Confederation 1986
Con report by Evelyn C. Leeper
Copyright 1986 Evelyn C. Leeper


Flying Down to Rio . . .I Mean, Atlanta

We left home at 6:30 AM for our 8:45 flight, only to find it delayed for one reason and another until 11:00 AM (after our scheduled arrival time!). Breakfast (served about noon on the plane) was eggs and sausage.


Con registration was in the Marriott. We got over there and registered (no lines). We signed in at the message board and discovered we already had a message from another Usenetter who wanted to meet us. We also discovered we had missed an alternate histories panel. Oh, well. The Pocket Program was 21" by 30" and printed in small print on both sides. It also costs a dollar to get replaced if you lose it. And as usual, the film/video program is not listed on the Pocket Program, so you still need to cart another piece of paper around. However, since the film program duplicates our own library to a great extent I suspect we won't be seeing too much of it.

We spent most of the rest of the day checking out the Hucksters' Room, meeting friends, etc. We had dinner at Pittypat's Porch, known for Southern cooking. I had the blackened grouper, Mark had the barbeque assortment, Dave had the wild game platter (boar, venison, and buffalo), and Kate had the jambalaya. All very good and the salad bar was also amazing.

Meeting a Usenetter

After dinner we went to the Meet-the-Particpants Party in the Con Suite. Actually, the Con Suite was the entire 10th floor of the Marriott, which formed a very wide balcony around the atrium. We finally found Kimi (the Usenetter we were looking for) based on our exchanging descriptions of what we would be wearing and what we looked like. ("I look like a combination of Oriental and American Indian.") We talked for a while about Usenet and AT&T, since she also works for them (us?). We also met some other friends and sat around eating and drinking for about an hour before deciding we were tired and going to bed.



A bunch of us had breakfast at the Dunk 'n Dine next door to the Hilton--fast and cheap. After breakfast I went over to the Art Show (in the Marriott) and took a quick whiz-through. Art Shows are getting more and more spotty and this was no exception. Except for the works by professional artists which were either not for sale or way out of my price range, the material was pretty dismal.

Panel: A Thing Called National Science Policy
(Members: James Funaro, Geoffrey Landis, Donald F. Robertson; Noon)

I didn't stay very long--the panel members were not very interesting and the bottom line seemed to be "No bucks, no Buck Rogers." Instead I wandered down to the Hucksters' Room to get George Alec Effinger's autograph in Cooking Out of This World, a collection of recipes from SF authors. Someone mentioned they had seen a copy for sale there and Effinger said he would be interested, so I tracked it down. When I went back and told him it was $75 he said at that price he wouldn't buy it but he might go visit it.

Panel: The Care and Feeding of the Fan Hugo
(Members: Mike Glyer, George Laskowski, Patrick Nielsen-Hayden, Charlotte Proctor, Marty Cantor; 1PM)

This panel was considerably more lively than the last. Mike Glicksohn was in the audience and there was a heated discussion of the ad he and others placed in Science Fiction Chronicle asking people to vote "No Award" for Best Fanzine. The problems seem to be that fans who are knowledgeable about fanzines are often too poor to join the Worldcon to vote on it, that fanzines by their very nature have such a limited circulation that most fans don't see more than one or two of the nominees, and that it takes a relatively small number of organized fans to get a specialty-zine (such as Universal Translator or the "Costumers' Guild Newsletter"--I forget the exact name) on the ballot. Although the split-off of the Semi-Prozine is seen as a good thing, whether or not there is enough knowledge for the remaining category to be meaningful remains to be seen.

Panel: He Came from Outer Space: Bradbury on Film
(Members: Bill Warren, Ray Bradbury, Michael Cassutt; 3PM)

This was mostly reminiscences by Bradbury about his experiences with Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Picasso Summer. He liked the results of the first and disliked--to varying degrees--the last three. He also talked about his non-SF work. Apparently when Huston asked him to do the script for Moby Dick, he had to admit that he hadn't even read the book, at which point Huston told him to go home and give it a try. When he got home he told his wife that he had to read Moby Dick and do a book report the next day. Although I'm not a big Bradbury fan he was an interesting speaker and entertained us all quite a bit.

