matt_doyle: (modern me)
[personal profile] matt_doyle
... I'm dusting off the blog for at least a few days, un-retiring myself for a few very important reasons. If it catches, maybe I'll stick around and get back into the swing of things; if it doesn't I won't, but I won't be worrying about that very much right now.

Hi, everybody. It's good to be talking to you all again.

I still haven't managed to write up a blow-by-blow breakdown of 4th Street, but I'm going to launch right into an informal one here, then get around to discussing why I'm bothering to post (other than to indulge the corner of me that still pines for you all, which would be a perfectly legitimate reason because it's a fairly sizable corner. But it's not why I'm doing this. Honesty, best policy, etc.)

Anyway. the 4th Street Fantasy Convention was one of the most amazing weekends of my life. Beyond having a programming track that was simply amazing, I met a wide range of wonderful people - Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, & Emma Bull, all in passing, but all as cool or cooler than reputation would dictate. Steven Brust & Skyler White, at considerably greater length, who did me the great and gratifying honor of being nearly as excited to meet me as I was to meet them. Jon Singer, laser wizard, one of the most erudite and interesting gentlemen it's been my pleasure to be educated by in a very long time, & Ctein, undoubtedly some other kind of wizard. These two held a tea-tasting which was simply incredible, and I have extended anecdotes about everyone on this list that I hope to get to in future posts I hope to make.

Megan & Tricia & I were also taken under the wing of Cathy Hindersinn & her family, who I can only describe as Heinlein heroes & heroines made flesh, & who were our guides and introductions to the con, making the experience immeasurably better. There's also Fade, whose private post-panel panel was one of the most fascinating symposia I've ever attended.

Really, this post could just be a list of acknowledgements and it would go on for pages. Future posts. Anyway. Friday evening there was a massive storm and a power outage that lasted twenty-four hours... and which, as far as I could tell, disrupted the con not at all. Even without lights or air conditioning, everything continued almost without a hitch, and really only added to the drama and excitement.

Of course, I wasn't staying at the hotel, so I could retreat across town to somewhere with hot water and working lights in the bathroom...

I had the great honor and pleasure of interrupting a panel on Sunday and comprehensively telling them off about how they were wrong about Lord of the Rings, and they were gracious enough to look amused and maybe grateful to my tirade.

Really, that was the thing about 4th Street, above all the others. Everyone was delighted to hear you speak, and even more delighted to be told that they were wrong. There was very little in the way of hierarchy placing authorial guests at the top... this was two hundred passionate and literate folk come to kibitz and take pleasure in one another's company.

I cannot recommend it highly enough to you all. I will certainly be going next year. And, I hope, expanding a great deal in posts about wizards, new friends, panels, memorable quotes... it's a rather belated retrospective, I know, but I took nine pages of notes while I was there, including some about albino crocodiles, and I'd like to share them all.

So, what made me get off my ass and post this now?

Well, I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Steven Brust & Skyler White about their upcoming novel, The Incrementalists. I promised them I'd post this interview today or tomorrow, and without discussing 4th Street, I felt it'd be a complete non sequitir to explain how I ended up talking to them about all this.

There's another reason, too, but it will wait for another post, after I put up that interview, because that'll give me the motivation I need to stick around at least one more day, and because delving into it immediately seems crass and opportunistic.

Hopefully that'll be enough of a teaser to get you all to come back and read it.

If you're still around, oh my oldest and best audience, I'd love to hear from you. What have I missed? Every comment will be adored, lavished with love, and replied to with gratifying promptness. This I swear unto you.
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January 2014


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