TulKon AAR

This was a first for me. Not just Tulkon, although I hadn’t attended this con before (for good reason, see below) but the pace of this spring’s conventions for me. I’ve done three cons in five weeks, starting with FantaSci at the end of March in North Carolina, where I was a guest. I’d followed that up with Foolzcon, which is a very small relaxacon, invite only, but this year the First Reader and I had kids and dog with us, so it wasn’t quite the usual weekend of sitting around chatting. And then this last weekend, the con I’d been most curious about… 

Tulkon is in it’s second year, which is why I hadn’t attended prior. I couldn’t have last year, not with the work schedule. Even this year got a little dicey, as I worked Friday and then we got in the car and drove the four hours up to the con. I’d planned to arrive, get settled, and do my Friday livestream. That plan went right out the window at registration when I learned I’d be on a panel at the time I’d scheduled the ‘stream. The opening of this convention was a little chaotic for me, but it quickly leveled out and became great fun. 

Friday’s panel, Indie Publishing in 2022, was well-attended. I was pleased to see this. With Jim Curtis, myself, and John van Stry representing the North Texas Troublemakers at one end of the table, and Bre Lockhart and KJ Riley at the other, it was an interesting panel with a wide range of experience present. We had very good audience participation, which I always like to see. I’d rather learn from the audience what they want to hear, particularly in a panel like this. We talked covers, pricing, and length, amongst many other topics. I’ll reiterate here what I said on the panel – and mind you, I don’t get paid for this, it’s not like I’m writing for a magazine! – if you want to learn more about being Indie and self-publishing, you should visit the Mad Genius Club. John, Jim, and I have decades of experience in this at this point, so it’s always great to listen to what’s working or not from them. 

Outside of panels, and I won’t bore you all by describing each one in detail, it was great to see friends. I wasn’t expecting to see Sarah Hoyt at this con, so that was an absolutely lovely surprise. It was great to sit in the bar area with the incredibly low-backed chairs and couches, although Dorothy Grant and I both discovered that you can do a stretch leaning backwards over the couch while seated, and it will pop your back nicely. Why, yes, there were some mild shenanigans… it did get a little wilder later. The bar area was home to the longest running unofficial panel I’ve ever seen, the ‘no shit, there I was…’ which included Kelly Grayson at this con. This was the first time I’d met him in person, and he really is another world-class raconteur, so along with Jim Curtis and Lawdog, anyone sitting in the group listening like I was got a rare treat.

Jim’s stories are usually educational, as well as hugely entertaining.

One of the (many!) fun things about this con was the presence of the SCA, set up on the nicely terraced lawn behind the hotel. It was easy to reach them from the dealer room level, and Saturday was absolutely lovely weather, so it was a treat to go out in the sunshine and watch the practice, or wander through exhibition tents chatting. The First Reader spent a lot of time out there, I was more cautious because I both love sun and can’t have too much of it. 

Saturday for me was a couple of more science-based panels, which are always fun to be in on. I finally got down to the Dealer Room to see what magic Jonna Hayden and CV Walter had wrought with the NTT booth, and it was grand. I didn’t get any photos of it myself – I was being very bad about photography and did very little at this con, I was enjoying myself and being in the moment, so I think my readers will forgive me! but I am snagging this epic photo of Lawdog, kitted out by Bjorn Bladeworks, and photobombed by Wendell. 

Photo by Ben Olsen of Bjorn Bladeworks

If you can focus past the awesomeness of fully-armed and operational author, there, you’ll see a fantastic book display. LOL! 

Saturday night was the Big Ass Book Launch Party, which was epic, and as a proof-of-concept for the North Texas Troublemakers, quite worth the experiment. The hypothesis was that by banding together, putting on a really fun event with prizes (we ran aduck!), and generally making it a good time, we’d attract attention and sell books. That we did. We’ll be doing it again. You don’t want to miss these at the cons near us, I’m telling you. 

Admission and, er, drink ticket, was to color a panel from AstroLizards, one of the books launched at the party, or one of the other comics LawDog and I have been doing. The ‘Art Show’ was in the bathroom, guarded by ducks of all descriptions. 

Sunday I started quite early with a food panel (and once again, it was brought home to me just how much I need to do a cookbook. Once the house is livable!) that ran right up against the panel after it. That panel, talking about SFF informed by the politics of world-building, with Sarah Hoyt, David Weber, and David Carrico on it, moderated by Jim Curtis, would have been great fun to watch, but I was scrambling to get my stuff together and get ready to leave for home. 

The last panel of the weekend was the Malta Anthology panel, with seven of the authors appearing in the first (woot! of three! Woo! Submissions are still open, send in a story!) of that anthology. Some of us (coff, coff) were a tad hungover. Because it was a glorious launch party the night before. I was standing in the photo as that empty chair would be filled momentarily by Jim Curtis. 

Photo by Jonna Hayden

Great con, wonderful memories, good for the author’s spirits. I’m flat exhausted, but that’s because this spring has been an insane schedule. Tulkon has a lot of promise, and I have every intention of watching it grow while attending year after year. This is going to be fun. 

5 thoughts on “TulKon AAR

  1. Definitely fun, and we proved our concept works! Kudos to Jonna and Kortnee for the booth and the party!

  2. Not enough pictures. [Very Very Big Crazy Grin]

    Glad everybody enjoyed themselves. 😀

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