Friday, March 23, 2012

Florida -- Days 3 and 4

Where does the time go? The Visions of the Apocalypse conference in Tampa finished on Wednesday in Tampa, with a panel on various types of apocalypses: global warming, angelic Armageddon, epidemics, pollution, species die-offs. Cheerful it was not. But a lot of people attended, looking depressed by the time we finished with them.

On a more upbeat note, these bronze bulls are outside the USF student center (the non-bronze figures are Gay and Joe Haldeman). The USF mascot, the bulls were originally called The Golden Brahmins, until somebody discovered those are chickens.

On to Orlando and the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA). This is four days of academic papers on SF; this year's theme is "The Monstrous Fantastic." GOH is China Mieville. Wednesday night was a pleasant reception, and all day Thursday was papers, readings (one of them mine), and eating. Lots of eating. Also lots of books. Here is one section of the book sale room, being perused by David Hartwell, who is in the process of opening a bookstore of his own in Westport, NY:

I had dinner last night with the winners of the Dell Fiction Contest for Young Adults, a dinner organized by Sheila Williams and Rick Wilber. These young writers, ages 18 to 22, are brilliant, sophisticated, multi-faceted. One, Lily Yu, has her contest story on this year's Nebula ballot. Chatting with them, I realized this is not only our future replacements, but our present competition for magazine slots. Ah, well. The old order always changeth, and anyway the steak was good.

The evening finished in the bar with some of SF's adult women: Nalo Hopkinson, Ellen Klages, Liza Trombi, Karen Lord. Karen can do a one-legged squat. I witnessed this and took myself off to bed, old and out of shape and nearly displaced, a literary dinosaur watching the mammals move in.

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