Apr 15 2011 12:18pm

JordanCon 2011: A Concise and Orderly Report of the Events, Part 1

Well, it’s 1:00 am and I’ve been up since the previous 5:00 am, so clearly this is a perfect time to write a blog post about my first day at JordanCon 2011!

Yes, I am aware I am insane, thank you for playing.

Anyway, as promised I am once again braving the wilds of Atlanta, Georgia to attend the third annual iteration of JordanCon, and also as promised I am braving the wilds of sleep deprivation to tell you about it. Please check all expectations of coherency at the door.

So far? It’s been just lovely.

Despite the best efforts of Delta Airlines and the public transportation system of Atlanta, I got to the hotel without any major difficulties and settled in. I tried to take a nap, but then Jennifer Liang, JordanCon Organizer Person Extraordinaire (I’m sure she has a more official and less silly title, but have I mentioned it’s 1:00 am?) texted me that she was hanging out downstairs, and I decided sleep wasn’t all that important.

I went on down to find that a number of Con People had already shown up, followed swiftly by none other than Harriet McDougal and Maria Simons, aka two quarters of Team Jordan and thoroughly awesome people in their own right. I may have squeed a bit when I saw Maria, as she is one of my favorite people to hang with anytime I make it to one of these WOT things. Alan Romanczuk, the third quarter of the Team, flashed by for a hot second but I didn’t get to do more than wave hi to him.

Aaand I am seriously going to put my foot in my mouth if I attempt to identify and/or introduce everyone I met and/or saw again while we hung out and chatted in the lovely late spring weather, so I ain’t gonna, except to say that most of the Usual Suspects were there in fine fettle and form and whatever that saying is when people are cool, and there were some new folks I greatly enjoyed meeting for the first time, and a delightful leisurely afternoon was had.

All told there were (I think) about thirty of us there by the time the fourth and final TJ quarter, namely Brandon Sanderson, arrived to general hails of “Who’s that guy again?” I kid! Well, no, that’s what we actually said, but we were kidding. So I kid, but not in the way I originally led you to think I was kidding. Kiddo.

(1:35 am now…)

And THEN we went to the dinner, which was at Maggiano’s, which is a chain restaurant but quite surprisingly good for all that. (Yes, I am a snob about chain restaurants. What can I say, I grew up in New Orleans and then lived in New York. Me and chains were never meant to be, man.)

I sat next to Brandon and another gentleman who turned out to be this year’s guest of honor, David B. Coe, whose Rules of Ascension I have totally just ordered on Amazon. And who also turned out to be an awesome dinner companion, as we all munched on family-style Italian and chatted and debated about everything from the worst Star Trek episode ever (three words: lizard space babies) to the reason for the decline in new epic fantasy in the nineties to whether late-era Metallica is as good as early Metallica (because I always avoid controversial topics!) to why I should read and review what is apparently the worst fantasy novel ever (and I’m totally going to, now. I have been Challenged).

In between, Brandon and I amused ourselves by throwing grapes at Matt Hatch and Jason Denzel, because they totally deserved it, oh yes, and debating with Linda Taglieri of 13th Depository fame over whether Vegemite is grosser than… uh, whatever American thing we came up with that might be grosser than Vegemite, but honestly probably isn’t. (Sorry, Aussies, but seriously, yech.)

And this and many other things, but it is now 2:00 am and the con officially starts tomorrow and it is going to be A Lot, so I will sum up by saying that we all hung out and it was awesome, and so far so good.

More As It Develops. G’night!

Sim Tambem
1. Daedos
"...why I should read and review what is apparently the worst fantasy novel ever..."

What novel are we talking about here? I am sure we're all interested.
Gary Kephart
2. Gary Kephart
I couldn't make it this year, nor can I make it next year, but I'm going to try to be there in 2013.

Encyclopaedia WoT
Tricia Irish
3. Tektonica
I saw you all over in the corner yesterday afternoon, as I skulked through the lobby. Shy fan freak that I am.....
James Hubbard
4. Semirhage666
"the worst Star Trek episode ever (three words: lizard space babies)"

LOL Threshold!
Gary Kephart
5. AndrewB

Glad you made it to Atlanta. I here the Southeast is in for some storms this weekend. Hope it does not impact JordanCon.