Panel: Influence of Japanese Culture on the SF Field
(Members: Victor Milan, David Brin, Robert Fenelon, John Maddox Roberts, Mark Stephens; 4PM)

This was one of the more interesting panels. David Brin talked about his "dogma of otherness" theory (about which he recently did a column in Analog). His perception of the world is that there are four major "dogmas" underlying society and different countries emphasize different ones. Most of Latin America and the Middle East, for example, follow the "dogma of macho" (all this is according to Brin, of course). Africa follows the "dogma of revenge"; we follow the "dogma of otherness" (if aliens were to land tomorrow, Brin claims our first question would be "do you have a cuisine?"). The Japanese and other Far Eastern cultures follow the "dogma of homogeneity." Therefore, while we value the diversity of cultures (eating various cuisines et al), any change the Japanese make towards another culture is orchestrated so that everyone changes together He claims in Japan even gang fights are planned--even down to the victor--and cleared with the police ahead of time. There was much discussion of Japanese culture and little of SF, no matter how hard everyone tried to drag SF back in.

Panel: Who's on Top: S&M in SF&F
(Members: Jane Yolen, Asa Drake, Beth Fleischer, J. Neil Schulman; 5PM)

A truly silly panel. No one was really sure what they were supposed to be discussing, so it was more a discussion of sex in general in science fiction than S&M per se. My "Sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me" T-shirt was a definite hit though! Jane Yolen had been pressed into service as moderator, which was unfortunate because she was very negative on the subject of explicit sex in science fiction. J. Neil Schulman has a book coming out soon called The Rainbow Cadenza which postulates that the ability of parents to choose their offspring's sex results in a 7-1 male/female ratio, which results in a draft of women to serve in government brothels for three years. At the end of that time they are mustered out and for some reason not entirely clear, become the power elite of the society. It sounds like there are some logic flaws there, but I suspect the book will sell well anyway.

This is as good a place as any to mention the "protests" against the recent Supreme Court decision on the Georgia sodomy law. I saw one button which said "Atlanta '86: Confederation World Sodomy Tour" and another which said "I violated a Supreme Court decision at Confederation." The attempt at planning a co-ordinated protest--setting a time for everyone to engage in ... civil disobedience (in the privacy of their hotel rooms, of course) and letting the police force know that at such-and-such a time, the following list of people would be violating the law in the Atlanta Hilton and Marriott--fell flat however. I guess you just can't organize some things.

Dinner at Fisherman's Cove

We went to Fisherman's Cove for dinner and had some very good seafood and a terrific dessert bar. Because they were nothing special to rush back for we had time to eat and talk in leisure. Also, we managed to get a table for 8 so that Dave, Kate, the Cohens, Mark, and I could all sit together.


After dinner was party time! We started with Lan's party, a closed party for contributors to Lan's Lantern and various APAs that Lan is in. It was good to see him after all these years (I think the last time was Noreascon 2!) and of course we all wished him success in the Hugo voting. We also met Maia (actually we had met her outside the hotel earlier). And like everyone else, we told her, "Gee, did you know there's a book named after you?" :-) (Maia by Richard Adams for those who didn't know). Lan had even managed to get his coonskin cap repaired--the tail had fallen off several years ago and he had finally gotten it replaced. This party also gave Lan a chance to meet Dale Skran, someone whose writing he had discovered through the Lincroft-Holmdel Science Fiction Newsletter, and who has subsequently been published in Lan's Lantern.

From there we went to the on-going L5 party where we picked up some literature for use by the North Jersey chapter. We also talked to a few people there and in general socialized and discussed space-type stuff.

