rachelmanija: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2015 10:45 am)
I considered not saying anything about the issues at ConDor, which I have enjoyed in the past. But then I realized that if the organizational problems was bad enough to make me decide to not accept another invitation to attend (and it was) I should probably say so. Because if I felt that way, probably others did too.

I do appreciate the invite! And the people were all very nice. This is not about personalities or harassment, but about organizational difficulties that could be fixed.

None of the panels I saw, was on, or heard of at ConDor were assigned moderators. Nor were the panelists informed in advance that this would be the case. I scrambled to create some questions once I realized this was going on, and other panels had people step up, assign themselves as moderators, and do the same. The panels I was on were fine, but I could see that system going very wrong very easily.

The program booklet had panelists alphabetized by FIRST NAME. Panel listings gave them named by first initial and surname. Trying to figure out who I am on a panel with took an inordinate amount of scanning.

The Guest of Honor for next year, David Gerrold, had his name misspelled in the program book. (On the back cover announcing next year's con, in huge bold letters.)

I was not informed of what panels I'd be on until a few days before the con, and had no opportunity to switch them around, as the complete programming schedule was not available until two days before the con.

The hotel complex the con is held in is immense and confusing, and the hotel signage is poor. Therefore, the con's signage should have been better to make up for it. There were very few signs for the con, when there should have been many.

I was lost for forty minutes trying to find registration. When I finally found it, it was in an unmarked room. When I informed registration that their sign was missing, they told me that it was on the other side of the door - the side which is invisible from the outside. I don't know what was stopping them from putting up a second sign, so it would be visible to people looking for registration, but no visible sign ever appeared.

Hopefully ConDor will fix these issues for next year. Unless I hear that they have, I won't be going back.
A science fiction novel in an unusual subgenre: the main characters aren't human, and don't have human bodies. There are only a handful of these, mostly written by C. J. Cherryh, but I almost always enjoy them. It's surprising how rare it is to write solely or primarily from the POV of an alien.

I'm clarifying "don't have human bodies" because there's a lot of books that are technically from alien POVs but the aliens are physically identical to humans except for maybe having green blood or pointy ears. The effect of those books is quite different from those in which all the characters are giant cats.

In a world full of many non-human races, Moon is a lonely orphan shapeshifter, hiding his true nature amongst various non-shapeshifting people lest he be mistaken for the only shapeshifting race he's heard of, the predatory Fell. After he's unveiled and nearly killed, he meets one of his own kind for the first time since childhood, and learns that he is a Raksura, a member of the generally non-evil shapeshifting race.

"Won't you come back to your people? They'll all be delighted to meet you!" Needless to say, things don't go quite that smoothly.

I enjoyed the alien world of the Raksura, with their communal social organization, and I am a sucker for stories of lonely people finding a home, especially if they have no social skills and are basically feral. So I liked those aspects of the book. Minuses were flat prose that produced an unintended emotional distance, and that I dislike inherently evil races. The latter was, unfortunately, a major feature of the book.

The Cloud Roads (The Books of the Raksura)

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