For any of you who happen to be in Southeast Michigan or its environs, Cathy and I will be attending Penguicon from April 30th to May 2nd.

A&D regular Ken Burnside will be there as well, sharing a room with us and hawking his excellent 3D space games – Attack Vector: Tactical, Squadron Strike and others. He’ll be teaching those games too, possibly with me at the table.

A&D regular Jay Maynard will be attending as well. Probably in full Tron Guy drag, at least part of the time.

Join us for a weekend of “You got your Linux geekery in my science fiction convention! Yeah, well, you got your science fiction stuff in my Linux convention!” Two great tastes that taste great together.

30 thoughts on “Penguicon!

  1. Alas, I’m down in Florida with a limited budget. Usually head to Dragon*Con every year, but the closest thing they have to a OSS panel is the EFF track.

    I’ve heard from a lot of conventioneers that a lot of people don’t like the gamers because of focus-stealing. Happen with Linux cons?

  2. Dallas, I’ve got some stories about the ill will between con committees and game room folks.

    Net result:

    Gamers tend to go to cons, sit in their gaming room for three days, and don’t cost anything to keep happy. They still pay for a full time badge. In terms of the economics of running your con, gamers are damned near pure profit.

    Sadly, gamers are seldom interested in being on con committees. Since they’re underrepresented in the political process, they get shoved into ever smaller, danker rooms, because those rooms the gamers are in that are high traffic are being underutilized, and they should be used for Something Important, like a panel discussion that’s going to be mostly empty chairs, but sounds cool.

    My usual ‘canary in the coal mine’ for a small con about to go tango uniform is when everyone who normally ran games says “It sucked last year. Let’s just play Warmachine at the game store instead….” because those hundred or so badges don’t get sold, the con loses money, and the small con death spiral begins.

    Keep in mind – by gaming, I mean pen and paper and boardgaming. Electronic gaming and computer gaming is a whole ‘nother beast.

    Something that would help ME at this convention:

    If you’re interested in some or all of my products, please email me at design AT and tell me what you might be interested in buying. I want to make sure that I have it on hand to sell to you.

    Full product list can be found here:

    At conventions, I usually bring Deluxe editions of the spaceship games – $10 more for a full color rulebook. We don’t sell these through distribution because we’d confuse the poor distributors.

  3. Ok, I think there’s an 80% chance I can put this together.

    Oh yeah… I should bring my fencing gear, too. I seem to recall having a gentlemen’s quarrel with Eric and Ken regarding the relative merits of our respective schools…

  4. I’m coming via AmTrak. There’s no easy way for me to bring my fencing kit with me, sadly. Maximum bag dimension is 28″ by 22″ by 11″ bag. The hypotenuse of that sized bag’s interior dimensions are about 2″ too short for me to lay my swords in.

    I’m still trying to work out an option for this.

  5. I’ll be there, asumimg the ……er, fine example of American automotive engineering (more polite that saying “fucking Ford product”) I’m currently driving actually makes the 750-mile trip. Yes, I will spend one full day, probably, in the Tron costume – but not at GwG. Powder stains are hard to get out of the gloves.

  6. Jay, I tried to coordinate with you through your public Gmail address about doing a ride share; as near as I can tell, I’m on your way there and back.

    I’m Amtraking this year, but perhaps next year we can coordinate. I’d’ve rather paid you the money I’m paying to Amtrak. :)

  7. This year, I’d have had to turn you down anyway…the fine example of American automotive engineering I’m driving only has space for me and my roommate after loading up all of the stuff for me and him and a certain delivery ox. Hopefully, next year I won’t be as space constrained.

    • >Eric: do you anticipate spending time over in the Aegis room (aside from the Dueling panel you’re co-running)?

      I’d like to see anyone try and stop me! :-)

  8. > Daniel Franke: Eric isn’t a fencer. He’s a swordfighter.

    The practical significance of this distinction is precisely the point of honor that is at stake :-)

  9. @esr:

    Bah! At first I thought “Cool!” Then I remembered that A) I moved to Florida 3 years ago, and B) Florida Pagan Gathering is that weekend.

