I attended Arisia for the second time as a participant. Last year, I was only one one or two panels and had a reading. This year, I moderated a panel, served on four more, and had a reading. I dressed up in cosplay for the panel “Steampunk isn’t dead.” Well. Sorta.

I moderated the panel on Gender and Sexual Identity Representation in Media. Originally, there were supposed to be four participants plus me moderating. Normally when there are four, the moderator can focus solely on facilitating the conversation. Unfortunately, one of the participants was unable to join us and so I tried to both moderate and participate in the conversation. I was satisfied with providing enough structure to keep the discussion on track and making sure that all of the participants were able to make contributions.

I served on three additional panels which were all fun. The Food in Science Fiction and Fantasy left me with an appetite to write more about food. The Bi+ Panel provided new insight into bisexuality, pansexuality, and current thinking in queer culture. And the panel on Invertebrates and Entomology in SFF was fascinating due to the other interesting participants that each had useful stuff to contribute. I felt like I made good contributions on each of the panels.

I got to offer a reading on Sunday afternoon. The audience was around a dozen. I think they were mostly there to hear the other participants, who all write much more poetical stuff, so my weird space opera stuff left me the odd-man out — quite literally. But the selections I had made (Military Morale Mishegoss and Super Sticky Situation) worked well together I got a polite, enthusiastic response. The other authors were jealous of my giant poster of my cover.

Water Dragon had a dealer table again this year. Last year, I was the lead in running it, but this year another author and his wife attended and took the lead. It was great! Four other authors from the publisher took turns at the table as well and it was great to get to meet them as well. I really value the vital community of authors that Water Dragon Publishing fosters.

I had a new book just out Better Angels: Tour de Force as well as the novelettes that form Revin’s Heart. The copies of Better Angels arrived just in time, but the additional stock of Revin’s Heart didn’t arrive in time. So I plenty of one, but ran short of the other.

I was grateful they required masks. Due to my underlying health conditions, I can only attend events where everyone is masked. Knock wood, it appears I came through the Convention without contracting any respiratory infections.

Next month, we’ll all be back for Boskone.

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