Friday, April 22, 2011


I have spent the last two days attending one panel after another at Norwescon. So far I have attended discussions on:

  • "Origami magic", which was more basic than what I had hoped... so I made a few of my favorite models, helped a thirteen year old girl dressed as the mad hatter learn the bird base, and bailed. It was still a very well set up origami presentation, its just I already knew all the models they were teaching.
  • "Biological Inspirations" (a FANTASTIC discussion on how weird some creatures are and how to apply that to stories)
  • "Best Board games for non gamers", where a meta-game was being played by the panel on how to describe an entire game in one sentence... my favorite, Dungeons and Dragons is "let's pretend, with structure")
  • "Theme: Whats the real story", where I had a bit of epiphany on one of the big things I'm doing wrong.
  • "Are A.I's People Too?" A great discussion on what the current state of artificial intelligence is and why it isn't what we think.
  • "Game Mechanics" What it takes to get a game of any sort produced.
  • "Computers in the Cloud" One word: "Trust".
  • "Webcomics" found a few gems that will fill a great deal of my time catching up on the back stories... It was  pointed out that you should  click on the ads when visiting a webcomic (or blog!) you like, it's like a tip jar.
  • "The Drone of Remotely Piloted Vehicles" thoughtful and insightful discussion on how the military use of drones may negatively impact other uses.
  • "Designing the Future with Science Fiction" Where I attended yet another room with several of the same people, I think one of the panelists is starting to think I'm stalking him.
  • "Call For Stories, The Tomorrow Project" Where the entire room was asked to submit stories for a new anthology coming out by University of Washington. Hard science fiction around specific themes. I already have several ideas, and I'm very excited by this.
  • "Xcor Presentation" in which one of the JOAT's described with a great deal of anecdote and personality what its like working on an experimental spacecraft, what the progress is, and what the general plans are. Takeaway: He really loves his job.
  • "The Science of Magic" Where we discussed magical systems in multiple books, and how to achieve internal consistency, and why that's important.

I have spent the day watching people in amazing costumes show off what they have done. Pirates.. and Steampunk... and Storm Troopers...... (betcha you just said "Oh my" in you head)

I watched several contact jugglers and  learned the reason I suck at this is that my hand does not actually in fact bend enough for me to do some of the moves. I have an honest to goodness physical point of failure that I have to factor in. Not giving up, mind you, but it certainly explains a hell of a lot. Now I have to learn to make my arms more flexible. Broke my favorite astrojax too,  not a good day for juggling.

I sat and watched with fascination as a woman in a lovely home made dress set up a spinning wheel she was carrying, and made thread while waiting for a panel to finish.

I listened to a woman play pan pipes for a small audience, or rather... I heard the pan pipes and followed the sounds till I found her.

One of the rooms had been converted into a 1980-s era arcade, with Frogger, and QIX, and Galaga, and Centipede, all with unlimited plays turned on... Nostalgia distilled into player one and player two buttons.

I met people I haven't spoken to in approximately one full year (since last Norwescon) and continued conversations with them as if no time at all had passed.

I played Space Munchkin With a blue haired crazyman who gave me an expansion set for the game when I beat him (did the same thing last year).

I wore a shirt that said "Stand back, I'm going to try Science"  and I bought a shirt that has a math symbol with eight dangly bits instead of two. yup.... Octopi.

I didn't "go to" Norwescon..... I came home.