Well, home again, home again, from Westercon 65: Conclusion.
And herewith, a small glimpse of a Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention for those who have never attended one. Many have seen movies or parodies about Trek conventions and SF conventions in general and think of them as nerdy, silly gatherings for the socially inept. And we can, in turns, be nerdy, silly, and socially inept at these gatherings. But I also find that I encounter nerdy people who are brilliant, silly people who create amazing art and literature and socially inept people who are willing to put up with my own gaffes and lapses, my own nerdy, silly moments, as we bypass all barriers to become friends.
What sorts of panel discussions can you attend at a Westercon? They can range from a discussion on Mining the Moon to one on Gender Issues in Video Games. How about a panel on The Future of Professional Cover Art? Or one on Lynx Spacecraft and civilians going into space? A panel that looks at Dragons in Chinese Fantasy or one that helps you learn How to Reproduce Your Artwork. You might enjoy a panel that looks at Detectives in SF and Fantasy. Or The Future of Medicine. Archery for Artists and Authors.
All of these and many more were offered at Westercon 65. Music in the halls, costumed characters wandering through the restaurants, elevator discussions that made me want to follow the participants to their rooms so I could continue to eavesdrop, new friends, old friends, dealers of books, jewelry, leather and costumes; it was a cornucopia of SF and Fantasy delights. I met a woman who wove a cat out of wire as we were speaking, and a man who will soon be launched in sub-orbital flight as he helps test a private spacecraft. I met writers and authors and readers and dreamers. I talked to self-published, yet to be published, soon to be published and often published authors. I had lunch with pirates, and was dazzled by a costume headpiece where the ears were moved by the wearer’s brain waves!
Above is a glimpse of the panel on Scum and Villainy, with Corry Lee, David Brin, Pierced Ludke andShoshana. I’m behind the camera, so you don’t see me!
Evenings at an SF convention always include parties, music, and of course, the Masquerade. Below, two very brief glimpses, one of Henry and some of his wives, and Xena having a chat with one of masquerade judges near the pamphlet display.
I always return home from a convention both exhausted and recharged. The body wants rest but the mind is full of new ideas. Why can’t an epic fantasy quest be set in a modern urban zone? Isn’t it time there was a major fantasy that dealt with a magical plague? Can dragons be the true problem beneath with the San Andreas fault?
Well, it’s time to unload the suitcase, run the laundry and re-pack! This is my month for travel. Very early Thursday morning, I’m off for Comic Con in San Diego!
Many, many thanks to Westercon staff who made me feel so welcome! Who told on me, that is had to be French Vanilla coffee creamer, that I love Mountain Bars (made in Tacoma) and that the fresh fruit in the morning would be the perfect start to my day, while the Coca-Cola (breakfast of Tim Powers!) would keep me going thoughout the day!