by KT Pinto
July 22–23, 2011
Getting to Confluence took me and my friend Matt a good six hours on one of the most boring strips of road in the country—from New Jersey all the way through Pennsylvania—but Confluence 2011 was most certainly worth the trip!
It was a much smaller convention than I’m used to, but it comes with that small-town friendliness and attention that sometimes gets unintentionally lost at the bigger cons. In their own words, “Confluence is about programming that lets fans of science fiction and fantasy hear about the views and visions of some of the leading authors, editors, and critics in the genre.” This is a very accurate statement. Lately I’ve noticed that many conventions let anyone who has a passing interest in a topic sit on a panel, minimizing the importance of a professional’s years of knowledge. Confluence didn’t do that.
Not only was the programming staff a pleasure to work with both before and during the con—thanks to the hard work of Karen Yun-Lutz and Kevin M. Hayes—but the panels were interesting, the hotel staff was polite and efficient (and we got an amazing shower in our room) and there was enough to keep me entertained without any alcohol involved!
One of the best parts of the weekend was that I finally got time to hang with Chris, Brian and Christine from Fortress Publishing. I’ve known them for a while, but usually only get a chance to say hi as I run past them in the vendors’ room. This time I got to be on panels with each of the guys and go to their meet and greet. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to drink with them… next time, I promise!
Am I going to Confluence again? Definitely, if they’ll have me back… hint hint.