Friday, April 18, 2008

Eeriecon -- Day 1

Eeriecon is a small con held in Niagara Falls, NY. Driving along the Niagara River to the hotel was a surreal experience: temperatures of 75 degrees while ice floated in the river, moving faster and faster as it approached the rapids leading to the falls. After checking in, I had dinner with whomever wandered into the dining room, which turned out to be three writers, two physicists, and a partridge in a pear tree. Then on to the first panel of the con, billed as a "Free For All."

And it was. Eight panelists: GOH Joe Haldeman, me, Josepha Sherman, Jim Garner, Rob Sawyer, physicist Dr. David Stephenson, poet Carolyn Clink, and the irrepresible Carl Frederick, who has accomplished the interesting feat of setting the genome of the fruit fly to music. He did this by assigning notes in the key of C to the principal codons. When the music went up on the ANALOG site, there were so many hits that the site crashed.

Question from the audience: "Carl, why did you pick the key of C?"

Rob Sawyer: "Because it's so elegans!"

Nothing like a little biological humor to keep a panel interesting.

Next came a session in the bar, with Carl, Jim, Caro Soles, and Robert Gissing, during which many bad jokes were exchanged.

At a party held by Buffalo SF fans, my Blackberry became locked (who knows why) and an entire room full of techies described how to unlock it, until finally one method worked. David DeGraff, an astronomer from Alfred University, explained how it came about that his entire university went into lock-down because some students had been playing zombie hunt with nerf guns. Since nerf guns are made of sponge and tend to be blue or green, this was not easy to grasp. Apparently you had to be there.

Then a party in the con suite, and so to bed. The only problem with that was the party in the next room. The very loud party in the next room. Ah, well ... it's SF.

1 comment:

The Pondering Tree's Alpha Site said...

A room full of tech support much be a special kind of hell. I think I'd resort to smashing the blackberry with a hammer.

As for the nerf guns, having worked security, that doesn't surprise me. Civilian panic over just about anything anymore.

The next lockdown will be over water pistols.

S. F. Murphy