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slightly more readercon, plus the best hotel ever

okay, while the rest of friday night’s ill-fated dinner microwaves for today’s lunch, i wanted to remember to take a moment to comment on where i’ve been staying, because it’s close to the best hotel experience i’ve ever had, and certainly tops in the US, though my hotel experience is, admittedly, limited.

candlewood suites is primarily an extended stay place, but for $60/night, i got a good-sized room with all the normal amenities, plus a full kitchen area, complete with two burners, microwave, full-sized fridge, and all the pans, utensils, bowls, etc.. i’ve got free ethernet internet access, so no futzing around with wireless frustrations, and the exercise room has two treadmills, a stairmaster and a recumbent bike, in addition to a nautilus-style machine and a balance ball.

there’s no breakfast here, but i’m fine with that because it’s usually not stuff i should be eating much of, anyway, other than the cereal i can buy myself for much cheaper. they do have a little food pantry, though, with stuff from the basics to the extras. not huge, but it’s there and it’s on the honor system. drop your cash or fill out a receipt and it’s charged to your room. how cool is that? there’s also apparently a DVD/VCR lending library (the room TV has both), same honor system, but i haven’t had enough time for looking into that.

the hotel itself is very clean, the staff very respectful, and since it’s extended stay, no wasteful daily room cleanings. i’ve never been one for having someone in my rooms while i’m gone, so this suits me fine, but if you need extra anything, just ask and you get it. and even though the highway’s less than a mile away and the mall’s directly across the street and my room faced that way, i never had any noise problems.

like i said, i don’t travel much, but this is the best for me. i don’t like being bothered, i love the honor system, the facilities are clean, simple, and effective (forgot to mention that the beds are posturepedic mattresses and i slept like a baby both nights), the people are very nice, and the price is amazing. this beats any of the bigger places, hands down.

well done, candlewood, and thank you.

now, to readercon:

unfortunately, i’m not going to be able to go into any depth on yesterday or today, but every last one of the panels i’ve seen has been worth it. here’s a doomed attempt to extremely briefly summarize:

History and Fictional History – Excellent conversation coming from various excellent authors, discussing the merits/restraints of ‘fact’ in history (largely denied as 100% valid by all) and of writing in the gaps between emprical items such as written signed documents, battles, etc..

Odyssey Workshop – Jeanne Cavelos, the director of the NH workshop, and Elaine Isaak and Gene Wolfe, as well as several current and former members in audience, made me give serious consideration to this 6-week writing bootcamp. major takeaway: it’s a lot of work. a very lot of work. and it sounds extremely invigorating.

Novels of Advocacy v. Novels of Recognition – a great philosophical discussion of the idea that novels either actively condone, or simply show a future. also whether characters are ‘effective agents’ or not (can change the world they exist in or not), and using Heinlein and Gibson as examples of the two types. Very interesting.

I Spy, I Fear, I Wonder: Espionage Fiction and the Fantastic – a good panel in which i made an ass of myself by offering The Lies of Locke Lamora as an example, when it is clearly crime fiction, not spy fiction. i think i went completely red when the guy in the back called me out on that. later discussion also led to a very interesting and ‘inspired’ discussion of the role of female protagonists in these, and if they really are true ‘women’ or just men dressed as women (change the names and pronouns and nothing changes?). no easy answers here, but i see this as a great topic for next year’s con.

dammit. i can’t even get to today’s stuff. i’ve got to pack up and then get over to the last panel of the con and then get back home to my wife!

* to be fair, i don’t use a lot of hotels, so this may not be that surprising to those who do, or may pale in comparison to their experiences.

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