Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I’m sitting typing this on my laptop in the departure lounge of Edinburgh airport, about to go on a holiday I haven’t told you about because frankly, I had difficulty believing it was really going to happen. This has been a very busy month, one way or another, not least because of the last-minute nature of this trip.

I’m going to WisCon, which is a speculative fiction convention with a feminist slant in Madison in the USA. I have various Livejournal friends who have been to the con on a regular basis, and I was hoping to go last year, but I was involved in a project at work which clashed with it. However, this year I am really going. I’ve never been to a con before, but as they go, this one is meant to be small(ish) and friendly.

Anyway I can just about count on having enjoyable conversations about the minutiae of books that I like but which the general public have probably not heard of. Once you get me started, I can talk about books for hours, but unless the other person is at least interested in the same genre, it quickly becomes self-indulgent.
J and I have several interests in common – music, visual arts, languages – but our taste in books, film and TV doesn’t overlap all that much. J has nobly read various books by Neil Gaiman, and even came to see him read once, but otherwise he maintains a fairly strict “no spaceships, no pointy ears” policy. He prefers comedy to drama and non-fiction to fiction, and I go the other way. My family are all readers, but are not particularly drawn to fantasy or SF – the word “piffle” has occasionally been bandied about. This is fine. There are genres in which I have no interest (straight romance, the kind of crime novel that has lots of information about different types of ammunition, horror). But it will be nice to meet some people in real life who know what an ansible is or how to get a dragon to do what you want (it seems you need his true name, and nerves of steel...)

It will also be lovely finally to meet the LJ friends in real life. As it happens, some old friends of my parents live in Madison (total coincidence) and I’ll be meeting up with them too.

This month has been a bit of a rollercoaster of stress, followed by relief, followed by stress. One of our guinea pigs is still not completely better, which has been taking a lot out of both of us (although she seems to be responding to treatment). And it is such a long time since I have been away that I’m totally out of practice (also, last time there wasn’t a volcano). I think next time I go abroad I’ll go somewhere within the EU – much easier!


--V said...

I'll be down here waving at the sky as you fly over Pennsylvania!

Rosemary Riveter said...

Hooray, how wonderful that you managed to go this year!

My family are also prone to consider SF "piffle". I am slowly converting Matt, poor lad had never been exposed to good fantasy or SF writing.

Loth said...

Hmmm, never read any Neil Gaiman but might have to try now. I do like Iain M Banks' sci-fi stuff and I loved Carl Sagan's "Contact". Do O count as a sci-fi fan, do you think?