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Monday, July 30, 2018

Confluence wrapup

Bobby Campbell at Confluence.

I'm back in Ohio from Confluence, a science fiction convention in Pittsburgh that was my attempt to organize a "find the others" get together for RAW fans.

The idea, at least originally, was to put together an event that wasn't in California or Britain and could be attended by folks in the Midwest and East. 

I can't claim we attracted a large crowd of people. The effort was organized by Bobby Campbell, Gregory Arnott and myself (I was the original perpetrator). The convention declined most of my attempts to be included in the actual convention programming; I interviewed Prop Anon by Skype from my hotel room Friday, Saturday we met in a coffee shop for talks by Bobby and myself, Saturday night we met in my room for a presentation by Gregory, and Sunday (the only program presented by Confluence) Bobby presented for a convention event, where Gregory snapped the above photo.

We got one person, Jewel-e from the Robert Anton Fans on Facebook, for the Saturday event, and two people joined the three of us on Sunday. The convention's decision not to include any of the Saturday events meant that anyone could drive to Pittsburgh and attend our events for free, but apparently that wasn't much of a lure. 

But it was a great meet-up for Bobby, Gregory and I, none of whom had met in person before,  and we got some great audio recordings that will be posted soon. We liked Jewel-e and were pleased to meet her. 

I stayed in room 823 at the convention, combining I guess the 8 from the eight circuits model and the number 23, but the number was a coincidence. And we have five recordings, comforming to the Law of Fives, but that wasn't calculated, either.

I expect we'll release at least four audio recordings. The fifth is a bit problematic. It includes Bobby's take on the Eight Circuit model, which was very interesting. Unfortunately, the couple who showed up at the event felt compelled to comment at length during Bobby's presentation, and even use it as an excuse for political arguments. The resulting recording, one hour and 41 minutes long, includes pretty lengthy discussions on whether "Christian bakers" should be compelled with sell cakes to gays, the merits of Obama Care, and so on. Not sure what the fate of that recording will be. 

When I told my wife we spent much of our time at the convention giving lectures to each other, she said we were "nerds." In fact, I think the talks were pretty good, and I look forward to sharing them. Of course, when we weren't doing talks, we hung out and talked about RAW related topics: The brilliance of Michael Johnson, aspects of magick, Bobby's do-it-yourself artistic and publishing philosophy, and so on. Gregory and I came away with some wonderful Bobby prints of illustrations from the Historical Illuminatus Chronicles that we bought at the art show. I hung up one of mine when I got home Sunday night. 

This was the first SF con for them, so I tried to explain what a NESFA was, what hard science was. what a "con suite" did, and other unfamiliar terms. My thanks to Bobby, Gregory and Jewel-e for a fine weekend. 

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