Last year I made the mistake of going well into the new year without breaking into my vacation time, and paid for it with a serious case of Work Burnout Meltdown. Not this year, damn it! As of last Friday, I am in full-on vacation mode, and it started with my first science fiction convention in about two years: FOGcon!
FOGcon (“Friends of Genre” convention) is a brand new San Francisco convention, and my understanding is that it’s modeled to be a west coast option for fans of such cons as Wiscon and Readercon. From what I saw — and I, uh, probably saw less than some people — it’s kind of got that vibe. This being the first year it felt small, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for me. I have a love-hate relationship with conventions: for me they’re part energy-recharging conversation, part writing career angst, and the size of those parts tend to vary depending on the situation. Small cons tend to be less stressful and more comfortable for me.
Jenn and I arrived on Friday evening in time for the opening party, after which the con turned into a Series of Meals: we got to see a number of long-distance friends for great food and conversation. San Francisco has an insane number of restaurants and we hit some great ones; Thai Spice on Polk was easily my favorite. This was my first good look at the city and we got to wander the hilly streets and take in some incredible views of the bay and the skyline.
As for the convention itself, sadly I didn’t hit a single panel or reading. Not that that’s terribly unusual: for me it’s usually all about getting out of town and seeing friends. (I did spin through the dealer’s room, though, and picked up a few books: Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife, a James P. Blaylock collection, and Will McIntosh’s new novel.) Even so, I feel like I should make more of an effort next time.
Anyway, I had a great time. For those of you I got to spend some time with, it was great seeing you! Hoping to go back next year.