I had one panel to do today, an inoffensive panel about trade routes:
Most people think of trade routes as means to exchange goods and money. They are also the roads of culture and influence. Let's talk about the power trade route have exerted on history and in genre.
I did this one with a friend of mine (Michael Carus), the authoress Emma Bull, and a history buff in Sigrid Ellis who loves her Kindle app. No signaling, and a very lively discussion on signature routes and how they worked for those involved and impacted by the effects. We had some good questions from the audience, which was packed for a midday panel on such a boring topic for most people. Not much talk about fiction, but that's fine; folks can figure out applications to fiction or gaming on their own. Great time, and would do again.
The D&D's Many Flaws panel was (a) rather tame, and (b) still demonstrating a lack of comprehension for why the older edition's mechanics work as they do (and therefore a lack of appreciation), resulting in (c) adherence to the Build mindset that results in PC-as-FleshMech gameplay that they so dislike. The "How AT-ATs Turn" panel was a fun bit of snarking at silly stuff in SF stories, light but worth having around as relief from the bullshit Narrative-pushing crap and the heavier topics also on the schedule. The Tim Hunt panel's very premise approaches a criminal offense in Minnesota, and the convention committee would be wise to avoid any liability issues henceforth by ensuring that line isn't crossed.
The Mega Panel delivered, even without Romeo there. FUCK MASQUERADE!
I did read SJWs Always Lie out clear as day for all to see. NO ONE CARED! Not in person. Not on Twitter. Not on Facebook. No one, nowhere, cared. The majority of attendees couldn't care less, so the anti-Vox Day shit is just more virtue-signaling by CONvergence's resident SocJus cultists so they can maintain ties with the Puppy Kickers (as the Helsinki WorldCon was well-represented here, and MidAmericaCon II getting a full-page ad in this year's Souvenier Programming Guide. If I were so inclined, I'd be thinking of ways to culture-jam next year for Team Blue SF. Only the cultists at the con's core give a shit about this; the majority couldn't be bothered, and therefore will be open to what Castalia and allied authors have for them.
The Erotica Fanfiction panel featured a live reading of a new Chuck Tingle story sent to him for that purpose. I'll embed the video by Mark Oshiro below:
This video was recorded live at Convergence 2016 in Bloomington, MN. Thank you to everyone who participated in this magic.