Saturday we didn’t have anything until 1pm, but we were up and ready before the parade was over. We thought it would be a good time for breakfast since if the streets were full the restaurants wouldn’t be. The problem was, how do we get there? Nicole was still getting her awesome costume ready so Ryan and I headed out to try and scout a location. We were pretty much tied to one side of the street so we didn’t have many options. For all of the things we love about the Indigo, their restaurant closes at 11am and doesn’t reopen until 4pm. That is absolutely crazy for a hotel restaurant. The parade was breaking up, and lines started forming up in front of every place that opened at noon. There was no way that we would have survived that long, but it turns out that the Westin has a great brunch buffet that stays open late, and is too expensive to be crowded when the Metro Diner is just around the corner. The immediate need for food outweighed the price though, and we ended up shoving all the food we could find into our faces for the $33 price tag. It was a lot of food, and I might have actually eaten my weight in bacon. Then we all went to do the Geek Year 1992 panel with Dave, Oz, and Kristian Allen. Those are always fun, and gave me a chance to talk about the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I would do entire panels on The Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil, and Mass Effect games if someone were crazy enough to give me the chance. Everyone was all off to do other stuff, but I went to meet a Star Wars author.
And now we get to the meat of the matter. Actual Dragon Con coverage. This was my 8th year covering Dragon Con (it would be nine if it wasn’t for stupid 2020. Maybe I just shouldn’t count that year, for anything anymore), and I keep expecting to get turned down. I keep not getting turned down so thanks media relations! I was even more surprised to get approval to request both interviews with walk of fame guests and authors. I didn’t really expect to get any of my requested celebrities approve, but I got one of each! The only thing that was sad about that was that if I wanted to interview Mark Meer at 4pm on Sunday then I wouldn’t be able to be on a panel about The Thing at 4pm. Since I’d already had to drop the Halloween 3 panel on Friday due to a conflict with my podcast panel this left me with no panels for the Horror Track at all. That made me sad, but life is full of these tough choices. Not only did I have a panel for our podcast (if I haven’t mentioned it 5,000 times before I co-host a Star Wars book club podcast called Execute Chapter 66), but Chad was finally able to attend, and the Star Wars track invited us to be on a panel too. This was huge since we’d been trying to find a way in with them since we started. I was also moderating the Classic Video Game Hall of Fame again, as well as trying out a brand new idea (for me anyway). The directors of the American Sci-Fi Classics Track were kind enough to let me read an old school Choose Your Own Adventure book with a live audience. Read on to find out how that went. Spoiler alert: pretty damn well. I also had a panel with Dave, the rest of the con buddies (Mr. and Mrs. Cadaver, and the lovely Oz) had some things going on I wanted to see, and we all had a game show to put on together. But let’s just start at the beginning for now.
Well here it is, the next part of Dragon Con 2022 coverage. Let’s move on to the press releases before we get into the recap, and interview. It should have been plural interviews, but well…we’ll get to that in another article tomorrow.
So check out all of the good we did this year by collecting a lot of money and blood to help others. It always amazes me to see the lines of people waiting to give blood every year. Well done everyone.
I’ve got lots of coverage coming over the next few days (yes, I’m running behind. I got a really bad case of the flu after the con, and it took ages to recover from. Flu shot and covid booster before con for sure next year), but I always like to start with housekeeping, press releases, and the Dragon Awards. Stay tuned for more to come over the next several days for recaps, panel breakdowns, and even an interview.
Another Dragon Con is in the books, and the Dragon Awards have been handed out. Haven’t heard of the Dragon Awards before? Well you should have.
The Dragon Awards were created in 2016 as part of Dragon Con’s 30th anniversary celebration. All fans – not just Dragon Con members or attendees – were invited to nominate their favorite properties for the awards and then select Dragon Award winners by voting on the annual Dragon Awards ballot. More than 7,000 fans cast ballots for this year’s Dragon Award winners, selected from among 93 properties in 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming, and tabletop gaming. Winners were announced on Sept. 4 at Dragon Con 2022 in downtown Atlanta. Final voting was held via the dedicated Dragon Awards website, and the voting period ran from mid-August to Sept. 3. The ballot was selected in an open nomination process in which fans nominated their favorite properties. The nomination period ran from early November 2021 until July 2022. The best and most popular of the nominated properties were elevated to the ballot.
