Kal’s Liberty Con 34 AAR

The latest Liberty Con is come and gone. I had a blast. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Liberty Con is a Science Fiction and Fantasy literary convention with a very high percentage of writers in attendence. It’s not uncommon to encounter NYT Bestselling authors in the hallway.

There are always interesting conversations to be had and many of the panels are awesome, with many authors, editors, publishers, artists, and other professionals. More, Liberty Con is like a family, with everyone being friendly & welcoming.

What made Liberty Con 34 even more special? For one thing, it’s been a couple years (due to lockdowns) that we could meet in person. I got a chance to see people I haven’t seen in quite a while. For another, it’s a distilled environment of all things science fiction and fantasy. I always meet new people and learn new things.

This year there was a lot of catching up with friends, meeting new readers and authors, and generally spending great deal of time talking and listening. It can be hectic and a bit frenzied moving from one end of the hotel to the convention center and back (especially when you’re like me and you inevitably left something and have to go back a few times).

The convention is amazingly well-run. For those who have attended a lot of conventions, you know how important that is. For those who don’t… well, believe me, a well-run convention will draw more and better writers and professionals and is supremely worthwhile.

The convention staff put a tremendous amount of effort into things and it showed in everything. I can’t stress enough how well everything worked.

For actual events, I was on two panels: World Building in Epic Fantasy, moderated by David B. Coe, with myself, Michael Falciani, Chuck Gannon, and DJ Butler. It was a fun discussion and the different views on world building, especially regarding how much is too much, provided a lot of discussion and fed into a lot of questions from the audience.

I moderated a panel, Train as we Fight, which was a discussion about the realities of military training and writing about it as well. I had Tom Kratman, Mike Massa, and Rick Partlow on the panel. All of them provided some great discussion.

Other things at the convention that I thought were fantastic:

James Schardt ran a miniature painting studio in the crafting room. As a gamer, I thought it was really awesome, and he 3D printed models, had brushes and paints, and infinite patience, especially with how many younger attendees swarmed him on day one. Really one of the best parts of the convention and I hope it happens again in the future.

The Con Suite, always amazing, was running on the 16th floor. Liberty Con serves actual food at their Con Suite, and the draw of good food & awesome people makes for a great setting. I had conversations there with script writers, aspiring authors, scientists, and others.

Many conventions have an Author’s Alley, the one at Liberty Con rotates through hourly, so there’s always new and different authors, every time you walk past. It is tremendously great to walk past, see friends and fellow authors, and to strike up conversations. As an author, it’s awesome to have the opportunity to pitch my books to prospective readers.

All in all, Liberty Con was a fantastic time. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend attending. Tickets for next year go on sale 15 July of this year (getting tickets and a hotel are the hardest part, which tells you something).

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