A panel on characterization went well, as various writers contributed their ideas on what makes characters memorable and how to get that onto the page. The exertions of determining this sent everyone to recover in the bar, where the conversation turned to cover art. Artist GOH John Picacio talked about juggling input from authors, editors, marketing reps, and -- oh, yes -- the actual text. John will be doing the art for a calendar based on George R.R. Martin's popular fantasy series. Here is John:Opening ceremonies featured short remarks from all the GOH, as well as the announcement that the theme of this year's MileHiCon is "Sunnydale Reunion." Since I am the last person in America to never have seen Buffy, this was a little bewildering. What was clear was that the GOHs were given little red ribbons saying "Sunnydale Survivor" and fans can collect these by making offerings of the GOH's choice. I, of course, want chocolate.
The evening brought everyone to the bar. Here are Jack Skillingstead and Paolo Bacigaluppi, who are taking a break from serious discussion of literature. Or of something, at any rate: