LosCon: You shoulda oughta been there...


Super Moderator
Jun 30, 2003
Central California
I hardly even know where to begin to tell you about my LosCon experience. It was fun. It was informative. It was, as usual, a world all to itself.

I suppose that the highlight for me was getting to meet Tim Powers, who is one of my favorite writers. I missed his autograph session because I couldn't find where they were holding it (turned out to be in the dealers' room, which was the one place I didn't look). However, the next day I happened into a panel on the Writers of the Future competitons, and afterwards someone else approached him with a book to sign, so I decided that it was all right for me to do so as well. He was very nice about it, and I got a nice inscription that referred my explanation to him of why I had chosen to have him sign that particular book - so it isn't just the generic inscription that many writers seem to use. That was very cool. Later that day I attended a panel that consisted of one of the convention committee members interviewing him before handing the session over to audience questions. He talked a lot about process, and I got to ask a question I've had for awhile about his research process. I wish I'd been able to ask some more questions, but that one was the most appropriate to what was being discussed. He also talked some about editing, and about the artwork on book covers.

I also attened a similar panel where David Gerrold was interviewed. That was very cool for me, since "The Trouble With Tribbles" is my favorite "Star Trek" episode. He talked about lots of things, including selling scripts for TV (nearly impossible for outsiders, he said), about the fact that series novels seem to be crowding out what he called "real" novels in bookstores, and that everything is source material for a writer. He left us with the thought that science fiction is really all about what it means to be a human being. He also introduced us to his son, Sean, whom he adopted when Sean was eight years old.

David Gerrold also was the emcee for the Masquerade on Saturday night. The Masquerade is basically a costume contest gone wild. The costumes were great and he was absolutely hilarious in his comments on them. He is a very silly man, and I mean that as the highest of compliments.

There was a very good panel on Saturday morning discussing the idea put forth in a new book called "The God Gene", which puts forth the theory that everyone either is or is not genetically predisposed to religious or spiritual belief. The funny part was that the person who had originally proposed the panel and who was supposed to be on the panel, slept in and didn't show up. The other panel member, who had discussed the book with him, had never actually read the book - and neither had any of the people attending the panel. This did not get in the way of a great discussion about the implications of such a theory proving to be true. One of the people attending the panel happens to be a Catholic priest, which added an interesting dimension to the disucssion. Several books were mentioned as having bearing on the general idea of belief and spirituality and religion, one of which was Neil Gaiman's "American Gods", which we read a few months back in the Book Club. Due to family circumstances I was not able to finish reading it, but now I'm going to have to go back and read the rest of it.

The other panel that really struck me as outstanding was a disucssion of why the science fiction movies of the 1950s are still popular, even with people who were not born when those movies were made. That panel was moderated by Bill Warren, who wrote a book about 50s sf movies called "Keep Watching the Skies". He explained that he is doing a new edition of the book, and he wants to write about why these films remain so popular, and he thought he could use the panel to generate some ideas about why that is. I'm not sure that anyone arrived at any real conclusions, but one idea that seemed popular was that there is an appealing naivete in those films that is missing in today's films.

Well, there was a lot more that went on at LosCon, but I'm sitting here at my computer, freezing my butt off, so I'll have to write about the rest of it later. I'm sure that other things will also occur to me as I continue to process the whole experience.
Maybe we should have a UK forum outing to Glasgow next year... then we can all reminisce and let our US members glow with jealousy. Can you sense the green envy colour of this post? ;)
littlemissattitude said:
I hardly even know where to begin to tell you about my LosCon experience. It was fun. It was informative. It was, as usual, a world all to itself.
LOL. Sounds pretty cool. Forgive my ignorance, but where is LosCon held?
Space Cowboy said:
LOL. Sounds pretty cool. Forgive my ignorance, but where is LosCon held?
LosCon is held in Los Angeles, every year over Thanksgiving weekend. This year, the con moved to L. A. proper, to a hotel right at the International Airport. Previously it had been held for several years in Burbank, and for some time before that in Pasadena.

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