This year’s JordanCon was epic in proportion, first because it was the tenth year of the convention (according to Jennifer Liang, everyone thought the first JordanCon would be the last JordanCon), and second because this year marks the 20th anniversary of Dragonmount.
Arriving Thursday night was like coming home to a group of very good friends. After checking into my hotel room around midnight, I headed down to the lobby and promptly began deep, philosophical discussions about The Wheel of Time series with none other than Paul Bielaczyc—though there was a moment when he got The Wheel of Time mixed up with HG Wells’ The Time Machine…. That, in a nutshell, is JordanCon. Approach any person, say hello, and they’re your friend for life.
This year’s lineup of panels and guests was colossal. If I had to list a negative part of the Con experience this year, it was that too many amazing panels happened simultaneously. I had many difficult decisions to make, and I feel many other Con-goers had the same dilemma.
This year’s Toastmaster, and Empress—may she live forever—of the Seanchan’s glorious Return was Aubree Pham. The Seanchan theme continued throughout the event, including a game in which members of the Low Blood were required to eliminate members of the High Blood. Even the annual Saturday night dance party was the Homecoming: One Night in Falme.
Naturally, the Author Guest of Honor for the year of Dragonmount’s 20th birthday was Jason Denzel. He attended many panels, hosted a Kaffeeklatsch, read a snippet of the next series he plans after the Mystic trilogy is finished, and talked at length with Matt Hatch of Theoryland about the origins of their respective websites—including an incident that happened at JordanCon 1 involving Brandon Sanderson’s newly finished, and unpublished copy of The Gathering Storm, Brandon’s credit card, and a Kinkos.
The Artist Guest of Honor was Stephanie Law. Her artwork was spectacularly displayed in the vendor’s hall, and she dazzled attendees with a watercolor demo. The highlight was the “Women in Illustration” panel, with other artists, Ariel Burgess, Melissa Gay, Amanda Makepeace, and Angela Sasser. In another panel, Stephanie, Angela, and Ariel also helped explain Patreon—the ins and outs of the subscription service, and how to determine if it’s a worthwhile investment of your time and energy.
For me, personally, one of the best moments was being inducted as an Asha’man into Bill Nesbitt’s Black Tower. I worked very hard on my Asha’man costume to be ready for the pinning ceremony. But even better was the Wheel of Time discussion at the party afterward. For more than an hour, there was a healthy debate over the nature of the Creator and the Dark One, and whether it was possible that Rand was actually the Creator. The next day, I talked to Matt Hatch, and he solved the debate in less than a minute. Though his presence at the party would have solved it quickly, as the Knights Radiant are fond of saying: “Journey before destination.”
For the Daes Dae’mar trivia contest, Dragonmount had an official team entry! It consisted of myself, Verbal32, Keyholder21, Songstress, Hallia, Kathleen, and Leelou, plus four other friends we found along the way: Monica, Jeanine, Anna, and Natalie. Through our valiant efforts, we tied for second place. The dreaded Theresa Gray (Terez from Theoryland) determined our answers were subpar, so she awarded the other team, The Salty Wetlanders, second place, and awarded us third. Naturally, the team Gap of Infinity—consisting of Theorylanders—won first place. We’ll have to do a rematch next year. So Dragonmounters, start your re-reads and be prepared!
And though Dragonmount’s birthday isn’t until September—Jenn Liang was very definitive of the month—we still celebrated! We had as many people as possible crammed into a suite, and while everyone chatted and indulged in merry-making, we also had a Wheel of Time spelling bee. We were doing okay until we got the word “Ta'maral'ailen.” Jason couldn’t pronounce it. Brandon couldn’t pronounce it. Maria Simons (of Team Jordan fame), wasn’t in the room. But we did have contestants successfully spell Tel’aran’hriod, Tarmon Gai’don, and Asmodean, to name a few (that last one was me).
I also had several opportunities to talk with Seth and Patrick from Wheel of Time Spoilers. They even mentioned how they kicked off their newest podcast Mistborn Spoilers. They’re starting at the very beginning of the first trilogy, so make sure to start while it’s new!
This was my fifth JordanCon, and it was the best of the bunch so far! The guests were amazingly friendly and accessible. The game hall had activities going nonstop. Every corner of the hotel was filled with people who love The Wheel of Time as much as me. If there’s such a thing as paradise on Earth, it’s JordanCon!
You can already order tickets for JordanCon 11: Shai’Con. The Guest of Honor will be Brent Weeks, author of The Night Angel trilogy and the Lightbringer series. The Artist Guest of Honor will be Dan dos Santos, well known in our circle for his ebook cover of the The Fires of Heaven, as well as the cover of Warbreaker. The Toastmaster will be Paul Bielaczyc—which is self-explanatory since the theme is Shai’Con.
If you missed out on the fun this year, don’t make the same mistake for next year! I hope to see you all there!
Edited by Mashiara Sedai