Whew! Got through Thanksgiving weekend. So, back to musing about Steampunk. Teslacon II was a great convention, no question. I am still regretting not going to all the panels. Really, there were hardly any I would not like to have attended — erm — that is, I would have liked to attend all the sessions. They are not so much “panels” as “sessions,” it seems to me. Not panels as in academic conferences where four or five professors present papers and then discuss them taking questions from the audience. The audience participation is a bigger part of Teslacon sessions.
My own session on Jules Verne also included Professor Reid (pardon me if I am remembering the name wrong), but I am afraid I gassed on for most of the time. I don’t know why, but clocks seem to speed up when I am talking in front of an audience. In any event, I enjoyed the chance to talk about Verne and was pleased this morning when a book arrived in the mail dealing with Jules Verne films in the 1950s. Right up my alley, I thought, and then I looked in the index and saw that I had been sited numerous times. Ha! I wrote that article on the Disney Jules Verne 16 years ago for Science Fiction Studies, back when I was still playing in the academic game. It is very gratifying to see that anyone is quoting me!
It seems to me that Lord Bobbins and his crew could simply run all the same panels and sessions again next year because I know that I’m not the only one who was sorry to miss panels that were offered in the same time slot. Some were indeed offered twice, which was helpful. One always has to choose between going to the sessions to learn something and larking about socializing. I especially would recommend that next year a lunch break be given. Maybe they did not do so because the hotel restaurant would not have been able to handle everyone descending at once, but it is a necessary thing for genteel life and a lunch break and a tea break at 4 pm. would be a good addition to the convention.
Perhaps we could have a larger tea room as well, to accommodate. Near the vendor’s hall would be nice. This year’s tea room, while delightful, was tucked away in a fairly small room at the end of one of the corridors. This past weekend I was in Iowa City and happened to have lunch at the Marriot there. It is a lovely hotel and has a library! Beautifully appointed room dedicated to Iowa authors and authors who have been involved in the Iowa Writers Workshop. Wish they all had a library… The hotel we stayed in was full of televisions in the lounge area, which is very tiresome when one is trying to read, write, or think. Television: the new invention that thinks for you! What a time-saver!
I think that avoiding television is one of the attractions to retreating to a Victorianesque world. No phones, no radio, no TV, barely any cinema. A world of live theater, live music, and hand-written letters. One can accept the telegram for brief notes (it is really just like e-mail). Hotels have stopped providing hotel stationery and envelopes in the desk drawers. Pooh, I say! Pooh!