ConFusion is a genre-fun, name-dropping, people-blast of a convention

Last weekend I attended the Back to the Confusion convention in Detroit. This is the second time I've attended ConFusion as an author and it is, simply, one of the best regional conventions I've gone to. The authors and guests are approachable, the panels are interesting, and the convention itself is well-run.

One of the thrills of this year's ConFusion was meeting guest of honor Karen Lord and her signing two books for me. I also shared panel time with fascinating authors like Joe Abercrombie, who is a hilarious speaker and panelist; Susan Dennard, who has tons of insight into today's Young Adult fiction scene; Jay Ridler, who has the perfect name for a comic book writer; Diana Rowland, who I've been dying to meet ever since I heard about her White Trash Zombie series; Delilah S. Dawson, who makes even sparsely attended panels fun; Shanna Germain, who tries to "lay out all the options in life" with her stories, which is kick-ass; and Kameron Hurley, who contains so much insight and awesomeness that if you're not reading her fiction you're a fool.

Hmm. Lots of name-dropping going on here, Jason. Are you intentionally trying to be a kiss-A?

I also met lots of other interesting authors and people at ConFusion, including Whitney Ross, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Cinda Williams Chima, Michael R. Underwood, Rayna Scherer, Tom Doyle, Tracy Barnett, Michael J. DeLuca, and Justin Howe. I was also excited to briefly meet two book reviewers I have a lot of respect for and frequently read, Andrea Johnson and Justin Landon.

Wow. Will the name-dropping ever end? Are the names somehow possessing me?

Finally, I enjoyed seeing friends and authors and editors I already knew, like Saladin Ahmed, Scott Andrews, Bradley Beaulieu, Jim Hines, and many other I'm no-doubt blanking on at the moment.

Are you quite done with the names, Jason?

Yes, I believe I am.

All joking and name-dropping aside, ConFusion is a perfect example of what conventions are about — the people. We go to see our friends and to make new friends. We go to enjoy the community which arises from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. We go because there's a thrill in knowing other people share your passions and outlook on life.

If you're wondering which conventions to attend next year, I suggest giving ConFusion a go. I know I'll be there.