Blog: DragonCon2019-Starters

Date: 2019-Aug-30 04:39:30 EST

I had a lot of media lined up for the train trip, and as expected, didn't get through all of it. I got through a lot of it though - downloaded youtube videos, some reading, so on. I've felt pretty inspired by reading Mage:Ascension to write up the tweaks I'd make to the setting, and I started (and made public, via Twitter) a doc giving at least the broad strokes. May work on it some more - right now it feels a little too close to being a bad fanfic, but a little work should cure that. I know there's little chance I'll ever put this stuff to use, but I should at least put it out there. More accessible than my philosophy, I think, which is almost entirely unpublished (I should fix that too).

Anyhow, while I generally slept well on the train, and was again playing with the idea that maybe I could live comfortably, long-term, on a sleeper car on a train (no access to desktop computers may be hard, combined with poor internet), it turns out that I wasn't able to find a way to sleep where my neck was happy, and I woke up with a mild cervicogenic headache. After breakfast, got off the train, took an Uber to the conference area, and by then the pain was getting pretty bad. It took them awhile to get my room ready (arrived around 9, room was ready sometime around 13:10), and by then the pain was pretty bad, but still within the realm where, with the long practice I have with this kind of thing, I could look mostly normal (if a little dazed). Made it up to my room and pretty much collapsed. Migraine passed into the pretty bad level by 3pm, and hung around until about 2am as I drifted in and out of consciousness until about 2am when it finally lifted. Got up, did a few errands (emails, figured out my schedule), and then had some nice true sleep. Woohoo. Glad I got this craptastic thing out of the way without losing out on any sessions. These episodes rarely cluster that closely together, so with any luck I'll be painfree at least until I make it back home. I hope.

Today (really Thursday), I had a nice (but too large) breakfast of pancakes and something kinda-sorta like hash browns. Did a mix of people watching and reading for much of the day, and then things started.

  • Session One - The Void, by Tracy Hickman. This is the Tracy Hickman that's the fantasy author (I kinda liked the Dragonlance things he wrote, but really liked the Darksword series). And he's now one of the people involved in a room-style VR experience run by this Void company. Looks pretty neat - while they're still setting up the Atlanta location, apparently they already have one in NYC, so when I get back I'll have to check it out. In the QA session I asked if they plan to release authoring tools and if he might ever produce scenes from Darksword in the system. He was generally pretty cagey on answering questions for someone offering a QA session.
  • Session Two - An overview of EMP weapons, by a formal Navy captain McDonagh. He reviewed natural EMP events as well as some incidents, and it was worrying to see that kind of accessment as to their feasability (apparently, pretty feasible). Unfortunately, he then went kind of off-topic to talk about second-order effects and onward; I would have preferred he went into the physics of EMP and tried hard to quantify the damage instead. Oh well. WAs still worth it.
  • Eternals Party - Private party each year for the eternals. Got into a long political discussion with a Canadian about Brexit. It was nice to have the conversation, but it was a little tense because we don't see the world the same way (he's much more pro-EU and seems to think the international order is more fragile than I think it is in terms of diplomacy, plus in my view he seemed to get bizarrely excited about expressing how much the Irish hate the English. Perhaps this was a way of letting off steam from being frustrated with the conversation? Hard to say. Wandered off after a bit.
  • Good Omens (Movie Room) - The movie room has been in a few different places at DragonCon over the years. Eventually found in the app where it is this year and what's playing, and saw that the Good Omens miniseries is playing. I liked the book, and was curious about the miniseries but not enough so that I'd consider subscribing to whatever Amazon would require me. So I want. And it was .. actually pretty awful. The actors tried very hard to carry it with over-the-top quirkiness and sentimentality, but the writing was bad. Really bad. I stuck around until the end just to see how it would land, but I don't ever want to see it again, and I would never recommend it to anyone else

Back in my room now, wrapping this up and trying to turn the mess of possibilities tomorrow into a plan. And .. missing my cats.