Robinsonfest 2018: The Wrap Up

This time last weekend, I was laying in my hotel room at the Homewood Suites Hilton in Portsmouth NH, just a few hours away from going whale watching for the first time with Granite State Whale Watch in Rye, NH. I had already had amazing experiences dining at Moxy and Tuscan Kitchen in Portsmouth, NH and Wild Willy’s Burgers in Rochester, NH and had had a lot of fun racing, gaming, and playing putt putt at Hilltop Fun Center in Somersworth, NH as well as beginning the Apocalypse while relaxing at Butternut Farm in Farmington, NH. I had even been able to step foot in Maine long enough to get a selfie at Warren’s Lobster House in Kittery, ME.

I was doing all of this really fun stuff while also having a chance to meet and hang out with an author I’ve known online for a decade, Jeremy Robinson. The event, organized by Jeremy and his long time editor/ coauthor / friend Kane Gilmour, is called Robinsonfest mostly because Jeremy’s books are what bring everyone together, and no one has yet thought of a better name for it. As Jeremy somewhat wryly states in his own wrap up, he isn’t overly fond of the name and never really has been. ๐Ÿ™‚

But for those of us Jeremy brought together over a love of his books, it really was an awesome chance to just hang out with each other, have some fun, and relax. Having been to a few conferences of varying sizes both personally and professionally, it was a unique experience, even though it had the same basic idea – a bunch of people coming together over some commonality. At Robinsonfest, you had a fairly wide slice of life even with such a small amount of people. One person came from Australia and has made the trek across half a planet every year since this event started. One couple drove from Pennsylvania, where they both work in the government sector. Another couple came from Long Island, where he is a teacher and trying to break into the book narration field. Another guy came from the northern Chicago exurbs. I came from Georgia by by way of Jacksonville, the only person from the Southern US in the group. Most of us have known each other on Facebook for years. And while most of them had met each other and Jeremy and Kane in years past, I was the newbie to interaction in real life. And then there was the real newcomer, someone who mysteriously found out about Robinsonfest without any of the rest of us knowing and decided to come see what it was all about. Which was probably the most fascinating story of the weekend. Particularly once we discovered her reaction to the word “moist”. ๐Ÿ˜€ (Yes, I’m still needling her with it a week later. :D)

But the sense of camaraderie among all of these people, even while wildly divergent on all beliefs outside of the fact that Jeremy’s books are awesome, was simply amazing. And it was truly a truly phenomenal feeling to be a part of a group that could set aside all of those other differences and just hang out and be a community for a weekend. We laughed a lot, we cried a little. We worried when someone was worried. (A Kindle that was thought missing turned out to have been placed in an unexpected area of the person’s backpack. Yes, I am the person that misplaced his Kindle. :D)

I’ve got a summary video I shot 6 days ago as I was preparing to leave, and I’ve also got a 33 minute video I put together from everyone’s pictures and videos as well. I’ll link both of those after the jump.

But I want to close with this: I went into the weekend thinking that I could be the “weird guy”, as I have been in so many situations in my life. And instead, I was openly welcomed and embraced – in some cases literally. (There are some huggers in the bunch. :D) For someone that doesn’t have many friends, to be around people that I could so openly be myself with is always a treat. And it isn’t just fans of Jeremy’s books that come and are so embraced. There were at least three significant others there at various points of the weekend that really haven’t read Jeremy’s books at all, but were coming to support their partner. And they were made to feel just as welcome as anyone else, even if we did have to explain jokes based on Jeremy’s books (ok, so it was mostly me cracking those). So come if you’re a fan of Jeremy’s books. But come even if you’re just curious about them or have a partner that is either crazy or curious about them. You’ll be warmly embraced no matter what, and at minimum you will have a good time with good friends.
Continue reading “Robinsonfest 2018: The Wrap Up”

#HypeTrain: Robinsonfest 2018

Two weeks from this morning, I take an Uber over to Jacksonville International Airport to fly up to Boston’s Logan International Airport to take a bus to Portsmouth, NH. There, I will finally meet a man I met online back in the Myspace era a decade ago. Back then, the guy had written just two novels, and was publishing them on demand (the Kindle had just come out a year earlier and was still a few years away from becoming what it is now). I ordered both of his books from him, and when I read The Didymus Contingency, I was hooked. (The organization featured in that book is actually the one featured on the light gray shirt in the picture.) Antarktos Rising, featuring a crustal displacement event a couple of years before the movie 2012 would come out and make that idea somewhat popular, just sealed the deal. From that moment, I read every book this author put out – now over five DOZEN books in that decade.

