Capclave, Day 1


Capclave 2007 was held at the Rockville Hilton this year with Jeffery Ford as the author Guest of Honor and Ellen Datlow as the editor Guest of Honor. I’ve wanted to meet Ellen Datlow for quite some time so I was pretty excited to go. Among others I wanted to meet was Scott Edelman. It seemed like a fun time, and as it turned out, it was.

I got to the conference just after 9 AM and I paid my $50 registration. There was a writing workshop that I wanted to sign up for. I was worried there wouldn’t be any room, but as it turns out, there was plenty of room. So my first 3 hours at the conference were spent in a wonderful writing workshop. There were six participants and a panel of five. The panel included my editor at Intergalactic Medicine Show, Edmund Schubert; L. Jagi Lamplighter; Jeri Smith-Ready; and the whole thing was lead and moderated by Allen Wold, who reminded me, in face and features, of Lester Del Rey.

We were given 10 minutes to write a 100 word “hook” for a story. We then spent the remaining time reading our hooks out loud and allowing the panel to critique them. It was incredibly useful and I think I have a good story coming out of my 100 words, thanks to the excellent feedback and insights of the panel. I was particularly impressed with Allen and what a good listener, observer and speaker he was. The workshop alone was worth the price of admission.

After the workshop, I stopped in to meet Ellen Datlow and Michael Swanwick, both of whom were signing books. I introduced myself to Ellen and we talked for several minutes. I also had the opportunity to tell Michael how much I enjoyed his story “Greetings from the Future”. I then asked Ellen if should would sign a book, and she did; and since Michael had a story in that book, he signed it too, with his very elaborate signature. While there, I met Bill who helps organize these things, and who has been reading my blog and invited me to a party later on in the evening.

I went to an extended lunch with Edmund Schubert and some of his friends from an on-line writers group. We went to a Brazilian restaurant and spent nearly three hours eating from the buffet, and talking about everything under the sun, including writing, which is always fascinating for me.

At 4 PM, I attended the “Best Books of 2007” panel, which included Jim Freund (who sounded exactly like Richard Dryfus), David Hartwell, Scott Edelman, Doug Fratz, and Ernest Lilley. It was an interesting panel, but the best part was meeting Scott Edelman when it was over. I introduced myself and he recognized my name from my series of review of SCIENCE FICTION AGE. I’d brought along my premier issue of SF AGE and Scott signed it for me.

At 5 PM, I attended the “Playing well with Others: Co-Editing” panel. This time there was Ellen Datlow, David Hartwell, Edmund Schubert (as moderator), Lawrence Schoen, and George Scithers. It was strange. I can remember from reading Isaac Asimov’s autobiographies, Isaac describing George Scithers as a young fan in the early 1960s, and here he was an old man who had a vague resemblance to Jack Williamson. There was plenty of interesting discussion, but unfortunately only a few people in the audience. Here are a few pictures from that panel:

At 6 PM, I headed up to the party to which I was invited. Among others, Allen Wold was there and I listened to him tell stories. I had a beer and same sandwich wraps and spoke with several people there, all of them pleasant and all of them sounding like they were having just a wonderful time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay longer because there was another panel I wanted to attend at 7.

I attended the “Why Is Genre a Dirty Word” panel at 7 PM. This panel included Mary Jo Putney, Scott Edelman, Dennis Danvers (who I’d met at Ravencon), and Ian Randal Strock, whose name was so familiar to me from the pages of ANALOG. It was one of the more interesting panel discussions of the day. And I managed to get a few pictures here too:

Dennis Danvers and Scott Edelman

Ian Randal Strock and Dennis Danvers

When the panel was over, I was exhausted and although the conference continued late into the night and early morning, I decided to call it a day and head home. I found Edmund and said goodbye and then made my way to the car for the 20 minute drive home.

I had a blast, however. Meeting all of these people, especially Ellen Datlow and Scott Edelman, was like meeting movie stars to me. Already I’m looking forward to the next convention I attend, and I’ll definitely stop in at Capclave next year.


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