Penguicon Is Going To Be Filled To The Rim With Awesome

As I am sure that you all know by now, I have been fortunate enough to be chosen to be in charge of Literature Programming for Penguicon. In case this is your first time reading Napalmed, Penguicon started out at a convention for people using Linux and interested in Open Source programming. They soon realized that they shared many of the same interests and the convention grew to include science fiction and fantasy, movies, books, food, ecology, technology, and so many other things that to list them would fill an entire post.1

Do you think I’m kidding? Go check out the panel descriptions for this

For the past few months I’ve been lining up panelists, getting suggestions for panels, and otherwise trying to get some sense of what this year’s Lit Track will look like. I’ve already mentioned that I had the not so horrible problem of having more programming than I actually had room for. This meant I had to cut some panels and combine others.

Last Sunday we had the big Scheduling Meeting.
2 About a dozen Track Heads and other staffers met at the house of the Con Chair and Programming Head to hammer out a rough draft of the schedule. I sat down in one corner and tried to plug my nearly 30 panels into rooms and time slots where they would work, all the while making sure that I wasn’t double booking anyone. Then I did the same for the After Dark panels.

Oh sweet, merciless Cthulhu, the schedule is amazing.

It has not been finalized yet, or I would link directly to it. Prospective panelists have one more week to sign up for the panels they want. After that there will be another pass with special computer programs to look for errors, double bookings, overlaps, and the like. The schedule should be out by 1 April.

I will admit, I did my best to try and schedule the panels I am on
4 so they wouldn’t conflict with other panels, demonstrations, and things that I wanted to see. The problem is, there is so much other programming that I want to see! I don’t think there is a single hour that doesn’t have at least one thing I wanted to participate in. Most hours have two or three. I finally resigned myself to the fact that unless I invented the technology to allow myself to be in multiple places at the same time, I was not going to be able to hit everything I wanted to.

This made my own scheduling a little easier.

I know that the con is still months away, but I am super excited. There is just so much amazing stuff to see and do that I can’t wait until I have the chance to see and do it. Now that the bulk of the scheduling stuff is done that weight is off of my shoulders and I can really start looking forward to participating in something I love.

A couple of closing notes:

This is possibly the earliest the schedule has been roughed out in the history of the convention. People scoffed when our Program Director said she wanted things finalized early. “People don’t even start to think about panels until February.” She bucked the system, got the Track Heads to start planning back in the Fall, and had the final push in February. The result is that we are way ahead of the game. She is doing an amazing job.

While at the meeting on Sunday, the Con Chair spent a little time talking to me. He thanked me for all of the work I had done, said I was doing an amazing job, then told me he was going to make sure no other local conventions heard about the panels I had set up because he didn’t want me stolen away. I don’t think my feet hit the ground for a good ten minutes after hearing that. When I told The Mrs that she cried a little.

1. I should also mention that I consider Penguicon my “Home Con.” I’ve attended a slew of other conventions.
Context is wonderful for writers. I learn so much every time I go there. CONvergence was a blast and also filled with brilliant programming. Motor City Nightmares and the Flint Horror Con are amazing places for horror fans. I wish I could attend HauntCon and the WHC every year. The GLAHW always has a great time at the Motor City Comic Con. Despite all of this, Penguicon will always hold a place of pride in my heart. It is the first con where I was a panelist. It was the first Con where I participated in the planning. With the combination of absolutely everything I enjoy, I think it is safe to say that it’s my favorite.

2. Yes, on the Ides of March.

3. Yes, on April Fool’s Day.

4. Only four this year, down from seven last year.

5. Yes, I did seven panels AND I blocked myself out for a couple hours on Saturday so I could run over to MCN which was the same weekend. Fortunately that isn’t a problem this year as the conventions are on different weekends.