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» Friday, August 31, 2012DragonCon, Day 1, a.k.a. Human Again
First sweet relief...sleeping "late": 7:30! Then it was doing usual chores and out the door to drive downtown; traffic was civilized, which confirms my suspicions that everyone got the hell out of town yesterday. We had breakfast at Cafe Momo at Peachtree Center, which is a buffet, so I got a mixed bag of food: oatmeal, orange slices, kiwi fruit, two slices of French toast, a rasher and a half of bacon, a chicken cutlet I didn't finish because it was peppered, wheat toast, and skim milk. Costumed and badged people milled around us, including a man and woman and three small children, all dressed as Indiana Jones. Several Indys here this year, and we also saw an Indy and Marion last night.
I tried to get into the John Barrowman/Kai Owen panel, but had little hope, and indeed got there in time for them to let the last fifty people in what was three ballrooms opened up into one. So I went to the panel about remakes where James had gone: what remakes worked (Battlestar Galactica, The Thing) and what didn't (a lot of movies I never saw, like Clash of the Titans, and stuff like Coupling--yeah, we strayed out of SF). Plus talk about what remakes people would like.
James was off on his schedule after that, but I stayed in the room for the discussion of time travel series. Talk was about the parameters that exist in most or many time travel stories--can't meet yourself or something terrible happens, certain events you can't change, favorite series--Quantum Leap, Time Tunnel, Voyagers--and movies--Time Bandits, Bill and Ted, Time After Time, Somewhere in Time, mechanism for time travel--TARDIS, Omni, Accelerator, force of will...all very enjoyable.
Next I girded up my loins to hike the two blocks over to the Westin. Not a terrible hike in itself, but when it's humid and hot, and the streets are packed, it's a different story. My hips hurt the most. I held a seat for James, who was coming all the way from the Hilton and got stuck when they closed the skybridge from the Marriott to the Hyatt, so took 45 minutes to get there.
This was a panel about the examination of the different types of Alternate History, with Brad Linaweaver, S.M. Stirling, the author of the new The Thieftaker, Jana Oliver, and the woman who wrote Girl in the Steel Corset. They talked about what was alternate history and what wasn't, what character or era they would like to write about, about not putting all your research in your story (with minute descriptions of cobblestones and leaded glass), etc. Very enjoyable. I see I shall have to get Thieftaker, which is set in Boston.
James had a panel back in the Hyatt, but I was staying on to see the "Shades of Sherlock" panel, about modern interpretations of Sherlock Holmes and were they good or not. This was almost a disaster. I found the line, but decided to use the bathroom first. Well, I left my pouch in there, and didn't realize it for about three minutes. By the time I got back in there, it was gone! But some nice person had turned it in to the information kiosk, all safe, so no harm done, but I had lost my place in line...and when I got to the door the panel room was full! It was set up with some tables in it, so there weren't enough chairs for all the people in line! But I stayed there, and eventually a couple of people left before the panel started and I got in. Whew! All that drama in less than fifteen minutes.
A great panel! We talked about all versions of Holmes, and whether the new Elementary series would be good, and if there were any positive points to Rathbone and Bruce, and if Downey was too frenetic, and was Sherlock updating it correctly, and was Irene Adler really so special and was making her a dominatrix in the modern version a bit much? A very short hour indeed.
Then it was straight down the hill for two long blocks to get to the Sheraton. I stayed on the shady side of Andrew Young Boulevard and it wasn't too bad. I was headed for the panel discussing the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who next year, and supposing about what the BBC may do to celebrate it, hoping which Doctors and companions might be in a reunion special, as well as enemies--Daleks for sure, as they are irrevocably linked to the Doctor. Possibly Captain Jack and Rose.
They are doing what sounds like a docudrama or documentary about the creation of the series, talking about Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and all the early people who made the series what it was and what it became.
I thought about going to Jonathan Frakes or David Gerrold's panels, but instead walked back to the Marriott to go to the panel about geeks in mainstream television. On the way through the hotel I tried to walk in the dealer's room, but it was too crowded. Said hi to Lin Butler, then went upstairs to look in one of the exhibition halls--the one McFarland is usually in, but they aren't attending this year...::sob::--to see if I could find the other book dealer who has a nice selection of SF and mystery books. I found a T-shirt dealer selling "Soft Kitty" T-shirts and bought one. Did find the book dealer, too; they have some small hardback science in history books that look interesting.
Enjoyed the panel, too, which focused mostly on Bing Bang Theory and Community, and geekiness as portrayed in other series like Chuck, Eureka--even Abby in NCIS.
And then it was time to rejoin James in the Marriott for tonight's ARTC presentation, Kelley Ceccato's "The Wood-Bound Werewolf," about a reserved writer and his mother who visit a hotel in a reclusive woods community, arousing anger in the townsfolk when they arrive in one of those newfangled "motorcars." An imaginative young woman discovers that the man is her favorite writer, but so much different than she imagined him. And then the author takes a fateful walk in the woods...
I really, really enjoyed this, caught up in the story, and when it was over I had the most astonishing feeling. I was happy. Really, truly genuinely happy like I haven't been in weeks. I knew I was stressed out over work, but I didn't realize how much I've been stressed and stretched until happiness came over me in a great wave of joy. I've enjoyed today, discussing things I'm interested in, and not pursued and hunted by phone calls, e-mails, deadlines, and discouragement. I still want to cry thinking about it.
There was also a unique, brief "radio show" tribute to Ray Bradbury before the main presentation, and this year's testing of the microphones came with sponsor messages for extra goodness.
Congratulated Kelley after the show, chatted with some folks, took photos of the neat foam rubber ARTC radio Alice made (it's wearable and Isobel was in it part of the evening), and then decided to come home to our fids. Walked out of the hotel and through Peachtree Center "costume watching": superheroes, more Indiana Joneses, a woman with two lighted Death Stars for breasts ("those are no moons..."). I've seen male fairies today, found Waldo twice, seen numerous Doctors of various regenerations, watched ladies in various states of undress being photographed by appreciative male fans, even grinned at life-sized Statler and Waldorf.
We are having a "blue moon" this month, and the first thing we saw after emerging from city streets was the big, big yellow moon coming over the horizon. I'll bet it's so bright out in the country you can "walk by the light of the moon."
You know, it strikes me that I probably need a good cry...it's time to pull out "Lassie's Odyssey"...)
ONE complaint about today, and not DragonCon's fault: what in the wide, wide world of sports is going on downtown, Verizon? I'm paying you good money and suddenly there's barely any connectivity downtown--not only no 3G, but barely a phone signal! I thought something had gone wrong with my phone, but the minute we got out of downtown the signal was loud and clear. Everything was fine last year, but this year it's a freaking mess.
Oh, and James did some "networking" as we were leaving. Maybe... [she said hopefully].