A Memory of Light

JordanCon 2012: The Bloggening, Part 4

Hi, kids! In the spirit of “better late than never”, here is my final wrap-up report on JordanCon 2012, which took place over this past weekend and somehow did not quite manage to kill me with fun. It tried, though!

No, really. I am still recovering from Saturday (well, the whole weekend, really), which is just sad. Getting old sucks.

But anyway, I did in fact survive, and now I’m gonna finish telling you how! Whoo!  

Previous report posts are here, here, and here. Note that this post is very image-heavy, so those with slow connections, be aware before you click the cut.

So, before I tell you about Sunday (the only day I didn’t get to previously), let’s talk about the big thing I was obliged to miss on Saturday, which was the costume contest. I was rather upset that I couldn’t make it to this, actually, but fortunately for me, we live in The Future™, where it is possible to record events in image form! And then share them electronically after the fact! AMAZING.

So, thanks to the wonderful photographic talents of Sandip Mehta (whose photos were previously featured in an earlier report), as well as the contributions of Re-readers Extraordinaire Leslie Annis and Tricia Grantz Irish (aka Lannis and Tektonica, respectively), I can see what I missed, and share it with you as well! ASTONISHING.

Sandip, by the way, is a professional photographer who paints photos and has some truly amazing stuff on his website that you should definitely check out. We were very lucky to have him around!

(All the below photos are courtesy of Sandip Mehta unless otherwise noted.)

First, group photo!

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(photo courtesy of Tricia Grantz Irish)

And our costume contest Winnah, who happens to be none other than our own Leslie Annis herself! Check out her kickass Ebou Dari widow rig:

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Note the marriage knife!

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This one shows the hiked–up skirt with colored petticoats underneath:

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(photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

Second place went to a truly awesome horde of Trollocs:

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Seriously, check out the detail on these costumes:

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Paul Bielaczyc (JordanCon’s Art Show Director and representative of Aradani Costumes) as a goat Trolloc.

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Leslie says the helmet was way heavy.

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Vulture Trolloc!

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And a wolf Trolloc, I think.

Trollocs were startlingly popular all around this JordanCon, actually:

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Ewwwwww! (Tricia Grantz Irish and Kelcey Casson (con Webmaster), photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

Even the ones who can’t spell:

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Well, he tried. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

Though there were plenty of non-monster costumes about, of course. In no particular order:

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James Atkins as Aram! You can’t really see it here, but his sword has a wolfshead pommel. Awesome.

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Serafina Virciglio as an Aiel Maiden. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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Sophie Decaudin as Birgitte. Love the boots.

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Birgitte with an expecting Elayne and a very stern Lini! Kickass. (Sophie Decaudin, Kiley Kellermeyer, Elaine Brinson, photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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Heh.

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Kristen Nedopak as another Maiden.

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And the lovely Kristen again, this time as… Moghedien, maybe? Not sure. Whoever she is, she looks badass.

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Richard Fife as Steampunk Perrin!

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Sita Payne Romero as a Sea Folk Windfinder, complete with nosering and chain.

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A Tinker. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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A Whitecloak, grrr.

And then there was April Moore, co-Art Show Director with aforementioned Paul Bielaczyc, who was practically an entire costume contest unto herself:

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As Cadsuane, of course (with Leslie). (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

I still adore the paralis net:

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(photo courtesy of  Tricia Grantz Irish)

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Here she is with her adorable husband Chip as Siuan Sanche and Gareth Bryne. So cool. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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And then my absolute favorite, April as Lanfear (Note me on the side staring in amazement.) (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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Seriously, the detail and design of this dress was just exquisite, and April told us she did all the beading and embroidery herself, which just floored me. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

And of course, no JordanCon would be complete without the sight of three Mats a-dicing:

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(photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

So, yeah, I’d say the costume contest was a raging success all around. My kudos to everyone who participated, and my apologies to those I couldn’t identify and/or left out. Y’all all roxxor my soxxors.

Right, and then after that everyone got drunk. And… yeah, that’s about what that was. Though I will say you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Trolloc do the choreography from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Yup.

Sunday, therefore, was… a lot. And simultaneously, very little. I completely slept through my alarm, and woke up in a hungover panic because I had twenty minutes to dress, pack, and check out. I am actually incredibly impressed at myself that I managed to accomplish this, AND didn’t forget anything, AND only looked mildly like an extra from a George Romero film afterwards. Really, go me.

I had a necessarily carb-and-caffeine-loaded breakfast with Leslie and Tricia and Toastmaster Melissa, which was lovely despite the fact that I kind of wanted to die, and then it was time for my last panel at the Con, which was, appropriately, “The Last Theory Panel Ever (This Time We Mean It)”, with Matt Hatch, Thomas DeSimone, Melissa Craib Dombrowski, and Jeffrey Daniel.

And… er. Yeah, see. I don’t know if it was my state of hangover, or the sleep deprivation, or what, but I am completely blank on what we talked about on this panel. And it’s not the delay, either – I tried to make notes on the plane back the same day, and had nothing. I mean, wow. My brain, she was done, you guys.

In desperation, therefore, I badgered Matt Hatch via email to tell me what the hell we had discussed, and – well, here is his reply verbatim:

That’s an excellent question…because I’m blanking a little bit regarding the entirety of that hour. In essence, while we proposed that everyone hit us up with theories, most of the panel consisted of questions from the audience regarding what we thought about certain theories. At one point we asked for a quick vote on Logain v. Taim; the large majority believed that Logain would kill Taim.

