September 03, 2003
DragonCon: Days 3-4
Sunday was another full slate for me. The 11:30 panel included Anne and several of her coauthors, Jody Lyn Nye, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and Todd McCaffrey. At the end of the panel, Anne judged a selection of dragon eggs, rendered by artists who had 24 hours to decorate an ostrich egg, and the winning one would be chosen.
I stayed for the next session, a Q&A with James Marsters, but that proved not so interesting. Lots of giddy gushy questions. Unfortunately, someone in the crowd yelled for him to take off his shirt, he said no, and told the person who said that to get up onstage with him. A woman in an ill-fitting sleeveless black jumpsuit, some sort of costume, came up. He dared her to take off her shirt, and unfortunately, she did. He then teased her about her bra, and ACK! she took that off too. This was not an attractive, physically fit woman. It was just completely a grotesque sight. James told her she was braver than he, gave her a hug, and then she redressed and got read the riot act by the security working the room. If only they'd kicked her out of the con.
The 2:30 panel was with Todd McCaffrey, who was there to discuss the world of Nimisha's Ship. Another frustrating session, because every time he tried to articulate some idea, he was practically shouted down by people in the audience who would interrupt and correct him. He's a nice guy, and people meant well, but they took advantage of his being willing to entertain their remarks. It isn't pleasant to think about, certainly not for those close to Anne, but given that she had a heart attack and then a stroke in recent years, there's only so many books she has left to write, and their editors want to see more Pern books, rather than any set in the others of Anne's worlds.
The 4:00 session was with Jody Lyn Nye, who spoke about her own books as well as those she coauthored with Anne. She also talked a bit about her writing process and how she gets ideas. One question I'd been meaning to ask at one of these sessions is how a sci-fi/fantasy writer goes about doing research, so I asked Ms. Nye. Yes, she does go to the library, and she joked that one day the earth's crust will crumble because of all the writers buying reference works for their personal libraries. She also often asks people who work in a field of interest, because they spend all this time in school learning all sorts of specialized arcane information, but no one asks them about it once they're employed and applying their skills. She says they're usually more than pleased to talk about their area of expertise. Her brother, for instance, is a doctor, and she once asked him to give her any information he could tell her, because her book needed a plague. He faxed her something like four pages of single spaced text in 5 point type.
The last day there wasn't as much going on. I finally had some time to people watch, but hardly anyone wore their costumes. (I'll post the few pictures I took later.) I caught Anne and Todd's last session, another general conversation, Q&A arrangement. As with every other session, someone asked about whether there'd be any Pern movies. There are some eight contracts tying up movie rights, so who knows if anything will happen. What's happening with the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films is a good sign. Anne did mention at one point in an earlier panel that the popularity of Harry Potter has done well for her books as well - royalties for the Harper Hall trilogy tripled in 2002. While I'd love to see it happen, especially while Anne is here to see the finished product, I'd be content with the books. I'd rather not see an abysmal adaptation of her work.
One last dash through the Dealer's Room, as oftentimes you can find some discounts on the last day, but nothing called to us. Good thing, as I have enough junk at home. At the last moment I decided to try one last time to win a galley copy of Dragon's Kin. Scott and I came in toward the end of the last Pern panel, which seemed to be everyone listening to the Masterharper cd. They ran the raffle differently this time, having handed out numbers before I'd gotten there. I asked for a number, and a few minutes later, it was called. Finally! I was so certain I was going to be disappointed yet again. Todd had even signed it. So now I get to read it, but I'll have to get the official copy since all the corrections and edits will have been made by then.
A good experience for me, not so great for Scott, since there was less to hold his interest. We'll have to see how the schedule is next year.