I have completely lost track of what I did on what day, so this will be a bit random from here on out. Check coraa
for ongoing panel write-ups and photos.
I loved this con more than I have loved any con since the very first time I went to World Fantasy and met Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (who were at Sirens) and Charles de Lint and Joe and Gay Haldeman and Sharyn November (who were not). This despite the rather daunting altitude, which made me seriously sleep-deprived the entire time. I am hoping that should Sirens get enough attendance next year to be able to continue its existence, it will move to a more accessible - namely, lower - location.
I especially enjoyed how overwhelmingly female it was - there were literally three men there. (Hi, Larry and Kyle!) I very rarely get the chance to be in such a female-majority space, and it made the experience of, among other things, dressing up and going to parties much less fraught and more fun. I suspect, for instance, that had the number of men reached a certain threshold, far fewer women would have danced.
The launch party for Marie Brennan's A Star Shall Fall
had Marie holding court, magnificent in modified Elizabethan dress, attended by her husband Kyle, eye-catching in a suit and full mask with moss and rather tentacle-tastic dangling roots, and Manda in an amazing mermaid knight costume with blue fish scale armor and makeup and a rapier. Later, at the ball, we got to see them dancing, complete with huge whirling skirt and swinging rapier. Here's a slightly blurry photo
I was also impressed by the Aspen Fairy, with wings of branches and golden aspen leaves which she'd collected hours before the party, so the colors didn't fade; a woman with constructed monarch butterfly wings, and another set tattooed on her back; newsboyhat
in steampunk wings with gears, goggles, and a dress whose circle theme echoed the gears; and another woman in a perfectly coordinated and styled black steampunk outfit.
There was still yet more prettiness at the ball. I was happy to just lounge and watch all the women dancing, in artfully tattered drag and painted silk, in wings and swords and swirls of gauze.
I wore a black and white knit lace dress, flapper-style, and was soon dubbed the Prohibition Pixie. I lounged on the sidelines of the ball, using a glowstick as a faerie cigarette-holder. A murder mystery was going on at the same time for those who wanted to participate, and eventually a faerie wandered over and asked me if I knew the Spider Faerie.
"What will you give me if I tell you what I know about her?" I asked.
"What do you want?" asked the incautious faerie.
She hemmed and hawed, offered me other things, and then gave in. "Okay!"
"I saw her attending the Queen about an hour ago," I replied, and smiled.
Later, another faerie came up and asked the same question. I made the same reply, but this faerie was more cautious: "I already gave birth to four books. I don't have a firstborn left to give."
"I'll tell you what I know if you buy me a drink," I offered.
She fobbed me off with a rather pretty business card, and I gave her the same answer.
Later, I was sitting in the lounge, when a small group tapped me on the shoulder and told me I needed to come get my photo taken for a group picture of the suspects.
"I'm not a suspect," I said.
"Yes, you are!" one said triumphantly. "We're on to you! You're the Spider Faerie, and you killed the king!"
Apparently my slightly spiderwebby dress, sinister smoking, and suspicious behavior had convinced everyone that I had done it. But I had only been inhabiting my Prohibition Pixie, and acting with suitably fae capricious malice.
I explained that, and that I was not even playing the game. They retreated, astonished and regrouping. Later I heard that the innocent-looking Aspen Faerie had done it.