Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bouchercon Bound

Judy and I will be heading off to Chicago later this morning for the annual Bouchercon. We've been attending since 1980, having missed only those in England, so we've been to more than 20. That's nowhere near a record, as Steve Stilwell and Marv Lachman would be quick to point out, but it's a lot of Bouchercons. We've never failed to have a great time.

Bouchercon attendance has grown considerably since the first one we attended in Washington, D.C. There were surely no more than a couple of hundred people at that one, and there was very little programming. Few writers other than the guests of honor were there, and the dealers' room was quite small. It had some great stuff in it, though.

As the attendance has increased, the focus has changed. The convention used to be all about the fans. Now it seems to be all about the writers, with people going just to get a glimpse of their current favorites, and a lot of the writers seem to be there just to hawk their latest book. A line I've heard more than once: "I don't have a book out this fall, so I won't be going.") I'm not sure this is change for the better.

But what do I know? When I started going to Bouchercons, I was a (sort of) youngster and a big part of things. Now I'm an old relic, pretty much irrelevant to the goings-on. I still plan to have a good time, however.

Because I'm technologically challenged, I won't be blogging from Bouchercon. I'm sure a lot of peple will, but I'm not even taking a computer. Or a Blackberry or anything else like that. I'll be back here next Tuesday if all goes well, so have a great Labor Day weekend and take care.

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