Okay, that was fun. The workshop was lively and informative and the panels were a good deal of fun. Sunday morning’s West Sidhe Story about faerie and modern life was exciting and contentious. It was ably moderated by Rosemary Clement-Moore, with excellent commentary from the audience including from A Lee Martinez. Lots of disagreement about what are fairies and what the role of faerie in literature is (or should be). Stina Leicht was as always a thought-provoking panelist. I thought Iceland was the only country that still took the Hidden People into account when constructing highway and other infrastructure. Not so — Ireland also tries to make sure the Sidhe are happy.
The religion panel on Friday night was also lively, with lots of audience participation. I met some of the people running AggieCon for next year as well as several past Cepheid Variables, and I’ve been invited to be a guest at that con for 2010. Can you believe we’re writing 2010?
I also got to indulge in my astronaut fan worship, attending Stan Love’s astronaut panel. That was just cool. The audience asked some wonderful questions (well beyond the typical “how do astronaust pee in space?”) and Love seemed to enjoy himself a lot. In the video he narrated he pointed out something very cool — the shuttle astronauts and the space station astronauts were sitting around talking. He said, note how the shuttle astronauts are oriented — sitting straight up. But the space station astronaut had been there for so long, he was above them looking down. When you have been in space, you learn to utilize all of it. Also, I realized that even had I been remotely capable of trying out for the astronaut job, the claustrophobia test would have done me in. No way could I have survived that.
The Amy McNally concert was just grand. She is a wonderful violinist and put on a beautiful concert of Irish jigs and Scottish reels and gave a wonderful precis of what exactly is the difference. She also played bluegrass, Americana, and her own compositions. Her last selection had her fiddling like a bat out of hell, and the audience was enthralled. Also, you know how some people are just genuinely nice and sweet? This might be presumptious, like I can tell all about someone after I’ve heard them fiddle like a badass for an hour, but she just strikes me as being such a good person. I’m really glad I went to her panel.
The parties were great — if you go to cons, this is one of the best parts about them — and the dealer room was extremely dangerous, which is just the way I like it. I came home with a good handful of books, by Bill Crider, Julie Kenner, Kimberly Frost, and God knows who else. Excellent con, ApolloCon peeps!