Monday, April 9, 2012


Norwescon, which occupied Seattle over the weekend, began with dogs and ended with flooding.

Jack and I brought our dog with us, since the Doubletree advertises itself as friendly to dogs. This does not guarantee that the dog will be friendly to the hotel. Cosette, below, is a 7 1/2 pound toy poodle, high-strung and excitable. She liked being carried or led around the con, where everyone went "Awwwww." She did not like being left alone occasionally in the hotel room. Nor did she like it when another dog was left there for a few hours, even though the other dog was crated. Much cross-barking ensued. "Oh," said the people next door, "are you the ones with the dog that is so.... sad?" So no more leaving Cosette alone, which meant one of us had to carry her around pretty much all the time.

Despite this considerable handicap, I did four panels and an autographing session. Over 3,000 people attended the con, but it is heavy on gaming, media, and costuming; for a con this size, actual book-related events were more lightly attended than I'm used to. But the costumes were gorgeous. Maybe 2/3 of them were Victorian steampunk, and the dealer's room tended heavily toward those costume elements as well. Here is a "steam-powered baby carriage," which emitted steam as its builder wheeled it around the hallways:Still the panels were fun, especially the one on "Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Became An SF Writer," moderated by the always hilarious Eileen Gunn. Also fun were the chances to see old friends. I played chess with Bob Brown. I had dinner with Artist GOH John Picacio, and many bar sessions with many people, such as this jolly group. Left to right: Mark Teppo, Leslie Howle, Jack Skillingstead, three people whose names I never learned, Patrick Swenson, and the back of Nicole Thompson's head:

On Sunday afternoon, just as I was going for lunch in the very well-stocked green room, water started to pour from the ceiling. In just a few minutes the room and the corridor were seriously flooded. Both were closed, con- and hotel security rushed madly around, and I took my barking and exhausted dog home.

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