Deep South Con 50, held at the Embassy Suites in Huntsville, Alabama. The guests of honor were Lois McMaster Bujold, Howard Tayler, Larry Montgomery, David Hulan and Dr. Demento, with Travis "Doc" Taylor as Toastmaster. But also on hand were Gregory Benford, John Picacio, Jim Minz, and Gene Wolfe. Quite a con.
I came in early to teach the writing workshop with Toni Weisskopf, she of Baen books. We kicked off the writing workshop with my "screenplay writing for novelists" talk, then went across the street to the adjacent library where Gregory Benford was speaking (his new book with Larry Niven sounds fascinating, and may actual one-up Ringworld for the next really cool Big Dumb Objecs). Then it was out to dinner for great German food -- thank you Julie-- and back to the bar.
Meanwhile, it was an interesting feeling to be done with the bulk of my responsibilities before the con-proper started. My family joined me on Friday and we took John Picacio out to dinner at Huntsville's best restaurant, Grille 29.
Saturday kicked off by leading a Saturday 9 am walk around Big Spring Park with Toni Weisskopf. Then I did my usual Pyr presentation, only we couldn't seem to bring the lights in the room down to show off the cover art slide show. Every time we turned the lights down, they immediately bounced back up. "It seems to be on some kind of timer," someone said. We turned them down maybe 40 times and each time they came immediately back on, like clockwork. Or like the people in the dealers' room and art show who were really pissed that we kept turning their lights off! Oh well. Sorry guys. We didn't know. And it was (for us at least) good comedy. That afternoon I sat on a Hard Fantasy panel next to Gene Wolfe, and that was probably my programming-fav of the weekend.
Other highlights of the con were spending time with my friend John Picacio, getting to know Howard Tayler and his wife Sandra better, getting to know John's friends Will and Tara (pictures above with Picacio and Minz), catching up with my friends Tom and Pam Kanik, and hearing Travis Taylor tell stories about Rocket City Rednecks.
A wonderful con overall. Thanks very much to the organizers, who did a great job, and all the fans!