April 10th, 2009

Fishy Circumstances

Eastercon, Day 1

Two hours of Bank Holiday weekend traffic delays, and an hour of going in circles in Bradford later, I made it to Eastercon. Not nearly enough of us are able to stay at the con hotel this year, but at least there are shuttles to take us back and forth.

I began, notably, with my first science fiction convention panel ever. Fortunately I had good and interesting company on it, including la_marquise_de_ and desperance. The topic was technically "Re-creating History", but we took our madate liberally, exploring the interrelations of history, fiction, and world-building. I don't think it's possible to build a world without it having history. I also had never before been struck by how very odd it is that one of romance science fiction's three subgenres is one in which the background is specifically background; futuristics are novels in which the romance is central and the science fiction is window dressing. Surely, this is the only vaguely formal subset of SF/F in which background as set is a feature, not a bug. The panel was very well-attended: standing room only at the back!

After that, I could gradually relax. No more running late. No more being caught in traffic. No more needing to be in front of the audience until Sunday. I had a lovely (and very inexpensive) dinner at the hotel with friends, saw lots of even more rarely-seen friends around and about at the hotel, and ended up at more panels and talks than I'd intended to: world-building was dominated by Stress and Doctorow. "The Faces of the Moon" was a history of artwork of the moon in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the artist guest of honor. The marketing panel had a lot of people with great job titles on it, and did a decent job at an ungainly topic. One of them writes blurbs for a living which, at least in theory, is really neat profession to have!

I haven't even looked at the program for tomorrow. For tonight, a tweak or two more to my slides, and a brief browse of something Hugo-nominated before sleep.

Thought: Is it possible to write didactic SF/F for adults, or does being didactic automatically label a book as young adult?