Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Great Convention

It seems to me that Penguicon is improving with age. That is not to say it was ever a poor convention. Instead, it simply gets better with each passing year. I'll admit there were some programming woes, and confusion, but in the overall scheme, it operated smoothly, and had a fantastic range of panels.

I would like to thank everyone I participated with in my schedule. With 14 hours of panels, the names are to vast to list again - I'll just touch upon a few. So with apologies to everyone not mention, thank you to all.

There were a few panels that had outstanding attendance - sometimes standing room only. Even the 5:00 pm Friday panel on Space Opera was brimming (normally a Friday evening panel has few attendees). That one was handled by M. Keaton and myself. Space opera is a grand topic, probably too large for one hour.

The "dystopia" panel was another one that was booming. Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Bear, Daniel J. Hogan, and myself were "in control." It seems people really do like dystopian fiction (but not dystopias). This was a panel I suggested, based on an earlier blog post about utopias and dystopias.

"There will be War" was held in a ballroom, with a considerable audience. For this one we had to use microphones. The panelists were M. Keaton, Tamora Pierce, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, and myself. In the end, we decided, SF military is popular and so is war - in and out of fiction.

And perhaps the most emotional of the panels was on literacy. Tempers boiled, voices roared. What it did show is that literacy is an important issue too many people - even when they attend a convention for entertainment. Another standing room only event. This time those at the front of the room were Jeff DeLuzio, Tamora Pierce, M. Keaton, and me again. The basic question was: How much of a problem is illiteracy in the U.S. and around the world.

I had the luck to share a reading with Catherynne Valente and Cherie Priest. I was quite pleased to see a number of familiar faces in the audience. If you attend enough conventions, you start to recognize people. And later I did a similar panel with Keith Baker and M. Keaton. Hopefully the audience had as much fun as the panelists.

For those who are still undecided about attending conventions, give them a second thought. If you relax, you can have quite a bit of fun.

A special mention needs to go to those who attended the fiction workshop. There were a number of talented writers, with quite skilled material. And thanks goes to Michael "FREON" Andaluz, Anne Zanoni, Daniel J. Hogan, and Wanda DeAngelo.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I would have loved the "there will be war" panel as well. I remember really enjoying that series of anthologies years ago.