So after a long weekend camping in the Gila Wilderness, I spent another long weekend at the 2010 Sirens Conference (this years theme was faeries), along with any number of wonderful folks scattered throughout livejournal and the net. I’m not sure where to begin a proper con report, but here are ten things I especially enjoyed about this con (no doubt I’ll think of more later):

1. Panel and paper topics with energy and originality–everything from non-European fey to what makes writing and publishing tick to all the various reasons we read.

2. Passionate conversations about books (and everything else), pretty much from the moment we arrived, continuing throughout the weekend.

3. Three keynote addresses (by blackholly, swan_tower, and terriwindling) that all got me thinking, all in different ways.

4. A focus not only on women in genre fiction, but on women in fantasy–with none of the resentment of the genre one sometimes gets from science fiction readers at traditional cons.

5. Sharp steep late autumn mountains. Chill air. Swimming in the rain.

6. A “dealers room” (courtesy of Bookworm of Edwards) with one of the best selections of books I’ve seen at a con. (Or maybe just with more books that pushed my own personal reader buttons than I’d seen at a con.)

7. What aging fandom? Unlike many traditional cons I’ve been to lately, this one drew largely on 20-somethings and 30-somethings, and that brought more energy to the con, too.

8. The fannish and the literary and the academic, all mixed cheerfully together.

9. Authors, academics, fans, and readers also all cheerfully mixing and meeting on an equal footing–anyone can propose a presentation for Sirens, and at the conference itself it was always assumed everyone had worthwhile things to say.

10. Faerie wings and glitter! Glitter and faerie wings! (I’m still loving the phrase “glitter hangover.”)

Next year’s theme is Monsters (not only literal monsters, but also the monstrous and the ways in which women have been considered monsters).

I highly recommend going, if you can!

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