Thursday, August 04, 2005

Glasgow Thursday 

I got a decent night's sleep and don't feel particularly jet-lagged. The path from the Moat House hotel to the convention center is remarkably reminiscent of Heathrow; more narrow hallways, jags, steps, and doors than you'd think would be needed for such a short distance. Check in at the pre-reg desk was quick and easy. Badged and beribboned, I had a late breakfast/early lunch from a sandwich stand in the center, strolled around and chatted with people I ran into for a while, including Charles Brown and his retinue back in the Moat House having their lunch, then was back in the center at 2 p.m. when the dealers' room opened. A remarkable number of book dealers, even used/rare book dealers, except that many of them, for some reason, aren't taking credit cards. The art show looks very good, though many of the booths aren't occupied yet.

I caught most of the opening ceremonies--Vincent Docherty introducing the guests of honor, mainly, followed by a welcoming speech from some Glasgow city official, and a recorded welcoming speech from the Scotland national poet. Then, everyone in the audience was invited to a 'reception' in the room behind the curtain, which entailed free wine or juice for everyone -- the staff even roamed the room, a bottle of red in one hand, a bottle of white in the other, offering refills. It was like a publisher's party, or something; surely a Worldcon first. People mingled and chatted while a 2-person musical-act played on keyboard and theremin.

I was on a panel at 5 about reviewing, with Gary Wolfe, Liz Hand, and Paul Witcover (even though, shh, I don't write reviews any more... but I used to... and I edit them occasionally... and I read a lot of them...) It went well, with a good-sized audience for early in the con, asking some intelligent questions, though despite the hour-long time slot the monitor cut the panel off after 45 minutes.

After 6, the dealers' room was closed; I chatted with a couple other people (the usual random tag ups), checked back in my room, then hung around the Moat House bar with various people as they gathered and waited and departed for dinner reservations. I ended up eating dinner in the bar itself with Lawrence Person, chatting about movies and reviews and Austin and Philip Glass.

No parties in this hotel, except that the SFWA Suite is here and was open after 8:30. Not many there, but the few who were were worthy--Harry Harrison, Charles Stross, Beth Gwinn, Sharyn November. Came back to the room for more email checking, though haven't posted anything on the site today. But I should get to sleep; have more things scheduled tomorrow.
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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