Patricia and I went to Austin over the weekend for Howard Waldrop's birthday. Brad and Barb Denton threw a barbecue on Sunday (Friday was Howard's 60th birthday).
Because Austin was hosting the Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend, I didn't think I'd get a room in the city, so instead we stayed Saturday night at a motel in San Marcos, which is about 25 miles south of the city.
The big advantage there (at least for the child bride) is that the city has two back-to-back enormous outlet malls.
We left Hooks after lunch Saturday and got to San Marcos about 8:30. Patricia checked out the Talbot's Outlet store in the mall before it closed, and then went back the next day. We hit a number of stores before heading back towards Austin for the cookout.
Brad Denton lives in Manchaca, about 50 feet into Hays County. Lovely house as well as setting. He fired up the grill and everyone had a great time.
Some of the people I know who were there included Chris Nakashima-Brown, Jessica Reisman, Stina Leicht, Lawrence Person and Neal Barrett. I've met all of them (except Neal) at Turkey City.
Howard opened his presents and blew out the candles around 7:00 p.m. We gave him a pair of history books on the Late Roman Empire.
We hit the road and were back in Hooks by 2 a.m.
Coming up this weekend is Fencon in Dallas. I can't get there before Saturday because I have to cover a football game Friday night, but I'm on five panels Saturday and Sunday:
“Space elevator (I'm the Moderator for this one): The panel will explore the concept of the space elevator, including recent developments and the challenges that will be faced. Saturday 11:00 AM Guadalupe Room.
“Space hardware”: The cool toys that will get us out there. The panel may discuss the hardware of space travel - either in fiction or reality. Is it the hardware or the adventure that makes space so exciting? Saturday 3:00 PM Guadalupe Room.
“Trends in SF that should die”: Panel will discuss the overdone, pass , directions that we no longer wish to read. How do we gently dissuade writers from these stories? Will market forces take care of the problem? Conversely, do some trends die too early? Saturday 4:00 PM Trinity Room.
“Putting science back in to SF”: Panel will discuss if SF is straying too far from its origins. Sunday 10:00 AM Lonestar 1 & 2 Main Stage.
“Jim Baen’s Universe”: A panel discussing this online magazine and how it is different from other web publishing, its background, philosophy and writers. Sunday 11:00 AM Pecos Room.
My reading is at 2:00 p.m. Saturday. I plan to read "Berserker' which was just published by OG Speculative Fiction, and "The Silver Dollar Saucer", which has been accepted by the Amazon Shorts program.