Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CONsensus ...

That a good time was had by all.

I'm rested up (just a bit) from last weekend's Worldcon, aka LoneStarCon 3 in sunny(!) San Antonio. (Up to 103 degrees. Yikes. But no matter the heat, the shaded, miles-long river walk was ever delightful.)

What did I do at the con? You name it! Attended a plethora of sessions. Hung out with fans and author colleagues, with editors and my agent. Cruised the dealers room and admired the art exhibit.

The programming committee gave me a nice variety of activities:

  • Colossus, Skynet, or the Culture? A panel on our coming AI overlords.
  • The Rapture of the Geeks. If, when, and how we'll upload our minds to the cloud.
  • Care and Feeding of Your Aliens and Magical Beings. Who does convincing critters and how to roll your own.
  • John W. Campbell Created it All. The contributions of, and myths about, one of the great editors.
But wait! There was more!

L to R: Jack McDevitt, Fran Wilde, me
Two (count 'em, two) readings. I read from Creative Destruction, a collection of my short fiction and then from the antho Impossible Futures. Three contributors to the collection were at the con -- enough for our own session.

And I hosted a kaffeeklatsch and an autograph session. (Sad to say, I also missed an autograph session. The online program had me starting on Friday, but due to a miscommunication, the printed program had me autographing on Thursday, before I arrived. To anyone who tried to find me Thursday -- sorry about that. I hope you caught up with me later in the con.)

Highlights? you ask. The Analog/Asimov's party. (I am a long-time member of the Analog mafia. As in: Making Appearances Frequently In Analog.) Ramez Naam's virtuoso one-man neuroscience panel Wiring the Brain. The big panel on Big Data. Check. Next Stop: Big Brother? Beef and barbeque and Tex-Mex (lots of Tex-Mex). And the well-deserved, too-long-in-coming Hugo award for best editor (short form) won by Stanley Schmidt. As Stan retired last year as Analog's editor, this was his last year of eligibility in that category. 

If you're wondering about future SFnal extravaganzas ... the next Worldcon (aka Loncon 3) is in London, August 14-18, 2014. Because that Worldcon will be outside North America, there will also be a North American Science Fiction Convention / NASFiC (aka Detcon 1) in Detroit, July 17-20, 2014. To judge from my sample size of two, NASFiCs tend to be larger than regional cons but not as large as a US-based Worldcon.

And if you plan waaaay ahead, Worldcon 2015 (aka Sasquan) will be held in Spokane, August 19-23.

When I began this blog, soon after Worldcon 2008, I opined about Why IS fandom gray? (Part I) and Why IS fandom gray (Part II). I'm happy to say that -- despite a sufficiency of gray- and non-haired fans, the membership seemed no older than in years past. I can't claim to have done a scientific survey, but just maybe the number of pre-gray-haired members was up this time. I consider that Good News.

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