We then decided to pop into the Boston in '89 party in the hopes of meeting some Massachusetts fen. Instead we ran into Saul Jaffe (editor of SF-Lovers' Digest) and Liz Sommers (another Jersey fan). So we sat and talked about net.sf-lovers and Usenet in general, using up all the conversation we should have been saving for the SFL party on Sunday. Finally Liz left for a cigarette and we left for bed.



Another quickie at the Dunk 'n Dine. No one is real thrilled with grits, but when Kate ordered the hash browns she concluded that they were formed by pressing grits together.

Getting Bradbury's Autograph

I got in line at 9:45 AM for the 10:00 session. The line seemed to be moving along nicely, since each person was limited to one book, but at 10:45 they cut it off six people in front of me because Bradbury had to be on an 11:00 panel. Argghh!! But a moment's thought made me realize that 1) we were on the tenth floor of the Marriott, 2) the panel was in the Hilton, and 3) Bradbury couldn't fly. So I hung around the elevators until he came along, got in the elevator with him, and got my book signed on the way down (so did several other people).

Panel: Cyberpunk Versus New Wave SF
(Members: Ellen Datlow, Beth Meacham, Edward Bryant, William Gibson, Lewis Shiner, Michael Swanwick; 1PM)

Based on what I had heard about the cyberpunk panel at the NASFIC, I went to this expecting a lively panel. Too bad--it was pretty ho-hum. People seemed to take exception to the term cyberpunk, referring to it as the "c-word." Even Datlow seemed negative on the word, which is odd because she used to bill herself as the "Queen of Punk SF." Ah, well, some people just bend with the breeze, I suppose.

This panel was notable for the coining of the term "nogs"--"novels of Gibsonian sensibilities." As Dale said, how can the man endure such adulation? I refuse to get involved in the definition of cyberpunk. Heck, we haven't even managed to define science fiction yet!

Panel: Can There Be Horror at 2:00 PM?
(Members: Tappan King, John R. Douglas, Marvin Kaye, Alan Nicholl, Gregory Nicholl, Douglas Winter; 2PM)

Only if being stuck in a crowded room with a boring panel that I couldn't hear could be termed horror. I left early.

Panel: We Control the Vertical: SF on TV
(Members: Edward Bryant, Michael Cassutt, Harlan Ellison, Dennis Etchison, Michael Kube-McDowell, George R. R. Martin; 3PM)

Michael Cassutt works on HBO's The Hitchhiker, Harlan Ellison used to work on Twilight Zone and has worked on lots of other TV series, Dennis Etchison and George R. R. Martin are currently working pn Twilight Zone, and Michael Kube-McDowell is working on Tales from the Darkside. So this panel had a lot of expertise and covered a wide range of SF on TV. For example, The Hitchhiker, because it is on cable rather than broadcast television, can be "darker" in tone than Twilight Zone. And Tales from the Darkside, because it is done on a shoe-string budget, cannot have more than four actors per episode and only indoor sets. In fact, because of how they are distributed, The Hitchhiker and Tales from the Darkside both have more freedom than Twilight Zone and hence are often considerably better. Etchison and Martin, because they were currently employed by Twilight Zone could not be as harsh as Ellison, who "translated" what they were saying, to the merriment of all. For example, "This story is overly complex" would become "This story makes you think," or "This story doesn't have the 'Twilight Zone' feel" means "We can't sell it to our sponsors." I could give examples of contrasts among the shows for pages, but I would instead recommend that you watch them for yourself.

Autograph Session: Harlan Ellison

After the panel, Ellison autographed books for an hour, so I got his autograph in An Edge in My Voice and Cooking Out of This World. He seemed quite polite and sociable while autographing--not at all the monster he is painted (often by himself, I might add) to be.

