InConJunction XX

InConJunction, Indianapolis' annual science fiction convention, was held at the Indianapolis Marriott over the weekend of June 30 to July 2. This is the last year that it will be held at that hotel for at least a while, since next year it has been booked for another event that weekend and the convention will be moving to a hotel at Keystone on the Crossing, in the northeast part of Indianapolis.

This InConJunction was a special one for us, since my husband and I were having a religious renewal of vows ceremony, having gotten legally married earlier in the year in a civil ceremony before a judge. Our respective families really wanted to see us go through a ceremony, and doing it at the convention provided an opportunity to also share our joy with our fannish friends who would be present.

Friday started bright and early, since we had to get our merchandise into the dealers' room as soon as it opened in order to be set up by the time the dealers' room opened its doors to the general con-attending public. I also got my artwork onto the art show.

Then we had to pick up our badges and program books. This year the concom had added an "innovation" that a lot of con-goers, myself included, consider to be a very bad idea -- namely "security bracelets," obnoxious orange wristbands that cannot be removed without cutting them and therefore have to be worn throughout the time of the convention, waking and sleeping. It made it very embarrassing to have to go to non-convention events, because it seems like everybody must be staring at the stupid thing.

In the afternoon I had my first panel, on turning ideas into saleable stories, with Jean Lorrah and Author Guest of Honor Steven Barnes. We had a really great discussion on how to take those ideas that we pick up from dreams, incidents and history and subsequently reshape them to fit the expectations of the fiction reader.

In the evening we closed up our dealers' tables after a surprisingly successful day of sales, then went out to a Chinese buffet for supper. Afterward we returned to the hotel to visit the parties, then went back home for the night, since the convention is just down the road from where we live.

Saturday started even earlier than usual for a convention morning, since we had the renewal of vows ceremony at 8AM (the only time we could get the main function room). Our respective families both showed up, as well as a number of fannish friends, including Timothy Lane and Elizabeth Garrott of FOSFAX.

After the ceremony, it was time to get back to the dealers' room and get our tables ready for business for the day. I got to do most of the table-sitting, since my husband was out and about on errands preparing for the reception we would be holding in the evening. We got fairly steady sales all day, although I was also able to do some work on a novel I'm writing.

In the evening we had our reception. We'd gotten a room in the hotel for it, so we just needed to set up and make sure to get our fliers out announcing the location. After that we sat and visited with friends and family as they came and went. I had a great time talking computers with my youngest brother, who had flown in from California for the weekend to see the ceremony. After midnight we finally decided to close things down for the night.

On Sunday morning we had to get our stuff out of the room before we could head down to the dealers' room and get our tables opened for the day's sales. As soon as we got the tables ready, I had to hurry off to a panel on ancient technologies with Christopher Dunn, author of The Giza Power Plant, a book in which he argues quite convincingly that the Great Pyramids at Giza are far older than the First Dynasty, and were not tombs at all, but rather a very sophisticated generation system for some form of energy, possibly microwave in nature, that we do not completely understand. Chris Dunn showed a large number of artifacts that could only have been produced with sophisticated machining far in advance of the Bronze Age civilization that was supposed to have made them. As a historian, I made the point that we have a tendency to underestimate the sophistication and inventiveness of the peoples of earlier ages.

Then I had a brief time to return to the dealers' room before my second panel of the day. I also took that time to get my artwork off the art show. Much to my disappointment, not a one of my pieces sold, something that hasn't happened to me at a major convention for ages.

The second panel was on sex in science fiction. We talked about a lot of different takes on sexuality in science fiction, from the notorious Gor books of John Norman to some of the highly sophisticated speculations about the role of sexuality in alien societies, such as the Hugo-winning The Left Hand of Darkness.

Then it was back to the dealers' room to help pack things up, since sales had been unremarkable so far and there seemed no real point in delaying any longer. Just as the dealers' room was closing it was time to head off to my final panel, on shared-world writing on the Internet. It was interesting to hear some readings of contributions by participants in some of these activities, often in worlds that began as take-offs on established universes such as Star Trek or Pern but developed their own unique complexities.

By the time I got back, we already had the merchandise packed and nearly loaded, thanks to the able assistance of a friendly gopher. I had only a few miscellaneous items to carry out to my car before it was time to visit the dead-dog party and say our last good-byes.

Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel

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Last updated October 21, 2012.