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March 23, 2003

IAFA! in florida

I'm posting this after the fact, as there's no internet connection at this conference... unlike SXSW in Austin. I was spoiled there. The drive from Dad and Cheryl's place was uneventful, but interesting. Driving across Alligator Alley was slightly more interesting than driving the 401 between Toronto and Kingston. The swamps aren't nearly as interesting from a highway at 120km/h. Unfortunately. I had to stop at a grocery store and get a couple of yoghurt drinks, a tub of sliced fruit, and another of raw greens. Good driving munchies. Two days with Dad's cooking would play hell with anyone's system. Good food, but all meat. Though we did have a bucked of clams and a big slab of smoked salmon. I think he's the only person to deep fry eggs. And his toast can be wrung for the oil, and used to light a lamp. What do you do when you're in florida? Well, you go to the airport hilton, saunter up to the bar for a beer after the 3.5 hour drive from where I've been staying with the family. And you're standing next to Brian Aldiss. You can figure out what a d00d he is. We chatted about living in Oxford (he does), visiting Iceland, and Judy Merril (The Judith Merrill collection is probably the top sifi lit collection in the world, and it resides below the Osborne Collection where yuka works), among other things. Brian took the trouble to point out some of the folks sitting around nearby tables... Charles De Lint, Peter Straub and others I should know but didn't. After he was dragged off by old friends, I found a quiet table to write this... and peruse the index of participants: Stephen R. Donaldson, Radu Florescu, Joe Haldeman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, piles of people I'm embarrassed not to know, and of course Elizabeth Miller (but she hasn't checked in yet). I'm really not up on the writings of people here, aside from the ones mentioned, as they're big cheeses in their field, and you'll probably know most of them. I had thought that this would be mostly scholarly, rather than having this A list of science fiction writers. But they're not the only ones here. Though we're surrounded by highways and the airport, this is a very pretty oasis of a hotel. A cat has been haunting about, and as I looked up I saw a raccoon scurry across a path. And it is only 7pm and very bright. The raccoon is rooting his way around a big palm tree at the moment, judging from the movement of the leaves at its base, and he doesn't seem to be worried by the airplanes flying over. I now have to decide whether to find something to eat, or find a hotel to sleep in tonight, or a quiet place to read my paper over. But first, finish my beer and see if my conference badge is available yet. As ben would say, good clean times.

I'm now at dad's place, and heading home tomorrow. I'll see if I can whip up a post that covers the rest of the pretty wonderful conference. Strangely enough, almost no pictures of the conference, but lots of pictures of the hotel cat. I miss being in Toronto and miss everyone there..."

Posted by jason at March 23, 2003 09:50 AM