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Joe R. Lansdale

WorldCon 71 / LoneStarCon 3

I only had a half-a-con, spending the mornings at the conference and the afternoons/evenings with family in San Antonio. But even a half-a-con was full

  1. SFSignal, which I occasionally post an article here and a review there, won its second Hugo for Best Fanzine. John DeNardo, the hardest working man in the blogverse, won his second…showing that sometimes these popularity award are actually given to those that deserve it. Hats off to JP and Patrick for their first Hugos.
  2. SFSignal is a group blog, as JD describes it. And, thanks to his efforts, I got to meet several of the SFSignal irregulars in person whom I’d only emailed, commented or heard on Podcasts. Derek, Jeff, Stina, Karen, Matthew, Josh, Jaime…enjoyed seeing the faces. It is always better to connect in person.
  3. Joe Lansdale did a demo and discussion of Shen Chuan, the martial art he created. Master Lansdale is deservedly in the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and he asked me to be one of his demo boys. Always better to learn up close and personal, and a hard reminder of how much I’ve let my own martial arts training slack off.
  4. I am interviewing Grand Master of Science Fiction James Gunn for SFSignal, and stalked him throughout the conference. At age 90, his memory is better than mine at 30..and he is gracious and polite. I look forward to more questions, and learning through the interview process. And I found some excellent out-of-print Gunn books on sale in the dealer room and got them before DeNardo. Fred Pohl was on of Professor Gunn’s first agents, and it was very sad to hear of Mr. Pohl’s passing just as WorldCon was ending.
  5. The “what happened to the boom in Spanish language books” panel had only two participants, and one of them was Norman Spinrad. I wasn’t sure why, until he went through the tale of his publishing of his book Mexica with a Mexican publisher.
  6. As I was carousing the dealer room, looking at books, this taller grey bearded gent was following me…except he was pulling out books to sign. I had the pleasure of asking Harry Turtledove if he was practicing for his upcoming autograph session, and he replied “Practice helps me remember my name.” I briefly accused him of stalking me.
  7. Hogg Shedd. Saturday night Rock and Roll. It has nothing to do with WorldCon, but everything to do with my past, present and future in San Antonio. If you haven’t seen Louis, Danny, Darryl and Craig rock it, what are you waiting for?
  8. The Legacy of Omni magazine panel was entertaining, with Ben Bova, Bob Silverberg and Ellen Datlow doing most of the reminiscing about the Bob Guccione slick that merged Science Fact with Science Fiction. I still have a collection of many of the original Omnis. Rumors of a reboot persist, but I would rather see the legend remain a legend.
  9. The Doc Savage panel, on his 80th anniversary, was missing Will Murray (who is no doubt hard at work on the latest Doc Savage novel).
  10. The Thursday evening Ghost Tour was hot and humid (expected in San Antonio) and, though I’d heard many of the stories before, the tour guides did an excellent job. We visited the Menger, the Emily Morgan, the San Fernando Cathedral (which looked great at night) and the old Bexar County Jail, which is now a Holiday Inn Express. The tour guides said room 305 was where the gallows used to be, and that the pool was the location of the crematorium. Enjoy your next stay.
  11. I also managed to hang a drapery valance for my mom, do multiple virus clean-ups for my step-dad, set up mom’s new email…and fall a bit more for my beautiful wife, which happens most days.

As always, THANK YOU SAN ANTONIO!

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