    Oh well. Maybe one day you might lured by the sunny climes of Florida to come down here and do an appearance.

    Did I mention it’s 80F and sunny here? :-P

    • >Oh well. Maybe one day you might lured by the sunny climes of Florida to come down here and do an appearance.

      Possible, especially if you talk your LUG into flying me down there.

      However, Cathy will not come. She’s been to Florida once. It did not agree with her; in fact, she ended up in dehydration collapse with a saline IV in her arm. And me nearly to the point of violence against the hospital staff because her core temperature was dropping to the point where she was pleading for warmth, displaying incipient hypothermia, and they wouldn’t fucking give her a blanket. Morons. I can’t really say my memories of the state are all that pleasant. and she has developed a fixed hatred of the place.

  10. @Daniel Franke

    I’m a swordsman by way of Olympic fencing, then SCA fencing in the round, coupled with some SCA heavy weapons, and ARMA training.

    My fencing training stands me in good stead. Eric is deeply curious about how what I’ve learned will fare against the more advanced members of his training circuit, because to date I’ve managed to hold my own or better against the intermediates I’ve met.

    My experience with swordsmanship is that ‘he who has the trick the other guy hasn’t seen usually takes the point’.

    I am still trying to figure out if there’s any way I can get my kit on the train with me to PenguiCon.

  11. @Daniel Franke

    Per Amtrak, I can take two pieces of luggage and a golf bag. I cannot bring weapons on the train.

    I doubt ANYONE will have proper protective gear for you to use foils and epee. Three weapon masks are expensive, and about as awkward to lug to a con as a severed head…

    I have practiced lefty stuff, but I’m so right hand dominant it’s silly.

    If I get time to rebuild them, I’ll be showing up with two lovely ‘boffer rapiers’.

  12. Re: Florida and medical care

    Isn’t it amazing that the state famous as a retirement haven has possibly the worst medical care establishment, relative to the wealth of the state? My father-in-law died of a shoulder infection, in a hospital in that state. Standard of care you’d be horrified to find in the average third world country. Oh, all the shiny medical devices are there, and some of the support staff even knows how to plug them in, but the level of knowledge of the doctors is just terrifyingly low. And this, in a fairly high-income retirement area (The Villages).

    As an additional anecdote, my mother-in-law, who is diabetic, was told to avoid sugar, but was told nothing about how to manage carbohydrates. I had thought that carb instruction for diabetics had become standard about 30 or more years ago?

    Florida is a truly wonderous state – it’s a wonder anyone is still living there at all.

  13. Eric: do you anticipate spending time over in the Aegis room (aside from the Dueling panel you’re co-running)?

    Daniel Franke: Eric isn’t a fencer. He’s a swordfighter.

  14. We have to reduce the population *somehow*.

    Ken: I infer you’re a sabre man? Or would bending foils that much for that long mess them up anyway?

    Couldn’t you just UPS 2-day them to your hotel?

  15. Baylink: I started with foil, went to sabre, got out of sabre when it was demonstrated that I didn’t have adequate gear for it, went to epee, and from there, SCA rapier.

    I’ve got my ‘guitar case’ with me and it has two boffer rapiers, one lefty, one righty. Both freshly rebuilt – surprising to me that they’ve stood up so well to 13 years of use. (And hard for me to believe that I first made ’em 13 years ago).

    I don’t have my fencing mask in the kit. Daniel, I’ll be happy to let you use the southpaw blade. You should adapt to it pretty easily.

  16. Ken, thanks for that. FYI, I just checked into my hotel a couple hours ago. The conference hotel was booked up already, so I’m a few minutes away in Madison Heights. I’m only now reading your comment, but I decided to leave my fencing kit home when I realized it would mean paying an arm and a leg for an extra bag at the airport.

  17. >A&D regular Ken Burnside will be there as well

    OK, now seriously sorry I missed it. Eric, have you had yet the chance to pass on to Ken my happy payment for his simply brilliant “free” RPG rules-in-1-page?

    >My experience with swordsmanship is that ‘he who has the trick the other guy hasn’t seen usually takes the point’.

    in the gut… ;)

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