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Back from MarsCon

Happy early birthday to shalna and estellye! May you both have a fantastic day and many more to come!

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.

arkers for Graves found inside James Fort

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


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 19th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
We visited historic Jamestowne for the first time in September, I think. It was pretty impressive!
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed!
Jan. 20th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
Thank you, my dear! And thank you for the wonderful squee-inducing package I received, too. What a fantastic surprise. (((((you))))) I can't wait to read it.

I'm glad the Con was a success. Next year, me too!

How exciting that a new Gormenghast novel has appeared! It made me laugh, though, because when I was home at Christmas I actually found a formerly published and well loved Gormenghast novel that belonged to Mom in the attic and put it in the "keep for Gina" pile.
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
I am so glad the package was squee-inducing. :) Happy birthday, my friend!

The con was great. They take over the entire hotel, so there was even programming in the restaurant/bar. And there was an art workshop, too, just like a writing workshop, with critiques from the expert guests. It was small enough to be friendly, but big enough to have plenty of programming. I think you'll like it!

LOL - so you found a Gormenghast novel in the attic, too! Maybe I ought to go poking around with my flashlight...! How neat that your mother had put it on the "keep for Gina" pile. :)
Jan. 20th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
Wow, the Peake-Gilmores were one well-coiffed couple!

I could never get into Gormenghast though.
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Seriously! What a stylin' duo! ;)
Jan. 20th, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
Nice photos... but do you happen to know the reasoning for changing the spelling to Jamestowne?
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Jamestowne is the original spelling (as seen on the shipping labels for the original fort/colony), but I suspect the "e" got dropped as an unnecessary Stuart-era affectation later on down the road. These days, I'd guess that the historic site (managed by The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities: Preservation Virginia) has adopted that archaic spelling to differentiate it from the "Jamestown Settlement," a living history reenactment site (adminstered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation).
Jan. 20th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
Thanks a lot! I can't believe I'm 30!
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the thirtysomethings! :) Of course, these days the thirties are supposed to be the new twenties, so that means you're just out of your teens. *wink*
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Jan. 20th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC)
Two things:
1. Oh yeah...Jamestown... :) Nice photos! I've only visited there briefly, and I don't remember seeing a lot of what you photographed. Perhaps they've added some since I've been there as well. Or maybe I just didn't see much of it when I went. Did you ride the ferry on the river, too?

2. Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman are news to me! Did not know about that. Interesting...
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Hi! Maybe you went to the living history reenactment (the "Jamestown Settlement") rather than the actual archeological site (Historic Jamestowne)? Hey, it's all good.

I'm glad the news was of use/interest. I saw it while I was away, and just had to make note of it.
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Jan. 21st, 2010 07:15 am (UTC)
Oh you're probably right. I'm uneducated. I wish I'd gone to the Historic instead. The Settlement didn't impress me. I can't bring myself to put an "e" at the end of Jamest...you know, so I'm just not going to type it. :}
Jan. 20th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
Very sorry to hear about Kage Baker too. Never met her, but enjoyed the Company :-(
Jan. 20th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Very sad, isn't it? I've taught her stories ("Hanuman" and "Smart Alec," in particular) in my classes, and I've loved her Company series. I have the next novel preordered, as a matter of fact. I'm grateful, at the very least, for the chance to write and tell her so.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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