Film Previews from Empire Film

Since I got done at the autographing session early, I went looking for the Warner Brothers presentation. I ended up in the Empire Films presentation instead. They are the folks who gave you Troll, Ghoulies, and of course, the wonderful Re-Animator. They are working on several more projects, including another Lovecraft film, From Beyond. It has much the same cast as Re-Animator and about the same level of grossness. It also seems to have the same indefinable charm as Re-Animator, so I'll be watching for it. I won a Troll poster at this presentation (of course there were only about two dozen people there...).

Panel: Turning a Book into Film
(Members: Craig Miller, Alan Dean Foster, 5PM)

Most of the scheduled participants had canceled out of this one. Alan Dean Foster has never had a novel of his turned into a film; he does the other direction (novelizations). He finally admitted that he wrote the novelization to Star Wars, nine years after Mark first claimed that to be the case. It had been in his contract to deny it, but when Pollack's biography of Lucas came out and announced it, Lucas's lawyers gave Foster a release from that restriction. So Mark scooped them all, and in Lan's Lantern!

Anyway, the panel of two talked about good books made into bad films and bad books made into good films and why some good books can't be made into good films, etc. Most of this was a rehash of many other such discussions which usually end up centered on "What happened to Dune?" There were no new, amazing insights that I can remember.

Southern Inhospitality for Dinner

We went to Dunk 'n Dine. Big mistake. Apparently no one told them that there would be several hundred people looking for dinner, all at 6PM. The service was slow (only one cook) and surly. The waitress claimed she was quitting after the day was finished.

Hugo Awards

Though we stood in line for almost an hour we still had terrible seats. The entire front third of the ballroom was reserved for VIPs. We ended up sitting in back of Saul (small world!). It was impossible to see the stage, at least for me, and I had to be satisfied with watching the entire proceedings on the giant screens (which I couldn't see the bottom part of either). Bob Shaw interspersed his autobiography between Hugos and once you got accustomed to his accent he was very funny. His tales of doing engineering drawing and the problems involved reminded me of the book To Engineer Is Human by Henry Petroski which I had just finished reading, especially his story of how it took the upper management months to realize what he did as soon as he looked at his first airplane drawing: the emergency exits were one above the other and people jumping out of the top one would land on people jumping out of the bottom one.

The Hugos themselves were given out in reverse order, just like the Academy Awards, with the non-Hugo awards being given first of all. The John W. Campbell Award went to Melissa Scott (who wrote A Choice of Destinies, a not-bad alternate history novel published by Baen Books). The First Fandom Award was given to Julian Schwartz and Rusty Hevelin got the Big Heart Award. Mike Glyer got Best Fan Writer. Then the biggee of the evening (for us, anyway): Lan's Lantern, edited by George Laskowski, won for Best Fanzine! George, in his thank-you speech, said he would not thank all contributors by name (darn!). He also asked, "This is a Hugo? I thought I was getting a car!" (The Yugo, for those who don't know.)

The rest was almost anti-climactic. joan hanke-woods [sic] won Best Fan Artist. Locus, edited by Charlie Brown, won Best Prozine (again!). Michael Whelan won for the fifth time in a row as Best Pro Artist and withdrew himself from consideration in next year's voting. (Are you listening, Charlie?)

The big shock of the evening was when Judy Lynn Del Rey won postumously for Best Editor and Lester Del Rey sent a letter refusing the award because he felt it was given because she had died. As he said, she had had many chances to be given it while she was alive, yet had always been passed over. While there is truth in what he says, I feel that the problem is that there are more people that deserve Hugos than can get them and the result is, sadly, that many don't get them until it's too late.

Although Brazil got the most applause, Back to the Future won for Best Dramatic Presentation. Apparently Brazil got the most first-place votes, but almost everyone who didn't vote it first voted it last.

