Founded in 1982, BayCon is the San Francisco Bay Area’s longest-running fan-run science fiction and fantasy convention. For decades, it took place on Memorial Day weekend but recently moved to the 4th of July weekend. The convention has been held at various hotels in the south bay over the years, and this was its first year at the Santa Clara Marriott.
I have attended BayCon for over 25 years and been a panelist for twenty years. However, this was my first time at my local convention with a novel to promote. It turned out to be perfect timing since the theme this year was, “A Night at the Space Opera” and my novel happens of be the first in a space opera saga.
Having a book to promote did change my focus and where my time was spent this yeart. First of all, I volunteered for more panels than I normally do in order to be able to say, “…and this is my book, Escaping the Dashia,” something I had dreamed of for years. When I wasn’t on a panel, or in the Green Room meeting with my fellow panelists, I was busy taking care of the logistics for my book launch party.
While it was absolutely wonderful getting to celebrate the release of my book with friends who have heard me talk about it since 2003, it did mean I missed a lot of great stuff. For instance, Robert Picardo, from Star Trek Voyager and Stargate made a special appearance on Saturday and gave a talk as a representative of this year’s charity, The Planetary Society. As I ran past the grand ballroom on my way to meet with my launch team, I did notice the actor who’d played The Doctor on Voyager had packed the room.
A special shout out to and the head of programming, Susie Rodriguez. She has always been a pleasure to work with, and this year she went above and beyond by arranging for me to use one of the conference rooms to host my book launch party. And it was fantastic having my longtime friend, and the Toastmaster of the convention, serve as a wildly entertaining emcee.
Other guests included:
- Writer Guest of Honor Catherynne Valente
- Artist Guest of Honor Tehani Farr
- Community Guest of Honor Brad Lyau
- Special Musical Guest Laser the Boy
- Special Tech Guest Brianna Wu
Artistic Solutions, Inc. (ASI), is the parent corporation of BayCon. Chris Castro, was the Convention Chair this year. BayCon 2024 will be held July 4 – 7, 2024 at Santa Clara Marriott, CA. The theme is Pure Imagination. For more information go to baycon.org