OPINION: Confusion 2017

Detroit Rock City.

Well…technically…Novi, Michigan. But close enough, right?

For the last three years, I’ve heard many positive things about Confusion. No less than an (ir)reputable source as Scalzi had told me it was where the cool kids went to play. I’m a cool kid, right? This means I needed to be in the middle of that action.

Although the convention states that it runs Thursday-Sunday, I didn’t see much happening on Thursday. No panels. No dealer room. Just a handful of writers and friends hanging out at the hotel bar and lobby. If I venture north next year for Confusion, I might consider arriving Friday afternoon.

Confusion has the feel of a “family” event (much like the dearly departed Context that used to be held in Columbus, OH). Many of the attendees are regulars, and many regulars travel great distances. There is a friendly intimacy that is hard to describe but familiar to those involved in fandom and genre events. The convention goes out of its way to make everyone feel welcome.

Confusions’s consuite game is strong. After hours, the suite offered free locally-brewed ale. I drank way too much free bourbon ale.

The hotel’s bar/restaurant was moderately priced (as far as hotels go). After the price travesty that was the World Fantasy host hotel restaurant ($18 for a breakfast buffet?), I could grab a meal in a pinch and not want to throw up afterward due to buyer’s remorse.

I do have three complaints.

  1. The dealer room was placed in the far reaches of the hotel. None of us were happy with its placement. Apex had a decent showing, but with a better location, it could have been so much better.
  2. All my panels were lightly attended. Maybe people were avoiding having to listen to me pontificate, but a panel with Cherie Priest, Jim Hines, James L. Sutter, Sarah Gailey, Mishell Baker, and I should draw more than 6 people (even on a Saturday @ 10am).
  3. The fog. Christ, I felt like I was in Silent Hill. No doubt that Pyramid Head was lurking somewhere.

I will probably go back next year, weather permitting. I met several folks in person for the first time that I’ve known a long time via social media but the standout was Delilah Dawson. Lady has personality for days.

Here are some awesome pictures of awesome people having a good time at Confusion.

Courtesy of John Scalzi: https://www.flickr.com/photos/scalzi/sets/72157679505055855

Courtesy of Jim C. Hines: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41225422@N00/sets/72157675789600184

Finally, a thank you to the delightfully happy and sweet barista at the Starbucks.


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