Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wait...is that Captain Kirk?

Not long ago, I was invited to be Guest of Honor at the TusCon Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror convention.

Um, okay. Gulp.

*Guest of Honor*.  At a science fiction convention.

First off, I don't write science fiction.  However, although I came to this whole writing gig from the mystery genre, apparently my Witchcraft Mysteries and Haunted Home Renovation series are paranormal enough to have garnered a certain amount of fantasy cred.

Either that, or they were desperate for someone who happened to be free that weekend.

But seriously, the TusCon gang treated me like royalty.  I was wined and dined and provided with a big suite with a jacuzzi in the bedroom and a big pool right outside the door.  I held forth on topics like: "Sympathize with the creature: what makes good monsters"; "21st Century Witches: Never trust a Blonde Named Galinda"; and "Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury: what is their legacy?"

As usual, when I don't know what I'm talking about I try my best to fake it.  But the folks in the TusCon audience -- often dressed up as various Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Anime characters -- usually knew much more than I did about any given subject, and our panels quickly transformed into group discussions with the well-read and knowledgable audiences.  I learned much more than they did from our interactions, I'm sure.

I mingled with monsters and aliens and cyborgs and drew on pathetically outdated references to shows like Night Gallery and Star Trek, which --to my delight-- are now considered "classics" in the field. In preparation for the literature panel, I revisited the amazing Fahrenheit 451and A Stranger in a Strange Land, two novels that blew my mind when I was fourteen, and were well worth rereading.  I also took another look a Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I firmly believe is worth reading at least once a decade.

Also, while there I jotted down titles of a dozen or so influential films that have come out since the original Star Wars Trilogy, which was about the last time I spent much time watching science fiction movies -- though, as I learned at TusCon, there is some debate as to whether Star Wars actually qualifies as science fiction or if it's simply a story set in space.

Big difference.  I could try to explain why, but I would be faking it. Instead, consider attending next year's TusCon, and find out from the experts.  It's a blast.

11 comments:

Gigi Pandian said...

I wish teleportation devices were real, because I would have loved to have popped over and seen you in action! (Especially since I don't see any photos above -- any chance you'll update the post with pictures once you get them?)

Juliet Blackwell said...

I didn't manage to take any photos! Lame. But I could direct you to https://www.facebook.com/TusConScienceFictionConvention?hc_location=stream for some fun photos. YOu would have enjoyed it!

Joe Palmer said...

Thanks for coming, we really enjoyed your company. There's always a little trepidation when we bring in an "outsider", will they be able to fit into the Tucson/ TusCon way of life? But from the moment we got your panel survey back those worries shrank to nothing. By the time the convention started it felt like you were one of our regulars that had been there a decade. Spending time with people like you is why we put on a convention.

Juliet Blackwell said...

Thank you so much, Joe! It truly was a blast. And yes, I felt right at home :-)

Mysti Berry said...

Wow! It sounds like great fun, and a great con!!!!!

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