Have a drink (or 5 or 6) for those of us not fortunate to be in Atlanta this weekend.

Thanks for reading my musings,
Andrew B
Gary Kephart
I used to be totally on board with you with the chain restaurant thing, but I have had a change of heart lately (at the most-likely mispelled McCormick and Schmick's). Although the facilities may be cookie cutter same it is the people cooking, serving and seating that make the difference. They can make one joint really stand out from the others. Have a great con!
Thomas Jeffries
7. thomstel
As far as chains go, Maggiano's is a decent choice, if for no other reason than they NEVER STOP BRINGING FOOD.

Seriously, one night with just my wife and I (and the family-style $25 option thingie) and we ended up with two nearly full bags of leftover boxes. The big paper grocery-size ones.

Hope the con continues to go awesome!
Sharat Buddhavarapu
8. Sharat Buddhavarapu
Maggiano's was the restaurant of choice for most of the prom dinners at my school. I in general dislike cookie cutter, but really it is about the people working the restaurant.

What is this "worst fantasy novel ever"?
Leigh Butler
9. leighdb
What is this "worst fantasy novel ever"?

Now that would be telling, wouldn't it?
Gary Kephart
12. Rick 1313
Have a good time at JordanCon, I'm SO jealous.

As for worst novel, is it a HUGE rip off of WOT? Does it have the Sisters of the Light, Sisters of the Dark?
Do the authors initials start with T erry G oodkind?

Ooops...did I just say that out loud??

Marcus W
13. toryx
I wouldn't call Wizard's First Rule the worst fantasy of all time, but I didn't like it.

Edited: Removed unnecessary stuff.

Have a good time at the con, everyone.
Gary Kephart
14. Red Menace
Leigh...if the book in question is a "a kind of good" book....god. Nothing good will come from it. Just walk away, and know you are a better person for not trodding down that path.
Thomas Keith
16. insectoid
Oh Leigh, your sense of humor apparently has no problem working at 2 am! XD
the worst Star Trek episode ever (three words: lizard space babies)

"Threshold"... no surprise there. ;)

Tek @3: Next time you see her you should definitely introduce yourself. (Even though I consider myself the shyest person on the planet, I'm sure I would find the guts to meet you people. If I was, you know, actually there. ::pout:: Here's hoping it's next year...)

Toryx @13: That must be why I've never heard of it.
...Wait a minute. Why are 13 and 14 between 6 and 7? And 15 between 7 and 9?? And now this one's between 9 and 10. O_o Code monkeys, Assemble!

Irene Gallo
17. Irene
Hey guys,
It’s important to keep the tone respectful here. Tearing down someone else’s work is no way to honor Robert Jordan’s accomplishments. Let’s stay on topic and not make it a hostile environment for fans of any other works.
James Whitehead
21. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Glad you are having a good time Leigh; enjoy yourself.

Any hints for the rabid fanbase that BS might do more 'prequels' like New Spring that Jordan was considering? Figure that question will get us back on topic as Irene kindly suggested. ;-)


PS - That other series was never a favourite of mine but with so much awful stuff in the fantasy/sci-fi genre I'd be hard pressed to name one book 'the worst.'
Theresa Gray
24. Terez27
I forgot the name of it, whatever it was. Newcombe something or other.

After a few rum and pineapples, I'm happy to report that Leigh can produce a most marvelous southern accent when so inclined. And her team came in second in the trivia. (To mine of course.)
Kimani Rogers
25. KiManiak
Yeah, The Fifth Sorceress from Robert Newcomb, maybe? I still haven't checked your old posts...maybe later.

Sounds like a great time, Terez! I hope you all enjoy yourselves!
(And that you and the other reread folks do get to hang out and have a few drinks together. And that you hopefully got Tek to join you!)
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
Vicarious geekery FTW. Thanks for the report! Y'all keep us posted, okay?

(And that means ALL OF YOU - Tek, blind, Lannis, scissor, Jay, Terez, along with Leigh and the Fifester.)

