Top 10 Things I Love About Dragon*Con

Continuing my re-cap of Dragon*Con, here are the top 10 things I like about it:

#10. The costumes (see my Sept. 6 post). The creativity and attention to detail (not to mention the money) that goes into some of these outfits is simply amazing.

#9. The celebrities. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee stayed in the hotel room across the hall from me. I attended a Q&A with two of the stars of Firefly. On any given night at a hotel bar, you could find yourself rubbing elbows with a cast member from Battlestar Galactica. The coolness goes without saying.

#8. Getting to meet some great people who you’ve previously known only by listening to their podcasts.

#7. Getting exposed to new things you’ve never considered before. I’ve never been much of a gamer, but I’ve learned a lot about the hobby at Dragon*Con.

#6. The music. As I mentioned in my last post, on Sunday alone I was introduced to the music of Tom Smith (filk singer and humorist) and Pandora Celtica (an a capella five-part vocal group.) The awesome Marian Call sang Saturday at the Parsec Awards ceremony. In other years, I’ve heard Marc Gunn, Divo Spice, and other indy musicians. I would never have discovered this great music without attending Dragon*Con.

#5. The Parsec Awards. The annual awards ceremony celebrating excellence in speculative fiction podcasting is always a joy to attend. I feel excited for the winners while also dreaming of someday seeing my name on one of those trophies.

#4. Shopping. Between the dealers room and the two exhibit halls, there are a ton of vendors selling books, shirts, toys, videos, games, weaponry (seriously), and everything in between. The number of women trying on corsets never ceases to amaze me. Isn’t a corset just a stylish way to crack a rib?

#3. The energy. From Thursday night, when I spent three hours in line waiting to pick up my registration badge, through Monday morning when I left for the airport, Dragon*Con literally buzzed with the energy of thousands of people. It’s kind of like DisneyWorld with vastly different costumes.

#2. The writing workshops and panel discussions. Aaron Allston and Michael Stackpole presented some outstanding workshops; the panels I attended, which featured five or six panelists each, were similarly valuable. I scanned my notes as PDF files yesterday. They totaled 11 pages.

#1. The people I get to hang out with and meet every year. Without such cool people to spend my time with, Dragon*Con wouldn’t be remotely as good as it is. I love my other roles as professional insurance geek, husband, dad, baseball/basketball parent, and Red Sox devotee, but for a few days every summer, I can hang out with some incredibly creative, talented and generous people. And those days go way too fast.

There you have it, peeps. What did I leave off the list?

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