Worldcon – About Friday

(Don’t forget the Denver Worldcon writing meetup!)

Friday was more about the usual sort of having-fun that one does at cons. I went to a great panel that was billed as ‘you pick the subject, come early and sign the sheet with what you want to talk about’. Of course nobody signed the sheet, so the panelists were reduced to taking questions from the audience. Hilarious results ensued. The best question was ‘What was your worst panel ever?’ One answer was when he was asked to moderate, and the instructions beforehand were that Harlan Ellison would be on his left, and Jerry Pournelle would be on his right, and ‘Just don’t let them hit each other.’ Classic stuff!

On behalf of my daughter (who is attending these two days) I went to a panel about how the image of the vampire has evolved. All the usual suspects were mentioned; Anne Rice, Joss Whedon, Bram Stoker. I think, though, that in the end, the big question that puzzled everyone was ‘how did the vampire get so sexy?’ In the legends and tales that nearly every culture has, the vampire is a horror: dead and awful-looking, come to kill you to prolong its own horrible existence. It’s not until it became written fiction, and then even more so in visual fiction, that it became sexy. But I think it was always sexy in fiction: because humans like sex, especially forbidden sex. The mode of expression was less explicit when Bram Stoker was doing it, but it was certainly in there. The real question, the deeper one, that nobody dealt with, was why is the legend scary, but the sexuality begins in the written version of storytelling? I shall have to get that question to my dad.

Today (Saturday) will be especially interesting, as my wonderful best friend Pam will be along. She’s one of those people who makes everything double fun because SHE enjoys it so much. Her laugh spreads joy everywhere it goes. So it will be a great day today!

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