Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Up to Steam

I was fortunately able to get away from work early today thanks to one project being canceled around lunch. Thus Cheryl and I were able to zip down to Sunnyvale in the carpool lane to register for Steam Powered, the California Steampunk Convention. When we arrived at the Domain Hotel, we were politely informed by a convention staffer in the parking lot that parking was restricted to hotel guests only. He pointed us to an overflow hotel a half-mile away and talked of shuttle buses. We instead drove a short distance away and found street parking. Here's hope we'll be able to find a spot so easily tomorrow.

Registration was relatively quick, helped by my having remembered to bring my confirmation number. We were presented with our two membership badges tickets "VIP Event Passes." They weren't pre-printed, but I was not too fussed about that. They had Sharpie markers and I wrote our names on the badges. And they didn't have the Your Papers Pliz mentality of demanding Government Photo ID, which I appreciated. Program books hadn't arrived yet, but even when they arrived, they proved to not have much new information.

The only thing that was happening was the Dealers Room, where we headed initially before bumping in to Phil Foglio, with whom we chatted for a while. Once in the Dealer's Room, I ended up going straight to the Studio Foglio table where I made a nuisance of myself to kajafoglio and to alicebentley behind the table.

When I pointed out the panel in the MythAdventures collection that Changed My Life because it ultimately led to me founding and running for more than five years the MythAdventures Fan Club, Alice made a passing suggestion to me that I will not repeat here because I'm not sure she would appreciate me doing so, but for which the only appropriate response is "Get Thee Behind Me, O Tempter!" My fan-club-organizing days are in my past.

As I wrote elsewhere, Phil and Kaja's son was being inventive and earning a bit of spare cash for himself. The Foglios had come down to San Jose on Amtrak's Coast Starlight in a Family Bedroom sleeper, and I was happy to talk first with young Victor Foglio, and then with Kaja, about their first experience on the train -- they both loved it, and I'm envious of them being able to make the trip.

Kaja consented to having a picture taken with me in front of the table, even after I'd been hogging so much of their time without buying anything. (I don't really need a new Myth collection, given that I have the earlier Starblaze editions both in the trade and limited hardcover editions.)

As I had with Phil earlier, I talked with Kaja and Alice about the special Graphic Story Hugo Award category being trialed at Anticipation next year. As it happens, there is a Girl Genius storyline that will reach its conclusion (Book 8 in the series) in a few weeks, with the paper edition expected in March or April of 2009. That means the material that makes up Book 8 will be eligible for the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story on account of its serialized form concluding in 2008.

Besides the specific eligibility of Girl Genius, we talked about it being important for people who think that Graphic Story should be a permanent category to join Anticipation and nominate works this coming year, to show that the category will garner sufficient nominations to be worthwhile.

Cheryl had gone off to explore a bit while I enthused, and when she came back, we went around the Dealers Room, where she bought me books and we looked at many other things that would be nice to have but we can't afford at this time. You can read more in her Day 1 Report.

From the advance schedule, we thought there was supposed to be a welcoming reception at 6 PM, but nothing of that sort seemed to happen that we noticed. We hung around in the central lobby area, a good portion of which was taken up with a miniature Steampunk Club, a few photos (which do not really do it justice) are among those I've uploaded to Flikr.

We also got to have The Perfesser (Mike Ward) demonstrate his new Aura-Capturing Device. Still has a few bugs in it, I reckon.

While watching someone answer her mobile phone, I idly mused on what a steampunk mobile phone would look like. I decided it probably would be called an "portable etheric oscillator" or something like that.

We were not really up to sticking around for this evening's dance, and we needed to have dinner, so at johnnyeponymous's suggestion we headed out to a nearby Mongolian BBQ for an excellent dinner, after which we returned home. Sort of boring of us, I know, but we have to be up early if we want to see Chris's 10 AM panel, and since our decision to attend CA Steampunk was on short notice after the WFC trip was scrubbed, we did not and could not make hotel arrangements at the Domain.

The Domain looks like it should be a decent hotel for smaller, focused conventions like next year's Potlatch, but parking is certainly an issue unless you don't mind parking a few blocks away on the street and walking. I hope it isn't raining tomorrow morning when we get there.
Tags: conrunning, conventions, potlatch, steam powered
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