Last weekend, July 4th to 7th, was CONvergence 2013, a convention held in Bloomington, MN that I've been hearing good things about for several years now. I had the privileged of being a Guest of Honor, and the double-thrill of having my good friends John Picacio, Paul Cornell, Melinda Snodgrass, and Charlie Jane Anders all there as Guests of Honor as well!
It's hard to communicate the energy and enthusiasm at this show--even the
hotel staff are wearing CONvergence t-shirts throughout the weekend - or the friendliness and professionalism of the con. We were all of us very impressed by the opening ceremonies. When I heard I was going to be interviewed by a puppet mascot, I confess to a feeling of dread. Instead, the opening puppet show was of professional puppeteer quality - though how could it not be when Bill Corbett (Crow T. Robot) and Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) are regular guests? It was a blast. And now my son is in love with robot mascot Connie and her virtual evil twin.
My wrangler Andrew McKay was extraordinaire too, giving us a tour of the Mall of America--which everyone should see once. Actually, the aquarium is quite nice and the mirror maze was fantastic. The roller coasters looked amazing but - alas! - no one in my family does roller coasters but me. Also, I've never been able to sit still for a game at a con - too much to see and do - but my son was very curious about Munchkins and we weren't sure if it was age appropriate, so Andrew rounded up a game and ran one for us. We loved it and Steven Jackson has scored another customer.
Republic in downtown Minneapolis, where I had some great fish and chips, grilled vegetables with one of the spiciest habanero peppers I've had in a long while, and a fantastic (and fantastically named) beer called Dragon's Milk, which was rich, thick, and had the sort of bite you'd expect from a beer so called. The bartender was delighted that an appreciative audience had come from so far away and kept sending me free samples of his other wares all night too. Great place, great food and drink, great company. Highly recommended.
Huge thanks to Guest Co-Head Tanya Brody, Director Michael Lee, artist in residence and founding member Christopher Jones, my excellent wrangler Andrew McKay, programming head Craig Finseth, Picacio's wrangler Carly Buchanan who also helped me out a time or two and everyone working in front of and behind the scenes who made this such a magnificent time! You're a great con CONvergence. I hope to come back!