Atlanta’s first Spy Con was held at the Alpharetta Marriott on March 30th-April 1st. As it was a first I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed that it would be on the smaller side, but was just slightly concerned about my own high standards and expectations. I tried to keep them lower so that I wouldn’t be disappointed, but it turned out to be better than I had hoped for. I'm not gonna lie - I am loving these smaller conventions. After two cons in a row that only took place on one floor of one hotel I don't know how I'll survive Dragon Con this year. If you didn’t make it to Spy Con then read on to find out what you missed, and why you should go if they do it again next year.
The only downside to this taking place in Alpharetta was getting out there on a Friday night. I wasn’t able to make to the con opening due to the fact that it took me 2 hours to get home Friday afternoon. Damn Atlanta traffic! So on Saturday morning Sharron and I got an early start to enjoy a full day of spy action. After checking in, and figuring out where stuff was we were just in time for the Collecting Modern Espionage panel featuring retired intelligence agent Michael Brady. He’s a professor now and really seemed to know his stuff. Most of his talk was about how much intelligence gathering has changed from the olden days of James Bond. It’s almost sad to say, but the days of suave men in the shadows are over. The clip he played from Skyfall where Bond meets the new Q explained it all. He tells Bond “I can do more damage sitting at my laptop in my pajamas before my first cup of Earl Grey than you do in the field in a year”. From everything that Michael Brady said it seems to indeed be the case. More espionage happens through social media than through fancy international dinner parties these days. And why send a man into danger when you can send a drone? Drones can sit over a location for months, and take the shot when civilians are out of the way. James Bond doesn't have that kind of time. There are also drones that are the size of bugs to gather audio and video, as well as detect chemical weapons or WMDs. And another good point: how is a white guy going to get in with Al Qaeda? You pretty much have to find someone who's already in there, and get them to team up. It was a really interesting panel, and a great way to start the day.
Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been reborn as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet. Follow beth0rama on Instagram or on Twitter @NeedlessBeth where she doesn't post often enough to be annoying, but updates way more than Google+