Got back last night from the ever-lovely Sirens Conference, which this year moved to a location outside of Portland, Oregon rather than up in Vail. Fortunately the move seems not to have hurt the event; on the contrary, attendance was reportedly up 25%. Still a small con, but so far it’s doing well.
I had a lovely time as usual — albeit an exhausting one, due to my unwise tendency to say “yes” when friends ask me to do things like panels. (Though I could hardly have refused the last of those requests. One of the Guests of Honor, the folklorist Kate Bernheimer, unfortunately came down with the flu and had to stay home; the staff had to throw together a last-minute panel to replace her keynote address.) The site is in the Columbia River Gorge, and thanks to driving there and back with starlady38, I got to see a nice cross-section of the Pacific Northwest. Next year I’m hoping to take two days and go up the coast instead, which is (I’m told) even prettier than what I saw on the I-5 route.
Next year will be the fifth Sirens, and in honor of that anniversary, the theme is “Reunion.” There will be four Guests of Honor, rather than the usual three, so as to have one for each of the previous four themes: Robin LaFevers, author of Grave Mercy, for “warriors;” the ever-awesome ellen-kushner, author of (among other things) Thomas the Rhymer, for “fairies;” Alaya Dawn Johnson, author of Racing the Dark and Moonshine for “monsters;” and Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author of Summer of the Mariposas, for “retellings.” So, y’know, it’s a fabulous year to try out the con. Registration will open soon, with a lower rate than it will cost later; I’ll post here when that happens!