WisCon blew by even more quickly this year. One minute we were riding in from Truax Field in the hotel shuttle van, the next we were hopping in the Rowe-Bond's Honda Fit for a leisurely drive through Indiana. My con reports are pretty much cliché at this point: it was great to see friends, I did not get enough conversation time with any of them, some folks I missed entirely and that bums me out, I prefer readings to panels, beer is delicious.
The Delicious Beer track started early, during our layover at O'Hare, when I discovered Goose Island Matilda, a Belgian strong pale ale. Further delicious beers included Monk's Café Flemish Sour Red Ale, New Glarus Raspberry Tart, and Ommegang BPA. Many of these were consumed at Cooper's Tavern, a gastropub on the capitol square in Madison. Recommended, especially if you can get The Snug, the little table-sized room where the bartender waits on you via a little puppet-show door in the wall. We also got supper one night at Icon, the tapas place on State Street. Now that I think about it, this was a really top-notch year for food and bevs. We had humongous breakfast crepes at the farmers' market on Saturday morning. We had brownies and bourbon balls from the Tiptree Bake Sale. We had the local meat and cheese platter at a late lunch with Eileen Gunn and Carol Emshwiller in The Bar. I never got to try the Writer's Block, a raspberry margarita from the drink menu that bartender Brian makes every year for the convention, but it looked good on paper.
Items acquired in the dealers' room: The Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller, Volume 1, as well as a bunch of stuff from PM Press. For a bunch of anarchists, PM Press sure does a great job with consistent and beautiful graphic design.
Readings attended: only three, but that still meant I heard Alan DeNiro, Karen Joy Fowler, Hiromi Goto, Mary Doria Russell, Gwenda Bond, Christopher Rowe, Genevieve Valentine, Amal El-Mohtar, Meghan McCarron, David Moles, Ben Rosenbaum, Geoff Ryman, and Jen Volant. That's a lot of talent, right there. I was particularly moved by the short-short that Hiromi Goto read about memory and social media. There were a lot of other people whose readings I missed, dangit.
I read a new proto-story and that was fun but even more fun was reading the beginning of Carol Emshwiller's "Draculalucard" for the panel where Karen Fowler and Eileen Gunn and Pat Murphy and I celebrated Carol's work. Pat read a relatively new story from Carol, "Uncle E," and that really got to me, hearing Pat read it aloud (I had read it in print just before the con). Speaking of Carol: The Emshwillerians
Panels attended: The Trials, Joys and Tribulations of Tiptree Jury Duty. There were plenty of other panels that looked interesting, but none of them trumped fiction or sleep.
Parties attended: a bunch, but the three pillars were the Rabid Transit karaoke dance party, the Strange Horizons tea party, and the Genderfloomp dance party. One of these days I will stop being such a persnickety weirdo about the songs I will dance to.
And that's about it, I guess. I'm ready for WisCon 2012, yep.