December 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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Philcon 2003 by Ernest Lilley Event: ISBN - PubDate: 12/12/03
Coverage by Ernest Lilley

Official Con Website:  
(cover illustration ©Greg and Tim Hildebrant)

The good news was that Philcon was a relaxed gathering of pros and fans in scenic Philly as we all got ready to bid the year farewell. The bad news was that between one thing and another (the late timing of the con and its Center City location) it was a bit more relaxed than most folks wanted...plans are afoot to move the whole deal out to Valley Forge, where I'm promised that lodging has improved since GW's troops had to tough out the winter there, and that should help. Now to just move it back to November where it belongs. Besides being under-attended, it was a lot of fun. I was on several panels by design and a few by virtue of showing up at the right (or wrong) time. I don't have pics of the masquerade yet, but some were promised me and I'll add them in when (or if) I get them.

Though the weather outside was wintry, inside the con it was warm and festive. Tor Sr. Editor David Hartwell pauses on his way to a panel for his close-up. Glenn Hauman, Victoria McManus,  Eric Kotani (Yoji Kondo), Catherine Minz and John G. Henry try to get his hands around the question of whether or not Heinlein's women were real or imaginary. The consensus seems to be that they were imaginary and everyone on the panel knows several personally. I pointed out that I'm married to one, if anybody needs proof.

I spent entirely too much time at parties (as usual) starting with a semi-secret celebration of Nth Degree's 8th issue. Left - That's Nth man himself Michael D. Pederson, Managing Editor Catherine E. Pederson and contributor J. Andy World. The zine has just turned two years old and is looking better every issue ( Middle - Right - The SFWA suite was hopping, with fans and pros bouncing on the bed and frolicking around the open bar. Or, if you preferred, you could grab a book and relax in the middle of it all. My kind of people.

David ( Figurehead, leach and Jack of Slack) and Joan Wendland (Owner, operator, game designer and Queen of Cards)  hosted the Blood and Cardstock party while down the hall the comely Suzanne posed for us at the Vegascon party. Todd Dashoff (Con Ops) had a quiet con, with the exception of a fire alarum and much confusion at 5:00am Sunday morning. It was a cigarette fire in a wastebasket on the non-smoking floor, which makes a certain amount of sense, actually.

The Meet the Pros party was held in the Art Show, which is nice. They ought to keep a bar open in the show all the time as far as I'm concerned. Yojo Kondo (Eric Kotani) and his wife Ursula talked with us outside the party - their daughter is currently in Iraq with coalition forces. Wendy Mitchell checks out the Post WWII retro-futurist art work  of pulp cover artist Radebaugh.  There's an excellent exhibit of his work at:

Darrell Schweitzer, John Ashmead, SFRevu columnist (and Rider U. Prof) Edward Carmien 

I caught up with Editor Gardner Dozois outside a panel on "What Critics See That Readers Don't", which he co-opted me for. Imperial Intelligence knows if you've been naughty or nice, and it's not coal they'll be handing out if they don't like the answer. The SFRevu semi-annual 1/2 price book sale was well received by readers - many of whom haven't yet been able to enjoy the jobless recovery. We hope for a happy new year for all.

The Philip K. Dick auction draws bidders, Death stalks the green room, and we go to dinner at Maggiano's across the street from the con. L-R Edward Carmien, Ian R. Strock (Atremis) Kit Hawkins, EJ McClure, Ernest Lilley.

© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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