|Commander Shepard and me at Aggiecon 46|
I've been to Aggiecon in the past as a guest of Martin Whitmore, who runs a booth there for his company Ideaschema. In previous years I just helped out at the booth and occasionally wandered around the dealers' room, checking out what other vendors had for sale.
But this year...wow! I stopped and chatted with so many vendors and had the most amazing conversations. Aggiecon is well known for being very serious about its sci-fi and fantasy, hosting panels like "Rules Based Magic vs. Science Fantasy" and "Young Adults in Speculative Fiction." It thus attracts lots of genre authors, and this year was certainly no exception.
I talked with so many talented authors, like Christopher Dunbar (Morrigan's Brood series), Kathryn Friesen (the Power of Legends series, can you believe she's only fifteen?), Kimberly Hix Trant (#hashtagged), and Kathleen White (Lost and Found). And I had the most wonderful conversation with Monique Happy, owner of Winlock Press. Monique and I discussed the future of publishing and how self-publishing is changing the way books are made.
The cosplay this year was truly stellar, and I was thrilled to run into Commander Shepard of the Mass Effect game series (by far my favorite video game). The photo on this page is me with the Commander!
I was also able to attend more panels this year, which was really wonderful. As I mentioned previously, Aggiecon is superb for getting very deep into the nitty-gritty of great storytelling, and this year's panels were no exception. I especially enjoyed "Rules Based Magic vs. Science Fantasy," mentioned above. Not that all panels were serious: "Cosplay Bachelor/Bachelorette" was tremendous fun (and the Shaggy/Elsa matchup inspired Marty's creative spirit!).
Aggiecon this year really felt like my community, like a place where I belong. I had such a blast, and I can't wait to go back next year!