Dragon*Con 2011 Interview
By: Nymala Ingasy
According to the Dragon*Con entry on Wikipedia, it attracts 40,000+ members and encompasses five hotels in downtown Atlanta. Held annually over Labor Day weekend since 1987, it is an excellent opportunity to gather, discuss, enjoy, and celebrate all things sci-fi, fantasy and generally nerdy. To quote Wikipedia, "The 4-day event comprises approximately 3500 hours of panels, seminars, demonstrations, and workshops, with over 30 specialized programming tracks that include writing, alternate history, art, anime, gaming, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, comic books, costuming, space science, online media, independent film, podcasting, Asian cinema and culture, robotics, filk, scientific skepticism, Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, X-Files, Joss Whedon creations, apocalyptic themes, Anne McCaffrey's Pern, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, British and American SF television, the Dark Fantasy track, the Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival, and general programming which specific Guests of Honor attend."
This year, the Wheel of Time track is no slouch, with four solid days of events, games and fun planned for all of those who inhabit Rand-Land. This writer sat down with the extremely busy Jennifer Liang, organizer of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time track for Dragon*Con to get the inside scoop!
Nymala Ingasy: Where will our room be located, so we can find you all?
Jennifer Liang: The track this year is located in the Westin Atlanta Ballroom AB.
NI: What type of panels will we be having this year?
JL: We'll be having our usual mix of theory discussion, plot speculation and random silliness.
NI: Will there be any games or special events?
JL: We're doing a costume contest, as we always do, and Wheel of Time LOLcats. It should be absolutely insane.
NI: What can we expect at the Winespring Inn?
JL: We're trying something new this year and doing karaoke. It will either be awesome or horrifying. Perhaps some combination? Awesomfying? Horrisome? There may be prizes for folks who sing songs that match the character they've dressed up as.
NI: Last year, Brandon Sanderson read us a little bit of the book to come....will that happen again this year?
JL: No, Brandon is not attending this year. Maria Simons from Team Jordan is an Attending Professional, however and will be on multiple panels.
NI: Are there any sneak peeks or any surprises that you can "preview" for the readers of the Tar Valon "Times"?
JL: We'll be talking about the Wheel of Time comic series with Maria and Melissa Ann Singer, Tor's in house editor for the comic series.
NI: The parade is always a big draw, can anybody from the Wheel of Time track march? How do you register?
JL: Yes, anyone who is a registered member of Dragon*Con can march in the parade. If you'd like to march with the track, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. If you'd like to march with another group, please email email@example.com and they will place you.
For more information about the Wheel of Time track plans, including the full tentative schedule, you can go online to wheeloftime.dragoncon.org or "like" Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Track at Dragon*Con on Facebook. Check back with us in October for a full review, wrap-up, debrief and pictures (hopefully of people with their clothes ON!) Until then, we'll see you in Atlanta!