Renovation, Day 4 (Part 2)

The Iron Throne from HBO's Game of Thrones

I ditched Trailer Park as they got into upcoming Horror films, and caught the last half of “Still Fresh: Why Philip K. Dick is Still Relevant.” Panelists Grania Davis, Jim Frenkel, Caroline Mullan, Charles Oberndorf, and Tim Powers discussed the continuing influence of a writer who was under appreciated when he was alive, and is more popular now than ever. The numerous movie adaptations of his work don’t hurt, but it is Dick’s creativity and vision that keep his material relevant.

At 5:00 David Brin and Internet pioneer Brad Templeton discussed “Secrets and Privacy on the Internet.” Well, mostly it was Brin ranting about this and that. I got the sense that he was basically optimistic about the future of the Internet and of human society, and that the good the Internet can do is greater than the harm it can do. I think there are a number of things we can do to protect our privacy on the Internet, but we really do have to accept that the days of true privacy are gone, and act accordingly.

Leslie accompanied me to Wendy’s for a quick bite before the Hugo Award Ceremony at the Peppermill. It was nice to see her!

Masters of Ceremonies Jay Lake and Ken Scholes kept the evening running smoothly and entertainingly. Awards were presented in fifteen categories. Before the awards were announced, a short film showed the beautiful winning base design and how stained-glass artist Marina Gélineau crafted it. A big highlight was Best Fanzine editor Chris Garcia’s acceptance speech. His utter joy manifested in minutes of hugging everyone in sight and lots of sobbing. The best presenter of the evening was Robert Silverberg, for Best Novella, who has honed the art of stretching anticipation to a fine science. For all I know, he is still on stage! All results can be found here. I’ll have a longer analysis of the results in a few days.

After the Hugos, it was another difficult choice: see the special presentation of Radio Free Albemuth, based on Philip K. Dick’s book, or watch the antics of Match Game SF, hosted by Kevin Standlee. I can (hopefully) see the movie at some point, so Match Game SF it was. I had actually been a contestant on Match Game SF at LA Con IV in 2006. I didn’t get to repeat, but had a wonderful time anyway. The highlight was a 9-year-old girl who charmed the host, contestants, and audience with her energy and intelligence. One of the questions went something like this: “There’s been a transporter malfunction and Captain Kirk landed on the planet without his BLANK.” The girl blurted out “pants!” The contestant unfortunately didn’t say this obvious answer and lost, but the little girl had endeared herself. Then, coincidentally, both the girl and her mother were randomly selected as contestants for the final round. The girl continued to give excellent answers, more so than the panelists. Finally, the host said that if she could attend Westercon 66 in Sacramento in 2013, he would assign her as a panelist. Then, Convention Co-Chair Kevin Roche, who was one of the panelists, declared that he would comp the girl’s registration if she would attend Westercon 66. The girl’s mother eventually won their round, but the audience urged the two of them to team up for the final match, which was “BLANK Motel.” You wouldn’t expect a 9-year-old girl to know the obvious answer, but by golly, she matched with Bates Motel, and won a nice prize for her and her mother.

The end of another fun day!

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