I am back from a terrific time at MarsCon. I thoroughly enjoyed my panels, thanks to the informed and interested audience and my very knowledgeable co-panelists (Helen E. H. Madden of the Heat Flash podcast for the panel on podcasting and Neil Hollands, author of Read On... Fantasy Fiction and Fellowship in a Ring: A Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups, for the panel on young adult speculative fiction). I was particularly gratified by the great attendance at my presentation on "the Lovecraft-Tolkien connection" and the compelling discussion that followed. I sold and signed some books, and made new friends (such as nightlywanderer), and got to catch up with old friends (such as the gang from RavenCon, including Lucy from Lucy's Literary Life).
Before the con began, I took some time to visit one of my most favorite places, Historic Jamestowne. I was amazed at how much Dr. William Kelso and the Jamestown Rediscovery Project has accomplished at the original 1607 site of Fort James since the last time I visited. There are official pictures from the dig here.
Within the pallisade walls of the fort, crosses mark the sites where graves have been discovered. Perhaps this was the site of the original church graveyard.
All of my pictures from Historic Jamestowne are here.
The following stories are old news now, having made the rounds while I was gone, but I feel compelled to mention them anyway:
* I was deeply saddened to read of Kage Baker's illness and very serious condition. She is one of my favorite living authors; I particularly love her wonderful Company series, and I've taught her short stories repeatedly in my courses. If her work has touched your mind and your heart (as it has mine), then please let her know.
* Some people find spiders in the attic. Other people find a lost Gormenghast novel.
* And congratulations to Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer on their engagement!
"This is a historical structure. It's got a fire permit, if you're doing a historical recreation. And we are, don't you see? We're the Inklings Nouveau! We're having a creative meeting of the minds, just the way the Oxford dons used to. Haven't we got the beer and the pipes and the books? And the cozy armchairs? If somebody from the twentieth century looked in on us right now, he'd think we were real. Except for some little details that don't really matter."
- Kage Baker, The Life of the World to Come