This past weekend saw local high school graduations both Friday and Saturday night. In my current position, I don't have to cover them, but the events made me remember four years ago, how I accepted an invite to be a panelist at Marcon in Columbus, Ohio, while forgetting that Friday was high school graduation night.
Gardner Dozois accepted my story "A Rocket for the Republic" in March 2004, and I realized it might behoove me to attend more cons (up to that point, I had attended a grand total of three).
I attended the graduation Friday night and then drove 14 hours (with my wife) to reach Columbus in time for my 2 p.m. Saturday panel with Ellen Datlow, Julie Czernada and Paul Stevens. The only reason I was on time was because I picked up an hour when I crossed into the Eastern Time Zone.
All in all, it was a very useful event, but -- bless their hearts -- I've never accepted another invite from them.
I was saddened to read that Robert Asprin, who was to be the GOH as Marcon this year, died just a couple of days beforehand. His "Cold Cash Wars" was one of my favorite books I read in the 1980s.
I met him at ConDFW in 2005. That was the last one I attended as a fan. During the closing I testified that, having attended my first con (Con DFW) two years before, I had learned so much and done so well that I had a story coming out in Asimov's that summer. (I've always been very grateful to ConDFW). Asprin professed to be suitably impressed.
He seemed to be a nice guy. I'm glad I had a chance to meet him.