Can-Con 2010: my panel & reading debut

Melissa Yuan-Innes, Larry Stewart and Eric Choi rock the Can-Con

A few weeks ago, Eric Choi asked me if I was going to Can-Con.  Here I’d flown to New Jersey and Orlando, but had no clue about Can-Con in Ottawa, only about a 1.5h drive away.

They kindly invited me to participate in Eric’s panels.  I chose “What’s Up With Canadian Speculative Fiction” for my first panel ever.  Eric moderated, Christian and Matthew Johnson expounded on the topic, and I talked about The Dragon and the Stars and Writers of the Future.

Then Eric invited me to participate in his reading the next day.  That was my first Con reading, too, and actually the first one I’d ever attended in a hotel room where the audience sat on the bed, but that was kind of cool.  Eric did a great job reading from his story, “The Son of Heaven,” and managed to make me think about everything from engineering, racism and academia to McCarthyism.  I had never heard of the Chinese rocket scientist Tsien Hsue-shen(钱学森) before.  Then again, I had never heard of Americans funding scholarships to make up for crushing China with repatriations for the Boxer Rebellion–my bad.

The best part, though, was having lunch with Eric and comparing notes about our families.  I’ve been to an unprecedented number of conferences this year, trying to network, but I’m learning that these intangible connections with readers and writers are the most memorable parts of all.

Also, because people dress wildly, especially at science fiction conferences, I felt fully justified wearing my new clothes from Kania.

Saturday, i wore The Goddess in black with a burgundy crushed velvet dress.

Sunday, I wore Cocoloco, a one-sleeved asymmetrical purple dress with my black thigh-high boots, pictured above.  Now, because of the chilly weather, I wore a shirt underneath, which kind of ruined the effect, and you can’t really admire the boots in this picture, but one of the readers asked where I got my boots and my neighbour liked my dress, so I’d call it a success all around.