What is a Wiscon, you ask? It’s an annual feminist Science Fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin, and Joan Slonczewski was one of the two guests of honor this year; the other was Jo Walton. Joan invited me along and I accepted to spend some time with Joan, find out what a SF convention would be like, meet the other guest of honor, and see the place I was born (my parents moved before I turned one).
Aside from the total hell that is airline travel these days, the weekend was fabulous, in every sense of the word. I met friendly people who read as much as I do. We all had SF in common (Jo Walton said during one discussion that what makes a book good is “starships and aliens”) but I also met specialists in children’s fiction, people who wanted to talk about Michel Foucault, and scientists who taught me a specialized definition for “mutualism.”
Here is a photo of me with Joan, Kafryn, one of the convention organizers, and Jesse the K, Joan’s guest of honor coordinator, after Joan’s reading (she read the first chapter of her work in progress, in which Jenny–from The Highest Frontier–enters her sophomore year at Frontera College).
And here is a photo of me and Jo Walton in the hallway of the convention center. (I said I met people who read as much as I do, but she is a person who has read more than I have.) You may remember my review of her dragon (in the Victorian drawing room) novel, Tooth and Claw, or of her fictional memoir Among Others.
There was a lot of autograph signing by authors, and I was even asked for my signature on the dedication page of Joan’s book The Children Star, which is dedicated to me and Ron!
The inscription made me almost–but not quite–speechless.
During the hours we spent sitting in airports getting to and from Madison, I was reading Jo Walton’s early novels The King’s Peace and The King’s Name, which were especially good for taking a person out of the moment, what I want from airport reading.
Now I have Lifelode to read and a list of SF titles and authors as long as my arm. I arrived home around 1 am on Tuesday, and Walker and Ron got in about an hour and a half later from the Chicago Open, where Walker had a great tournament for his first in the open (above 2300) section, beating another Master and an International Master and drawing with two Grandmasters. Eleanor kept the cats and rabbit happy, saw some of the alumni in town for reunion weekend, and introduced her friend Olivia to the delights of Veronica Mars.
What’s the most exciting thing you did over the weekend?