Patrick Tomlinson, Cherie Priest, Cindy Spencer Pape, and Seleste deLaney at a panel

Patrick Tomlinson, Cherie Priest, Cindy Spencer Pape, and Seleste deLaney at a panel

I recently returned from Legendary Confusion, a fan run Convention in Dearborn, Michigan.  A multi-faceted convention, programming included author readings, science panels, events for kids and teens, weaponry demos, anime viewing, filking, masquerade, role playing and board gaming, a massive autograph session, and more panels on speculative fiction that you can shake a stick at.  As expected, there were more panels than I could get to,  covering everything from trends in urban fantasy, to researching vs making it up, to using (or avoiding) bad language, to how to build a Dalek, to hybrid publishing, to working with agents, to editing your manuscript, to astronomy and biology in science fiction, to Doctor Who discussions, to getting the period clothing  correct, to…well, you get the idea.

Guests of honor included authors Mike Carey, Ian Tregillis, and Jacqueline Carey, artist Rich Morris, Game company owner Adam Martinazzi, and the fan guest of honor was Mark Bernstein. Everyone was welcomed introduced during Friday night’s opening ceremonies, during which Mark stole the show by getting the entire audience to sing a Muppets song with him.  Other attending authors included Kameron Hurley,  Tobias Buckell, Howard Andrew Jones, Myke Cole, Sam Sykes, Laura Resnick, Cherie Priest, Wesley Chu, C.C. Findlay,  Rae Carson,  Lucy A. Snyder, Bradley Beaulieu, Saladin Ahmed, Michael Underwood, Sarah Zettel, Peter Brett, Kelley Armstrong, Brian McClellan, and many, many more. If you’re interested in interacting with authors, Confusion is the convention for you.

Wesley Chu and Cherie Priest at the mass autograph session

Wesley Chu and Cherie Priest at the mass autograph session

Confusion was also home to two very special events: Author D&D and the Live Reddit AMA.

This is the third year in a row for author D&D, and this time, it was public! Friday night authors rolled for characters in the bar, and Saturday morning set up shop in the atrium and played old school table top D&D on and off for about five hours.  So long as you didn’t interrupt the D&Ders, anyone could stop by and watch. Participants included Peter Brett, Howard Tayler, Wesley Chu, Cherie Priest, Myke Cole, Sam Sykes, and others.

On Saturday afternoon was the Reddit AMA session. Organized by Steve Drew of the Fantasy subreddit, all afternoon on Saturday authors were doing live AMAs (Ask Me Anything). All of the authors involved autographed a gorgeous pair of medieval gauntlets that will be auctioned off for charity. Convention goers and fans were invited to stop into the AMA room and ask questions, say hi, hang out for a few minutes, and oh yeah, there were three bottles of Scotch in there.  You can see all the AMA’s here.

The Reddit AMA room

The Reddit AMA room

Last year was my first year cosplaying at Confusion, and this year was my first year cosplaying AND being involved with the masquerade.  Feeling bold, I checked the box that would require an interview with the judges, during which I had to talk a little about my character, costume construction and materials, and what level of costume creation experience I had.

Confusion has become known has a very friendly, mellow convention, and many authors have made a habit of attending because of this atmosphere. The organizers work tirelessly during the year to ensure there is something for everyone, whether you’re a role player, an urban fantasy fan, a Whovian, an astronomer, an author, a teen who wants to watch anime all weekend, or a ten year old who wants to do craft projects all weekend, or most of the above.  Michigan in January: It really is the place to be.

Also, this happened:

Many authors were gifted with drinking horns. Dishwasher safe!

Many authors were gifted with drinking horns. Dishwasher safe!

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