Context XX, 2007

October 1, 2007

kayleigh and I did make it to Context XX over the weekend. We arrived Friday evening, checked in, and sat through a delayed masquerade. The delay was pleasantly filled by Mike Resnick stories from previous Worldcons. Resnick was sitting in the audience with his wife Carol, and both tossed out stories. Resnick, by the way, seemed in unusually good humor this year, much different from last year. He held court and chatted with people all weekend.

While I attended panels on a day in the life of an editor and humor in SF/F, kayleigh attended high-minded panels on ethical issues in biotechnology and SF/F and consciousness. (Makes me sound pretty one dimensional, eh?) We also attended a panel with authors who had sold their first novel, and an interview with GoH Tim Powers, whose father had passed away on Thursday.

Different for us, we also went to a couple of room parties. This isn’t something we normally do but was interesting, and more low-key than the insanity at Marcon, for example. At the Apex Magazine party we ran into Louisville author Dave Creek and congratulated him on having the September 2007 cover story for Analog. I’d not seen a copy and the magazine is no longer available on stands, but Creek was nice enough to run to his room to retrieve and sign a copy for us. Very cool.

Familiar faces were there, fans and local authors we’ve run into at various conventions, and the group kayleigh named the Stalker family.

Some minor irritations: like last year, one conference room was divided by a curtain, which meant that you could hear one panel’s discussion while trying to pay attention to another panel. Also, several of the panels were one and a half hours long, which is a little too long for comfort, both for the audience and for the panelists, who periodically were at a loss as to how to fill the remaining time.

The hotel air conditioning situation was ridiculous. One conference room would be cold, another hot. The same with the floors. The hallway outside our room was hot and humid, whereas another floor was quite nice. Apparently the hotel is being sold and some renovations coming, so we’ll see if there is an improvement. But there was no word as to where the convention will be next year, or who the guests might be. It’s possible Context might not be able to afford the new venue.

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