one late photo

wandering the convention halls late at night, after everyone has either gone home or retired to drink in the room parties, one hears the strumming of instruments and the melancholy ballads of distant worlds and lonely astronauts.

filking can only make sense after midnight.

Last Dregs

The final Blashke vest.

The final loiter at the tables outside the dealer’s room.

The final tumble-spin of a boy who refused to take a nap at home and so was brought to hotel so he could "pet robots" in the dealer room.

random pictures with increasingly bad auto-focus

if you must bring your hideously deformed child to a con, be sure to keep it locked in its stroller.

is viewing violet crown radio player‘s audio performance of ‘king kong’ like listening to the movie ‘godzilla vs. megalon?’ let’s run with that simile.

we met anthony tollin in the con suite. after pulling his fingernails, he grudgingly revealed the information that he had been the colorist for batman and the green lantern for fifteen years (he left the green lantern at the same time hal jordan passed on the ring). currently he owns the rights to publish doc savage and the shadow.

you will note that although it is gauche to wear the Tshirt of your own band while playing a show as a part that band, if you’re hawking your own book, then all bets are off.

Space Opera: Not Just an Adventure Anymore

what you see here are panelists in the middle of a waking nightmare.

they have just realized that they have been volunteered for a subject in which they have no particular interest or topical knowledge. this is the panel on new directions in space opera, and no one has actually read a space opera in the last ten years. aaron de orive made a passing reference to the resurgence of this particular subgenre, but only because he began the discussion by quoting the wikipedia. 60 minutes of noodling over the definition of space opera followed. last year, at this exact same panel, charles stross neatly sidestepped that particular issue by defining space opera as any book that could reasonably have an exploding spaceship on the cover.

iain banks was mentioned by an audience member, but the panelists declined to comment. charles stross’s name wouldn’t have come up at all if i hadn’t asked the panel to comment on stross’s contention from last year that contemporary english space opera was a reaction against the cultural regression of early examples of the form. hey, it was the only question i could think of.

i commend the panel however on making the best out of their situation. james hogan deserves special recognition for a performance of wit and verve. he gets two gold stars for the pun "barbarella of seville." remember, it’s not what you know, but how amusing you can be while not knowing it that counts.

but why all the hostility against the term ‘space opera’? this reporter tends to agree with jessica reisman’s comment: "it’s such a lovely term." let’s call it a surreal oxy-moron, like ‘chick magnet’ or ‘pineapple smoothie.’

Nakashima-Brown and Person: Together Again

Nakashima-Brown: We’re all going to be living in a reality show of one.

Person: I’m a supporter of the war on terror and the liberation/invasion of Iraq. But I’ve got a feeling that if Ronald Reagan were president, we would have already won the war in Iraq. He was so much better at handling the media.

Nakashima-Brown: (On the recent airline terrorism plot) This could be one mother fucker of a Mountain Dew ad.

Person: I think a lot of literary fiction is just pure crap.