With about 65,000 people attending, and only 7,000 voting that means a whole lot of you didn’t vote. What’s wrong? You guys don’t have opinions? That doesn’t sound right to me. So if you didn’t get to vote this year, make sure you get in on this next year. Since it seems like a lot of people still don’t even know about the Dragon Awards I’m going to included both the nominees, and the winners. I didn’t have a choice I was super passionate about in each category, but in those cases I usually pick the author or property I like the most. Having two great Star Wars books to choose from was hard, but ultimately I think the better book won. Also, Timothy Zahn really deserved some kind of recognition for how great the last three Thrawn books were.
Well I’m just going to start by saying that my Saturday sucked. It was not only the worst in a very long time, but also my worst convention Saturday ever. I am a woman, and as a woman certain hormones are at work in my body. Those hormones cause things to happen at times of their own choosing. And when they’re feeling particularly vindictive they cause massive amounts of “knock you flat out on your ass” pain. By noon on Saturday I had taken my entire weekend’s supply of ibuprofen and was still unable to get out of bed. So I did the only thing I could do: take a sleeping pill and pray that it would be at least a little better when I woke up. And during all that sleeping I missed four Star Wars panels that I had really wanted to see. Eventually I woke up feeling a bit better, and went to CVS to get more drugs, and to find some food. With all of that done I decided to answer some of the messages coming in asking where I was. There was some more hanging out on the Hilton patio, and a lot of wandering that would not have been possible without the day of rest I’d had. Saturday is usually the toughest night to get around the Marriott. So many people just go Saturday, and they all want to be in the Marriott either in their cosplays or looking at all the cosplayers. It was not bad at all this year. Thanks attendance cap and limited day passes! We knew that the dance parties would be impossible to get in to when they were starting up so we made for the Adult Puppet Improv instead. It was hysterical, and I highly recommend it if you enjoy adult puppet humor. Once that was over and the dance party lines were still way too long we went back to the Hilton patio just to hang out with all the people again. And, aha! This was the night we went to the Metro Diner at 1 or 2 in the morning. I will not get into too many details about who needed the Metro Diner to keep from having a terrible hangover because calling someone out for having one too many opens me up for getting yelled at. Or worse, it opens me up to be publicly shamed for any similar behavior past or future. Once we were fueled up again it was either find a dance party we could actually get in to or go to sleep. So we went to sleep.
Someday I might look at getting a hotel room starting Wednesday night instead of waiting until Thursday. Anybody else remember when Dragon Con started on Friday? I’m sure plenty of people do, but it seems like a long time ago. Anyway, my roommates this year were the lovely Nicole and Ryan Cadaver. They had to work Thursday, and I couldn’t check into the room until they got there. Not a problem since that gave me time to drop my bags at the hotel, and grab my badge. Since media badges don’t come from the Sheraton I can’t comment on the line situation I heard so much about the first few days. Most of the people I spoke with personally understood the limitations the convention was under this year, and I know the few volunteers they had did the best they could. With badge secured, and the Cadavers a few hours away I decided to wander for a bit and maybe grab an early dinner. I ended up at the food court several time over the weekend because it wasn’t nearly as crowded as usual. Not much was though overall. I then snagged a delicious seltzer drink from the Hyatt, and let me just say that the canned drinks on offer this year were pretty great. I’ve really been enjoying seltzers when it’s warm outside. So I drank my refreshing seltzer and wandered around while I waited for everyone else to arrive or get situated. The very instant we got into our hotel room to get unpacked and arranged the lovely Oz started blowing us up. He needed a buddy to go with him to badge pickup. Since Dave and I were badged I went to meet him so we could buy around while the others got their badges. A few hours later we were all set, and ready for a dance party. The Variant Ball was going on, and seemed like a good way to pass the time until we had our Troublemaker viewing at eleven. There was a line to get in, but it really wasn’t bed. And in our con excited state we didn’t realize it wasn’t that bad because a whole lot of people weren’t there yet. Fun dancing time had to end so we could get to the American Sci-Fi Classics track room to watch Wilson’s movie about Dave. There were some technical problems beyond our control so we got started pretty late. And I really should start taking notes about the unscheduled stuff we do. The nights kind of start to run together. Was that the night we went to the Metro Diner? No, that was the night Noel led us to this year’s arcade location because he was the only one who knew where Agatha’s used to be off the top of his head. I was so sad not to have the arcade attached to my hotel this year, and the game assortment was definitely a bummer, but you just gotta roll with that stuff until we get through this mess. I really missed all the crazy Japanese games I couldn’t figure out how to play though.
