August 31, 2003
DragonCon: Day 2
I don't know, are four days a bit much for a sci-fi con? But as fortune would have it, there's something to interest me on each day. Today's wanderings:
Caught the tail end of the parade - what's the big appeal of being a stormtrooper? You're a clone, you're dispensable, those are not the droids you're looking for. But see a bunch of these (mostly) guys together, and it's like they've found their fraternity brothers.
People were already forming a line for the Anne McCaffrey signing around 10 am. Yikes. Scott promised to wait in line for me while I went to Anne's panel with her former editor Betty Ballantine at 11:30. That was a good session, a nice conversation between old friends. Amazing to think that at the time, sci-fi authors couldn't get publishers interested in books; the best one could hope for were stories in magazines. Ballantine helped to change that, and Anne was one of those pioneer authors in her field. One funny bit of trivia - the title for Anne's short story collection, Get Off the Unicorn, was actually intended as Get the Unicorn. But a proofreader didn't realize that, so it's a title that actually has an error in it.
I missed the last question, because I realized I needed to make the mad dash to the autograph line. I saw a woman with a whole small suitcase of books - did she honestly think Anne could sign all of them for her, with everybody else waiting behind her? I brought the Harper Hall books, hardcovers in editions I'd read back in seventh grade, which took me forever to find. But there was a limit of two books per person for the first 75 people, so Scott continued to stay with me in line, which extended well beyond us. In fact, we barely got in. I chatted giddily with the woman behind us to allay my nervousness.
The DragonLady herself was most gracious. I thanked her for writing such books and gushed how much they meant to me, something I'm sure she's heard millions of times. She signed my books, she signed the other book and program I'd given to Scott, and then we were off. I never thought I'd ever get to see her, let alone have the chance to say anything to her.
We took a quick run through the Dealer's Room, a place where one can drop lots of money on rather pointless, overpriced things. I do succumb, however, when I find a Giles action figure - Giles being the librarian/watcher for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We librarians need our idols too. Also on the same level are the tables for the Hall of Fame, where you can go meet your tv/film star and pay for an autograph or a picture. Lou Ferrigno and Marc Singer look awfully good for their age. Alas, Gil Gerard needed the benefit of his sign for us to know that Buck Rogers was in the room.
Caught the 2:30 session with the writer Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, also one of Anne's coauthors. I asked her whether there were any points of friendly debate
during the cowriting process. But she was rather practical - Anne was the more famous, the more published, so Anne won by default, which got a big laugh out of the room.
The next session was with Todd McCaffrey, son and another coauthor. Before the session began I was able to say hi and ask him to sign my program and my copy of Dragonholder. His session talked about Pern and what he stories he would like to explore set in that world, such as when the First Interval took place, or even stories about those who came out of the Nathi wars - Benden, Boll, etc. I feel much, much better - he really does have a sound knowledge about his mother's creations - after all, he did grow up with her dragons. I think he'll do a good job, and I will be eager to see what he comes up with. He mentioned that Anne was most emphatic that the Pern universe would not be tied in to the worlds of Anne's other novels.
After that panel, was done for the day. Dinner at the Wing Factory, stopped off at home, picked up Mark, picked up some snacks for the drive-in and headed for a triple feature: Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs, and Trader Hornee. It took forever to get in, but it was cool there was so much interest. There were some old trailers and a Bugs Bunny cartoon between the flicks - the trailers, especially for Caged Virgins, was surprisingly racy. By 1 am, we were too tired ffor the third film, so we headed out after helping some students from Tech jump their car.