Con Recap: MarsCon 2019

I revived my blog a few days ago, mentioning that I was attending MarsCon 2019 for the first time. As I mentioned in that brief post, it was largely a bittersweet experience. I’d like to write about the convention itself, as it was my first time attending this particular event.

I fell in love with sci-fi/fantasy conventions several years ago. The first one I ever had the pleasure of attending was Con Nooga way back in 2015. I’d been eyeing conventions a little wistfully for many years beforehand. I decided to take the plunge due to two factors: an author that I really liked was the guest of honor that year, and I finally had a friend who lived close enough to accompany me. It was an overwhelmingly delightful time for me, and it spawned a desire for MOAR. I learned a lot that first year, mostly the hard way, but I still had a great time.

I’ve attended a few more conventions since then, notably MystiCon in 2016 (when the convention team somehow managed to charm George R.R. Martin into venturing to Roanoke, Virginia — witchcraft that I want to know the trick to), and ConCarolinas last year. I’d heard about MarsCon before, years ago, but never managed to make my way there. Last summer, when I discovered that two of my favorite authors, Seanan McGuire and Catherynne M. Valente, were going to be the Guests of Honor for 2019, I swore I’d go. I bought my pass and planned my trip with one of my oldest friends, who lived close to Williamsburg (MarsCon’s home). As I mentioned in my brief post over the weekend, that friend passed away quite unexpectedly, two weeks after we made our plans to take MarsCon by storm.

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Dispatch From the Price Palace

Well then!  It’s been far too long since I checked in, and for that I apologize.  Funny thing about crazy weather: it leads to crazy illnesses.  I have dodged the flu bullet so far (thanks flu shot!), but the pressure changes and unreliable temperature patterns have led to multiple headache days for yours truly.  I’ve also been working my tail feathers off at the Day Job.  The flu is practically an epidemic in my home state.  Schools are closing, people are boldly venturing out in masks, and my pharmacy has been ultra busy.  The latter is compounded by a coworker being out sick for the last week.

Plus, Mr. Price is getting ready to leave on an adventure of epic proportions (more on that another time), so we’ve been doing a lot of preparations for that trip.  This has included descending into a nigh doomsday prepper level of food preservation.  I have learned a great deal.  For example, a huge can of green beans dries down to just enough to fit in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag.  Also, there is definitely a difference between generic and name brand canned corn.  I’m surprised.

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I’m still well within my goal of one book per week in 2017.  Some recent picks included Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library and two novellas: Passing Strange  by Ellen Klages and Final Girls by Mira Grant.  The latter of these was obtained via Humble Bundle’s newest Fantastic Fiction bundle.  It’s a fantastic deal and you should pick it up if you get a chance.  It’s more than worth it.  (PS: Look for reviews of the two novellas by yours truly on Speculative Chic sometime in March!)

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As for The Invisible Library, I tore through it madly.  It was supposed to be a placeholder until my copy of S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong arrived.  I expected to like it, but I didn’t expect to get a stay-up-too-late, read-obsessively sort of story.  It was amazing.  I immediately ordered the next two books in the series: The Masked City and The Burning PageI did start reading Wintersong when it arrived, and I’m enjoying it, but the back of my brain is simply itching to get back to Cogman’s series.  I’ll probably review Wintersong here, though, so keep an eye on this spot.

(You should keep an eye on this spot anyway, I’m awesome.  Ha ha.)