Previously on The Fog of Ward:
After a two-year absence, Kevin and I enjoyed the heck out of ourselves at this year’s Shore Leave convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
Though the con was the prime focus of our extended weekend excursion, it wasn’t the only thing Kevin and I managed to do. On Thursday afternoon, we visited the storied realm of ThinkGeek itself, and got to see firsthand how all that magnificent nerdity is created. Our host, John Frazier, gave us the full tour of the facility, which looks like pretty much every other cubicle farm you’ve ever seen, except that it’s chock full to overflowing with AWESOME. I attempted to slide out of there with pockets stuffed, but the security Sasquatches caught me before I could get out the door.
On Friday morning, we ventured to the Udvar-Hazy Center, the companion facility to my favorite building on the entire planet, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. It was my first time visiting the annex, and it was there that I found craft representing the entire history of civilian and military flight and space flight, including the Space Shuttle Discovery sitting dead center in the museum’s space gallery. Of course, the SR-71 parked outside the gallery is something of an attention-getter, too.
As for the con itself? We had way too much fun reconnecting with friends we only get to see when we travel east, as well as putting faces to names we only knew from social media.
Friday night was the big “Meet the Pros” mass book signing party, in which all of the con’s writer guests are assembled and fans can bring books and whatnot for autographing. This year’s event was special for us, in that it saw the advance premiere of our brand-spankin’ new Star Trek: Seekers novel, Point of Divergence. A limited number of copies were made available for sale at the show, and they sold out mighty fast. Also selling well was Second Nature, David Mack’s book and the launching point for our new series. Those who purchased both books were handed one of these swanky prints created by artist Rob Caswell and signed by all three writer guys as well as Rob himself:
Stop drooling on your keyboard.
The rest of the con also was busy. I ended up participating in eight different discussion panels, spread across Saturday and Sunday, including a few where I got to meet some new writers and make some new friends. All of the discussions were engaging, and I hope we held up our end of the deal with respect to the fans who came to sit in our various audiences.
As always, the con was over far too quickly, and everyone soon was on their way back home to resume their normal lives (or, whatever passes for “normal.” YMMV.).
Thanks so much to the staff and volunteers who worked so hard to make Shore Leave so much fun for everyone. I’m already looking forward to (hopefully!) returning next year.