Anaheim - Sunday, September 1, 1996

As per normal, things started a bit on the late side, with my showing up at the first panel I selected a few minutes after it started. I have been selecting what to see the night before each day of the convention and circling them in the pocket guide I have been given, then I just go to the rooms indicated during the day, makes life much simpler instead of deciding on the fly, I will often have backup sessions in case a session is cancelled or rescheduled.

“Creating the Unknown for Films” discussed how various artists work on some popular science fiction television shows. It was very interesting to actually hear what they had to say. They were all in charge of graphics design (in one way or another) on the major television shows currently in production.

After this, I was quite concerned about getting the 30 or 40 books I have acquired during the convention home so I drove around until I found a store that sold boxes and poster tubes (for the few posters I acquired also). The annoying thing that I got the wrong size tube the first time so I had to go back again, ate up a fair amount of time.

I then proceeded to a discussion entitled “Freedom on the Internet” but it could just as easily have been on freedom in general. This was different in that the conference organizers decided to make this discussion in the form of a debate. The sides that the speakers chose to take were the pro and con of whether full disclosure should be law (the extremes of both sides). It was an interesting discussion though a bit of the terminology, complicated, with the United States political structure threw me for a little while. Eventually, the full disclosure argument won the debate however most people in the audience actually agreed with a certain amount of privacy (despite the outcome of the debate). The debate form of discussion is seldom used so that made the discussion challenging.

Next, I cornered an author that I talked to yesterday and got his autograph on a copy of his book that I got for myself instead of Victor. As yesterday, I just hung around until he showed up for his session and got him to autograph as the next session was a discussion with Buzz Aldrin.

That was quite a well-attended talk with Buzz giving a bit of an overview of his career and scientific developments as well as about his new book which is Science Fiction. I stuck around after that (moving to the Dealer's room) and got him to sign a copy of that book for me, I actually got to shake his hand also. It is something to be in the presence of such an historical figure. He was so real, we tend to see some of these figures as so distant but meeting them face to face shows you that they are human. A similar sort of thing was with the Ray Bradbury talk a few days ago.

On the way out of the Dealer's room, I dropped by one of the publisher?s booth again and they gave me (yet another) book, even though I did not ask for it (maybe they have quotas?). I also picked up a free movie poster in the next booth. All of the promotion that both the movie studios and book publishers do at these conventions. I really enjoy seeing the material and hearing about what is coming.

Now, I went to a talk about future space, which discussed various current projects and near-term upcoming projects, though they did touch on the possibility of a manned mission to Mars late next century. A fervent wish was made that if we return to the moon it is to establish a base. This is the wish of most people in the industry it seems, we cannot continue to consider our planet the only ship in the ocean it is a dangerous and naive position. Further discussion was made (from another person this time) about the potential of “space tethers”. It was also noted that the industry is so different now in that there is more disclosure about what is happening on the various space projects now than before, a certain portion, something like 5%, is devoted on every project for promotional means.

I have been purchasing tickets for a book raffle and the draw was held with about 400 people present. They got a number of publishers and individuals to donate books valued in excess of $23,000, which were divided into 42 lots. I was impressed at the amount of enthusiasm and money that was raised through the purchase of tickets for various literacy charities.

After this, I headed off to the ConSuite again for a bit of something to eat before I went to see a talk on the making of one of my most favourite Science Fiction movies, one that I have on Laser Disk. After the talk, they showed the director's version of the movie (which is the one I have), it was nice to see it shown on the big screen with a really good sound system.

After that movie, they were to show the winner of this year's “Best Dramatic Presentation” at the Hugo (science fiction) award ceremony, held in the arena next door, however, it seems that they did not have the distribution rights for the winner so they were going to show a movie I had already seen. So, I called it a night. I have to get up early tomorrow as the plane leaves fairly early. Boxing up my books, it seems that the fact that I am leaving has still not settled in. I should have stayed longer, a week is not enough.

⇒ Continue to Vancouver - Monday, September 2, 1996