2019 marks the eleventh year for Jordan Con, a literary convention founded to celebrate The Wheel of Time book series written by Robert Jordan. Now, it’s evolved into a sci-fi fantasy literature convention that celebrates not just the work of Robert Jordan, but other authors and artists in the literary world as well.
This was my third year attending and the opening ceremonies were once again unrehearsed and tear-inducing. The convention usually raises money to benefit the Mayo Clinic, but this year all money will go to the Hospice of Mercy, in honor of long-time attendee and volunteer Steve Godecke. The tribute to Steve was one full of passion and story. Con-goers expressed their love in a beautiful story that showed why this convention holds a special place in the hearts of so many.
In the way of tributes, Harriet McDougal, widow of Robert Jordan and his editor, was honored by the official artists of The Wheel of Time series, as this would be their last year creating art for the book series. I found this moment bittersweet. So many were able to start businesses based on their passion, and will now have to end that in favor of The Wheel of Time, which is being produced by Sony. With the television series now in production, all book licenses are ending. It makes me grateful that I was able to contribute to these peoples livelihood while I could.
The two guests of honor for this convention included author Brent Weeks and artist Dan dos Santos. Brent is the author of the Night Angel trilogy and the Lightbringer series. Dan has created renderings for Disney, Universal Studios, Hasbro and DC Comics, just to name a few.
I spent a lot of time immersed in the dealer’s room and panels. One of the panels I e joyed the most was the Science Fiction Feminist Literature panel. Nancy McCall moderated for panelists Cecilia Dominic, Anna Grace Carpenter, Foster Bridget Cassidy and Nicole Givens Kurtz, as they talked about women characters, authors and the roles they hold in science fiction literature.
The perception of women in literature has always been one of stagnation and resentment, so to hear from women authors and teachers of literature on the role of women and women of color was enlightening to witness. I have taken away some titles to read as per the discussion from the panel. Those include The Yellow Wallpaper (Charlotte Perkins Gilman), Rejected Princesses (Jason Porath), Demon Trappers Series (Jana Oliver), Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia Wrede), Binti (Nnedi Okorafor) and Dorothy Must Die Series (Danielle Paige). If I’m busy in the upcoming weekends, it is because of these books.
More to come, but for now, I’ll catch you guys later.