OLYMPUS - SF convention
Arrived at noon on Friday, and found my room on 4th floor was ready, so that's an improvement on last year when I had tpo wait until after 2pm.
First programme item I went to was 'Is Europe winning the space race?', where the likes of David L. Clemments and Geoffrey A. Landis (plus two that I'd never heard of before) discussed options and projects which suggest ESA is outdoing the failing NASA... I think the biggest problems are politics and capitalism. Back in the 1960s, when America viewed its future in space as a human federation in Star Trek, it seemed the galaxy was just waiting for explorers and adventurers to colonise it. Nowadays, with numerous astro-ambitions cancelled and small-minded focus on profit-making, it seems that American society is not going to develop into Starfleet, after all. They are more likely to become the Ferengi.
'Pushing the boundaries of genre' in the same room, was a more lively panel, with Gillian Redfearn as moderator for the line-up of Paul Cornell, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Robert V.S. Redick, and Sophia McDougall. As expected, they seemed to reach agreement that marketing and branding rule the genre divisions.
Since I started the Female Archers in Movies & TV page on Facebook, I thought Mike Shevdon's talk about 'Archery in fantasy film & TV' would be interesting, and indeed it was. Video-clips from various movies demonstrated how stunts using bows and arrows often get it very wrong.
The 'opening ceremony' was a short introduction to the guests of honour and committee members, and the organisers should be commended for finishing the presentation in about 20 minutes, so we could all rush off to the bar.
Cory Doctorow's interview by Patrick Nielsen Hayden offered many fascinating and very entertaining insights into the author and his dotcom works.
After teatime, I went to 'Beyond Red Mars' item, were author Paul McAuley moderated the panel of writers Geoffrey A. Landis, Ian Whates, Gareth L. Powell, and Mary A. Turzillo, thorough a discussion of exploring the Solar system.
Beer was followed by a visit to the top-floor Room 42 to see the late night horror: Jesus Christ - Vampire Hunter, which proved too low-budget and wholly predictable, so I gave up watching it around midnight.