Monday, April 20, 2009

Midsouth Convention Report (Part 4 of a half-dozen or so)

Sunday started with a panel on writing for children. This was probably the least attended panel I was on (I think the audience was about three people) but it was nice—lively, open, and more of a roundtable format that a formal panel. From there, I was off to lunch with the other guests and the volunteers. I ended up with John Hudgens and Stanton Friedman discussing the graying, not just of science fiction, but the graying of science in general and, perhaps a good deal of ‘thinking’ society in general.

After a very stimulating conversation, I was off to discuss the death of the short story. Of course, it’s not dead; just starving its practitioners so the discussion moved along the usual streambeds of how to write and sell short stories and the changing nature of the market with the emergent on-line movement. That brought us up to closing ceremonies, dinner, a short night’s sleep, and back on the road back to the mountain.

As with most conventions, the people were wonderful and appreciative, the organizers and volunteers indefatigable and generous, and the convention was an overall success. The attendees are, on average, a bit younger than in the north and, consequently, not as overwhelmingly versed in their knowledge of the early writers (although very conversant in the later writers). Other than this slight difference, sci-fi people are sci-fi people.

I then return from the comfortable confines of my peers to the ‘real’ world where I get to fight with the car rental company over a chip in the car’s paint and mundane who think I took a three day weekend instead of a tiring but necessary journey that is part of the work I do.

Okay, next to hype some specific people.

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