Day Three of JordanCon 2012, and I’m still alive! Theoretically, anyway.
Yes, no one is more shocked than me. Read on for Moar of my adventures with the convention!
Despite the vehement efforts of my body to convince me otherwise, I managed to get up at the crack of 9 AM and get downstairs in time to grab breakfast (coincidentally with artist Sam Weber; still no picture, though) and get to Dr. Michael Livingston’s 10 AM lecture, which is listed in the program as “Robert Jordan’s Redefinition of Tolkien’s Fantasy” but which I think Dr. Livingston himself called something different. Dr. Livingston is, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, a distinguished author and professor of English at the Citadel, and the subject of his talk was to argue that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time is not only the most worthy successor of Tolkien’s work in Lord of the Rings in the fantasy genre, but that Jordan deserves to be ranked with Tolkien in terms of his importance in contemporary English literature in general.
It was a great lecture. Dr. Livingston is an excellent speaker, equally as funny and entertaining as he was informative, and his love for the Wheel of Time, both on a fannish level and in his capacity as a literary scholar, is very obvious. I won’t attempt to cover the specifics of his talk, mostly because he said he intends to publish it (with appropriate revisions) once A Memory of Light has been released, and you should get it direct from the source instead of a half-assed summary of it from me. Seriously, you should do yourself a favor and check it out once it becomes available because it is well worth your time.
(My favorite part was when he read bits of Beowulf and Chaucer aloud in the original Old and Middle English, respectively, and confessed that he had partially translated the hammer forging scene in Towers of Midnight into Middle English, just because. That is some seriously cool geekage, y’all.)
After that I had intended to go back to my room and maybe nap for a while, but I was intercepted by Jason Denzel, who told me that one of the panels had been cancelled and the tWoTcast folks were filling in, and asked him to participate, and begged me to come help him out. I was a little bit leery of this idea – I haven’t really listened to the tWoTcast myself but I know they get pretty raunchy – but agreed.
For something thrown together at the absolute last minute with no preparation, it probably went no worse than you would expect. I think we were at least a little funny, though I’m pretty sure my presence rather inhibited the guys from getting as, hm, earthy as I suspect they usually get. I spent most of the podcast snarking at Jason and Richard Fife (who was also participating), because that’s how I roll, and deflecting spanking-related questions, heh. I assume it’ll go up on their website soon if you’d like to listen to it. Also, Jono is a total bastard. (I was told I have to insult him, but I am drunk right now so this is the best I can do. I’m sure I can do better later. Watch this space!)
Then came the second of the three panels I am participating in this year, “Looney Theories”. Run by, of course, Matt Hatch of Theoryland, and also including as panelists Kristy Lussier, Sarah Nakamura, and Team Jordan’s Alan Romanczuk:
Let’s just say, the tone of this was pretty much set when Sarah sat down next to me before the panel started and plunked down a bottle of vodka and a can of Red Bull. I teased her for going all Santa Monica Boulevard with her cocktail choices, and she laughed and told me that she and Kristy had basically hijacked the Looney Theory panel the first year and pretty much turned it into a drinking game, and though it was going to be more toned down this year she likes to keep the tradition alive. So we sipped on vodka and Red Bull for the whole panel, which was hilarious.
Matt explained the premise to me: the audience volunteers their looney theories, and the panelists vote on whether the theory hits what Matt calls “the sweet spot” between looneyness and plausibility – it can’t be either too ridiculous or too reasonable or it is disqualified. Once we’ve collected enough, we vote on the top three and then from there vote for the winner.
And – well. This is what we got:
And you know, I was going to explain what each one of these means, but I think on reflection it’s really much funnier if I don’t. However, the winning theory (submitted by Brian Peterson) will be put up on Theoryland, so if you’re dying to know what the hell “Pillowfriends” is referring to (and I just bet you do), you’ll be able to find it there in the near future.
The whole thing was really a ton of fun. Alan made terrible, terrible puns, I made hokey pop culture references, and then got made fun of for missing the most obvious reference of all (let’s just say it involved American Pie and leave it at that), and Dr. Livingston got up and, with a perfectly straight face, explained how etymological analysis of Rand and Egwene’s names lead to the inescapable conclusion that their method of defeating the Dark One will be to seduce him. Together. And that this would somehow lead to Easter.
(It’s always the quiet scholarly ones, man.)
And then there was “A Memory of Light: Status Report”, easily the most anticipated part of the Con. This is, unfortunately, also the part of which I can tell you the least, because Harriet and Team Jordan were pretty adamant in their insistence that the excerpt from A Memory of Light be a treat for Con-goers only. So all I can say is that Harriet read from the Prologue of A Memory of Light, and that it was pretty awesome, and that it will most likely be made available soon to everyone to read, but not at the moment.
…And there was then dancing, and drinking, and more drinking, and I have to confess I am extremely drunk right now, so instead of trying to complete this tonight I am going to toss in the towel, because it is 4 AM, and leave the rest for the followup later, because I have to sleep before my final panel and flight out tomorrow.
So I love you all, and come on back Real Soon Now for the wrap-up of this Thang. G’night!