Sunday, September 29, 2019

More Fencon loot

This is my second post about books I brought back from Fencon:

When I was young - like in my 20s - Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories were among my favorites. I really enjoyed them and was disappointed when he was struck down in 1979 and spent the rest of his life in a coma. I wished he had had time to write more.

At Fencon I found FIVE Lord Darcy books. I already have Murder and Magic, and Lord Darcy Investigates. I also bought the two Michael Kurland books, which I knew of, and the 2004 collection edited by Eric Flint, which I had never seen before.

I bought all five for a hefty five bucks! Best deal of the weekend!

NB: Anyone who has ever read my story "The Witch of Waxahachie" that was published in Jim Baen's Universe in 2008 can easily see Garrett's influence.

Dealers Room loot

Fencon was a week ago. Since then I have posted a few times about the people and panels. Now I want to post a bit about Dealers Room loot.

I don't know why it is or why it happens, but I have gone to conventions and not found anything I was interested in (I'm usually looking for books). The number of book sellers seems to have diminished over the years at cons.

Then I have gone to conventions and had great finds with books. Fencon was an example of this. I walked in Friday afternoon and made three different finds in ten minutes.

First, the magazines. I found this copy of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination and snapped it up, because I had no idea Earle Stanley Gardner has ever written any s-f. I'll have to read it.

I picked up the copy of the British magazine, Science Fantasy, when I saw the story "The Sound Sweep" by J.G. Ballard. I've never read the story, but I recognize the title. Trevor Horn, one of the founder of the Buggles, said the story was the inspiration for the song "Video Killed the Radio Star".

I'll post later on some of the books I picked up.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fencon panels in the rear view mirror

I had five panels at Fencon, and I have to say all went very well. My first was at 3 p.m. Friday, on "The Futrure Is Now", with M.T. Reiten. Adrian Simmons was also supposed to be on the panel, but he sent word ahead that he was delayed because of bad weather in Oklahoma (he lives in Norman) and couldn't make it. He arrived at the con later.

I've been on panels with M.T. before but it has been a few years and it was good to see him again. There was a large turnout and the audience was engaged. This being a type of futurist-oriented panel, M.T. was much more conversant with the topic that I was, but we both enjoyed it and the audience did, too.

My next panel was at 5 p.m. on "When Good Research Goes Bad". All panelists made it - , Melissa Tatum, Tex Thompson, and Rob Rogers. Again, I have been on panels with Mel Tatum in the past, especially at the late lamented Conestoga in Tulsa (a great convention in its day), and it was good to see her. Again, good turnout and everyone enjoyed it.

My last panel on Friday was the Liars' Panel at 9 p.m. This was the one panel I moderated, and all panelists were there - Selina Rosen, Kathy Turski. Linda Donahue and Ben Gibbs. If you missed it, you missed a wild time indeed. 'Nuff said.

Saturday at noon I joined Rie Sheridan Rose and Kathryn Sullivan for a panel called "All Tales Are Done", about fairy tales and myths. The turnout for this panel was smaller, but everyone enjoyed it, especially because I think the trio of panelists was especially knowledgeable about the subject.

My last panel was Sunday at 2 p.m. on "The Cyber Future Is Now" with Stephen Patrick. A third panelist didn't make it. This panel was a lot like my first, and as with M.T. Reiten, I think I was the weaker link, but I was impressed with the turnout for so late in the convention, and the audience was very engaged.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Social stigma

I'm still not used to going to conventions and having people I used to be friendly with snub me or ignore me because I was a Sad Puppy. Of course, I don't get as many convention invites as I used to because of the blacklist, but also I'm not seeking invites because for the time being I'm preoccupied with being a self-employed business owner.

Still, I don't recall any obvious snubs at Soonercon, but this weekend it happened at FenCon. In one case I walked into an elevator and absent-mindedly cheerfully greeted someone I used to be on good terms with only to get the cold shoulder and no response. And there were obviously a person or two who would not say hello to me at the convention.

In all these cases, i noted the people are from Austin, so I guess they are pretty tight knit (read: Echo Chamber). I always find it fascinating when people ascribe statements or actions to others which are untrue, but you can tell they are inbred distortions reinforcing their own prejudices.

Instead of asking someone what they did or said, they just make assumptions.

Anyway, it's their loss, because it limits their circle of friends and experiences. It must be interesting to know it all and to be already friends with anyone worth knowing.

Whatever happened to that old Sunbelt?

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