Well it feels like a really long time since I’ve written anything. Oh wait, it’s been close to two years. Shortly after Dragon Con 2019 we started working on our plan to start the Execute Chapter 66 podcast, and that took a whole ton of my writing time. Reading a novel every other week is a bit more time consuming than watching a movie and saying something about it. You know what makes me want to start writing again? More Dragon Con! As weird as this year was it was still wonderful, and I am so glad I didn’t chicken out. I’m really happy to be back this year to give you the lowdown on the fun that was had, and how it went. If you didn’t go, you can live vicariously through me. If you did go, you can see what you might have missed (I mean none of us sees everything in any year) so you can plan for next year. All of my fingers and toes are crossed that things will be a little more normal next year. Here’s what I won’t do – get political, give my uneducated opinion on whether or not we should have had an in-person Dragon Con, or criticize what anyone chose to do for their own sense of safety. What I will do – talk about how well the protective measures taken by Dragon Con worked (spoiler alert: pretty darn well from everything I saw), let you know about all of the cool things that I saw, and encourage you to get vaccinated so that we can loosen up these restrictions next year. Masks suck, getting sick sucks, and getting someone else sick simply because you’re selfish really really sucks. So don’t suck, get vaccinated. This will probably be broken up into a few parts because there is an awful lot to talk about.
While those in the 9 to 5 workplace have been off enjoying holidays, and parties, and fun I just got released from two months of retail hell. Consider that the person you’re being rude to is a real human being the next time you’re shopping on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. By the time I got New Year’s Eve and Day off I was so tired I thought I was going to keel over before I even got to the party I was going to. I basically slept, worked, and had a drink (or three) alone before going back to sleep from mid-November through this week. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting even two posts up in December honestly. I haven’t gotten to see the last three Star Wars movies of the Skywalker saga on opening weekend. Not because I don’t love Star Wars, but because I am so sick of people by the time I get off work that I want to be as alone as possible for as long as possible. I can’t stand the idea of going to a crowded movie theater surrounded by the same jerks who just made my day hell. So since I couldn’t see The Rise of Skywalker on opening weekend I also couldn’t do the podcast Dave and the guys did the Sunday after Christmas. Even if I had I was working at 5am the next day so it would have been impossible either way.
We’ve all got Star Wars fever right now. I kind of have it all the time if I’m honest. Despite the initial bad reviews of The Rise of Skywalker I’m all in. It’s just that my life in retail hell won’t allow me to see the movie this weekend. I hope to see it sometime next week, but who knows. Until after New Year’s Day my schedule sucks. So I won’t be on the podcast Dave, Chad, Arian, and Schweck are recording this weekend. I take comfort in the fact that we will be able to start recording our podcast about Star Wars books shortly after the new year starts though. In the meantime, to help you all get even more hyped for the new movie I’ve complied a list of the best Star Wars games I’ve played. Not the best of all time, but the best I’ve played. Some of these were arcade only, some are from rather old consoles, but don’t let that stop you from picking up any Star Wars game that makes you happy to kill some time.
Someone at work was trying to talk to me about this year’s Oprah’s Favorite Things list and using it to do their holiday shopping. I could not make her understand how much I don’t care what Oprah does or doesn’t like. I’m a nerd and I don’t need whatever throw blanket or lounge pajamas she likes this year. Or any year for that matter. I checked around for lists of gifts for nerds, but most of those had too much un-fun tech stuff. I kind of want a robot vacuum, but I definitely don’t want one for Christmas. I decided to put my own geeky list together for anyone who needs help picking out a present for their favorite dork. Okay so this is a list of things that I really want for myself, but I think a lot of this stuff is universal. I’m not getting paid to advertise anything here. I just included links in case any of these goodies strike your fancy.