Now you tell me--is this or is this not a surly, disreputable gaggle of bloggers if ever there was one?
Yes, Armadillocon 32 came and went in the fair city of Austin this past weekend, and the No Fear of the Future bloggers violated several restraining orders and at least one major zoning ordinance by congregating for a rushed meal and business meeting at Elevation Burgers in between panel obligations. Jess Nevins kicked things off with a well-timed coup, evicting Jayme Blaschke from any tenuous pretension of leadership and, declaring himself turtle king, decreed that a throne of nine turtles be erected on the Island of Sala-ma-Sond. Three new contributors were voted in unanimously--Peggy Hailey, Derek Johnson and Matthew Bey. The fact that most weren't in attendance, or even aware of the vote, may well account for the unanimity of the decision.
My second panel of the con, otherwise known as the one that caused me to rush through lunch, "Steampunk: Literary or Social Movement?" It turned out to be one of the highlights of the weekend, because A) several panelists came in costume, and 2) they brought toys. And the audience members were decked out as well, although they didn't engage in any in-character cosplay. For the marveling masses, there was the ubiquitous retrofitted steampunk computer keyboard with plenty of brass and polished wood, and a bulky, boxy steampunk calculator. Quite possibly the coolest gadget was a scratch-built steampunk flashlight/torch with an ivory handle and a wicked deadly spotlight powered by three steroid-infused LEDs. I'm serious, when they explained how they personally used it as a self-defense weapon to blind assailants at night, I was skeptical. But when that freaking blue laser just about blew a hole in the wall, I was convinced. Oh, and we talked about Jeff VanderMeer, Paul diFilippo and Steamboy too, just so you don't get the mistaken idea that the panel was exclusively a mini-Maker Fair.
Armadillocon remains my favorite convention because of this entertaining and eclectic lineup of programming. The new hotel (Arboretum on the north side) gave it a different vibe, and one that's going to take some getting used to, but all in all it was a top-notch weekend. Definitely looking forward to next year.
Anyone interested in perusing a whole heck of a lot more Armadillocon 32 images should mosey on over to Lisa on Location. The Wife was in full-on pro photographer mode Saturday, and got a lot of good ones. Enjoy.