MisCon 26

Sitting down after my return from MisCon in Missoula, Montana, where I spent four days participating in a variety of panels, writing critiques, and general mischief with convention goers from far and wide. I’m fairly certain most made the trek to see literary guest of honor George something-or-other Martin. I guess he’s written a couple of books or something, and done a thing or two in Hollywood. Must have been while I wasn’t paying attention.

Okay, in all seriousness, this may be the best convention I’ve been to. Far smaller in terms of attendance than, say, San Diego Comic-Con or Dragon*Con in Atlanta, but that just meant attendees had a far better chance of chatting with the likes of George up close, rather than at a hundred paces, below a stage, from behind a wall of security guards in red polo shirts. Heck, a few hundred of us got to watch episode nine of season two of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” with George himself, in a setting that was more like a living room than an auditorium. “Battle of the Blackwater.” Bloody fun.

Perhaps even more fun was cajoling epic fantasy author Peter Orullian (The Unremembered) into belting out some impressive karaoke tunes at the adjacent Joker’s Wild, or listening to Ty Franck (aka James S. A. Corey) wax on about, well, just about anything. The man could be a successful stand-up comic if he weren’t busy collecting Hugo and Locus nominations for his debut space opera, Leviathan Wakes. And let me throw a shout out to the iron workhorse of the group, urban fantasy author J.A. Pitts (shh, don’t tell his readers he’s not a woman), who seemed to be on every panel on the convention’s slate.

Were I to mention every other entertaining soul I met in Missoula, I’d be here all night. So let me just summarize by saying that the MisCon organizers put together a top-rate show for both the professionals and attendees, and have plans to do it again next year. For sci-fi fans looking for a smaller, more intimate setting in which to rub elbows with fellow fans and popular artists, consider placing MisCon 27 in Missoula, Montana at or near the top of your list.

If the Iron Throne fits...

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