Sunday, July 19, 2009
Report on Babel Con
To the Left: Cylons Versus Stargate SG1
I’m back from Babel Con, although I’m pretty tired and not back in normal blogging mode yet. We had a good time, though for reasons unclear to the staff, attendance was way down this year, from around 400 to some 140 in initial counts. They changed location, for one. And, of course, there is the economic downturn. They had a lot of great programming, but not as many celebrity guests. Who knows.
The panels I sat on were well attended, although not as much as last year. I sat on panels on pulp fiction, dreams and nightmares, and science versus the occult. I also did a reading, which had a whole six people at it. That was substantially better than another writer’s reading I attended on Saturday, which had two adults there, counting me, and a four year old and a six month old who spent most of the time interrupting and disrupting the writer’s attempts to read and interact with her audience.
I can’t really take much credit for the attendance, though. They had to change the time of the reading a couple of times and three of the people who came included the main con organizer, Andrew Myers, and two folks whose arms he probably twisted to get ‘em there. Two other folks were teenagers who hadn’t heard about the time change and thought they’d be showing movies in the room. Finally, though, there was Stephan, a bud of mine who I know actually likes my work.
Hey, though, I read a couple of my short stories and even the movie buffs appeared to be caught up in the tales. At least they didn’t leave once they found out it was me instead of movies on show, and both came up after and picked up some of the printed copies of stories that I usually take a long to readings to give out to folks. Being young, I’m sure they had no money. I sold just two books, one to Stephan and one to Andrew.
If you just figure the money I made from selling those two books, the con was a financial failure for me. But I didn’t really expect to make any money when I went. I don’t do much in the social arena in fandom so it’s good to see and interact with folks who like some of the same stuff I do. Plus, there’s quite a few folks that I see only once a year, at the con. We always talk about getting together more often but it doesn’t seem to happen.
And on Saturday at the opening ceremonies I was incredibly flattered and honored to be given the inaugural Bob May Award by the Babel Con organization. This is an award to be given each year to someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping the con. I certainly don’t think I deserved it but I sure do appreciate it.
For those of you who don’t know, Bob May’s main claim to fame in SF circles is that he played the robot in the TV series Lost in Space. Bob died just recently, but he had been a guest at Babel Con since its inception and was a very sweet and friendly fellow with lots of hilarious stories about Hollywood. I was really saddened not to have Bob’s smile and wit around this year. It’s an honor to have his award.
To the Right, Stephan and Eileen
To the Left, My Xavier Colleague, Dr. Gena Valentine, does psychoanalysis on Anakin Skywalker.