Renovation, Day 5

It’s been a fast and furious convention, but it’s not quite over! After one last stroll through the dealers’ room, it was time to learn what Brenda Cooper, Laura Frankos, Vylar Kaftan, and Jay Lake had to say about “How I Learned the Craft: Three of My Favorite Books on Writing.” The panel talked about more than a dozen good books on writing, everything from basic grammar to the psychology of writing. The Hugo-nominated The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing, by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg, was a top choice, as were two books by Nancy Kress: Elements of Fiction Writing – Beginnings, Middles & Ends and Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints.

The Wild Cards panel was at noon, with George R. R. Martin moderating about a dozen of the contributors to the series. You could tell they were still having fun with the series even after all these years, and that some of the newer writer were invigorating it with new ideas. A major announcement regarding some future Wild Cards projects was made, but since it was tentative, I’ll wait to say anything. If it comes to fruition, it will be HUGE!

Martin was scheduled to do another autograph session at 1:00, but there was another long line there already, so I decided to punt and go see Lisa Goldstein, Bob Kuhn, Tim Powers, and S. M. Sterling talk about “The Fisher King Legend.” They did their best to explain how Arthurian legends influence modern fantasy. Not being too knowledgeable about the Arthur legend in general, and the Fisher King story in particular, a lot of what they said went over my head. After about 40 minutes I snuck out, went back to the exhibition hall where Martin was just sitting there with absolutely no line! I got three books signed, as well as a promotional set of pins from the Game of Thrones TV series.

At 2:00, John Coxon, Inge Heyer, Eytan Kollin, and Steven York asked, “What Happened to Stargate Universe?” The consensus seemed to be that Stargate Universe was good SF, but not a good Stargate program. It seemed SyFy wanted a dark drama in the vein of Battlestar Galactica and the fans were expecting something lighter. All I can say, having only seen a couple of episodes of Stargate: SG-1 and none of Stargate: Atlantis, I enjoyed Stargate Universe for what it was, and stuck past the admittedly weak first few episodes to enjoy a well crafted series.

All good things must come to an end. The Closing Ceremony at 3:00 included a slideshow of some of the convention highlights and the obligatory thank-yous. Con Chair Patty Wells handed off the gavel to Chicon 7 Chair Dave McCarty who presented a time-lapse introduction to Chicago and the Hyatt Regency Hotel where it will be. I’ve got my attending membership already and can’t wait until Labor Day weekend next year.

Leslie was waiting for me outside the convention center, and the long drive home commenced. Due to a freeway closure, we had to make a bit of a detour, and got home around 1 am, tired and happy.

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