“Let’s Bitch at Brandy” Closing ceremonies and feedback session
First, my deepest apologies for the tardiness of this blog post. MULTIPLE errands and distractions to deal with when I got home from LibertyCon 29.
I really needed this past weekend. BEST. CON. EVAR! Seriously! I saw old friends and met online friends in person for the first time. Welcome to the family! You know who you are! I saw the best book sales at a con I’ve had since ConNooga two years ago when I sold 8 books. My total for this con was 13 books sold! I sold out of my copies of Blood Curse. I almost made a profit on this convention. (It’s local and I go home every night instead of getting a hotel room, so that cost doesn’t figure in. Hotel and food expenses are the main reasons authors almost NEVER make a profit at a convention.)
I would like to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to the concom and volunteers who make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. My biggest complaint about LibertyCon has always been not being able to go to all the panels I’d like to. This is because there is so MUCH to do and only three days of programming for Rich and Tish Groller to cram them into. This is a good problem. LibertyCon has NEVER been boring. I did miss out on learning what the LC exclusive pre-release news was from Steve Jackson Games. Steve’s panel was scheduled at the same time I’d blocked off to eat; being a type 2 diabetic, food and meds took precedence.
I scored an adorable piece of art from the art show by Jim Humble titled “Dread Pirate Kitties.” I still can’t believe no one else placed a bid on it. Almost every other piece in his cubby had at least two bids. I also picked up Stephanie Osborn’s latest book from ProSe Press, Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse. It is the start of a prequel series about her version of Sherlock Holmes from her Displaced Detective series published through Twilight Times Books.
The “Convention War stories” panel, aka “One Time at a Con” gave much entertainment and a few things I want to Google: things like “LarryCon” in conjunction with “Texas Fandom” (I’m not familiar with the reference, having never been to cons west of the Mississippi); and WorldCon/NolaCon aka “The Con WorldCon Forgot.” Apparently the convention committee quit shortly before the convention, and the fans had to take over everything. That one also coincided with the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans the same weekend. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
There was no shortage of pros present. Liberty has one of the highest pro-to-fan ratios among sci-fi conventions. It was the second LC in a row to sell out. Attendance including staff and pros is permanently capped at 750 people. Brandy Spraker, the convention chair, is carrying on her father’s tradition of keeping the convention intimate and of the highest quality. I am grateful to be a part of the LC family since 2010.
Next year will REALLY be a busy one. LibertyCon turns 30! I lost track of how many times I heard jokes about “LibertyCon XXX” over the weekend. Online registration opened Sunday.
One of my favorite panels every year is the “Space Update” hosted by Les Johnson. It used to be called the NASA update, but so many private companies are involved in space exploration now the former name is outdated. I will post a separate report on this panel at a later date. A lot was covered at the panel, and it deserves it’s own post.
Friday night saw a truly nasty wind/thunder storm. Luckily, staff was able to secure the party tents for the overflow room party space. They took the poles out and laid the tent tarps flat. Otherwise, the tents would have been shredded or blown off property. Yes, the storm was that violent.
Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC) put on a wonderful production of All Hallows’ Moon by the late Thomas E. Fuller, founder of ARTC, as well as an episode of Rory Rammer: Space Marshal; “Rory Rammer and the Case of the Mummified Martian.” I had to miss the end of the production because of a schedule conflict: I had a 10 pm Authors’ Alley slot. ARTC is currently editing a production/adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I intend to monitor their FB page for the release date on that. These guys have been doing audio/radio plays since the mid-1980s. They are VERY good at what they do.
Another nifty thing about LibertyCon is you will often see GoHs and other attending pros working staff/volunteer spots. Todd McCaffrey is well known for his crepes in the ConSuite. If you attend Liberty often enough, you WILL get drawn into helping with the programming beyond just sitting/moderating panels. Tish asked me if I’d help out with the children’s costume contest next year. Personally, I believe there’s nothing like getting involved with some of the behind-the-scenes functions to give you a better appreciation for all the hard work and love that goes into make this convention such a fantastic one.
At the Let’s Bitch at Brandy (formerly Let’s Bitch at Uncle Timmy) closing ceremonies and feedback panel, it was announced that 21 attendees donated blood and 3 donated red blood cells to Blood Assurance, the charity auction raised approximately $8200USD (the final count is not in yet), and the Baen Barflies raised $366.24USD in their ConSuite tip jar. LibertyCon is and always has been a charity organization. Staff are not paid nor comped their membership. Only Guests of Honor get free membership. All staff, convention committee members, and other attending pros pay for their memberships. Any money raised above the costs of the venue/equipment/hospitality(food and drink for the consuite) go directly to the charity chosen for that year. This year’s charity was Lana’s Love Foundation which provides diversionary therapy (FUN) for children with cancer and their families.
The guest lineup was also announced for LibertyCon 30:
30 year GoH John Ringo
Literary GoH Kevin Hearn
Artist GoH Sam deSantos
Science GoH Eliza Quintana
30 year Special GoH Toni Weisskopf
Special GoH Todd McCaffrey
Special GoH Faith Hunter
It promises to be another sold out show. I strongly suggest you get your membership now.
LibertyCon 30 will take place at the Historic Chattanooga Choo Choo the weekend of June 30 – July 2, 2017.
I hope to see you there!