Sunday, October 06, 2013

Half a FenCon is better than...

..no FenCon. The convention this weekend in Dallas went very well, but I was barely there half the time. I drove to Dallas Friday night for my two panels but then drove back home because of two personal issues I had to deal with, one job-related and one related to my being president of the local Optimist Club.

The first panel Friday night, on disruptive technologies of the future, went real well. Theresa Nielsen-Hayden was the moderator and did a great job. The third panelist was a fellow I never met before, Martin Shoemaker. Theresa lives in Brooklyn and Martin in Michigan. I had been on a panel with Theresa at WorldCon. She was very friendly and informative and considerate of the audience members. Martin is a real nice guy, and we all enjoyed the panel very much. I think the audience members also got a lot out of it.

Next I attended the opening ceremonies. I'd say the highlight was John Ringo's entrance, piped in by a genuine Scottish bagpiper. I think Ringo followed him in doing a Highland fling, although it looked more like he stepped in a bed of Texas fire ants.

The second panel, on dialogue, was a dialogue between me and Vicki Malone Kennedy. It was strange, I can't recall being on a panel with only two people. But there was a good audience and between the two of us we still were able to muster enough advice and anecdotes to keep them engaged.

Saturday I returned for my book signing at 2:30 p.m. Despite only having a half hour, I sold a half dozen books. I also had a nice visit with some people. I lucked out that the only other author scheduled for that half hour didn't show up, so for that half hour I had the table to myself.

My last panel was at 8 p.m., on where the (bleep) are the aliens. Geoff Landis was the moderator and together with Bill Ledbetter provided the real science support for the topic. Chris Donahue was the fourth panelist. This was a hard topic to nail down, but what we lacked in certainty we made up in entertainment.

I had no panels scheduled for Sunday, so I took advantage of that to conserve my energy, and I drove back home, arriving at 10:30 p.m.

Despite my limited time there, I met everyone I wanted to, and had a real good time. I think I've attended ever FenCon ever held over the years, for at least one day, so I know just about everyone at this point.

I had some great conversations, with among some others Adrian Simmons and Sam Taylor, and was able to touch base with a few people such as Bill Ledbetter, Rie Sheridan Rose, Selena Rosen, Michael Finn, and others.

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