MileHiCon has all the usual con attractions, including an art show, kaffeeklatsches, dealers' room, con suite and people wandering the halls dressed as if attending gatherings in the past, future, or other dimensions. Here are two of these, plus the dealers' room, which had some lovely jewelry:
As always, some of the best discussions occur in restaurants and bars. At a birthday dinner for Courtney Willis and Jack Skillingstead (both turning 101), Paolo Bacigaluppi and I discussed the difference to a career that can be caused by the order in which one writes books. Following a very successful book with one with far less mass appeal is a bad idea in terms of the perceptions of the writer held by marketing departments and book sellers. Naturally, this is what I did, following BEGGARS IN SPAIN with the much more gloomy and difficult MAXIMUM LIGHT -- to the detriment of future sales and reputation. What writers need is what Paolo called the "sweet project" -- the book that a writer both wants to write and has widespread appeal.
After dinner, when everyone had recovered from the off-key rendition of "Happy Birthday" in the hotel restaurant, some of us went to the masquerade. "Best in Show" was taken by a sexily dressed "Scarlett Witch," whom I unfortunately did not get a solo picture of, although she stands out redly in the photo below. The tiny charmer in the front won in the children's division as "Punk Princess Fairy."
The day finished in the bar and con suite with more discussions of SF, but by that time I was too tired to register what was actually being said except for Connie Willis's very funny riff on Sarah Palin, who is also a pretty fantastical construct.