Tom Weller's Science Made Stupid won for Best Non-Fiction (a catchall category that causes cartoon books like this to compete with a collection of Ellison essays like An Edge in My Voice). "Fermi and Frost" by Frederik Pohl won for Best Short Story; "Paladin of the Lost Hour" by Harlan Ellison won for Best Novelette; "Twenty Four Views of Mt. Fuji by Hokusai" by Roger Zelazny won for Best Novella. Best Novel was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Other Awards

Several other awards were given out at other times, but this seems like a good place to list them. These included the Prometheus Awards: Victor Milan's Cybernetic Samurai for Best Contemporary Work, and C. M. Kornbluth's The Syndic and Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's "Illuminatus Trilogy." Frederik Pohl got the Beany Award. The "Japanese Hugos" (Seiun Awards) were given to the "Elric" books by Michael Moorcock (Best Foreign Novel) and Back to the Future (Best Media Presentation. Best Foreign Short Story was given to the perennial "No Award."

The 1988 Worldcon Bid was won by New Orleans; Boston won the 1989 Worldcon Bid. Attending memberships in Nolacon II (New Orleans) are $35 until 9/30/86; supporting memberships are $30. Their address is Nolacon II: 46th World Science Fiction Convention, P. O. Box 8010, New Orleans LA 70182.

My other thrill of the evening came when I rode the elevator with Jack Williamson. He looked at my name tag, then kissed my hand and thanked me for the good review of his book Wonder's Child!

Hanging out

Since there were no really good parties scheduled we hung out with Kate, Dave, and Pete and talked about old times.



After the dismal service at the Dunk 'n Dine last night, we decided to go elsewhere. The hotel's brunch didn't start until 10:30 however, and we wanted to eat before that so we ate in the coffee shop. Nothing special, but at least it wasn't over-priced.

Panel: How to Survive in a Two-Fan Family
(Members: Bernadette Bosky, George Laskowski, Maia Cowan, Arthur Hlavaty, Bruce Pelz, Elaine Pelz; 11AM)

Three sets of two-fan families concluded (after an hour) that the panel should have been "How to Survive in a One-Fan Family," since two fans will at least understand how fandom works. The only problems seem to be the usual problems: he doesn't like some of her friends, she doesn't like some of his, everyone thinks of them as one entity (I can sympathize with that!), etc.

Panel: Chinese Mythology in SF&F
(Members: Susan Shwartz, Ed Byers, Brenda W. Clough, Christopher Stasheff; 1PM)

This was a confused panel. Mike Whelan's slide show ran late so this started late, except they panel decided to start it early off in a corridor somewhere. So those of us who were waiting in the room missed the first fifteen minutes. Susan Shwartz then plugged her up-coming books for a while (as did others also) and everyone admitted a non-too-thorough knowledge of the subject. By 1:30 nothing interesting or new had been said so I left and went to...

Panel: The Prequel to My Sequel: Series Writing
(Members: Michael Kube-McDowell, Glen Cook, Alan Dean Foster, Lawrence Watt-Evans; 1PM)

Since I missed the first half of this, my comments will be brief. It's difficult to keep inconsistencies from creeping in to series, and most authors don't like them because of this, and also because they're often sick of the characters and world and want to do something new. But the publishers offer them larger and larger sums of money to do sequels to popular novels, so they do them. Foster said that the "Spellsinger" books were not supposed to be a series; they were written as one book, but Warner told him they were splitting it right down the middle, so anyone who didn't like the "surprise" they got when they discovered that the book they had bought was only half a book should complain to them.

Panel: Time Travel: The Genre's Most Delicious Cheat
(Members: Robert Silverberg, Gregory Benford, Joe Haldeman, Larry Niven; 2PM)

Definitely the heavy-guns panel of the Con. Silverberg and Niven did most of the talking. They started by concluding that time travel was fantasy, not science fiction (at least so far as science is known today). Backwards time travel, they said, is impossible. Forwards time travel (as greater than 1 second per second) they dismissed without really discussing, probably because most people mean backwards time travel when they talk about time travel. After they were asked to give their favorite solution to the "Grandfather Paradox" someone in the audience got up and said (in all seriousness), "But if you go back in time and kill your grandfather then you'd never be born." This person was definitely a neo! (Since that is the Grandfather Paradox.) Anyway, it was a fun panel with a lot of nifty ideas batted around.

