There’s No Space for the Things and Stuff #pdxgearcon

This past weekend, I attended GEAR Con in Portland, OR with Jeffrey Cook and Lindsay Schopfer, two fine steampunk writers who fit right in to the steampunk themed convention. As most of you know, I don’t write steampunk. I never let something as piffling as being the wrong genre stop me! In truth, this just meant my expectations were generally low, and my role at the con was mostly to support Jeff and Lindsay, as they both would (and have) done for me at events more tailored to the general fantasy crowd.

GEAR Con was a really good time. We laughed. A lot. Because had we not been laughing, we possibly would have gone on a murdering spree.

Jeffrey Cook and Lindsay Schopfer with our new banner. Jeff and I are officially Clockwork Dragon now, a partnership designed entirely for convention applications.

The woman to the left is named Micga, and she’s a delightful person who creates unusual clothing of the type cosplayers might like. Like us, she misunderstood the table request on the application form. You see, they listed a space of 6’x3′. We assumed this meant a full table with 3 feet of space behind it. Apparently, it actually meant 3 feet of table and 6 feet of space from the front of it to the wall. Mmhmmm.

Con staff were very nice and apologetic about the whole thing, though they couldn’t give either of us any additional space. Thus, we had to fit 18 books–I have 8, Jeff has 6, Lindsay has 2, and our good friend Sechin Tower also has 2–onto a 3 foot by 2.5 foot rectangle of table space. We managed, mostly by not showing the book #2s and #3s, and by me taking one for the team and having The Greatest Sin books spine-out instead of face-up. As already noted, I don’t write steampunk, so that was no great sacrifice.

In a shock to no one, Jeff and Lindsay both had a great con. They ran panels and did readings and sold books. I wandered a lot, checking out the stuff and restraining myself from buying much, though I did pick up a squirrel charm from our other neighbors and a print of an artwork titled Frankenstein’s Vulture. In fairness, I thought it was a turkey until I saw the title. I choose to continue believing it’s a turkey.

The punchline for the weekend was “there’s no space,” which you can imagine replacing “that’s what she said” if you’d like to understand how we used it. The joke did not get old, which possibly has something to do with working cons actually being work. This matter falls under the adage of “Better laughing about it than stabbing people repeatedly over it.”


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