(Lannis... I'm watching you. Tek, no hiding in the shadows - you have to get out there in the bright lights too. We'll have no Myrddraal behavior from any of you! Introduce yourselves to Leigh, and ask Brandon at least one question. He really does expect it, you know.)
Theresa Gray
27. Terez27
I want to meet Lannis and Tek but they have not introduced themselves yet so I have no idea who they are!

And yes, it was the Fifth Sorceress.
Jay Dauro
29. J.Dauro
We have pretty much all met, except I believe Terez still has a couple that she hasn't made contact with Will try to remedy that Yesterday at Brandon and Harriet's book signing, Patricia, Tina, Bonnie and Leslie were all together in line, and I was working the signing. I did bring Leigh over to meet them when she arrived. Leslie did introduce herself to Brandon, and had brought him a present. She gave him a Kraft Dinner. (Mac and cheese from Canada) Brandon could not decide whether to keep it for the name (which he recognized from a Barenaked Ladies song) or to eat it to see if it was different from the domestic variety. So far the Con has been great. Now for day 2.
Tricia Irish
30. Tektonica
Hi all! Great Con! Wish you were all year please!

Yes, the Geek girlz were hanging together yesterday and having a blast. Jay did manage to introduce us to Leigh, who was funny (surprise) and very nice. (Jay brought cookies for the bunker too!)

The opening skit was hilarious. We all got rick-rolled by R.Fife, the master of ceremonies. Very very funny. (Jason made a very tall Egwene in the skit.) Theory threads abound with discussion in the halls, elevators and over dinner. Everyone is very friendly and inclusive.

Brandon and Harriet signed books and were very outgoing. It's all so casual and normal. I'll fill you in on the koffeeklatch with Harriet and Wilson later today....

It's funny to watch the different factions all hang together...there's the Theoryland people, the Dragonmounters and then a few of us Tor Rereaders....we need more representation next year! Blind is showing up today to add to our numbers.

Costume contest later too....check this space later.
Gary Kephart
31. JasonK
Americans treat Vegemite like Peanut Butter and Jelly i.e. smothering their bread with lashings of it. With Vegemite, a little goes a long way.
Mark Lawrence
32. incurablyGeek
Worst fantasy?

has to be Brooks and his Shannara stuff, right?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
33. tnh
Shush, now.

The worst fantasy never makes it out of the slush pile. Unless you spend a lot of time reading sample chapters on self-publishing sites, you have no idea how bad it can be.
Theresa Gray
34. Terez27
Umm, fanfic? Trust me, we know how bad it can be.
James Whitehead
35. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I can see the editors at Tor going through stacks of epic novels like the ones found in Larry's community college creative writing course in "Throw Momma from the Train." With Owen's being in the 'keep' pile. ;-)

Jennifer B
36. JennB
I wish that I could have jumped on a plane and visited. It sounds like it was fun.
April Moore
37. aprildmoore
You know, I'm REALLY going to have to get better about tracking all the rereader folks down! I'm at JordanCon every year and while I lurk on the boards a lot of the time (don't have much time to post so I tend to get behind then catch up when I have a few slower days) I really would like to say hello to every one. This year I did make a point of introducing myself to Leigh, since I always costume as two of her very favorite characters - Cadsuane and Lanfear (hehehe). It's all in good fun though.

Seriously, all of you should try to make the pilgrimage to JordonCon at least once!
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
38. tnh
Terez27 @34, I yield the point. Reading straight-up raw fanfic without benefit of gatekeepers or recommendations is the real thing.

KatoCrossesTheCourtyard @35, I'll admit I cracked once. We were having a lunchtime group slush read, and I was opening envelopes with a big knife I called Slushkiller. A few minutes later I found I was clutching the knife in both hands and stabbing the manuscript over and over, saying "Die die die die die!"

Whoops. Kind of a slip, there. Fortunately, the writer didn't want the manuscript back. I rejected it -- there was a reason why I'd reacted to it the way I did -- and opened the next one. Next thing I knew, I was stabbing it and saying "Die die die die die!"

That was too much. I swapped my stack of epic fantasy slush for a stack of mainstream thriller slush and went on reading.

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