Panel: Craig Miller Show (Nightflyers)
(Members: Craig Miller, Robert Jaffe, George R. R. Martin; 4PM)

Robert Jaffe is the producer (I think) of the the movie being made from Martin's "Nightflyers." It's a relatively low-budget production with a lot of the look of Alien around it. There is a fair amount of gore. Maybe it will be good, but don't expect anything amazing. Mark and I both noted that Craig Miller and George Martin look a lot alike.

Panel: Male Power/Female Revenge: Fiction & Reality
(Members: Dawn Atkins, Brenda W. Clough, Asa Drake, J. Neil Shulman, Paul O. Williams; 5PM)

I stuck with this for about twenty minutes, hoping that it would get interesting. It didn't (I can't even remember what they were saying now), so I went to the...

Secular Humanist Revival Meeting
(Led by Orson Scott Card: 5PM)

This was fantastic! I could have kicked myself for missing the beginning of this for the boring panel instead. Card (a Mormon) led an old-fashioned revival-style meeting, not for fundamentalism, but for secular humanism. He packed the ballroom, even to people standing in the back, and kept us there for over an hour and a half, telling us the evils of the Meese Commission and other right-wing groups that want to limit our freedom of expression.

I can't possibly remember everything he said, but some things stick in my mind. Like "more people die in a week because of alcohol and tobacco than have died in the whole history of mankind from an overdose of beaver shots." And if prayers were returned to public schools and based on prevailing community standards, children in the South would be saying Baptist prayers, children in the Southwest would be saying Catholic prayers, and children in New York would be saying so many different prayers that they wouldn't have any time left for learning anything. And how on the one hand the fundamentalists claim "secular humanism" is a religion and should be taken out of schools and on the other hand want to put prayer back in. (I may be one of the few people I know old enough to remember prayer in public schools--it was in Bangor. Maine, in the 1950's and was the "Lord's Prayer"--Christian, of course.) Card also called for "Amens" and "Hallelujahs" as befits a revivalist and had us sing a secular humanist hymn which went something like "Rock of Ages, by the sea, worn away by entropy."

He talked about how the Meese Commission coerced the Southland Corporation ("7-11") to stop carrying Playboy et al. ("You should go in and tell them if they won't sell you Playboy they can keep their damn beer!") He contrasted this with the reaction of his publisher to a group that, shortly after Card spoke out against censorship, demanded they stop publishing him because he wrote "pornography." The publisher told the group to point out exactly what they thought was pornographic and that then they would talk to them. End of story.

People were also asked to "testify"--to write their names and favorite natural laws on pieces of paper that were handed out. Card then read a selection of these, with commentary. Some he had problems with, since they were abstruse mathematical or scientific concepts that he didn't understand. A sample of his commentary: "Joe Smith likes the Heisenberg Uncertainty least that's what I think it says." This was contrasted with two words that Card claimed would sound impossible together--like "bicycle sex" or "vegetable athletics." Actually, he said, the latter two he could understand but not ... "creation science."

Throughout the talk, he kept yelling, "Am I talking loud enough?" to which the audience would yell back, "Yes!" At the end he did this, and then responded to the "Yes!" with "No, I'm not!" He went on to point out that until these views were heard in the legislatures, and the courts, and everywhere, neither he nor anyone else was talking loud enough. And if all we did was to go home and say what a great show it was, then we deserved what we would get from the would-be censors et al. And he was right.

Card apparently did this as the NASFIC in Houston also. If he does it again and you have a chance to go, do so. I wonder, though, what the hotel made of all this; just three months ago they hosted the Southern Baptist convention and this must have been a hell of a contrast.

