I get a little crazy when I go too long without a convention fix. Take me off the road for a prolonged period, and I get grouchy, short-tempered, and prone to exchanging diplomacy for short declarative sentence comprised of single-syllable words when confronted by politicians, phone scammers, and door-to-door cultists. The longer I go without, the more likely it is that words of fine olde Anglo-Saxon origin will creep into the aforementioned interactions. Let me tell you, folks, it’s not pretty.
It’s been five months since DragonCon. Household circumstances prompted me to cancel the remainder of my 2015 schedule, unpack the suitcases, put the traveling boots by the fire, and be a homebody. Intellectually, I knew it was the right thing to do. But that didn’t stop me from resenting the hell out of the necessity and feeling walled in.
But, at long last and with much rejoicing, it’s time to hit the con trail again. And it couldn’t start with a better convention, the always-fun AnachroCon, Feb. 26 - 28 at the Atlanta Marriot Century Center. I’m a Featured Guest for this annual celebration of Steampunk, History, Alternate History, Science, Music, Time Travel, and Classic Sci-Fi Literature, not to mention a high concentration of some of the finest costuming I’ve ever encountered. This year’s theme is “The Weird Wild West”, and the programming alone looks amazing.
And speaking of programming, I’m going to be delightfully busy. Here’s what’s in store for me so far:Friday5pm: Panel: Hello Sweetie! A Love Story in Time and Space
, with Lee Martindale and Mark Heffernan. I’m a big fan of both the character River Song and the actor who plays her, the wonderful Alex Kingston. And with an arc than spanned three incarnations of The Doctor, three very different actors playing The Doctor, and some of the best scenes in genre, we’ll have a lot to talk about.6pm: Panel: Who Wants to Live Forever - The Issue of Immortality in Doctor Who
, with Lee Martindale, Jevocas Green, Mark Heffernan. Working a panel with Jevocas “Java” Green is always fun, and the subject has potential for some good, solid discussion.Saturday1pm: Panel: Doctor Who Series Nine Review
, with Lee Martindale, Kim Holec, Tom Faber, Mike Gordon, and Jennifer Hartshorn. A good group of panelist is halfway home to a good panel, and this one fits my definition. The discussion promises to be lively, given the topic. And I may manage to get out of the room alive. Controversial opinions? Moi?4pm: Panel: The TV Movie 20th Anniversary, with Lee Martindale
, Jevocas Green, and Mark Heffernan. I remember seeing Paul McGann’s turn as The Doctor when it originally ran, long before I got seduced into the Whoniverse by Atlanta fandom. There’s a lot to be discussed about its place in the scheme of things, and I suspect this panel will cover a good bit of it.5pm: Panel: Spinning Off Doctor Who
, with Lee Martindale and Mark Heffernan. There have been spin-offs in the past, notably Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Chronicles, and a new spin-off, “Class” has been announced for later this year. I’ve a hunch this is going to be another lively discussion.7pm: Panel: Beyond Schoolmarms and Saloon Girls: Women of Steampunk and the Weird West
, with Lee Martindale (M), Charlotte Henley Babb, Beth Dolgner, Laura Anne Gilman, Misty Massey, Margaret McGraw, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Catherine Scully. The Literary Track brings me on board for a panel with a top-shelf line-up of panelists and a topic that is going to be a blast.8pm: The AnachroCon Salon: In Which Many of Our Author Guests Will Be Reading From, Selling, and Signing Their Works
, with Lev Butts, Charlotte Henley Babb, Laura Anne Gilman, Leanna Renee Hieber, Lee Martindale, and More to Be Announced! Something tells me this is going to be a fun way to spend Saturday evening.Sunday10:00am: Panel: A Decade of Modern Doctor Who 2005 - 2016
, with Lee Martindale, Kim Holec, Winfield Strock, Jevocas Green, and Jennifer Hartshorn. Depending on how late Saturday night went, I may be going into this on too-little sleep and definite traces of hemoglobin in my caffeine stream. But it’s another fine gathering of panelists and the potential of spirited discussion and varying opinions.11:00am: Panel: Fantasy as Alternate History
, with Kathryn Hinds (M), Darin Bush, Laura Anne Gilman, Lee Martindale, and Misty Massey. Back to the Literary Track for the last panel on my schedule and a good one to finish out with.
Check it out at http://www.anachrocon.org
Now to go pack. Where *did* I put those goggles...?