I met untold amounts of people, many of whom have Livejournals now. I won't mention them all, but I hadn't seen badmagic in a while.. like 10 years, so it was good to see him, even if it was briefly at the top of the stairs when I was conversing with long time friend, albedoblue. Many of the usual "staples" were around, like Mark Drexler with his bread, Nancy Lebovitz with her buttons, maugorn, and so on. Notably absent, Hal Clement. Hal passed away a while ago, but I still think I see him at cons, and almost go, "Oh, I'll say hi to... no, Hal's gone. That's just someone who looks slightly like him from a distance." Crap. I didn't get a chance to be on any panels with Eric Raymond, which confused both of us (Balticon HOP, Greg Wright, apologized for this later), so we chatted about Akido, Wing Chung (?), and his latest GPS project in the merchant's room. I think next balticon, I am going to push a little harder for this.
My panels went... okay. First of all, I sort of forgot to tell Mr. Wright I didn't want to be on any anime panels until I learned more anime. So two of my panels were on anime. They went better than expected. The last one on Sunday, where five of us were supposed to speak about modern anime influence, the moderator, Jagi Lamplighter, didn't show, as well as one other panelist who showed up only for the last 20 minutes of the panel (she overslept). So I took over as moderator, and the three of us guys limped along for a while, with the help of the audience. The one panel on about Elitism in the SF community was... interesting. It's amazing how... well, let's just say the irony was so thick in the room at one point, I could have made 3 swords, 2 suits of a plate mail, and enough metal left over for a skillet which I would have liked to use on some of the people present, and a kettle, which many other people would undoubtably call black. I have a one-liner I like to tell, which goes, "I am not judgemental... unlike some OTHER people I could mention..." Yeah. That's all I am going to say.
I had some good news from my distributor that my book sold the best of all their works and they broke even for the cost of the convention by Saturday, and by the summer, they are going to work on a reprint. Wow. I honestly never thought I'd hear that. I still have book #2 in the can, so to speak, and I'll work with Kory on seeing if we can do some copies of those.
I made new friends, re-enforced old bonds, and I think I might be running the Balticon Newsletter next year (the "at-con" one). I had suggested to Hal Haag, who was running it at the con, that it would be more interesting to do the newsletter ("Rocket Mail") like how it was done in Bucconeer, Baltimore Worldcon 98, with some humor and "messages" tossed in.
I am off to see "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," and then relax at a grill in my overgrown back yard. Thanks, Balticon, for happy memories and new friends, and next year, I might even stay all *FOUR* days, instead of bailing Sunday afternoon.