Yet Another Journal

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» Saturday, May 04, 2019
WHOlanta, Day 2

It always happens.

We were up on time, had breakfast, and I walked the dog. We were all set to head to the hotel.

Except when we got down to the garage James couldn't find his keys. So I spent twenty minutes looking and never did find them, so we took the spare key. Did get to the hotel in time to see most of the British Empire panel, which was interesting because Louis Robinson was on the panel and his father worked for the British tram system in India. He was talking about how startling it was that the Indian officials grew "more British than the British," and would send their sons to British schools, and have tea and speak in twee British accents.

Next James and I went to the Q&A by RetroTV, who is still showing the classic episodes of Doctor Who. While they discussed Who a bit, they were promo-ing a new series they were doing for Retro's sister channel Heartland, The Unseen World, where they are traveling to unusual and unknown attractions. Since I'm currently reading the book Curious New England, this seemed to fit right in. I told them they should go to Mystery Hill in New Hampshire.

RetroTV panel: Matt Golden at far left and Alan Siler at far right

My next panel was "Quatermass and Early British Science Fiction." Louis was also on this panel and talking about the marvelous inventive series that popped up once in a while that are now lost because the tapes were erased. However, SF was few and far between due to low budgets and also the view of management that SF was for children and wasn't quite "adult." The television executives would, as the running gag of the panel went, rather mount another production of Pride and Prejudice.

Anthony Williams and Louis Robinson.

I went looking for James and discovered he was up in Clay and Maggi's room having lunch with them (yes, they carried their own food, too, although they had gone out for this meal), so I went up as well. Again, a great time chatting as we don't see them as much any longer.

Yesterday when we were talking out in the foyer area of the meeting rooms, Sue was looking for another person to be on a panel about science fiction on TV. This was me. So at two Sue, Alice, Aubrey and I did a panel! We talked about past and current science fiction on television, what were our favorites, and then contributions from the audience. This was fun.

Fellow panelists: Aubrey Spivey, Alice Spivey, Sue Phillips

I was set to attend "The State of Fandom in 2019," but didn't in the end, but instead sat chatting with friends until it was time for Janet Fielding. If you are not a Doctor Who fan, Janet played Tegan Jovanka, an "air stewardess," as they were known back then, with the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison). Tegan never failed to say what she thought, and her fannish description has always been "a mouth with legs." Janet was funny, charming, and also very opinionated, especially about her favorite subject: shopping. She'd enjoyed being in Atlanta early because she finds it difficult to find shoes small enough for her feet, and she'd found a great pair of running shoes! She also expressed displeasure for most of the Tegan costume choices on the series. :-) After Doctor Who she did some other acting, and like other Who actresses before her, became an agent for other actors. She delighted in teasing Peter Davison throughout the panel, but you could tell it was all in fun.

Janet Fielding

After a very short hour, went off to the young adult fiction panel. I'm glad to hear dystopia is passing us by—so depressing. Following was the panel I had been really looking forward to: "A Guided History of Atlanta Sci-Fi Conventions." This was a really fun and nostaglic panel, which went back to the 1970s way before I arrived here in Georgia to the conventions I remember: Dixie Trek (and its coverage on GPB), Fantasy Fair, Phoenixcon, the Doctor Who Exhibition, and lots more, including the 1981 Space: 1999 convention and even Weaponscon and the one MOC (Magnum Opus Con) that was held in Atlanta (alas, it was at the 1987 MOC in Columbus, GA, where Patrick Troughton died of a heart attack).

Atlanta Convention History panel (on the table is a quilt made from Ken Spivey's old con T-shirts)

We were sticking around for the "Fanfiction as Writing Training" panel, which I was really looking forward to, so we went to see an annual event, "Professor Satyre's Sci-Fried Sideshow," where Mike Langford does these wild mashups of television programs and old movies. We are sad to see that Mike's partner, our old friend Kim Holec, is now in a wheelchair, so that tempered some of our fun in the silly situations.

Really enjoyed the fanfiction panel, because Lee Martindale was on it, and she definitely does not believe in fanfic. She thinks you should create all your own characters, situations, etc. even as practice for writing. But we all started discussing fanfic and I think we kinda blew her mind, since we were talking about crossover fic, mpreg (male pregnancy), alternate universe stories, and real life character stories. Heck, they weren't considered fanfic, but I remember those "I met Donny Osmond [or Bobby Sherman or David Cassidy]" stories in "16 Magazine" and "Tiger Beat"! I didn't even get to mention that fanfiction goes back to Don Quixote sequels penned after the book was published, and Charlotte Brontë wrote real-life fanfiction about the Duke of Wellington! Also, many established novelists started out in fanfic, of course the lady who wrote Fifty Shades of Grey, which started out as a Twilight fanfiction, Naomi Novik, and even Peter David.

But we headed home very late and I had to rush to take Tucker outside before he burst. James was a little happier because he realized where he left his keys.

Except they weren't there. We knew they were in the house because he drove home last night and lowered the garage door via the opener on his keychain. So for an hour, as it went past midnight, we kept retracing the track of the keys. We looked everywhere. Finally I said that we couldn't keep it up; we needed to get to bed, and we started undressing. Then I said, "James, is there a pocket in your kilt?" (He wore his beautiful blue plaid kilt this weekend.) He said tiredly, "That one doesn't have pockets." I said, "I thought they all did."

Why, yes, they do. And there were the keys! I just don't see how he didn't hear them rattling around!

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