Dinner at Fisherman's Cove . . .Again

By the time the Secular Humanist Revival Meeting got out at 6:40, everyone I was supposed to meet for dinner had already gone to Fisherman's Cove. I did find Paul, however, and so went to Fisherman's Cove with him and Sherry, Michael, and Jason. We ended up sitting near the rest of the gang, but at our own table (the starting times were too out of sync to join them). I had the surf 'n turf. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the dessert bar, a lot of the best things (lie the pecan pie) were gone, but I managed to find enough anyway.


On the basis of the Hugo Awards fiasco, everyone decided to watch the Masquerade via closed-circuit television. I missed the beginning because I ate dinner late, but saw most of the fifty or so costumes (down from 100 a couple of years ago). They still had the same not-very-funny guy in a vampire costume announcing it, and the costumes were not very original. There were several standard "expert" costumes, which seem to consist of an ornately decorated circle of material which is on ribs (like an umbrella) with a slit from perimeter to center to allow it to be folded up and worn on the back. When the wearer gets out on stage, s/he merely takes a rib in each hand and raises them above his/her head, causing the circle to open. Ho-hum. The funniest costume was the one of fake super-heroes (I can't remember the excat name), which had Miracle Whip and her son Cool Whip, California Cooler, Sheer Energy, and Stay Free (I tell you, when the Masquerade is reduced to people dressing up as sanitary napkins, there's something amiss here!). The first run-through finished at just about 10 PM at which point we proceeded to the...

Usenet Party

Great--I got to meet all sorts of people I knew only electronically: ihnp4!mtgzy!ecl (that's me--I've met me before), ihnp4!mtgzz!leeper (that's Mark--I've met him before too), (Nicolas Simicich, who hosted this party), oc.trei@cu20b (Peter Trei, who kept the mailing list for this), jaffe@rutgers (Saul Jaffe, editor of SF-Lovers' Digest), (the Jerry Boyajian, a.k.a. Jayembee), ron@brl (Ron Natalie, who typed in the Usenet Party Report), hobbit@rutgers (who got a flash right in the face while typing), sommers@rutgers (Liz from the Boston in '89 party), ihnp4!ides!kimi (the Usenetter from the Meet-the-Participants Party), ihnp4!mcnc!duke!crm (Charlie Martin, who claims I look like Snow White--what does that make Mark, I wonder?), ooblick@unirot (Mikki Barry), random@unirot (Mikki's husband?), chrisa@tekig5 (Chris Andersen, who wrote the new "Netiquette" document and is now off the Net), lll-crg!figmo (Lynn Gold, who got there late and didn't sign the e-mail roster), ihnp4!uiucdcs!ccvaxa!wombat, marick@gswd-vms (Brian Marick, Wombat Consort; I exchanged Illinois stories with them, telling them how Champaign-Urbana was the big city to those of us who lived in Rantoul), jsloan@wright (John Sloan), ihnp4!sx1100!jlr (it was his first con),,,, ihnp4!umn-cs!hyper!dean,,, ks@svo.uucp, jkr@gitpyr,,,,,,, zeve@rutgers, lcc.barry@ucla-cs, ucla-cs!lcc!leeway, meister@borax, ihnp4!gargoyle!randy, Breslau@MIT-OZ, and ihnp4!cbmvax!snark!eric. We also turned away two whips-and-chains freaks who were directed to our party by a practical joker. There was also the inevitable Rich Rosen clone.

I announced I was tired of being half of "The Leepers". I'm not looking for a divorce--I just want to be recognized as my own person. Even when I was not with Mark, people would come up to me, read my badge, and say, "So you're the Leepers!" On the way down in the elevator, Mark tried to convince me that more people knew me than knew him. Someone leaned over, read my badge, read his badge, and then said to him, "Mark Leeper! I've read your movie reviews on the Net!" The prosecution rests.

