NerdCon 2015

What is NerdCon Stories? That’s a question I was still asking myself when I bought my ticket a couple months back.

Now that the convention is all wrapped up and I’ve dragged myself off my absurdly early flight, I feel like I ought to be able to offer a succinct explanation of what the first NerdCon Stories was for me. I can’t. Or at least I don’t think I can do it well, because NerdCon Stories was so many things at once. Generally it was a discussion and celebration of storytelling across various media. It was also a hilarious variety show in which writers got on stage to perform such timeless games as “What is in my Mouth?”. And, between the improv and interviews, it was a frank discussion of how we can tell stories with honesty and empathy, and support and encourage diverse voices. That’s a lot of stuff for two days. Overall I was seriously impressed.

Here’s a few other things that stuck in my head.

Minneapolis has magical skyways that allow you to traverse downtown without ever having to set foot outside (but you should probably go outside a little because there are good restaurants and stuff).

Celebrity Artemis: The space whales are stingy and illusive.

The presentations on why storytelling matters were a great thread to weave the con together.

Before this weekend I knew of John Green only as that guy who writes really sad books about teens with cancer (I know, I know, I’m like the last person left who hasn’t read it). Turns out he’s also an awesome person, and he and his brother Hank are both hilarious in interviews.

Apparently pureed spinach tastes nothing like spinach if you can’t see the green.

Don’t challenge Mary Robinette Kowal to a game of improve. Or do, because then you’ll get to hear her make up awesome stories about lubricated scepters.

Three auditoriums, even three big ones, was not enough presentation space for this con. While there was always room in the main auditorium, the side panels filled quickly and it was easy to miss what you wanted to see if you didn’t line up at least a half hour in advance. I found myself wishing for a board game room, or some other slightly-structured space to lurk in between panels.

Too Much Light Makes the Baby go Blind by the Neo-Futurists is a really interesting show, and if you live in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco you should probably check them out.