This year's was the first RavenCon since 2019. They moved from Williamsburg, Virginia (where we attended for three years before the lockdown began) to a new location just north of Richmond, the same general area as their original home base. It was the first time at that hotel, though. The facility consisted of three large buildings with red brick, colonial-style exteriors in a beautifully landscaped setting. Luckily, the weather stayed nice enough for walking between buildings, aside from a slight chill the first couple of days. The hotel provided buffet meals from Friday morning through Sunday morning. That's always a big plus at a con, because we can eat at our own pace and not be late for panel sessions.
Guests of honor were author Terry Brooks and filk singer Rhiannon's Lark. Staff and people on the program had an opportunity to get books signed by Terry Brooks on Friday morning, a few hours before the official opening of the con. That gathering didn't have a big crowd, so he chatted a bit with each person who brought books for him to sign. He's a very nice guy. Later in the weekend I attended an interview in which he gave a lot of interesting information about how he sold his famed first novel, SWORD OF SHANNARA, and the twists in his later career. In addition to hearing a full-length performance by soloist Rhiannon's Lark plus two brief interludes (at the opening ceremony and the costume contest), I watched filkish duo Nefarious Ferrets. In both cases, I could understand the lyrics (not always a given!), liked the singers' voices, and enjoyed the songs' contents, both funny and serious.
Les (my husband) and I, along with one other couple, presented a panel on creative collaboration in marriage. We had a lively discussion, and I thought it went well. I appeared on two other panels, one on the appeal of vampires and one on paranormal romance. Les participated in sessions on "mid-story blahs," combat in speculative fiction, and hypothetical energy sources of the future. I watched the last few minutes of a slide presentation by a man from Richmond's Poe Museum, about Vincent Price's Poe-related movies; I wish I'd been able to see all of it.
All the costumes at the masquerade struck me as impressively elaborate. Even though I recognized the sources of almost none, most being based on video games, I enjoyed and admired them. My only complaint about the event was that sometimes the background music was too loud.
We came away with a good impression of the hotel. Despite its single major flaw, the lack of an auditorium, only one event—the masquerade/costume contest—was so crowded that standing latecomers lined up against a wall. Since the location is closer to home for us than the previous hotel, I hope RavenCon stays there for a long time. Especially because it takes the entire weekend to learn the layout of a new venue, and I don't want the effort wasted. :)
You can read all about the convention and view the program schedule here:RavenCon
Margaret L. CarterCarter's Crypt