This year I had an opportunity to attend Dragon Con, a magical place I have never attended before. The amazingly tireless workers setup three tracks of content as well as engaging events on their social media platforms. There was a Classics Stream, providing hours of entertainment of cons days past. The Original Star Trek cast could be watched along with a lot of other nostalgic programming. The second track was the Main Channel with all new guests, performances, costume contests, and the parade. Between events there were witty little skits and commercials which were hours of entertainment in their own way. The third track is where I spent most of my time. There were over 35 tracks of focused programming, and I focused on Urban Fantasy Track.
Urban Fantasy itself is diverse. There were panels on everything from ghosts and vampires, to the fae. The flexibility of the genre could be seen in both the literature portion and the fan panels. I sat in on a few of the fan panels, such as Supernatural and Lucifer. There were also panels for The Order, Wynonna Earp, and the Warrior Nun. An intriguing one to me, which shows my age, was the By Blood or By Choice Panel: Family in Buffy and Angel. I have to admit I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the television series, from beginning to end. I did not get into Angel as much. As the panel members brought up the family dynamics of Buffy and her besties, I realized I needed to rewatch the series again. I will be starting with the musical number, Once More, With Feeling, then go back to the beginning. The building of their relationship and the challenges they face is still a huge part of Urban Fantasy. Buffy, or Paranormal Scooby Doo as one of the speakers called it, lead the way.
My favourite panel was the Favors, Bargains, and Glamours: The Fae in Urban Fantasy. The two main reasons I chose this panel were Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher. That’s right, both authors were on the panel! Patricia Briggs shared her fae’s backstory. The post fae-apocalyptic state of the world. How their world was ruined through the introduction of Christianity, cold iron, and then the loss of Underhill. Finding a new place to call home while the fae reestablished themselves. Her use of fairytales and folklore from around the world is one of the main reasons I love her books. I never know where her stories are going as she creates a melting pot of fairytales and myths. How the one piece that holds true for all fae is the balance in bargains. Mercy Thompson, even in friendship, must consider the balance of all that occurs when interacting with the fae. When you know better than to ask for help from your friends because you might end up in more trouble, then you are friends with the fae. Or another chaotic neutral individual. Especially when on of your best friends was the Dark Smith of Drothheim who had a propensity to create stabby weapons that sometimes choose to stab their owners. Characters are more engaging when you never know how their friends with react. After all, most folklore was based on fear of what is Other.
Patrica Briggs also added to my reading list. She suggested anyone interested in the classification of fairy/fae, to look at an Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures by Katharine Briggs. I looked the book up and finding it will be as likely as finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Even on the big websites, the lowest cost I found was over $700. However, I haven’t stopped looking for the end of a rainbow, so I am willing to search for this book as well.
Double Rainbow seen this summer – no pot of gold found
Jim Butcher was just as engaging and had a fun surprise in store for Dragon Con. He spoke of his fae characters, of their focus on balance with the natural world, but how they find a way around it when the situation suits then. Such as when they want a human killed, that is what executions are for. His love of folktales and fairytales came through as much as Patty’s did. They both like exploring our worlds myths and legends and incorporate the ideas that inspire them.
As this is the 20 year anniversary of Storm Front, book 1 in the Dresden Files, Jim Butcher teamed up with filmmaker Priscilla Spencer to create a live action short movie/book trailer for Peace Talks, the July 14th instalment in the series: Peace Talks Trailer At Dragon Con the two showed a surprise trailer for Battle Ground, the next novel in the series with a September 29th release date. It can be watched here: Battle Ground Trailer
There was a panel including the filmmaker, Priscilla Spencer, the actors, costume design, Jim Butcher, and more members of the filming team who shared what the experience was like creating the two book trailers. There was nothing but love on the panel so I would think they would be happy to do it again.
So not only do I have a book on fairies to find, but I must catch up on my reading of the Dresden Files. I have included a link to Dragon Con through their logo above, but I will include it here as well. If you want to check out the panels, see the hilarious commercials, or enjoy the creativity in costume design, follow the link:
Let me know your favourite parts of Dragon Con!