This author – Jeremy Robinson – has become the single one I recommend the most to people, in part because he really is that good and in part because of how prolific he is. I say he is the Master of Science Fiction, and there is a reason for that – I know of no other author (ever) who has written in more science fiction sub genres than he has. And not only that, but with the characters and ideas he writes about, it is to the point that almost no matter what a particular reader is interested in, there is probably a Jeremy Robinson book that is close enough that they may be interested in reading it.

And over the decade, it has been one hell of a ride. I’ve been so scared I had nightmares for weeks (TORMENT). I’ve read PULSE pounding military/ creature thrillers with the Chess Team / Jack Sigler Adventures – which are coming to a close with the next book in the series. I’ve sailed over and under the Atlantic with the fish from the Biblical story of Jonah in KRONOS. I’ve explored the furthest reaches of the galaxy – and my own mind – in INFINITE. I’ve watched a young woman who just discovered she was pregnant try to go THE DISTANCE and survive an apocalypse for herself and her unborn child, and I’ve watched another young woman named Jenna Flood survive a bomb meant to kill her and fight to find out why someone wanted her dead. I’ve watched surviving Nazis try to create a SECONDWORLD, and I’ve seen a man who everyone thinks is Crazy be able to walk in a MIRRORWORLD. I’ve seen a XOM-B, and I’ve seen an APOCALYPSE MACHINE and I’ve seen a DIVIDE to try to save at least some of humanity. I’ve seen a PROJECT with Godzilla and Pacific Rim style giant monster/ robot fights, and experienced an Avengers Level Event that was at least as long in the making as the original Marvel’s Avengers movie – and even more epic. (Without giving too much away there, whereas in Marvel’s Avengers, the team had to come together to save *one* Earth, in Jeremy’s Event his team has to come together from multiple realities to save ALL realities.) I’ve watched a kid be kidnapped by monsters and transform into the King of Antarktos, with unparalleled power over that continent’s elements.

And I’ve even personally caused the Apocalypse by trying to save the planet by solving world HUNGER.

Yes, I – among many of his other fans in various books – have been written into one of Jeremy’s books. So far, I’ve survived – hence the top shirt in the pic above. I’ve even gotten a version of the tattoo that features heavily in UNITY, where a group of kids have to come together to save the world. To my knowledge, I am literally the only real person with this tattoo. (Another fan of Jeremy’s has a tattoo of a symbol featured heavily in the CHESS TEAM books.)

So now I actually get to finally meet the man behind all of these adventures in person and hang out with him for a weekend in his own turf at an event – Robinsonfest – that he has been putting on for a few years now. I get to share a few meals with him and go go-karting with him and go searching for Leviathan with him and hang out in an area somewhat similar to the Chess Team’s base of operations, among other things. I even get to meet at least a few people I’ve met online through Jeremy, including his editor and co-author Kane Gilmour, a friend I run a Facebook group with and who is an author himself in Xander Weaver, and a few other mega-fans of Jeremy’s that I’ve known on Facebook for several years. (And I may wind up dragging them over to Maine to try “barbecue” tofu – because this Southerner distrusts any Yankee claiming to be able to barbecue, and “barbecue” tofu is just blasphemy. If nothing else, I have to go try this stuff myself. :D)

For me, this is more exciting than going to Disney World – and may well be the same kind of trip that most people have at Disney: once in a lifetime.

But even if it is once in a lifetime, it is going to be one hell of an adventure, and I can’t wait. ๐Ÿ˜€