Who's planning to make the trek to Anchorage for B-Con this year? It's a seven-hour, $700 flight from Dallas. I imagine there will be a heavy contigent from the West Coast, but what about from the rest of the Lower 48?
Bouchercon 2007 in Alaska is going to be great. The sightseeing, programs, entertainment and just the great state of Alaska is worth it alone. Yes, I live in Alaska, but I have lived all over the US and Europe. That's why I live here.
You can get flights that are 6 hours or so long. It doesn't have to take 2 days. It isn't rainy or snowy or awfully cold. It can do all of those above-mentioned things, but it will be autumn and the colors of the tundra and tiage are glorious.
Bears aren't as serious a problem as everyone thinks. We fear moose more, they are very unpredictable.
Go to the Alaska Airlines website, take the cruise from Washington State up, do the conference, sightsee, and then fly home. You will have so much to write about, ooh and aah about, that you will wonder why you didn't come up here sooner.
And as someone who has traveled and lived all over the world, You can stay at home and be an armchair traveler, or you can layer up, be prepared and have a wonderful working vacation.
I'm going. And I can't wait. Flying from Scotland it takes about 900 hours and costs millions of pounds. I'm on a panel (eeeeeek!) which I didn't really want to be, but I'm doing the Authors to Schools programme so thought I had better sign up as an author to get on that (I generally, by preference, sign up as a reader and don't do the panel thing because I prefer to watch and am not scintillating on panels).
I have all sorts of side trips arranged, including an all day snowmobile trip to a glacier. I doubt I will be able to go to Baltimore or Denver next year, but I'm hoping to go to LCC in Hawaii in 2009.
At Karen Laubenstein's suggestion I surfed on over here and read through your comments. Those of you who can't afford it, skip this, no way do I want anyone to go over budget just 'cause it's my Bouchercon. Those of you on the fence, read on.
In re airplane tickets, Alaska Airlines has a sale on until August 16. You might want to take a look. Continental flies here, Northwest, United, American, Delta, all the bigs. Try Travelocity and Orbitz for the best deals.
The hotel is only $120 a night. Split it and it's $60 bucks a night. You get a box lunch (and a good one, too) included with your registration on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Those of you coming, I have all kinds of things planned. This won't be your average, everyday, ordinary Bouchercon, and yeah, okay, I know it's my Bouchercon, but looky here. For the writers among you there is a panel of five New York agents doing Q&A, another panel of five New York editors talking about the kind of books they buy, and a full track of six sequential CSI:Alaska panels on Friday, from 9a to 4p. You're also going to sell a lot of books, because the only thing like this that Alaska has ever seen was Left Coast Crime in 2001, and they loved that. Alaskans read a lot, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are the highest per capita buyers of books in the nation. Ask your local sales rep. Alaskans are always looking for new writers. And we buy books. The Anchorage Barnes & Noble last time I checked was among the top 5 for sales in their entire chain.
For the readers among you the programming, she said immodestly, is great, lots of writers doing a lot of fun topics, and then there is also Author's Choice, where each author gets half an hour in a room filled with 50 rabid fans where they get to do anything they want. One writer says he's bringing dice and another says she's bringing sock puppets, but that can't be true. Can it?
There will be live music (good music, I promise you, blues and rock and roll) after the Anthony Awards banquet. Sunday morning the cadaver dogs lead up to Alaska's Yupik doowop group Pamyua performing at the closing ceremonies. And I'm busy thinking up other fun stuff.
As for Denali not being open, guys. Denali isn't the only mountain we've got. Anchorage sits between three different ranges, and there are great hiking trails within 20 minutes' drive of downtown Anchorage in the Chugach Mts. The hike up Near Point is my favorite, 3 1/2 hours round trip and a fantastic view south and west while you're surrounded by taller mountains north and east. You can go fishing for silver salmon, go flight seeing, go bear watching (please, I'm begging you, go with someone who knows what they're doing). The con happens at the end of tourist season (how we were able to get the great hotel rate) and before snow. Yeah, it might rain, but it also might be the most beautiful Indian summer we've ever had, and we've had some gorgeous ones. It'll probably be a mixture of both. There is a terrific bike trail called the Coastal Trail that starts on Second Avenue about three blocks from the hotel and follows Knik Arm eight miles around to Turnagain Arm. I'll be walking on it every morning.
Okay, you probably didn't make it down this far. I gave it my best shot. Come if you can, it really is going to be a lot of fun, for writers and readers both.
Couldn't have said it better myself! I have lots of photos of Anchorage area last year at the same time as B'con... and about everything being closed down, it is not. We go camping Columbus Day weekend in Seward every year -- and there are nature cruises on Resurrection Bay open, some with salmon buffets. It is actually the most beautiful time because there are tundra swans migrating and on the waterways throughout Southcentral Alaska. We saw whooping cranes last Fall and a beautiful wild fox came right up to our car in Anchorage while we were photographing the Bird Learning and Treatment Center's Bye Bye Birdie event. Also, the week after Bcon is National Wildlife Refuge Week and Alaska goes all out for this at their Wildlife Refuge Visitor Centers... the Oceans and Islands Visitor's Center in Homer is very interested in having authors for special events that week, though they can't fund travel or provide an honorarium, they've offered to find local housing! Looks like most of these posts were in March, hope many have changed their minds about not coming and will sincerely consider it! Also know your books will never be the same after an Alaskan experience -- ask any who came to Left Coast Crime 2001! We had a citing of two lynxes, owls, and a moose by a lady in Anchorage yesterday. It can be a bit wild in parts, but not so much downtown by the Convention Center. There is also a Fall run of salmon in many parts of Alaska that don't have the combat fishing the summer months do. Let us know if you want the real scoop on Alaska.