This is my first year heading up the literary track and second heading up the new media track for Balticon, happening this weekend. There’s so much awesome going on this weekend that it’s hard to pick a favorite but I wanted to give shout outs to some of the people who make my life easier, or at least make conprep less difficult. You know the guests and probably know Kelly, this year’s con chair. Here’s some you may not know. As always, this list is 10 of the best, in now order and non-exclusive. If you have shout outs, please toss them in the comments. If you see these people at con, give them a high five or buy them a drink.
1) Mike Rafferty
Most people don’t have to talk to Mike. Most guests probably only see him CC’ed on emails. For at least the past two years (possibly more), he’s the guy who makes all the different schedules work together and makes sure that all the guests have printouts of their schedules. He’s currently going insane from making sure that all the people attending Balticon have a program that makes sense and that they can carry around in their pocket. He’s also the guy I send programming issues to when they can’t be solved. When I can’t fix it, he’s the guy I go to for programming stuff. He also I think has an entire room in his house dedicated to Balticon which probably looks like the shed from A Beautiful Mind in terms of just how insane and complicated scheduling is for this convention.
2) Eric Gasior, the tech guy
Is there a piece of technology in use at Balticon? Did you hear an event through speakers or possibly watch something on a projetion screen? He’s the guy who manages all that. He has an army of techmonkeys that move the stuff and set it up. Especially for us New Media people, he makes sure that I don’t have to worry about having speakers for your events.
3) Nobilis Reed
Yes there’s a lot of after hours content and games at Balticon. This is the master “mind” behind it. He needs more power. And with more power comes more responsibility. I’m not sure where I’m going with this.
4) Patti Kinlock
When I first started helping with the new Media Track, Paul Fischer said to me, “If you’re ever confused, ask Patti. She’ll know what to do.” I don’t know exactly what her job is but she sits in the front at the Balticon meetings so must be important. I do know that whenever I’ve asked her a question or needed help with a Balticon related dilemma she knows the answer.
5) Paul Fischer
He may no longer be directly helping with the con but he did get the New Media track set up initially and ran it for many years. He’ll be there this weekend and knows his stuff. He’s an invaluable resource and a pretty cool guy.
That’s right. Me. Give it up. Just kidding. Ok so I’m not really kidding. I haven’t slept in four days and I’ve been reviewing the schedule like it was the i Ching and I really need a hug. Just ask first. I have issues. Personally while I feel it really shows that this was my first year planning something as large as the literary track, I did ok. Right? Please validate me. I can’t even tell if I’m joking, I’m so tired. And frankly, I think everyone who works on the con staff might feel that way right now. I think I’m kidding. I give up. Let’s move on to the real number 6.
The Real Number 6) Leigh, mistress of the con suite
There is a power behind the con suite who makes sure that the pretzels flow with wild abandon. That’s Leigh. If you haven’t been to the con suite, you should probably swing by. We have some events there and it’s also a decent place to hang out.
7) The Chairs of Power
This year we have Kelly and next year we have Thomas and they are where the buck stops for the con. I figure since they’re the con’s highest authority that I’m aware of, that means they are responsible for everything that happens at Balticon. Everything. Unless there’s some sort of Balticon Shadow Government (BSG) that none of us know of. Then they’re like the public face of it. Either way they both have a lot to do for this year’s con.
8) Team Hotel!
Anne and Peter are the hotel liason masterminds. They make sure that the rooms have chairs and carpets and exist and stuff. I was recently told that without a hotel to actually hold the convention in, we would have difficulty actually making the convention happen, and I believe it.
9) The Berzerkers!
The nameless unwashed masses… actually I think they all have names, take regular showers, and are individuals so forget that description. The point is there quite a few people who volunteer most of their time during the weekend making sure things like mics are connected, doors are unlocked, and the nouns are properly verbed. I can’t keep track of what they do but they do it and it’s important. Also I think they’re named after that Fred Saberhagen novel and if they’re not, I choose to ignore that fact.
10) And… YOU!
Yes, I copied #10 from the game over victory screen from a NES game but it’s true. Without the people who come to the convention and hang out and do all the congoing stuff that you do, we wouldn’t have a con. We wouldn’t have a reason for all these interesting and sometimes frightening people to congregate in Baltimore every Memorial Day weekend. So you know, thanks.
So that’s my list. Who’d I miss? Who do you agree with? Who needs more proper and sentient recognition? That’s what the comments are for, folks!