mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

My Thursday at the Con - Highlights

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or here:

I'm sitting here on Friday morning in the Green Room across from my wife and the lovely Susan de Guardiola, and there are science fiction writers around I want to talk to, and instead I'm typing on a computer. I don't know how bloggers do it.

Anyway, I won't be able to post again until after the Hugos tomorrow night, so I thought I'd take this free hour to let both of my readers out there know what I did on the first full day of the convention.

In the morning, Nomi and I walked through the Prudential Center to go shopping at Shaw's, and on the way over experienced a phenomenon which Nomi named "vortexing" a few years ago at a Lunacon. Basically, you can't take a step anywhere in a convention without running into someone you know, and then of course you want to have a conversation. So if it's going to take you five minutes to get from one panel to another, it's really a good idea to schedule an hour to get there. Among the people we ran into on our way to Shaw's was Shane Tourtellotte, and I made sure to pay him the $6.83 I owed him in joint royalties from 2003. (He later returned my videotape.)

At 12noon, the Con officially opened. Nomi and I took care of a bunch of things on the ConCourse. We left a stack of Burstzines in the Fanzine Lounge; sales of the issues will be donated to the TAFF and DUFF. We stopped at the NESFA Press table to pick up our pre-ordered GoH books, and Peter Weston happened to be standing there, so we got him to sign his book. We said hello to friends at the Analog/Asimov's table, the Threads of Time table, and we met people at the Borderlands Books table: Jude Feldman, Lisa Rogers Lowrance, and Alan Beatts.

At 1 PM we went to the Opening Ceremonies. It's obvious that Deb Geisler is having the time of her life.

At 2 PM I moderated a panel called (Really) Hard Science for Beginners, with Susan Born and Keith Kato. We had a full house, and people seemed to get a lot out of our explanations of string theory and quantum teleportation.

At 4 PM I moderated Stump the Scientists! for 7-12 year olds. These kids had some amazing questions, but Isaac Szpindel, Bridget Coila and I were up to the task.

At 5 PM, I spent an hour autographing at the Analog/Asimov's table. A lot of people came by to say hello, and for the the first time I met Steven Silver, who has published me in his fanzine just as we have published him in ours. He also bought my first story for his reprint anthology, WONDROUS BEGINNINGS.
However, I must say that the highlight of the hour was when Robert Silverberg came over to the table specifcially to say hello to me and engage me in conversation.


I may be a writer, but I'm still a fanboy at heart.

At 6 PM, Nomi moderated an excellent panel called Language: Barrier or Bridge.

At 7 PM, the Boskone "Sunday Funny Sunday" crew, of which I am one, reprised Twenty Panels in an Hour. I will be the first to admit that we could have been funnier. (One highlight was Leigh Grossman's comment -- "There is only one Godzilla, and Bob Eggleton is his prophet.")

However, at 9 PM, to a full house, Nomi and I co-hosted "Whose Line is It Anyway?" Our improv performers -- Solomon Davidoff, Michael McAfee, A. Michael Rennie, and Josepha Sherman -- were fanatstic. The audience laughed and laughed. McAfee won the game with his portrayal of the World's Worst Worldcon Chair: "Welcome to Antarcticon!"

And, then, at 10 PM, Nomi and I spent an hour connecting with a good friend, Janna Silverstein, whom we haven't seen in three years. Afterwards, we chose sleep in favor of party-hopping. It's funny; a few years ago, I would have felt the absolute necessity to go to as many parties and connect with as many writers and editors as possible. But today, these people aren't scary strangers; they're friends with whom I communicate on a regular basis.

Tonight shabbat starts, and it doesn't end until the Hugo Ceremony begins. Consequently, I won't be able to post again until either Saturday night or Sunday. If you're reading this blog at the con, feel free to tell me, and wish me good luck at the Hugos!

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