The weekend of March 23-24 saw my annual excursion to College Station, Texas, for AggieCon 44. For the uninitiated, AggieCon is an annual science fiction and fantasy conference organized and run by Texas A&M University students. It is also purported to be the oldest student-run con in the United States.
The con always has gaming rooms dedicated for use by tabletop and video gamers as well as multiple movie and anime series watching-rooms, a dealer’s room where artists and authors can sell their wares, and many different discussion panels dedicated to gaming, artwork, costume design, anime, author signings, author readings, and fiction writing workshops. My favorites are, of course, any panel dealing with authors, writing, and artwork.
This year’s AggieCon included several author, artist, gaming, and musical guests including: Area of Defect, Keri Bean, Ernest Cline, Erin Ewer, Tom Knowles, David Liss, George R. R. Martin, Dr. Nerdlove, Eva Pohler, Sam De La Rosa, Holden Shearer, Dr. Dante Shepherd, K.M. Tolan, Mel White, Martin Whitmore, and Barbara Ann Wright. While I did not have a chance to go to all of the panels and events that I wanted to attend, I thoroughly enjoyed the panels involving Ernest Cline, Erin Ewer, Tom Knowles, David Liss, Dr. Nerdlove, Kerry Tolan, Mel White, and Barbara Ann Wright.
This year I was also lucky enough to participate as a competitor in the “Iron Artist” art panel along with many other professional and amateur artists. The panel competition itself proved extremely daunting for me because I am a far better writer and a photographer than I am a painter. Even so, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Martin Whitmore and I spent a fair amount of time laughing and heckling each other in between competition rounds. Of course, he claimed the top prize, but my team of “Triple-Threat” stayed in the game until the final round.
As much fun as many of the panels were, my favorite thing about AggieCon has always been the opportunity it affords me to catch up with old friends. I was lucky enough to be able to hang out with several members of Eccentric Authors Guild (EAG) including my dear friends Mary Garner Johansen, Lauren Salinas Wisniewski, and David Gray. Scott Wisniewski and my own husband Matt acted as honored escorts to our nutty group. This year actually marked Matt’s first ever con attendance! To say that I was thrilled by their company is an understatement. It was so nice to have all six of us together during lunch or dinner discussing video games, books, writing, movies, and other geeky things.
Mary even convinced Matt to finally pick up and play Mass Effect 3. He just finished playing through the story last week. Despite the game’s strangely homogenous endings, my husband thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
In addition to having fun with friends, I had the chance to catch up with authors Kerry Tolan and Mel White. I also sold several of my art and photography pieces in the Art Show and purchased a few new books from the Dealer’s Room. I even had the chance to pose with Ernest Cline’s DeLorean (Thank you very much, Ernie!). All in all, AggieCon was a great success.
The Seared Cookie Report: one Artist/Writer’s Labored Soliloquy (SCRAWLS) is brought to you from the desk of Alycia Christine Sears and/or Alycia C. Cooke with love and virtual baked goods for all. Please let me know your thoughts on this particular topic and, as always, if there is any subject you wish me to discuss, email it to me. Thanks!