Monday, April 20, 2009


This past weekend I attended Eeriecon 11 in Niagara Falls. This is always a fun con, although this year it seemed smaller than usual, due to the economic downturn. And there was, appropriately enough, a panel on economics for writers, focusing mainly on how one survived while writing fiction. This panel was well attended.

Guests of honor were Vernor Vinge and John-Allen Price. Here Vernor discusses working methods with James Alan Gardner:

I did the usual number of panels, and the usual amount of socializing. The Seneca Indian casino is nearby, and although nobody in my little group gambled, I had two excellent meals at two of the casino's five restaurants. There was also a masquerade, some interesting drumming, a writing workshop conducted by Jim Gardner and me, and a filk concert. For me, however, the highlight of the con was a presentation by writer Carl Frederick on the metaphysical implications of quantum mechanics, which was absolutely fascinating. Carl is always both ebullient and brilliant, and it was a treat to hear him, even though the panel was supposed to be about something else. Nobody minded the switch.

Saturday afternoon featured the Eeriecon staple, "What Line's Mine." Panelists must guess which author wrote lines that are read out of context (and often chosen for their weirdness). It's astonishing how often writers don't recognize their own lines -- which incurs a stiff penalty in scoring. As usual, I lost, despite arguing that there ought to be a statute of limitations on stories written over two decades ago. Here is the "line-up," waiting to make fools of ourselves: me, Jim Gardner, Josepha Sherman, Jennifer Crow, Anne Bishop, Vernor Vinge, John-Allen Price, and Darrell Schweitzer:

On Sunday Therese Pieczynski, Lois Gresh, and I drove back to Rochester, exhausted and conned out. Until the next one.


ed124c said...

Hi, Nancy,
You have a bit of a name mixup in the bottom photo-- you have Vernor Vinge listed twice. A minor thing but I thought I would mention it.

Mark Leslie said...

I have to agree, Nancy, the discussion that occurred, and the mini-lecture by Carl during that Sunday morning panel was absolutely fascinating and one of the highlights for my own weekend at EerieCon.

I left that panel completely inspired by the arguments presented by both of you and with a lot of quickly jotted notes.

I have already sought out your book PROBABILITY SUN and Carl's book THE TROJAN CAROUSEL which will allow me to learn more about some of the subjects discussed while be entertained by the stories.

Thank you. :)

bluesman miike Lindner said...

So that's what Vinge looks like! I admire his writing, but I dunno...I thought he'd be taller...

Robert Gus Gissing said...

The talk on Sunday was great. My son was really impressed with the whole thing. Oh I found the book Carl mentioned, "Science and Sanity" by Alfred Korzybski on Google Books. I have to wait to read it till after I am done my classes. I am going to build my own 2-slit experiment too

Nancy Kress said...

Be sure to tell me how that experiment works out!