Jeff Daniels (of Ta’veren Tees), who was on the panel with us, proposed as a theory (related to Logain v. Taim) that Taim would use a Mask of Mirrors to appear as Rand. Logain would know it wasn’t Rand and he would kill Taim. The audience generally liked the theory. There was no consensus (in that room of fans) regarding Fain and Shaidar Haran’s final roles and Rand’s Resurrection. And we knocked down the idea of Linear Time and the destruction of the Wheel. Also, you mentioned a few times ideas that you thought were not thematically palatable… but I can’t remember which ones you were responding to from the audience.

That’s all I can recall at the moment. I know we didn’t hand out many of the stickers we had for great ideas because there were few. Overall, I came away thinking that there were not many specific ideas with wide agreement, as a whole, as to what will happen in the final book… and maybe that’s a credit to Jordan’s ability to confuse us as far as plot details.

And that’s probably about as good as you’re going to get. I remember (now that Matt mentioned it) disagreeing with several theories based on their thematic inappropriateness, but I don’t remember specifically what they were either, just that I felt very strongly that anything that took the final endgame away from Rand was probably incorrect.

I agree with Matt, though, that possibly the reason we remember so little about the theories proposed is that either no one was really willing to commit to a theory about the ending, or that the theories that were proposed were so vague as to be not terribly memorable in the first place. I think everyone is hedging their bets.

I also think this is a good thing, that everyone is generally so uncertain about how events will progress in AMoL. It makes me more agog for the ending than ever.

And that was pretty much the end of JordanCon for me. I went around and said goodbye to everyone I could find, and then crashed in the hotel room of Con Staffers Par Excellence Sarah Nakamura and Kristy Lussier for a while before catching a ride to the airport from Kristy and the wonderful Perry Minchew. Thanks, guys, y’all are lifesavers.

And since that ending is kind of lame, have some random photos of the con to usher you out!

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Darrell R. Sweet, son of Darrell K. Sweet

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Whoever this is for, I’m sure they deserved it. Heh. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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Emma de Laat, WOT (and Nynaeve) Fan Extraordinaire.

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Harriet McDougal Rigney, dispensing wisdom.

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From L-R: Jason Denzel, Tricia Grantz Irish, Leigh Butler, Wilson Grooms, Leslie Annis (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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The lovely Linda and Frank Taglieri.

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Team Looney Theories! L-R: Sarah Nakamura, Leigh Butler, Kristy Lussier, Matt Hatch, Alan Romanczuk (photo courtesy of Kristen Nedopak)

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Leslie with Mary Robinette Kowal, in lovely Regency regalia! Note the first sentence tat, heh. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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And the long-promised photo of Artist Guest of Honor Sam Weber! And Leslie. Again. Sheesh, it’s like these are her pictures or something. (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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Peter Ahlstrom, personal assistant to one Brandon Sanderson, with his awesome wife Karen.

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Richard Fife, Melissa Craib, and Richard’s poor barbering choices at the Opening Ceremonies. (photo courtesy of Tricia Grantz Irish)

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Team Moiraine! Kristy Lussier and Sarah Nakamura.

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INDEED IT DID, Kristy and Sarah.

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*snort* (photo courtesy of Leslie Annis)

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Our intrepid photographer himself! Sandip Mehta and Harriet McDougal Rigney.

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Jason Denzel, Wilson Grooms, and Leigh Butler.

And last but not least, a not-at-all subtle reminder of why you should clear your calendars for next year:

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Uh-huh. That’s right, baby. That says what you think it does. YE BE WARNED.

(whoo!)

And that’s about enough outta me, methinks! I’d like to thank the Academy, and also Jennifer Liang, James Liang, Melissa Craib Dombrowski, Richard Fife, Aubree and Bao Pham, and absolutely everyone who had even remotely anything to do with organizing this thing, because y’all are amazing, and also Jason Denzel for awesome restaurant-fu and voluntarily putting himself in extreme pain for what I will continue to insist is my personal entertainment (I will need a final tally of the number of times Jason was obliged to take his shirt off for posterity, please). Also owed thankage are the House of Grooms, for being just bloody lovely as per the usual, Paul Bielaczyc for letting me hijack his DJing for very important Beyonce-related purposes, Perry and Sarah and Kristy for alcohol and vehicular transportation (and also for not putting those two things together), Gary Singer for the same except minus the alcohol, everyone who put up with me on the various panels, and also Mary Robinette Kowal, Eugie Foster, Emilie P. Bush, Sam Weber, and Dr. Michael Livingston, for being kickass guests/panelists/purveyors of Cool Stuff/excellent party conversationalists/etc. Y’all should definitely come back now, ya hear?

I also want to say thank you to Leslie, Tricia, Jay, Linda, and all the Re-readers in absentia – y’all know why – and also thanks and many hugs to all the wonderful folks who came up to me at the con and said nice things about the Re-read. There is really nothing more awesome than to hear that someone enjoyed something you’ve created, so really, thank you guys so much for letting me know. I have ALL the warm fuzzies right now, for real.

And also, of course of course, the biggest thank yous to Harriet and Maria and Alan, who are, as ever, an absolute delight. Getting to see y’all is truly always a highlight of my year. Mwah.


Right, and so! I hope you have enjoyed my only-occasionally-drunken ramblings re: JordanCon 2012, and I apologize in advance for whatever mistakes or omissions I’ve made in doing so. I hope to see many many more of you at next year’s shindig, because that shit is gonna be EPIC, y’all. Cheers! 

Wheel of Time serpent wheel

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