Saturday, August 13, 2005

Interaction action #3: Elsewhere in the convention guide

"Programme out of space fails to take off!" drone winds down
So, I counted 5 non-electronic games-related panels at the Worldcon, as well as perhaps 4 gaming tables. I can't remember seeing much if any at all games and related ephemera on display among the exhibits and dealers' tables. I wasn't tempted to part with too much cash, but am reading Gus McAllister's The Canongate Strangler, and have got China Mieville's The Scar, and The Emperor of Dreams- a Clark Ashton Smith anthology in the Fantasy Masterworks series vying for position in my readpile. Both authors are new to me, so I'm quite looking forward to them.

Panels less perilous?
I managed to squeeze in 2 more panels on Saturday afternoon. I made a point of catching Ken MacLeod in the company of Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf, Oliver Morton, Mike Scott, and Francis Spufford holding forth to a packed crowd on
  • "The Long Tail": Economics of a Post-Scarcity World
  • "Does the internet makes it possible to keep infinite back catalogues of publications and exploit them in an economically efficient way? (Inspired by Chris Anderson's blog & article in Wired.)"
Another lively panel, with thought-provoking contributions zipping in from all sides. I'll have to dig out that blog and article sometime I guess.

Hardly pausing to draw breath, I went to see my old pal Bill King moderate Jaime Levine, Rebecca Moesta, Stan Nicholls, Dave O'Neill raising the roof asking
  • Are Tie-in Novels Worthwhile or Do They Stop People From Reading Real Novels?
  • "Are there parts of the genre that tie-in novels tickle yet other books just can't reach? What makes a really good tie-in novel? What are the joys of working in a shared universe?"
I say 'moderate', but immobilise might be a better word. I mean, what do you expect from a panel of 3 writers, a publisher, and a big fan of tie-ins when they're faced with a topic like that? Exactly the rapid and unbreakable consensus in favour of, well, tie-ins that ensued. The substantive issues in the tagline never reached critical mass. And I couldn't find a copy of Trollslayer in the dealer room for Bill to autograph to my cousin.

It's showtime!
Reductio ad Absurdam's production of Lukas Back in Anger on Friday night was a genuine triumph. Promising all 6 episodes of Star Wars in an hour was ambitious for a low-budget revue spoofing fannish imitations of the gloss of Lucas' flawed masterwork alongside, well, its flaws, but the first hour was far more hit than miss and sometimes insanely funny in that geekish giggly sort of way. But over 60 minutes in and still only on The Return of the Jedi and I was wondering if the wheels weren't going to fall off all the same.

Phil Raines and Iain Sorenson's riposte was a show-stopping finale- Jabba: the musical, which featured a series of finely-crafted skits on classic Abba hits sung surprisingly well by our dynamic duo to well-deserved ovations. I was entertained, amused, nostalgic, and impressed.

- Interaction action #1: Long weekend in geek-central
- Interaction action #2: The theory and practice of good gaming...?
- Interaction action #4: Schmooze and small adventures

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