Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Loscon: Book View Cafe Panel And Driving Home

The Book View Cafe panel went smoothly, although in a much livelier fashion. The person-we-didn't-know-but-who-was-supposed-to-moderate never materialized, so I stepped in. Not everyone is comfortable moderating (and some people that want to do it should be politely but firmly discouraged0, but I am and I know I do it well. If I have a weakness, it's that once the discussion is going, I tend to take a hands-off approach and I'm perfectly comfortable with other panelists acknowledging questions from the audience. We roped Dave (Trowbridge) into participating (he's a yet-unlaunched BVC member), so we had a range from Maya (Bohnhoff, a founding member) to Dave, who has yet to debut but has been doing much work behind the scenes. I've been on BVC panels at other conventions, and this was the best-attended so far. A few people in the audience seemed to be looking for a publisher (not appropriate as BVC is a cooperative of established professional writers), but most wanted to know more about what we have to offer, what the future holds, and how BVC came into being. A few had suggestions of what they'd like to see on the website.

I made it to the second half of "What You Have to Know to Write Science Fiction" with GoH John DeChancie, Jerry Pournelle, David Gerrold, and Neil Shulman. I didn't hear anything new, but it was vastly entertaining to watch such strong personalities -- especially Jerry and David -- holding forth.

Saturday dinner was an absolute delight, as we met with my older daughter, her partner, and their housemate, and had various adventures finding a restaurant where we could all eat, and ended up in their neighborhood hole-in-the-wall Chinese place, where they were greeted by name and we were plied with way too much Chinese home cooking.

The drive home, north along Interstate 5, was too gruesome to be described in polite conversation. For me, the saving grace was that I'd nabbed a copy of Barbara Hambly's Blood Maidens in the dealer's room, so I got to escape to the land of vile and evil vampires on the eve of World War I while Dave drove. I owe Barbara special and heart-felt thanks. (Dave got to work on revisions of the second Exordium novel, having had several enthusiasm-generating work sessions with his co-author, Sherwood Smith, during the convention.)

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