I was going to post this last night, but had technical problems with Blogger. Never mind, here it is!
Today was my second day at Worldcon. Despite being with Mum most of the day, I did manage to see some panels, starting with early morning events.
Here they are.
- I turned on the retro Hugos and SJV Awards. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it running and when it did start it dropped out JUST BEFORE announcing the winner of best comic. I will have to look it up online, once the announcements are made.
- A panel called The Timeless Child and the evolving canon of Dr Who lured me in, good fun. Really, canon in Dr Who depends on who is showrunner. It was pointed out that there are a lot of books, audiobooks, comics, etc. so hard to have a series Bible.There was some wish to have characters from the books appear or at least be canon.
- The Future is Female was a discussion of a lot of female writers of the past. Someone on the panel said that Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake was the first Hugo and Nebula winner to go out of print. Sad, but no longer true. I found it on Apple Books. She passed away recently, which is sad.
- “Come Time Travel With Me: 1965”. The year is 1965. What’s going on in the space program and writing? Good fun.
- “How To End The World On $500”. David Brin was on the panel - great fun. There was a discussion of how you would be able to destroy the world if you were not a well funded super villain. Unfortunately it threw me off Zoom after about 20 minutes, and wouldn’t let me back in.
- So I went to another panel, “Terraforming and Alien Life: A Biochemist’s Perspective”. Great fun, again, and fascinating. A biochemist presenter showed how even a small difference in how we are made, or how a chemical is made, can kill you - or not, eg Oxygen is one thing, but you obviously can’t breathe carbon monoxide. No alien plagues, because what harms them is unlikely to harm us. He went on to talk about settling a planet and why some of the forms of terraforming in SF stories wouldn’t work. If, for example, you simply wipe out local life, you are also wiping out what keeps the atmosphere going. We can work out from a distance what other planets are like in many ways, whether it is generally suitable for us, but you can’t predict the biochemistry. He suggested if you are going to create alien life, you use our own life as a basis. He described, as an example, what sounded like something very alien - three hearts, tentacles coming out of the lips, blue blood - and turned out to be an octopus!
- Finally the recordings started to go up and I got to watch the Tolkien panel, which was very good. Five panellists reflected on various aspects of Tolkien’s works. One said it was best to read the Silmarillion which explains a lot about the background of LOTR. another said, no, it was good to read, but not necessary to enjoy LOTR. I agreed there. Another thing I agreed with was that the hobbits showed that small and insignificant people can be heroes. It has always been one thing I loved about the book. Someone said cheekily that if Tolkien had been around now LOTR would never have been written as he would have concentrated all his efforts on a wiki.
I did start off attending a book launch at the end of the evening, but I gave up when the Zoom dropped out - again. There were a lot of dropouts today. Maybe it was my lack of wifi, as I’m at Mum’s place, but I sat in the park for over an hour yesterday with no problems.
I bought another book today. I also found one going free, by one of the con authors.
There will be more. Sigh!