Scenes from a science fiction convention.

1 04 2009

A few of the highlights from my weekend…

SCENE ONE – Shrinkage is the sincerest form of flattery, sort of.

“I have the oddest thing to tell you”, I murmured to Annette Curtis Klause as she wandered past our dealer’s table at ConBust. “And I’m not sure whether you’ll be angered or pleased.”

Her sparkling eyes twinkled at me from behind her glasses as she awaited my next words.

“Your books are among the top 10 authors’ works shoplifted from the bookstores where I’ve been employed.”

Annette whooped with laughter. She agreed with me that, while neither of us can condone shoplifting, it says something that my shoplifters have excellent taste.

SCENE TWO – First there is a mallard, then no mallard, then there is.

Over on my personal journal, I had posted an amusing picture last night captioned “Duck, Batman, Duck!”, as a prelude to my report on ConBust 2009.

I reproduce that picture for you here, Gentle Readers, for your viewing pleasure.

The context of this photo is as follows…

Theo Black, of The Black Arts, was a guest at the convention, as was Holly Black. Theo seems to have developed a tradition of bringing bags of swag from his home and office to cons, and scattering the contents of his swag-bag throughout hallways and function rooms at those conventions. He made a point to gift my partner Michael and me a spinning light-up CD standee for our BLAKE’S 7 audio titles… a most useful device!

According to Theo, this “redistribution” practice occasionally causes consternation and befuddlement, but in this case it also caused merriment.

When the first stuffed duck appeared in Seelye Hall on Friday night, perched jauntily on a doorhandle, the Smith students and congoers wondered if this was an unannounced scavenger hunt. When I happened upon another stuffed duck later in the con, I mused aloud that it must be Schrodinger’s Duck.

This was seized upon over the weekend by several more congoers, and prompted an impromptu sing-along of “First there is a mallard, then no mallard, then there is”. I was most gratified to know that members of the Class of 2009 through the Class of 2012 were familiar with Donovan!

At the end of the con, two stuffed ducks and a diecast Batmobile remained behind. My partner and I brought them home and have “redistributed” them among friends who have needed a little brightening in their lives.


Such little things, these tales, but such far-reaching effects to make the world a friendlier place.





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