Tuesday, January 29, 2008

If I Look Fat, It's Just 'Cause Everything's Bigger in Texas

Last Friday (1/25/08) it was my privilege to be in Texas, giving a workshop entitled "Fast Forward: Science Fiction," hosted by the Central Texas Library Systems, at the Georgetown Public Library. Here's the description:

"Lou Anders, Editorial Director of Pyr Books will share his vision of the future - and his knowledge of the Science Fiction genre – with CTLS member library staff, volunteers, board and Friends. Lou will discuss the various Sci Fi sub-genres and authors who are currently popular. He’ll also recommend authors and titles to include in a beginning Science Fiction core collection."

There were about 50 people in the audience, give or take. Some enthusiastic readers, some fans of media SF, some who'd never read it before. And me, basically trying to split the middle between media SF fans and those who wouldn't touch the stuff, trying to pull both sides towards an understanding of and appreciation for the literature. So, how did it go?

Awesome! I'd been warned that due to the horrendous nature of Friday traffic in Austin, I shouldn't be offended when folks made a beeline for the door come 3pm. Instead, they mobbed the front, asking about books and titles and authors. Many explained that they read SF as children and were now inspired to read again. Several said it was the most interesting topic they'd done so far. A few said their spouses read and now they didn't think it so strange...

Here I am with Pat Tuohy, Executive Director of Central Texas Library System (CTLS, Inc.). I'm sorry I didn't get a picture with Jennifer Patterson, who hired me, but she was too busy facilitating (and very well). She made the whole trip very enjoyable.

And as you can see, lots of the staff were decked out in Spock Ears, alien antennae, etc... One "Scully" from the X-Files that I thought was a real FBI agent for a nanosecond or two. (Some post-911 homeland security thing I don't know about libraries?) And here's a shot of an appropriately dejected Marvin from Hitchhiker's Guide. Plastic aliens and ray guns on every table, and a Star Wars "space cake" that was a very unhealthy looking chemical deep blue but quite tasty. Also a flutist playing "genre music'" during the lunch of "chicken in solar sauce!!" I had a blast!

Thursday night at the San Gabriel House was wonderful - a 1908 bed and breakfast across from Southwestern University. And thanks to Chris Roberson and Allison Baker for putting me up Friday night, and for John Picacio for trekking over from San Antonio to hang with us. Thanks to all and everyone for a great time.


John Picacio said...

Great to see you Friday night. Again, the slideshow looked awesome on your Ipod. I bet it looked dynamite on the big screen. You oughta consider breaking that out for Apollocon in June....

Lou Anders said...

I'm going to do A slideshow, but not necessarily THAT slideshow. Gonna do one for OmegaCon too, which they've asked me to do two days in a row. Slideshows = fun.

Also, I heard from the b&b I stayed in, San Gabriel House, that they are ordering some Pyr books for their library. I neglected to mention in the blog - but the B&B is covered in bookshelves, mostly mystery and SF. I read a Neil Gaiman short in his Smoke & Mirrors collection the morning before my presentation to get in the mood to talk up SF&F. (Not that it takes me much...)