I boarded a seaplane at Lake Union this morning and flew over the panoramic San Juan Islands, an archipelago of hundreds of islets, in my ongoing quest to experience–after the fact–a setting Iâ€™d already written about in a short story. When I arrived on the lush island of Orcas, I chartered a sailboat, as in my story, captained by a knowledgeable local Orcasian who pointed out the dolphins, otters and other sea life we encountered as we cruised the San Juan Channel. The gloriously sunny day seemed un-â€œPacific Northwestâ€ to me, except for the slight chill in the air. What struck me most during this day of sailingâ€”and this was something that I failed to capture in my story–was the intense quiet, the sense of peacefulness that permeated the air. Otherwise, I must say that I think my fictionalized conception of the islandsâ€”if one tosses in a pinch of global warming and a dash of chemical contaminationâ€”wasnâ€™t too much off the mark.
Iâ€™m growing more excited as Cascadia Con approaches. The hotel parking lot is now crammed with the cars of arriving attendees, Federation officials and other dignitaries. The hotel isnâ€™t the only place where Iâ€™ve run across Con-folk. While visiting Pike Place Market and other tourist spots I was able to accurately identify several people as Con attendeesâ€”and spoke with them to confirm the fact. Iâ€™ve found there to be something, ahem, unique about the appearance of Con-folkâ€”and Iâ€™m not talking about the glint in their eyes or their genre-related T-shirts. No, Iâ€™m talking about the heavy-set, bearded look. Whatâ€™s that about? And why has it just now occurred to me as I sit here writing this blog, clad in my Star Wars T-shirt, that Iâ€™m borderline bearded and heavy-setâ€¦. Hmm. Hold on while I spellcheck â€œepiphany.â€
On another topic, I plan to visit the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in the next couple of days. Frommerâ€™s Seattle 2005 notes as follows: â€œ[T]his place is an absolute must for devoted fans of one of literatureâ€™s least respected yet best loved genres.â€ Thanks, Frommerâ€™s. I really needed to read that. Heck, at least sci-fi is loved.