Conning Around

Today was more productive, and better scheduled. I actually attended several panels–on the New Weird, on the best books of the year so far, on time travel, on ‘mixed marriages’ (in which one spouse is a fan and the other isnt’t). Had breakfast with several Locus-folks over at the Sheraton, later had a drink with an editor whose party I had missed hooking up with for breakfast yesterday, and went out to dinner with two Del Rey editors and three Locus-folks. In between I bought several more books, and a souvenir or two to take back home.

Highlights: strong disagreement over Neal Stephenson’s trilogy of enormous novels; slightly grudging enthusiasm (despite the hype) for the new Susanna Clarke book (which appeared in the local B&N couple days ago, but wasn’t for sale in the dealers room); Steve Silver, and Steve Silver’s wife, fielding questions about living with books and compromising on travel plans; rarefied debate among Jeff VanderMeer, Beth Meacham, Paul Di Filippo, Delia Sherman, and others about the derivation of ‘new weird’ and even the advisability of designating a body of works with a new name; Connie Willis’ well-mannered moderation of a panel on the various concepts of time travel and the reason the theme holds the attraction it does. After dinner, meandering around the party hotel, at one point listening to a small group of writers and others in CNB’s suite speculate on which famous SF writers, if trapped with in a lifeboat, they would be willing to eat. Only at an SF convention…

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