Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Worldcon I -- Arrival

(Thursday.  Blog supplemental) 

Worldcon -- the world’s largest science fiction convention -- is in Reno, Nevada this year.  It’s great so far, but I had my traveling issues: 

Rubbing blood into my pants leg  I bashed my knee on the door of the shuttle van while getting out at the airport.  I kept rubbing it throughout the day, then found out later I scraped some skin off. 

Wrong plane taxiing up to our terminal gate  Propellers spinning and all!  The women at the boarding counter looked surprised, then announced this plane had to be serviced before our flight (already late) could take off. 

Missing my appointment with the puppeteer  See my previous entry on author, speaker, and puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal.  I was going to read a novel excerpt (assuming I ever get published) in a private session, and she would give me tips on public reading.  As to why I was late, see above. 

A typical author reading an excerpt 
from her manuscript at the convention

On the plus side, I had my picture taken with my favorite author, John Hemry.  

He’s an experienced Navy man.  His Fleet series, under the pen name of Jack Campbell, has made the New York Times bestseller list.  Now he’s bringing out reissues of his Stark series, beginning with Stark’s War (see cover above).  The setting may be the moon, but some issues don’t go away:  A vastly experienced non-com -- Sergeant Stark -- has to deal with the uncaring and incompetent officers above him.  When he’s ordered to send his soldiers into a pointless, suicidal battle, what can Stark do? 

Hemry writes passionately about the ethical conundrums of loyal, patriotic soldiers who are given terrible moral dilemmas.  He also sprinkles his story with hilarious moments when Stark and others have to say “Yessir” to panicky junior officers and those small-minded senior officers who micromanage their every move -- even when they’re charging into battle.  Add to this his realistic descriptions of combat in the low-gravity, airless conditions of the moon, and you’ll see why Stark’s War has been issued again.   

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