So the takeaways from RainFurrest are:
- Alan Dean Foster is a really cool guy.
- Our Unsheathed audience is better at RF than anywhere else (prove me wrong, other cons!)
- The RainFurrest staff is made up of a bunch of committed, caring people.
- Seattle is an awesome city.
I did have most of my panels on Friday, and I talked about those previously. Saturday night there was a book launch party, which was kind of cool. I walked in and found a great wine and cheese spread. Everyone stared at me as I came in, so I made an impromptu speech and toasted the release of “Science Friction” with champagne. I got to talk to a bunch of different people there, including the talented Mary Lowd (of “Otters in Space”), and then had to run off to the Unsheathed podcast(*).
* Unsheathed is still going on! Kit and I have been traveling a LOT, and then Kit had surgery, so we are catching up on the backlog, but the show is not going away. Just wanted to reassure y’all. Again.
At the podcast, things got off to a raucous start as K.M. had brought the little plastic bucket he’d gotten from ordering a Rum Bucket drink somewhere. A listener provided wine for him and he proceeded to pour it into the bucket and drink. We got otter and fox caps which we put over our regular hats for a while (until they got too warm) courtesy of another kind listener(*). Also, I am getting dangerously into the habit of not bringing any Coke Zero to conventions because kind listeners keep bringing it for me; at RainFurrest I had three bottles of it to drink (I got through two of them). The show itself went great. People ask terrific questions there. I remember going off on a rant about second-person narration at one point. My favorite part was when one listener asked how to go about finding a critique group and we asked who in the audience wanted to join a critique group. Five or six hands went up, so we said, “Go talk to the guy in the funny hat after the show,” and they did! He said afterwards that he got three or four names.
* I remember some listener names but not others, and I’m writing this off the top of my head, so I don’t want to offend the ones I forgot and am therefore listing none of them. Feel free to identify yourselves in comments. The artists I can identify because I have the papers they signed right here.
Sadly, our usual RainFurrest sketch artist Zavian could not attend. But in his place, we got a number of other sketches! Dorn, Madarao (who needs to upload some art to his FA account), and Ulos12 all very kindly contributed their artistic visions of our podcast. We ended, as we often do, by chatting with our audience, and then Kit and I snuck off to an early(ish) sleep.
On Sunday, as Kit and I had offered to keep charge of the Sofawolf table, I decided to try out an idea I’d had at RMFC, inspired by the talented Kenket. I offered $1 microfictions on Post-It Notes. The idea is: you give me a dollar, a species, and another detail, and I’ll write 2-3 sentences on a small note for you. The “other detail” could be another species, or a setting, or a problem. I am pleased to report that I did about eight of those during the day, and most of the people who got one seemed to get at least a dollar’s worth of entertainment out of it. Here are some examples.
Overall, RainFurrest made a great transition to the convention center from the nearby Marriott. Even though there was only one bank of elevators going up to the convention center from the hotel, the staff managed them pretty well and I never saw too much of a backup nor heard complaints. And the convention center space was really good–great to have the programming and the spacious dealer’s den all in one place. The convention is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s great to see them managing that growth well.
Post-RainFurrest, Kit and I lingered around Seattle, one of our favorite towns. We explored the Underground, which we had been meaning to do for a long time now, and heard salacious tales of the seamstresses of old Seattle. We did not, alas, see any rats or ghosts. We revisited some of our old favorite restaurants, some of our old favorite friends, and some of our new favorite islands–as we traveled out to Bainbridge Island on Tuesday and were lucky enough to have gorgeous weather(*). It was a beautiful little island, and despite the worryingly-named “Eagle Harbor,” we saw no predatory devil-birds while there.
* We had gorgeous weather the whole trip except for Monday, and even Monday when it was supposed to POUR RAIN, it really only drizzled most of the time. It was actually much colder in the convention center than it was outside.
And then our time in Seattle came to a close, sadly. But we are already looking forward to March, when we will be back for Emerald City Comic-Con. Have a nice winter, Seattle!