Yet Another Journal

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» Sunday, September 02, 2012
DragonCon, Day 3, or Old Friends in New Places
Again, condensed version for now. Details later when I have time.

I was really excited this morning.

Back in the old, old days when the internet was a new thing and "social media" was something called Bulletin Boards that went by the name of Compuserve and Prodigy, James and I belonged to GEnie, which was—surprise!—run by GE. It was a little like Usenet as there were different bulletin boards. We mostly hung out at the SFRT (Science Fiction Round Table), which later split into three parts (literary, media, and gaming) because it was so popular, but there were other Categories like "Television," where I created a topic for Remember WENN. This is how I "met" Laura Hayden, who knew Rupert Holmes, the creator of the series, and who later told him about my web site devoted to the series.

So I've pretty much known Laura electronically since 1996-1997 sometime, but never met her in person.

Well, that omission was taken care of this morning, where, after the usual tumult of arising, making lunches, and gathering everything, we met her and her friend and working partner Pam in Peachtree Center. We didn't quite "squeeeeee!" over it, but it got close. :-) We talked about the old days on WENNchat, and Rupert, and what we were doing and just had a lovely breakfast hour.

Oh, never mind. Squeeeeeeeeee!

James went off to a panel about Cold War movies of the 1980s while I attended the "Timey Wimey" panel about time travel novels with Jana Oliver and Suzanne Church. They talked about mapping out time travel novels, and how much of your research you actually use in your books, and of a writing tool called "Scrivener" that sounds pretty cool.

Then back through Peachtree Center, since the Dean Cain panel line was outside and I don't intend to wait in any line that's outside in the horrible sun. I already have a rash on my back from the sun and the heat. Since I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of now getting into the last Torchwood panel, I went to see the Michael Dorn and Jonathan Frakes panel. Michael Dorn was introduced first and started to tell us that Jonathan could not make the panel when a crazed fan started asking him all sorts of questions.

Of course the "crazed fan" was Jonathan Frakes himself. Crazy things happen when the Next Generation cast gets together, and these two proved it most admirably. They started singing jazz tunes and for a minute I thought I was back watching Ask the Manager during one of Dan Berkery's singing spells. They also talked about the tales of Riker's beard and how Worf got his voice. (Dorn has done an audiobook of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Said it made him depressed! Imagine Dorn reading that book with that voice!)

The last two people who asked a question were a couple dressed in Trek costumes, she as a Klingon, he as a Vulcan. In character he asked if they would bless their marriage. Michael said sternly, "Do you know how to satisfy a Klingon woman?" The "Vulcan" replied, "I am fully functional!"

Brought down the house.

The next panel was "Theorizing the Doctor: Then and Again" and was unusual. This was one of several academic panels being done at DragonCon. An academic woman presented an essay about Rory's moral dilemma in "The Girl Who Waited" as a result of the Doctor's decisions, followed by Rob Levy's piece about how the fifth season of the classic series changed the dynamic of the Doctor from a cosmic hobo to someone who often made ethical decisions that hurt sentient beings. It was interesting, but not what I had expected at all.

I decided to go back to the Hyatt to check out the art show. I did find Andy Runton (and his mom)—James couldn't find them when he went into Comics Alley earlier in the convention—and bought the two new "Baby Owly" pieces and three buttons. I then looked around the rest of Comics Alley and then walked through the Art Show. A bit of the "intestinal art" we don't like has crept back in, but not much, and the rest was quite nice work ranging from supernatural pieces to straight fantasy to paper arts to three-dimensional art like steampunk pieces, statuary and soft art. There were two expensive pieces I liked: a lionfish marked-and-tentacled "sea" horse and a wonderful "Captain Mal" painting. Way beyond my budget, but nice to look at.

I did go back in to get a gift for James: a cheesecake print of a wholesome looking, smiling 1940s pinup girl with a scanty blouse tied under her breasts and shorts, with an Indiana Jones hat and whip in front of her. The artist didn't have anything to put the print in, afraid that I'd hurt it before I got it to James, I went back to Andy Runton's table. He dug up a plastic bag for me and a styrene sleeve for the print, too, which was really, really nice of him.

Still with time on my hands, I called James, who was in the truck with the air conditioner on, trying to cool off! He had his sopping wet shirt off and in front of the A/C vent trying to dry it off! So I had the print and the Owly stuff somewhere safe, and he came with me for the rest of the afternoon and evening, first to "Needcoffee.com vs. the Whoniverse," mostly talking about the new series. Rob Levy knew a lot of spoilers, but half the audience didn't want to be spoiled. Spoilsports! :-) At least one "Is Torchwood really dead?" question, discussion about the new season and companion, and any news about the 50th anniversary special (none besides the docudrama).

Next there were two panels in the American Science Fiction Classics track. The first was on one-season shows—we threw out a lot of names!—and the second was about the American spy series that resulted from the James Bond craze of the early 1960s, some background on Bond and then mention of shows like The Man From UNCLE, I Spy, Get Smart, Wild Wild West, The Avengers, etc. These were both a lot of fun!

We were still sorta awake by 8:30, so we attended one final panel, about Classic Doctor Who. The panel (Robert Ray, Rob Bowen, and Alan Siler) was a bit punchdrunk by this time and there was much "corpsing about" as they talked about different aspects of the original series. Most hated character? Adric, of course, who, Rob Bowen claimed, was reincarnated into Lucas on SeaQuest and then Wesley on Next Gen.

I wish I could draw caricatures! I would love to do a cartoon of Adric, Wesley, and Lucas sitting at a bar, each with a beer, looking gloomy and each thinking to himself, "I don't get any respect!"

Then it was homeward bound after a scary ride in a very rattly and smothery elevator (one of the two elevators in the garage that wasn't working during the day!), off to our fids and our e-mails.

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