny Nero Action Hero – who will be taking over nwcMUSIC concerts next year, which is 198% awesome – I know that chiptunes fans who want to drink from the firehose should definitely get on ChipMusic.org. And he didn’t have to tell me about This Week in Chiptune, but if you want a weekly podcast consisting almost entirely of new chiptunes tracks, you now have your orders.
I’m not in the Carol Corps, tho’ I did consider myself an Angel auxilliary, which is pretty much the Supermarionation same thing. But I most certainly did enjoy the Carol-Corps-and-comics-fandom panel, just because it made me realise something about why my comics fandom in grad school was so very much not a boy’s club. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of guys, but also lots of women. Based on that panel discussion, I think a lot of the credit for that goes to the local big comic store being the absolute opposite of so many this-feels-like-a-dark-alley comic book shops. Comic Connection just felt like a nice bookstore that carried comics and graphic novels and games, and I don’t think I realised how good we had it.
that’s no moon
i think you’re right
that’s a space station
just how else
could a short-range fighter
get so far?
One of the nuts I was never able to crack in nwcMUSIC was “open filking,” which is to say, people just getting together and playing in turns (and together) at night. But this year, moved to the main floor, Open Filk felt the strongest it has in a long time. Discoverability had always been its biggest problem, and I knew that, but I’m still very surprised at how much difference going one floor down made. Lots of new people, lots of energy, going until well after 2am on Thursday and Friday, and after 3am Saturday night? At Norwescon? Madness! And yet.
Despite commentary above, the party scene didn’t seem as big this year. I know a couple of the regular crews were missing. My favourite was there, of course – Merchants of Deva, whose access pass is in the photo next to my badge – and that’s the biggest deal for me. They were, as always, tearing the place down with decor. (Imperial Starfleet Next Generation functional LCARS-interface control panels? SURE WHY NOT HAVE SOME. jfc those guys. I spent like a hour just playing with their setpieces.) And Party in a Box also made a good appearance, as did the Cult of Scott Bakula, and there were several publisher parties. But even so, it felt like someone or someones were missing, and I wasn’t the only one saying it.
But in the end, I got to see a bunch of people I don’t see often, some not nearly as much as I wanted to (Hi Joy! Bye Joy! That should’ve been longer!), failed to see some (Grace! I’m sorry! I kept looking for you!), had some good conversations at parties and on stairwells and in hotel rooms and hallways (or listened in on some – for Anna, this was 100% Hang Out And Chat With Tanya Huff Con), watched Saturday morning kind of go voop as half the con – seriously, it felt like half the con – took off for the Democratic caucuses, filtering back in during the afternoon, and… all in all had a remarkably de-stressed Norwescon.
I don’t know what I’m doing next year, but I can say that I’m really glad I took this year off.
I sorely lack pictures! Post links if you took some!
#not after 2am #look I’m just saying that I have occasi