So, MileHiCon is behind us again. Or the next one is in front of us. I suppose it depends on how you look at it.
I resolved for WorldCon to take more photos, but with MileHiCon, I did the opposite – in fact, I barely took any photos at all, for which I apologize to you, the reader, as photos always make these posts more fun. What photos I have, I will share.
One quick note – I wore the new shirts that proclaim me as a WRITER. It is difficult to judge whether anyone liked or disliked them, or if they did anything whatsoever to promote who and what I am. I say this because I got zero comments about the shirts themselves, and a few people standing in front of me asked me who I was and what I did. Sigh. Perhaps people thought I was a poorly cosplayed Richard Castle?
Before I get into the fun, I have two random complaints and a compliment for the hotel where the con takes place each year. Complaint the first – there is no place to sit and people watch. Seriously – nothing. A few benches are placed at odd angles along some walls in corners, but that’s it. I am one who can become overloaded and the ability to take a seat, rest and re-energize can be important. To do so while still being, technically, part of the comings and goings, is nice. Alas, the Hyatt has no such place. The lobby is filled with stairs. Some seats are tucked away under those stairs, which sucks. Behind the lobby are the first floor meeting rooms – which I have come to call ‘the dungeon’, there are 4 chairs and a table, usually taken/filled, and no Internet whatsoever. No phone service whatsoever. Hence – The Dungeon.
Complaint the second – no phone or Internet service. For AT&T, which is my provider, anyway. We are in the Denver Tech Center and I can’t get a bar. Half a bar. Nothing. And my phone never once detected hotel wifi. After a couple hours of being completely cut-off, the withdrawals were such that I may have been willing to pay for your shitty hotel wifi… Maybe. But, more to the point – WE’RE IN THE TECHNOLOGY CENTER! AND THE TECHNOLOGY DOESN’T WORK! There is one spot, the open area in front of the grand ballroom, where I can get a signal – but I have to stand in the middle of everything to do so! Stupid.
Now – the compliment. There was water everywhere. I really love and appreciate that. Yes, the hotel was selling bottled water and good on them for their entrepreneurial spirit. But free water dispensers were also located outside the meeting rooms, in the great open space, in the gaming area – all over the place, and that is awesome. People come to Colorado from all over for this con, and they can get dehydrated very quickly due to the altitude, so I was really happy to see this offered up all over the place.
A quick recap of some of the fun:
Friday, October 18th
I arrived at the con and upon registration, was presented with cupcakes and a shiny/sparklie birthday hat! Said hat was put to good purpose calming a fussy baby who was fascinated and enthralled by the shiny. (while his mom was helping someone, I was spinning the hat. He instantly stopped fussing. So when he went for a nap, the hat went with him )
Spent some time chatting with Seanan McGuire. Who is awesome. Just sayin’.
I was on a panel later talking about Doctor Who. I KNOW – RIGHT? THEY DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO STOP ME – THEY INVITED ME – CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!
It was a great discussion with lots of audience interaction. The question was asked: which classic villain / race / monster would you like to see brought back with the new show? There was no real consensus. Some would like to see The Rani or The Master return. I think The Master should be left to simmer for a bit longer. The Rani could be very interesting. What Moffat will actually do is anyone’s guess.
Following a quick bite to eat with J.T. Evans, I took part in a Writer’s Mixer in the bar. I was actually quite impressed with the bar this year – it’s been completely remodeled and expanded. My only complaint is that they had music blaring, and tv’s going on every free wall, which made conversation nearly impossible. Plus, they were unwilling to moderate the volume in any way. Tons of requests were made by all the little groups of people, all to no avail. Epic fail, hotel bar. Epic fail. Still, we soldiered on. There were way too many people coming and going to name them all. Alas.
I did step out long enough to catch Cat Valente, Seanan McGuire and Carrie Vaughan taking part in The Midnight Hour; a sort of radio call in show based on Carrie’s books. It was quite funny and entertaining.
When the bar did last call at midnight (wtf? Midnight? Seriously?), I headed home to a neighborhood full of teenagers out in the streets surrounding my house. There appeared to be competing parties. I live on a corner. The house directly across from mine was having a party, and the house facing the other side of my house was also having a massive party. I’d just gotten into my house when I heard a pop-pop-pop-pop that sounded an awful lot like gunshots. Within a minute, every teenager was gone. Cars were gone. Everything got quiet. I fell into a coma-like sleep.
Saturday, my alarm went off far too early. Got up, showered and headed back to the con. Traffic was ridiculous for a Saturday, and I made it just in time for my next panel appearance talking about podcasting and Internet radio. Again, great panel, lots of audience participation and questions. Nathan Lowell did a fabulous job as moderator.
Some aimless wandering. Sat for a bit and chatted with several people including J.T. Evans, Josh Vogt, random panel attendees who said hello, Matt Rotundo, Betsy Dornbusch, James Sams and Guy Anthony de Marco.
My last panel was a live podcast recording! Stephen Graham Jones, Ed Bryant and Carol Berg were my panelists and we had a great conversation. Topics included: horror writing, living in Colorado (Seanan had asked me “WHY DO PEOPLE LIVE WHERE THERE IS NO AIR?!”), shared universes and more. I did record the whole thing, so look for it on SF Signal soon.
Following this, I had a dinner adventure with Seanan McGuire, Cat Valente and David Boop. We ended up at the Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s oldest restaurant where meat is the menu. Seriously. Beef, lamb and pork are just the tip of the iceberg there. You also have rattlesnake, alligator, elk, buffalo, quail, Cornish game hens, and salmon. Occasionally, they have more exotic fare depending on the season. Dinner conversation included talk of musical theater, which is not my strongest subject AT ALL, so I mostly listened and absorbed.
Back at the con was more mixing and socializing at the bar until the wee hours of the morning.
Side note: sleep is good.
Sunday is the third day of the con, and quite frankly, I was feeling beyond exhausted and had regular life things needed doing, so I skipped the end of the con. Occasionally, this has to be done. And there is just something about puttering about the house in your PJ’s for a few hours that can be truly cathartic…
MileHiCon sort of ends my con schedule for the year – not that I do a lot of con-going, but this is the cap. Now I can start saving up for the next year and the cons coming down the pipe.
Did someone mention barcon at Pikes Peaks Writers in April…?