I slept rather poorly but for a very long time, so I started the day late. Two panels I attended were notable.
The first featured Jim Blaylock, Tim Powers, and K.W. Jeter discussing their early steampunk works and the origins of the term, which Jeter coined. Their stories were entertaining and contained bits of the history of our field that I had not known. I quite enjoyed it.
The other panel featured a half a dozen authors discussing whether epic fantasy was dead. I considered the topic rather silly, but some of the writers were of interest to me, so I went to see if I had perhaps missed something. I had not. The panel was indeed silly, as fantasy of all sorts is thriving, but most of the writers were entertaining nonetheless.
Lunch was at Smokeys, a nearby restaurant that features, of all things, American barbecue--more or less. Two of us shared this enormous pulled-pork sandwich and the sides of salad and mac-and-cheese.
Though not pulled pork as we in North Carolina know it, the meat was still tender and tasty.
The wind blew fiercely from an amazing late-afternoon sky on the short walk to the restaurant.
It wasn't even five o'clock yet when I took that shot.
Between work and a bit of con wandering, dinner came rather late. The wind on this walk made the afternoon appear still by contrast. I had to lean into it and at times felt it straightening me against my will, and I am neither a small nor a light person. We wandered a bit and settled on a Chinese place, China Garden, that the con staff had reviewed kindly. The food was quite tasty, though again way more than we needed.
This hotel has not, to put it mildly, been my favorite, though it is also not bad overall. I do have a sort of Fawlty Towers view of the ocean, as you can see in this shot.
If you can't see the ocean, click the image to see a larger version, find the scaffolding between the buildings just to left of center, and look above that metal to see the water. While you're at it, check out the grey-blue roof in the lower right. Though it's hard to read in this picture, the white text says, "DRUG DEALERS MURDERED MY DOG." Picturesque.
Time has been odd this week, because it's the one time of the year the U.K. has fallen back its clocks but the U.S. has not, so we're only four hours ahead over here. When I wake up tomorrow morning, the time difference will again be the five hours I expected. My mental time-zone math will thus be back to normal and not require special adjustment, but keeping pace with work will become that extra hour more annoying.
Tomorrow will bring not only this change but also the World Fantasy Con banquet, after which we'll see the presentation of the World Fantasy and British Fantasy awards. Half an hour after the show ends, if all goes well, I'll pile into a car for the ride to London and what will most definitely be a nicer hotel. I look forward to the few days in London.