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» Friday, September 04, 2015DragonCon, Day 1
I am not promising how detailed this will be. The days of blogging till midnight and then getting up at seven to start all over again are over. And I only slept five hours last night. I cannot seem to wind down between workdays.
Because of rush-hour traffic we were up at 6:45. Tucker had his walk plus a big bowl of food, and Snowy got some millet, and then we loaded the chair and were off. Traffic wasn't terribly bad, and we discovered Williams Street has its own HOV lane. Today we parked at a lot behind the Courtland Street Garage. It was only $20 for the day.
Then on to our first day of breakfast at Cafe Momo. I had oatmeal, roasted potatoes, a slice of toast, two slices of French toast, four strips of bacon, four pieces of kiwi, and four slices of orange, plus milk. Nothing gourmet, just good food. Sue Phillips joined us to eat in Peachtree Center.
James had no early panel, so we went to see Julian Glover at the Hilton. It's so cool to see such a seasoned character actor like Glover. Anthony Taylor even asked him about Q.E.D., which he did with Sam Waterston, who he said was one of the finest American actors. He also talked about both his stints on Doctor Who, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Avengers and more.
James left the panel early to go to the Westin, since he had to navigate the elevators, but I stayed for the end and then joined him there for the panel, which was an introduction to Alternate History, and how was it different from Speculative Fiction. One of James' favorite authors, Taylor Anderson, who does the "Destroyermen" series, was one of the panelists.
The dealer's room was about to open, and we both had a free hour, but we discovered that the line to get in went halfway around the America's Mart, and it wasn't the handicapped entrance; that was back on Peachtree and blocked by the crowd. So we went back to the Hyatt and walked around Artist's Alley for a half hour, talking especially to Andy Runton. He has a new "Owly" book coming out soon!
I ate my luncheon sandwich while James was in the restroom, and then he headed back for the Westin for a survival panel, while I went to the Sheraton to see René Auberjonois, but his panel was canceled due to travel problems (he won't be at the convention). So I trudged back to the Hilton to see the Doctor Who spinoffs panel instead. Caro Brown, Robert Ray, Kelly Yates, and a lady whose name I didn't catch chatted mostly about Torchwood. Roger Nichols was there and we said hi, and also saw Mark Heffernan.
Then it was back to the Sheraton to see Sylvester McCoy. If you are tired and feeling a bit out of it, a dose of Sylvester is what you need to get you back on your feet. At 72, he's like a Scottish elf, all bounce and sparkling eyes. Alan Siler talked to him for a while, and then, as is his wont, instead of you going up to a microphone and asking him a question, he takes the mic and comes to you. The lady sitting next to me asked the first question, so I got a nice view of the "real" McCoy for a few minutes. He told funny stories about appearing in the Doctor Who movie, about doing The Fiveish Doctors Reboot with Peter Davision and Colin Baker (and Paul McGann), about filming "Survival" and how hot it was, how he and Sophie Aldred were sympatico, and more. And of course, to end the panel, he played the spoons!
I met James back at the Hyatt where we listened to Peter David and Esther Freisner, among others, talk about humor in science fiction (there were many funny stories, as you can imagine). We had to work about ten minutes to find an elevator back upstairs, but this year, unlike last year, we did get to see the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company Friday production, a "two for one" bargain: Rory Rammer, Space Marshal: "Queen of the Spaceways" and Blues for Johnny Raven, a noir mystery in which the ambiance drives the story with Daniel Kiernan in the world-weary title role. (James and I worked with this script many years ago and we still talk about saxophone music—because there's always saxophone music.)
Then chatted a bit afterwards with Alice (who was taking photos) and Juanita and Jessie; also saw Ron, Lin, Pat, Alex, Stephanie, and even Stuart.
It was the typical evening at the convention; everyone heading upstairs to their rooms and to room parties, so after the plays it took us a full half hour just to get up one floor to the exit, and it took an elevator full of mildly inebriated attendees to do it, especially the blond lady who kept letting people in and out. We ended up going all the way up to the revolving restaurant on the top ("Oh, my god, it's the elevator from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!" someone howled) and then coming down, and even managed to get another wheelchair-bound guy aboard. It was frustrating and howlingly funny all at once.
On the way out we met Kim Holec and Mike Langford coming in and chatted a few minutes there as well.
Then it was down the hill to the parking lot, load up the chair and come home. Tucker had been good all through the day, and I took him outside immediately. Spent the rest of the night watching Hogan's Heroes.