The blog entry below, with its extensive list of relief organizations for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, jarred me back to reality. You see, thereâ€™s something about attending a Con that shifts you into an alternate reality of sorts, an otherworld that consists of nothing but photo ops and schmoozing and non-stop panel discussions about genre-related topics.
I attended a number of interesting panels today, including a fascinating discussion about the factors that guide a writerâ€™s decision whether to set a particular story in the near or far future. In this photo, Virginia A. Oâ€™Dine (obscured), Bruce Taylor (who sports a white top-hat and is known as â€œMr. Magic Realismâ€), Susan Matthews and Andrew Nisbett III tackle this subject with gusto. Bruce Taylor, who is a gentleman, also sold a story to the Northwest Passages: A Cascadian Odyssey anthology, by the way.
Tonight, I participated in a panel presentation given by some of the writers who sold stories to the Northwest Passages antho. Although I knew that the official â€œbook launchâ€ party is scheduled for tomorrow, I was totally unaware of tonightâ€™s presentation until I browsed through the program schedule and happened upon it. Several contributors fortunate enough to have copies of their stories with them were allowed to read for five minutes. Those of us who didnâ€™t were asked to speak extemporaneously about whatever aspect of our stories we wished to discuss. Luckily for me, since I had already blathered on and on about my storyâ€™s setting on this blog, as well as my after-the-fact visit to the San Juan Islands, I felt comfortable speaking at length about that subject in front of the audience.
I finally got a chance to meet some of my fellow contributors to the anthology, including Suzanne Church (who also has a story appearing in this monthâ€™s Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine), Louise Herring-Jones (whose Northwest Passages story features a giant slug that destroys Seattle), Donna McMahon, and the charming Mary E. Lowd.
I also met Dennis â€œCatâ€ Avner, a fellow known for undergoing surgeries designed to slowly transform him into his Indian â€œtotem,â€ a tiger.
Speaking of human/animal hybrids (what a segue!), my hotel is swarming with humanoid furry creatures. Yes, I mean â€œFurries,â€ people who for various personal reasons choose to dress up like furry fictional characters. If you want to read about this alternate lifestyle, including the competing â€œFurvertâ€ vs. â€œClean Furâ€ camps, check out this article.
See what I mean about the Conâ€™s skewing of reality?
My final report from Cascadia Con will appear Monday.