Monday, June 27, 2005

Back from Apollocon

In all honesty, I've been back since yesterday, but I've been too tired to post anything. The con was small, but well-attended and filled with enthusiasm. I have it on good authority that it exceeded all of its attendance goals, so the coffers are full of silver and next year should be even bigger and better.

One unfortunate thing I realized upon my arrival was that I wasn't listed as a guest either in the program book or various other sundry places. This was, of course, off-putting, as the reason writers attend these gatherings is to generate more name recognition. Fortunately, I was listed on the programming schedule--only the schedule they gave me, and the one they gave to everyone else didn't necessarily agree. Ever. It didn't take long for everyone to figure out I was there, however, and once things got rolling inertia kicked in and a good time was seemingly had by all.

My first panel on Friday, "All I Needed to Know I Learned from Asimov: The Influence of the Great Masters," was much fun, as these kinds of panels always are. Heinlein dominated the discussion, but we argued Asimov and Clarke as well as a bunch of other names both well-known and obscure. I was seated next to Bradley Denton, who's a lot of fun to be seated next to, and we ended up spending most of the rest of the con in each other's orbits. Exhausted from staying up late the night before, watching the Spurs' victory celebration, I ended up throwing in the towel and heading off to bed at 10 p.m. I am a wuss.

Saturday was quite busy, starting with "Mass Audience and Growing Popularity," discussing how the continued mainstreaming of SF and fantasy is affecting fandom, cons and literature. It was another panel I shared with Brad. Next, I headed to my autographing, where I signed no books but did add my signature to a shirt and program book for the charity auction, and had much interesting conversation (mostly ranting about the rotten luck Terry Gilliam has had when dealing with Hollywood over the years). "Making Hard SF Look Real" was a great panel as well, one in which I made the startling discovery that the first science fiction novel Alexis Glynn Latner ever read was the same one that was my first novel as well: Battle on Mercury. Too weird!

During the Saturday Night Show, I was a volunteer for the "Skip Thruster" old time radio show, which mostly served as a platform for Selina Rosen to show off her killer Swedish accent. I was late for the "What SF Should Be Movies?" panel, but made up for it by bamboozling the audience with a strange trio I think would make great films: Poul Anderson's Tau Zero, the afore-mentioned Battle on Mercury and (wait for it) William Hjortsberg's Gray Matters. I was late because all the parties on the 7th floor were happenin' shindigs, with lovely flowing beverages, and Brad Denton present for all sorts of scintillating conversation.

Sunday, after the writers workshop, I wrapped things up with the "Animals in SF/Fantasy" panel, again featuring the illustrous Brad Denton, plus Julia Blackshear Kosatka. Again, an interesting, stimulating discussion that was well-attended. The writers workshop was interesting as well, but that deserves an entry of its own. But I definitely plan on making Apollocon again next year.

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