In the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, I took some of my page-numberless books to Baycon and abandoned them in a couple of rooms, trying to tempt people into taking them. While doing this, I serendipitously found Relle, a freelance editor! She didn’t seem nearly as venomous as the last editor I encountered so I gave her some … uh, collectible first editions to look at, to see if she thinks she has the moxie for the task. She is also fond of Disneyland and coincidentally, my stories are full of e-ticket rides.
I went to some panels, and interacted with some amazingly smart folks. I hung around the bioengineering talks, waiting with baited breath to see whether any of my realm-of-plausibility plot points would be shot down in flames, and I was pleased to learn I'm still vaguely within the boundaries of possibility. In fact, the “Ethics in Bioengineering” panel was a fairly accurate summary of most of my plot points.
Baycon felt downright elderly. Although there were plenty of people younger than me, the core of the speakers and organizers and participants had gray hair. It felt rich in a certain sense, one where balding dudes barge into line in front of you because that’s how they roll, or where people clog up hallways chatting while you’re trying to wheel your suitcase through. The restaurant had specials – chicken fingers and reduced-size burgers – available to con goers. A relic from the times when less flush attendees shared hotel rooms with dozens of bodies, where they spent minimal time sleeping and maximal time partying with other nerds and doing volunteer labor in exchange for their badges. There aren’t any broke people in the Bay Area any more. They’ve morphed into people who have figured out some angle that allows them to live here and still have hobbies, and people who work too hard to have leisure time.
I buzzed through a few parties but I couldn’t seem to get into party mode. At more than one I found bored teenagers, who were also clogging up the pool and jacuzzi with moanings and whinings. I wasn’t feeling up to partying; my body was being a douchebag and I hate socializing when I’m in physical discomfort, so I spent a lot of time hiding in my room watching cartoons, wondering if the neckache would dissolve before the sleepiness set in. Maybe that means I’m elderly too! The horror!