As I mentioned in my previous post, the convention spread across multiple blocks and buildings. I'm not the only participant who has subsequently mentioned the three-building sprawl, which was especially grueling for people with orthopedic problems. I suppose there wasn't much to be done; a convention of this size needs a venue of a certain size. Just the exhibition hall alone seemed the length of a football field. Sometime Saturday as I was walking I heard a strange slapping sound, and I realized my feet had gone so numb I was slamming them against the floor as I walked. As a result I tried to be especially aware of my feet and legs; in the long run, everything turned out fine, but I skipped the Hugo awards ceremony Sunday night to engage in water exercises in the hotel pool; otherwise I don't think I could have stood the long drive home Monday. I exercise in the pool at the local wellness center at least three times a week anyway, and as I sit here Thursday morning, my legs feel fine, so I think I handled the issue properly. Neuropathy is a common problem for people with Type II diabetes; fortunately, my circulation and healing remains excellent.
The reason I mention this subject right off the bat in this post is because the three-building sprawl hit me right in the face Friday morning when I went to check in at registration. I arrived in San Antonio too late to register Thursday, so I schlepped over the convention center first thing Friday at 9 a.m. when registration opened. When I got there, they reminded me I had to finish paying for my registration (I paid $60 a long time ago) and I realized I didn't take my checkbook, so I had to go all the way back to the Rivercenter hotel. By the time I got there, I was so light-headed I had to eat breakfast, and I made the mistake of going to the Denny's across the street.
It took an hour to have breakfast - a half hour to wait and a half hour for my order, which was botched (you can't tell the difference between fried and scrambled eggs?). The restaurant staff was badly over matched by the breakfast crowd. Then I got the checkbook and was able to register, just in time to make the Steampunk panel I moderated at 11 a.m.
That panel went very well, and was very well attended. This is a case where I was able to do a good job as moderator because I had relatively little to contribute - although I could address the subject intelligently. The other panelists - Gail Carriger, Jess Nevins, Jayme Blaschke and a late addition, whose name I am embarrassed to say I can't remember - were all very knowledgeable and informative. I enjoyed the panel, and so did the audience.
Word has come that the great British science fiction author Brian Aldiss has passed away at the age of 92. After such a long and distingui...