Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Notes from ApolloCon Part 2

Got up Saturday morning and decided to eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant. The food was good, but I was surprised at the coffee - it somehow managed to be both strong and tasteless. It tasted more like dishwashing soap than anything. For $14, it was definitely a waste of money.

Continued to run into friends, visited with Jayme Blaschke and Ann Vandermeer more, then had my first panel at 10 a.m. on "What's in a Genre?". Topic was a bit dry, but the panelists were good for the subject, including Moderator Alexis Glynn Latner, Chris N. Brown, Courtney Stoker and Kathy Thornton. Latner works at Rice University, Brown is an attorney and Stoker is a grad student in Victorian Science Fiction Literature. Thornton is primarily known as a fan.

After an hour's break, I had my turn at the signing table at noon with Lee Martinez. He's a much better known and popular author than I am, but there were still some people who wanted to visit with me. Unfortunately, this is when I realized that Zane Melder with Edge Books had run out of "Texas & Other Planets". One fellow who couldn't buy a copy in the dealers room stood there with me and ordered it from Amazon through his iPhone.

Glenda Boozer was someone who visited with me at the signing table, and also James "Jazzman" Savage.

Then at 1 p.m. I had my reading, which was a room on the 7th floor. C.J. Mills and I shared the time. She read a first-person tale in a Medieval setting, and then I read my latest story, "Watch What Happens", a little Twilight-Zone like piece, only 2,700 words, that I wrote last Tuesday so I would have something to run through a reading.

It was very well received by the audience, and their advice and comments were very helpful, especially because they helped me decide some plot choices. When I told them I wrote it in two hours, they were surprised because it wasn't all that rough, but I reminded them I'm a journalist and I'm used to writing for publication on deadline.

Before the reading I told Ann Vandermeer I will send her "Watch What Happens" as soon as it is finished, and the response at the reading convinced me it will turn out pretty good.

The panel at 4 p.m. was apparently designed just for fun, "SF Coup D'Etat", which meant if you could vote, which science fiction character would you have running the government? Kathy Thornton and Derly Ramirez joined me on this one again, along with Larry Friesen. It was a nice interactive panel but didn't add much to the genre, if you know what I mean. It was mostly opinion, and not a lot of information.

Earlier I had met and chatted with Bill and Judy Crider. Bill was one of the people who wanted to buy a copy of "Texas & Other Planets" in the dealers room. I had promised him that if there were none available, I would sell him the one extra copy I had. I caught Bill and Judy at the end of his last panel at 6 p.m. and told him I had learned they were all sold out, so he bought it.

Normally, Bill and Judy and Scott Cupp go to a certain Mexican restaurant, but Scott stayed home that weekend and rested. I suggested I take Scott's place, so the three of us went down to Tony's on Ella Blvd. Before we left we three stopped in the hotel restaurant where a contingent of the usual suspects were having dinner, including Jayme Blaschke, John Denardo, Lawrence Person, Stina Liecht, and Ann Vandermeer, and said our hellos.

I must admit, Bill, Judy and Scott know their restaurants, Tony's had very good Tex-Mex cuisine, and I enjoyed dinner a lot.

Back at the hotel later, I made the round of the room parties, which included Texas 2013, London 2014, ConJour, ConDFW, and FenCon.

I got back to the motel earlier than the previous night, but KUBE-TV was playing an episode of the original Outer Limits, "The Production and Decay of Strange Particles', and I stayed up until midnight to watch it.

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