In the Aftermath of Can*Con

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since Can*Con. Being on the Con Com made this year a totally different experience – I think I spent most of my time from 5 pm on Friday to my reading Saturday afternoon (with the exception of Friday’s party and my own programming) running around helping with various things that needed doing. Which initially might sound like a complaint, but I love running around and being busy, so I actually had a blast. The only drawback is that I didn’t see much programming until late Saturday – which is a shame, because the programming I did see was brilliant. And I’m not just saying that because I helped put it together.

The two panels that I was on were very different but a lot of fun. We traded humorous stories and sage advice on “So This is Your First Con,” which was my first time moderating, and I have to thank fellow panelists Lisa Toohey, Ryan McFadden and Matt Moore for carrying the day. Saturday morning I discussed the works of Tanya Huff with fellow enthusiasts Violette Malan, Bronwyn Bjorkman and JC Lewis, under the superb moderation of Derek Newman-Stille; seriously, the guy asks amazing questions and somehow manages to live-tweet at the same time. I got the opportunity to read from the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide series with Eric Choi and Angeline Woon and performed a play reading of The Prisoner of Zelda by Hayden Trenholm, alongside the very talented Agnes Cadieux and Geoff Gander. I got to go back to my performance roots with that – though admittedly I used to do improv, not scripted theater – and had a blast playing the character Amos, who burgles homes in order to bring about the collapse of capitalist society. Thanks to everyone who came out to the play and the reading – an audience is always appreciated!

The cast of The Prisoner of Zelda!

The cast of The Prisoner of Zelda!

One of the points that we made in the First Con panel was that Can*Con is almost like a family reunion for a lot of the panelists, since some of us only see each other at conferences. That was the true delight of Can*Con for me – while the programming is the reason we all come out, it’s the moments hanging around with people that are the main takeaway: laughing so hard with Jay Odjick I almost needed CPR, freaking out over delicious smoked duck with Robin Riopelle, or talking shop with Tim Gwyn (who was the first connection I made during my first year at Can*Con, and a super talented guy). The list of awesome folks I got to see again or hang with for the first time is vast: Dominic Bercier, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm, Linda Poitevin, Jaggy SueChelsi Robichaud, Kate Heartfield, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Gregory A. Wilson, Caroline Frechette, Dominik Parisien, Beverly Bambury, Nina Munteanu, Benoit Chartier, and probably a bunch of others who I’m forgetting, and who all deserve thanks just for being awesome. And of course my crit partner Fanny Darling, for helping me stay sane.

I’m glossing over quite a bit here for the sake of brevity – the weekend was packed. Suffice to say that if you’re a spec fic writer and you’re not coming out to Can*Con, you’re missing out.

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Can*Con logo by Jay Odjick

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