Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Geek.kon Thoughts

This weekend I went to Geek.kon here in Madison. I came to a little better understanding of what it means to be a geek, what geek culture means in today's social climate and also, who my real friends are.
With me was my friend from local death metal giants Burial Of an Era, David, who was the only person secure enough in their own awesomeness (and rightly so) to go with me.
We didn't go to many of the events to be honest. We started out with a screening of the MST3K episode "Jack Frost." The story was something about Russian, Norwegian wizards and the sins of pride and purity of spirit. My favorite quote was "I gotta go throw a cudgel." Baba Yaga and her chicken-legged hut made an on screen appearance. So that was sweet.
Afterwards we looked at some artist displays (mostly anime), wandered through the tabletop gaming room, and the vendors. I tried to pre-order the Jonathan Lethem penned issue of Omega The Unknown out this week, but the comic people got stuck in Milwaukee because of car trouble.
Last we went to a 2 hour lecture on Japanese music, which David had to leave after about 15 minutes and which really only covered the mainest of the mainstream. I do understand why David left, although my threshold for annoying personality traits is much much higher than his (which is to say they weren't actually very annoying). They started off with a quick dismissal of most traditional music, especially Enka. I would say the equivalent to this one axing would be to throw out Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday as "old people's music." All ranting aside, I did learn a lot. I'm glad I stayed through the whole thing and it really was a very unique learning experience. I would say the best band I heard, hands down, was The Pillows. I couldn't find any mp3s for you online, but there is this awesomely grungy music video of Hybrid Rainbow on youtube:

The second day I went alone for the panel by local semi to famous SF/F writers Joan D. Vinge, Sarah Monette, and Patrick Rothfuss (and also Vinge's husband and editor for Tor Books, Jim Frenkel.) This part was of course the highlight of the con. I'm not sure why but I just get all warm and fuzzy inside when I hear spec fic writer's talk. They really didn't talk about anything out of the ordinary. They talked about success, both from the editor's and the writer's points of view. Monette and Rothfus talked about their recent climbs to market visibility. They answered a few questions and then before I knew it we were being kicked out of the room. Being the only panel by actual writers I really wish they had been given at least a 2 hour block, but oh well. What can be done aside from angry suggestion box confetti?
Now, in talking about events I have left out the biggest detail, which was the costumes.
There was a little boy dressed up as a giant robot. Almost everyone else was an anime character. I really wish I had brought a camera for you, Constant Reader. Maybe next year you should get off you lazy ass and go yourself.