|LoneStarCon2 · The 55th World Science Fiction Convention · Sunday, August 31, 1997|
Saturday Night Parties-- Chili and Stars
We found the chili, but more on that later.
So we began our Saturday night party tour visiting our Russian friends, who were hosting a "quiet" get-together, complete with dill pickles washed down with shots of vodka. Scott thought the lemon Stoli was a nice touch. After a few shots, he was led to Swancon, and the gang scooped up a few marshmallow swans and slipped down to San Francisco in 2002, parting the love beads at the door and grooving to the light of the lava lamp while sampling the potstickers. Peace, baby.
The Oriental theme carried over into LACon III's thank-you party via their eggrolls. Thanks, guys, for some way cool parties! And now for the chili. What do you get when you combine Seattle fans and chili? Why, salmon chili, of course. Richard Wright told us they taste-tested many recipes before settling on last night's offering. So far, it's the chili to beat.
The Eurocon party provided an excellent opportunity for placing accents. This party was always crowded, and we noticed many fans planted themselves here for the night. Toronto's party was an auspicious kick-off for their 2003 WorldCon bid, hosting an always-crowded suite. We enjoyed their "Fen in Black" theme. B5 in 2259 offered us exotic "ice cream of the future."
Fantasy filled the halls on the 19th floor, covering such exotic places and themes as the Middle East--and Philadelphia. Down the hall, following the trail of kites, we came upon Philadelphia's suite party. Admiring their elegant tea service, we noticed a large "4*" at the window across the hotel. Hm, we wondered, what does that mean? Later, Deb Geisler explained the story.
"Scherazade" serenaded us on the way to Boston's "Night in the Seraglio" as we passed silver and gold medallions. Veils festooned the ceiling in the suite fit for a Sultan while strings of lights graced the terrace. So how do you top shrimp and candy sushi? Why, shower us in champagne and strawberry shortcake! And 72 bottles of champagne later, the Boston party was STILL lively. Heck, with all that champagne, who wouldn't be dancing on the ceiling? Why, we even caught a glimpse of Gay Ellen Dennett performing terpsichorean steps....
Sweeping those parties that were still going late in the evening, we found ourselves relaxing (yes, we'll do that occasionally) on Boston's terrace, taking in the view of San Antonio, where the stars at night are big and bright--paper stars, that is. We knew by this time, that we were visiting with the folks who were hosting the--drum roll--Saturday's Party Of The Night. Congrats, gang, your efforts (and champagne) were appreciated. See y'all tonight.
Just thought I'd let y'all know that I'm having a ball--slicing, dicing, cutting, running, and panicking in the Consuite--and I'm glad I volunteered! It's fun! I encourage y'all to stop by for the healthy spread between 5 PM and Midnight every night.
Gordon van Gelder Kept Me Up 'til 3 AM
...and he wasn't even in the room!
This started with Friday's panel "Goodbye Kris! Hello Gordon," where the editorial philosophies and intentions of Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Gordon van Gelder at Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. During a discussion of possible story themes least likely to catch Gordon's attention, the phrase "vampire chickens" floated out. It provoked the expected laughter and the conversation moved on. But an idea spoken aloud always has a life span in someone's mind, and this took roost in mind. It sat in the back until that still, dark moment when sleep has almost arrived and a quick review of the day clears the brain. Suddenly, there was the vivid picture of a vampire chicken, keeping me from that drowsy relaxation I really craved. I had to figure out the mechanics of a blood-sucking chicken. So...no teeth, one stiletto-pointed beak. Forget neck-biting--chickens seldom make knee-height. That makes the ankles the primary targets and rules out cowboys and motorcyclists as prime victims. Socks would certainly be deterrents, too.
Imagine this blood-sucking fowl fastened around a bare leg. A good strong kick would be the life-saving maneuver. This is not going to be a successful adaptation for the barnyard.
I finally fell asleep with the image of screaming, unfed fowl clinging to the nets of Bucconeer's flagship.
Distant Relative of Restaurant Review
After arriving from California on Thursday, I wandered aimlessly for a bit. I was in search of convention facilities and people I knew. Once I finally connected, I was too tired to dine anything but the food court in the Rivercenter. A large group of us sampled the steak place, the chicken place, the Mediterranean place¬and I myself had an exquisite foot-long hot dog from the Dairy Queen.
A tejano band was playing just outside. We were sitting a bit too close for quiet conversation, but hey¬we were in a food court, what do you expect? It was quick and convenient, so I'm not complaining, and the band was pretty good.
On a lark, we decided to take the riverboat tour. It cost $4.31, and we had to buy a ticket in advance, at the ticket kiosk next to the dock outside the Rivercenter. We had to wait a while to fill up a boat, but eventually we were under way. I enjoyed the silly banter of the gondolier. He had obviously been saying the same thing every day for years on end, but he seemed to be having a good time. He provided informative commentary on the history of the River Walk, and a few dumb jokes as well. The whole area was pleasant, well-lit and felt pretty safe. We passed by a number of restaurants I'd like to try, but have no idea how to find them again. The whole tour took about 45 minutes. I definitely recommend taking the tour in the evening, as there is a nice breeze and it is much cooler.
Our theory is that all the conrunners working on this convention have been engaged in unspeakable activities since the moment they arrived.
Question: How can you tell?
Answer: Because every time we ask, "Any good stories?" they infallibly say, "Nothing I can talk about." Every one of them. Every time.
One person I was talking to swore that when she arrived at the convention, the first person she saw when she walked in was Ben Yalow. "Ben!" she said, "how are you?"
"Nothing I can talk about," he replied.
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