We are returned from the wilds of Wisconsin.
In the last post I mentioned we were attending MadCon 2010 in Madison, touted as the last convention Harlan Ellison will ever do. Much speculation runs rampant over the internet about this and his own presentations at the convention will doubtless throw gasoline on the inferno. Having spent more than a small amount of time in his company this past weekend, I will report only that the rumors are pretty much exactly that. Those who know him, know what’s more or less going on, and those who don’t, unless they were present at MadCon and heard what he had to say, do not know what is going on, and after a few conversations with the man I will not post about it here.
I will say that he holds the most desolate of opinions about the internet possible without becoming a complete luddite (which he is not).
We sat at the banquet table Saturday night with Gene Wolfe and his wife and a nicer man would be hard to find. I’ve always liked Gene, have had too few opportunities to talk with him, and this past weekend I got to sit on two panels with him.
Likewise with my good friend Allen Steele. We have been at several conventions together over the years and always manage to not be on panels together. Admittedly, some of this has to do with our slightly divergent interests in certain aspects of SF, but not entirely, so this weekend made up for a long-running deficit.
We also met new people—a shout out to Pat Rothfuss, Tim Richmond, Rich Keeny, John Klima (of Electric Velocipede), Maggie Thompson, Nayad Monroe, Mark Rich, and others. It was a quality weekend. I have a huge load of work to do this week before Archon this coming weekend, but having had this occasion and first-rate block of time with Donna, I can tackle it all handily.
There will be many reports (and “reports”) about what occurred at MadCon. All I will say about it here is this: it was one of those “you had to be there” events. Otherwise, only your prejudices will be tickled—scatology will reign where truth is absent. But then, that seems to be the way it always goes when it comes to Harlan.