Thursday, March 29, 2007

AggieCon adventure

Well, I spent last weekend in College Station for AggieCon (No. 38 by number). Last year was the first time I went. Of course, AggieCon is a Texas institution. I know some much older-timers who say it used to be a lot bigger, but it's jyst fine by me.
Last year was the first time I was a regional guest. This year they were nice enough to pick up the tab for my room, and I was on four panels.
I told them I couldn't make any Friday panels, since I had to work. I knocked off at 4 p.m. Friday and was on the way 45 minutes later. Unfortunately, there's no reallu good direct route from this corner of Texas to College Station. It's normally a six hour trip. I took Hwy. 82 from Hooks to New Boston, Hwy. 8 to Corley, Hwy. 67 to Mount Pleasant, Highway 271 to Tyler (the longest single stretch, almost 70 miles), Hwy. 69 to Palestine, Hwy. 79 to Hearne and Hwy. 109 to College Station.
Because of the dark and some convoys, especially between Palestine and Hearne, where the highway was two lanes (the convoys are Mexicans hualing used cars to the border, two by two), it took me EIGHT hours. I got to the Plaza Hotel at the corner of Texas and University at quarter to midnight.
Next morning I staggered into the breakfast bar and right into Joe and Karen Lansdale. I haven't seen Joe in person since the summer of 2004. Joe was in a good mood all weekend; of course, he should be. This weekend he's in Toronto accepting at the Horror Writers Worldcon accepting their Grandmaster Award.
The hotelwas good about shutting us to the Memorial Student Center. I registered and was on a 10 a.m. panel on Book Collecting. This was also the first time I was on a panel with Joe. Other panel members included Bill Crider, Rick Klaw and Allen Porter. I'm really not much of a book collector, so I listened a lot and learner some stuff. I didn't know Klaw has been in the book selling business for 20 years.

OK, that's enough on AggieCon for now. I need to get to my office and work on some subs. Latest News: Atomjack has published my alternate history, "The Amerikaan Way". Go read it at www.atomjack.com. I like what they did with the flag, using the designe of the current South African flag with the stars and stripes (or is it the stars and bars?).

Darker Matter should be publishng "Avatar" on April 1. That's two alternate histories in a week. I dropped copies of "Amerikaan Way" in the mail today to Harry Turtledove, Howard Waldrop and Gardner Dozois. I think it's my best alternate tale yet.

OK, I'll be back in a while with more on AggieCon.

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This is one of my best ever alternate histories.