down and safe

We’re back from a most excellent Shore Leave 39. And boy, are we tired….

The only mild disappointment was that Friday night’s Meet the Pros event seemed less well attended than usual. Having said that, I sold a bunch of books, as well as Wrenn’s stuffed things (bears, cats, catnip toys, and pillows, all in geeky fabrics, check out the Etsy shop) and signed many more things.

All the panels were very well attended and had into-it audiences. There was only one person I wanted to clobber, and that was the guy in the second row of the Wonder Woman panel who a) kept interrupting the panel and b) kept defending Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, and it’s an open question which of the two was more offensive. Still, the WW panel was a highlight — I was the token male on the panel, along with Simantha Galanter, Hildy Silverman, Amy Imhoff, Susan Oleson, and moderator Rigel Ailur, and I was also the only one wearing tights (I just came from the Boogie Knights concert). Oh, and when an audience member asked a question for each member of the panel, Rigel turned to me and said, “Gentlemen first.” It was epic.

Speaking of the Boogie Knights, we had a superlative show. They have a new sound guy, and he was magnificent. I have complained often about the sound at Shore Leave and Farpoint, in the past, so it’s only fair that I compliment them when they get it right, and hoo boy did they. We sounded great and I’m very pleased. I’m even more pleased that we had the triumphant debut of a song I wrote! We did a new song called “Young Master Frodo,” to the tune of the Irish folk song “General Taylor,” and it went beautifully. That’s only the second time the Knights have performed a song I penned, the other being “Wreck the Shrine” a bunch of years back.

Other panels I did besides the WW one included “Why We Write” with Laura Ware, Melissa Scott, Heather Hutsell, and Peter David on this strange obsession us creative folks have with our craft; “What’s Your Favorite Trek?” with Amy, Dayton Ward, Dave Galanter, and Scott Pearson explicating what aspects of the sprawling Trek franchise we love the most; “The Batman” with John Coffren, Derek Tyler Attico, Bob Greenberger, Rich White, and Mike Friedman talking all things bat; “Where No Tale Has Gone Before,” in which Dayton, Scott, Dave Mack, and Christopher Bennett talked about how we haven’t run out of Trek stories to tell after 50 years of TV shows, movies, books, comics, games, and fanfic, and we’re not likely to, either; “Mixing and Matching Genres” with Greg Cox and Roberta Rogow talking about mixing genre chocolate and peanut butter; and “Ye Gods!” in which Amy, Hildy, Bob, Aaron Rosenberg, and Kathleen O’Shea David talked about the enduring use of deities in fiction.

I also did my usual practical self-defense workshop, which was very well attended and went really well, despite being listed at two different times in the pocket program and despite Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn’s talk running over time opposite it. But it went really well.

The con ended on a bittersweet note, as Peter, Bob, and Mike did their final Mystery Trekkie Theatre 3000, which they debuted 25 years ago with snide commentary on “Turnabout Intruder.” This year, they showed a “best-of” set of clips from past MTT3Ks, then once again did “Turnabout Intruder,” though this time it was the remastered version…..

In between were gatherings, socializing, autographings in the author chimney (the section of the bookseller’s area that’s between two narrow brick pillars), the Saturday night pilgrimage to Andy Nelson’s BBQ, and hanging out in the bar. A highlight was me, Dave, Scott, Greg, and Dayton sitting in the lounge outside the bar after it closed, gossiping about the industry until the wee hours.

It was really fantastic to see people, to hang out with people, to meet up with fans and friends and to generally have a good time. It was especially nice, as always, to see a number of people who enjoy my work.

I also want to single out three cool people I got to spend a lot of time with, all at their first Shore Leave: writers Amy Imhoff and Kelli Fitzpatrick and also Karen Roberson, who is awesome. They’re all awesome, and I hope this is the first of many Shore Leaves for all three.

More anon…………..


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