Panel: What Will Technology Do to Sex?
(Members: Steven Gould, Gardner Dozois, David Govaker, Tess Kissinger, Lawrence Watt-Evans; 11PM)

I didn't attend this but one of the Usenetters went to it and returned with a report. Apparently it was quite hysterical, with panel members bringing various "appliances" and catalogs. It's amazing how high-tech dildos have become. There was also some non-appliance toys, like the "wind-up walking 2-inch penis."

Boston in '89 Party
After the Usenet Party we hit the Boston in '89 celebration party, where we ran into Mikki Barry and her husband again (I think his name was Ken, but I'm terrible with names). Dale also wandered in and we talked about the Net, especially net.women and the still embryonic Dale was especially thrilled to learn that people were throwing other people onto the concrete garage floor at his house at the party! (That's sarcasm--he actually was turning somewhat green as thoughts of lawsuits raced through his head.) After a while the conversation drifted completely to martial arts and we drifted out.



We had a quick breakfast in the brunch area with Paul and Sherry then back to the room to pack. This was inhibited by the fact that Dale had come in at 8 AM and was sleeping. So we packed quietly and went out. I went to...

Future Worldcon Presentations
Members: Seacon II, Noreascon III, and Nolacon II; Noon)

Brighton's facilities look quite good, and I'm looking forward to it. Boston was quite honest about the fact that the Hynes Convention Center was completely torn down. It's supposed to be done in plenty of time for the Con, but if it isn't they have made other arrangements with a nearby theater and a music school to use their facilities. New Orleans seemed the most disorganized. For one thing, they had already sent their slide show back that morning. Every question about facilities was met with the response that the facilities were great. I'm reserving judgement. At the end it was back to the room to check out. We checked out at 1PM and schlepped our bags to...

Panel: The Corman Syndrome--Little Films and Behemoths
(Members: Edward Bryant, Craig Miller, Frederik Pohl, Ron Wolfe; 2PM)

How many panels does Ed Mryant do in one convention?! Anyway, the topics was supposedly "are little films overtaking major releases?" The answer was, predictably enough, no, so the panel went on to talk about what low-budget studios were doing. Ron Wolfe talked a lot about the Tulsa film industry. Yes, Tulsa Oklahoma has a film industry, or rather a video industry, having two studios doing direct-to-video features. One of them that I have seen is The Ripper with Tom Savini; another that I have not seen is Blood Cult. They're not very good, but they are cheap. (Or as they say: "Cheap, fast, good--choose two out of three.") Roger Corman has apparently fallen on hard times, his latest few projects being considerably less than successful. Miller talked a little bit about the filming of Hollywood Boulevard during Corman's New World Pictures era (1976). The two people who made it went to Corman with the idea and he said he'd give them $800,000 to do it. At the last minute he told them they could have only $400,000. He never expected them to produce anything worthwhile, but he figured it was worth the money to prove his point if he was right, and to get a film if he was wrong and they could produce one. Hollywood Boulevard was a very funny film about low-budget filmmaking; see it if you get a chance.

The Return

Going back to the airport we were ready to board the bus and saying good-bye to Kate and Dave when the doorman came along with Jack Williamson asking for two people to share a cab with him to the airport for the same price as the bus. So I immediately pushed Kate and Dave forward and said, "You guys want to, right?" So they got to ride with Jack Williamson. We got to ride with James Morrow and Marvin Kaye. Kaye was talking about all sorts of new Holmes stories that will be coming out next year for the Holmes centennial. I can't wait!

At the airport we talked to a couple from Texas. He works at the Johnson Space Center; she's a marine biologist. We talked about Brin's books with dolphins, as well as Cachalot, and the "Dolphin Boy" series. We saw Lan walk by, but he was too far away for me to run over and point to him and announce "This man just won a Hugo" (which I had been doing whenever I saw him). Oh well, maybe next year in Brighton...

Evelyn C. Leeper may be reached via e-mail or you may visit her Homepage.

Mark R. Leeper may be reached via e-mail.

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