I had great fun at Albacon, really my first con in decades. (I’ve attended a few specialty cons over the last few years, and I was at ComicCon, which is like visiting the Emerald City, but no straight SFF cons.) For me, the big deal was seeing five of my Clarion buddies, including , as well as both Paul Park and , both of whom were our teachers.
I’ve heard that Clarion grads have a reputation for being a bit cliquish, i.e., not talking to anyone else at cons but each other. In our case it was probably more true than it should have been. Observers probably put this phenomenon down to a misplaced sense of superiority, but it isn’t that. We just miss each other. You spend six weeks living, working and suffering with someone, it’s like they’re family. So when we get back together, which (I gather) is mostly at cons, we’re desperate to catch up, to stay up all night talking, to touch each other to make sure we’re really there.
Having said that, I met a number of nifty new people at Albacon, including both
and . If life at cons is anything like life at academic conferences (of which I have attended ‘way too many), it will be joyous to meet these people again at other cons, and the circle of friends will grow…