Bill Schaefer has changed the content on the Subterranean Press main page, so the previous link to Subterranean Magazine #4 is no longer there. If you want the link (or want to update it in your archives, use this link instead. It links directly to the .pdf and will be a permanent link. Enoy it, love it, share it with your friends.
Here at the Scalzi Compound, both Krissy and I recently spent just about the same amount of money on different things entirely, and they both arrived here at the homestead today:
Krissy got this lovely sofa set, with a big sofa in the foreground and the loveseat/ottoman combo in the background. See, prior to this we had a fairly inexpensive sofa set that we decided to keep until Rex the random vomiting cat expired, and Athena became old enough to trust not to spill grape juice in difficult-to-clean places. Both of these milestones have since occurred, and so here we are.
I got this lovely new dual-core, SLI-enabled super-bitchin’ computer complete with possibly the most awesome thing ever: A 24-inch 1900×1200 resolution monitor that can — as you see here — pivot 90 degrees into portrait mode, which I suspect will be perfect for me when I’m writing. And then I can pivot it 90 degrees into landscape mode, and it will be perfect when I kill things in pixel form. Seriously, though, portrait mode is six different kinds of awesome. I didn’t know it was this possible to be so geeked out about something. But there it is.
What’s really funny about this is just how ridiculously our purchases conform to sexual norms — the woman bought nice furniture, the guy bought tech toys — and it’s even more funny when you consider that one recent Christmas, my major gift to Krissy was a 120-piece tool set, which she loved. But what can I say. I’m colorblind in the furniture range, so frankly if Krissy hadn’t wanted a new sofa, I probably would have kept the old sofa until it mouldered into sawdust. Conversely, Krissy would probably be content with a 386-era computer, which, frankly, I find sick and wrong. What can I say? Sometimes the stereotypes work.
Upon the arrival of both of our new purchases, we both looked at each other and said “Merry Christmas,” which is to say that we’ve pretty much spent everything we’re going spend for the rest of the year, because, strangely, we’re not actually shooting money out of every orifice. Which is fine; I’m horrible to shop for anyway, and this way everyone gets what they wants. Except Athena, who still wants her Christmas gifts at Christmas time. Kids. They’re just wacky that way.
I’m back from Philcon, and relatively unscathed by the return travel — unlike the flight in, my trip back was not appreciably delayed by weather and/or airline incompetence and/or mysterious creatures on the wing at 20,000 feet, so that’s all to the good. It’s nice to be back home, however; four days is enough time away from the family, I think.
I had a pretty good time at Philcon. Organizationally the con had some challenges this year — there was some confusion regarding a number of program items, mostly relating to when and where they were — but I thought the quality of the panels that I participated in or attended was pretty high (independent of my own involvement), and I got to see a number of folks who I had hoped to spend a bit of time with. Primary among them was Charlie Stross, who you see above having a rare moment when he was not programmed to the gills with panels or appearances or whatnot, because Charlie was the convention’s “Principal Speaker” — i.e., Guest of Honor. Charlie’s always a big ball of fun to hang with, because he’s always doing something interesting and is very enthusiastic about telling you about it. We should all be having as much fun. Also, as an aside, it’s interesting to be in a community of people whose most celebrated individuals can walk around in a “Spongebob Cthulhupants” T-shirt and no one thinks twice about it.
At this point I’m wary of doing the namedrop thing because I inevitably forget people who I had fun talking to (or remember them but totally space out on their names, which I hate), but some of the folks I hung with include the mentioned-in-a-previous-entry MaryAnn Johansen and Bonnie-Ann Black, the SF Editor Mafia, which includes John Joseph Adams, Doug Cohen and Chris Cevasco, agent Jenny Rappaport and her excellent boyfriend (whose name I’m blanking on at the moment but I think is Chris), Diane Turnshek, David Louis Edelman, Ellen Asher and Andrew Wheeler from SFBC, Nathan Lilly, Ernest Lilley, Bud Sparrowhawk, Neil Clarke and Joshua Palmatier. I saw and/or was on panels with and/or spoke at parties to lots of other obscenely fascinating folks, too, but as I mentioned before, my brain is Swiss cheese at the moment. I would note that the con folks were lovely to me as well, particularly Suzanne Rosin, Hugh Casey and Alex Jay Berman.
One interesting thing about Philcon was that the hotel it was at had a number of other very interesting organizations there over the course of the weekend as well. There was a large contingent of runners there for the Philadelphia Marathon, which was apparently on Sunday, there was a Mayoral fundraiser on Saturday, and there were not one but two major religious gatherings as well, one apparently for black women, and the other for the Knights of Columbus. For the latter of these, I saw a man in a cardinal get-up; it took me just a fraction of a second to remember he wasn’t in costume for the con. For the former, the singing and music just about drowned out one of the panels I was on; it was occasionally hard to concentrate on the subject of whether SF has swung to the political right when “Hallalujah!” was being bellowed in gospel tones a couple doors down. But aside from that, all the groups seem to have co-existed peacefully. Truly, a lesson for us all.
Naturally, since I was away from Athena for a couple of days, I had to get her something from the con; I decided on a cute little stuffed bunny, based on the rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I think Athena liked it:
Honestly, my kid’s a riot.
In any event, Philcon: Good people and a fun time.