It was a good start. There’s a way to go.
I wanted more guests, more panels, more emphasis on the craft of storytelling and less lip service. Teach people to tell stories, don’t just play poorly organized games on the mainstage that end with a “storytelling, man…storytelling.” Let’s have more panels about the specific tools of writing and the structure of story (shit, let’s have more panels, period, then I might be able to actually get a seat at one). Let’s have more Q&As and readings. Let’s have not only big stars like Grossmans, Blacks and Scalzis but lesser-known authors, local authors and artists and creators. Let’s have actual workshops for aspiring writers to learn skills, to cross-pollinate with other artists and to develop mentorships. Let’s have an actual performance from Night Vale and Paul and Storm.
Those are the sorts of things I had expected from Nerdcon: Stories. What we got was fun but was more like 2 days of summer camp than 2 days of boot camp. Do more, I say, to validate all the emphasis you gave to the importance of storytelling, instead of just creating a space where you can sell merch and John Scalzi can play the ukulele.
That’s all the nitpicks. Overall, a positive experience, unquestionably and if it’s anywhere near me next year (and if I’m not going to NYCC), I’ll be at Nerdcon: Stories.
P.S. I know better than most not to unfairly criticize the tech elements or personnel of a show but the state of it was unacceptable. We had several Paul and Storm performances that were nearly ruined by feedback. Presenters who wanted to use multimedia were stymied or forced to operate it themselves. The onscreen chyrons where intermittent and uninformative. The issues persisted throughout the weekend. Whoever was to blame, just fix it.
|This was pretty bush|
|Hey! It’s Blurry Pat Rothfuss!|
|Take that, fascists!|