My panels went well. I only had four so I wasn't busy as many people I knew. Seeing how harried they were, I'm glad I only had the four.
Time Travel panel 1 strayed seriously off-topic and I was mostly "the guy who injected examples to support or refute other people's points." However, I pretty much always remembered either the author or the title but not both. :(
The "30 Years of Mac" panel had a guy who was determined to talk about how horrible the Mac is. This might have worked out better for him except he never gave the impression that he'd ever seen, much less used, a Mac before. It's easy to hate something you have absolutely no experience with or knowledge about. It doesn't make your opinion particularly credible though. That said, the panel was not a love fest. It was a nice overview of Mac history, the lowlights and the highlights. I do think it's unfortunate that programming felt the need to put a person who knew nothing about the Mac on the panel, presumably for "conflict." A bunch of Mac-knowledgeable people can generate plenty of conflict all by themselves, thank you. Then we wouldn't have had to waste time correcting the misapprehensions of the guy who doesn't know anything about the Mac.
"Constructing Languages" was a lot of fun. Considering it was about linguistics and programmed opposite the Masquerade, way more people showed up for the panel than I'd expected. We had a knowledgeable audience to go with the knowledgeable panel. Certainly, the audience had read more linguistic SF than I have. Both the moderator and I lapsed into linguistic jargon at one point or another. However, we defined each other's terms so it all worked out.
The panel I moderated, Time Travel panel 2, went pretty smoothly. I had terrific panelists so it was easy to make sure everyone had space to say interesting things. More importantly, they all said things that led to interesting follow-up questions. However, perhaps asking whether time travel could be considered the reification of non-linear narrative in a way similar to how many fantastic elements are a literalization of metaphor was a step too far. That question didn't go well. I'd used Ted Chiang's "The Story of Your Life" as an example and no one else on the panel had read it. Also, "reification" may have been a bit much. Fortunately, by then, we had about 20 minutes left and I could throw to the audience. Yay!
[Oh, Justine Graykin and I got to make our pitch for a non-white, non-male Doctor. Hey, any show with a time machine as a standing set is totally on topic for a panel about time travel. However, I kept the DW discussion brief since the show has its own panels at Arisia.]
I went to a bunch of interesting panels. During "The Unheard Voices of SF/F/H", I was glad to hear the panelist give Tor.com credit for becoming a friendlier venue for traditionally unheard voices. As an example, they mentioned Ann VanderMeer and, in the the process, "The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere." At this point, the panelists realize I'm in the audience. They point me out and ask me if they can talk about how awesome the story is.
That's definitely something that's never happened to me before. In any case, I'm flattered that they like my story so much.
Like all cons, it was tiring. And having finally listened to a snippet of "Eye of Argon", I never have to again. But I'm glad I went to Arisia.