on a brighter note, ICFA was great

I was going to post some lengthy ruminations about travel problems and how people respond to them, but y’know, I’ve lost steam on it. I’m currently parked in the lobby of my hotel, since they have free wireless, comfortable furniture, peace and quiet, and nobody tripping over my suitcase, none of which the Atlanta airport can supply. So now seems like a nice time to talk about ICFA.

First things first: the Super-Sekrit Awesome Jacket was a resounding success. I bought this thing last summer and test-drove it at the Dickens Fair in November, but the real idea was that I was going to debut it publicly at the ICFA banquet. There will be pictures eventually, I’m sure — even if I look like a radioactive ghost in most of them; ye gods have I gotten pale — but in the meantime, I can say that it is a black brocade jacket of Victorian appearance, wide-necked with satin lapels, a narrow double-breasted closure just below the bustline, and then tails in front and back. I wore it with an underbust corset (since the front is cut high enough that it needs some kind of waistcoaty thing to look right), a semi-vintage shirt, and a long skirt, and got many admiring reactions. Unfortunately, as it came from Black Peace Now, which is the goth end of a Japanese fashion boutique that has an outpost in San Francisco, nobody is likely to be able to buy one for themselves.

Other than that, I read “The Last Wendy” and got fewer laughs than usual, but I think we just had a non-laughing audience; Eileen Gunn said the same thing about her story, which was quite funny. Then I socialized a bunch and hung out by the pool (when it wasn’t raining) and went swimming, which I kept thinking of as My Ankle’s Last Hurrah, seeing as how it’s about to spend four weeks in a plastic boot. The socializing was also key, as I won’t be going to karate for a couple of months (thus removing two social events per week) and may not be able to drive while I’m in the boot (thus removing my ability to get to where other people are).

It was a good ICFA, too. The topic this year being “Race and the Fantastic,” it provoked a lot of good papers and discussions, and Nalo Hopkinson’s luncheon speech was amazing. Sunshine and seeing friends aside, this is what I really love about ICFA: the chance not only to geek about SF/F, but to do so in a critically thoughtful way, among people who won’t look at you funny if you bust out the theoretical jargon. (My jargon is on the rusty side, of course, but still. I like to flex it occasionally.)

That’s pretty much it for con-reportage, I suppose. (Confidential to people who saw me obsessively checking e-mail while I was there: alas, no dice. Got my reply this afternoon, and will be sending the story elsewhere once I get home.) Now I continue to entertain myself for another four hours or so, until Airtran’s one daily flight to San Francisco rolls around.

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