Monday, March 27, 2006

AggieCon 2006

Somehow it wouldn’t be spring if I didn’t go to College Station at the end of March for the AggieCon. Judy and I first attended in 1980, and we’ve missed only one year since then (we were in Europe). Walking down the halls of the Memorial Student Center is as much a part of spring to me as the bluebonnets that cover the fields along the highway.

When I started going to AggieCon, I loved going to the panels and hearing writers like Theodore Sturgeon, Jack Williamson, Roger Zelazny, Poul Anderson, L. Sprague de Camp, C. J. Cherryh, and lots of others talk about their work. I never dreamed that one day I’d be the guy up at the front of the room doing the talking. I thought about that a lot this past weekend, though. I’ve been going to AggieCon since before most of this year’s organizers were born. I used to go hear the writers. Now I’m one of the writers people come to hear. Time changes everything.

Another thing time has changed is the dealers’ room. It used to be wall-to-wall with book dealers, and they all had old paperbacks that I loved to go through. I found many of the paperbacks that line my office walls there. Not anymore. This year there were exactly two dealers with any real stock of books. I bought three or four. A far cry from the old days, and kind of sad. I guess most people who attend SF cons just aren’t interested in books now. They’re into gaming, anime, jewelry, costumes, weapons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just different.

As always, I had a great time in College Station. Joe Lansdale didn’t show up (he’s in Italy, basking in the glow of his international fame), but I saw lots of great folks: Willie Siros, Scott Cupp (it was Scott’s 33rd consecutive AggieCon), Jayme Blaschke, Rick Klaw, Mark Finn, Tom Knowles, David Carren, and Theresa Patterson, just to name a few. I’m ready to go back next year.

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