February 1st, 2013


I'm going to Dragon*Con (and no, I'm not boycotting it)

I've received my confirmation that I'm going to be a guest at Dragon*Con 2013. I just have to fax my letter of agreement back, and all will be well.

D*C has always been a favorite show of mine -- I've met some dear friends there, and have some fantastic memories associated with it. (Just to name a few: talking about the presidential election in 2008 with George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Peter David; lengthy drunken chatting at the bar with J.G. Hertzler, Robert O'Reilly, and a bunch of Trek fans; kissing Harlan Ellison on the top of his head in front of a room full of people when he was pissed at me; some excellent parties thrown by Browncoats, and other excellent parties thrown by Scapers; the Elitist Bastards dinner in 1998; a great dinner with Steven Sears and a bunch of Hercules/Xena fans; showing up for my autographing and being stunned to learn that the long line was for me; and many many many many more.) I'm very much looking forward to going back.

I was asked on both Facebook and Twitter about the boycott that several creative types have called for, led by my friend Nancy A. Collins, and I guess I should address that. One of the founders of D*C is Ed Kramer, who has been arrested several times for child molestation, first in 2000 and most recently just this past month. He has yet to actually be convicted, though that's in part due to his consistent gaming of the legal system (some of it related to his disabilities, though it's an open question how much of that is legitimate and how much is gamesmanship to avoid jail time). His ability to do the legal dance is aided by the money he gets as one of the founders and initial investors of D*C. Nancy and others are calling for potential D*C guests to boycott the con until they cut ties with Kramer.

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So no, I'm not boycotting D*C. As I said, I respect the rationale behind it, but Kramer hasn't been convicted of anything except in the court of public opinion, and that's not a good enough reason for D*C to risk killing the convention altogether.
  • Current Music
    "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow" by Jethro Tull
TNG Rewatch

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: "Inheritance"

Data's got a Mom! And she's played by Fionnula Flanagan! Sadly, that's all this tiresomely talky episode has going for it. The TNG Rewatch gets an "Inheritance."

An excerpt:
But if ever an episode cried out for flashbacks, this was it. There’s a reason why the first rule of fiction is “show, don’t tell,” and all this episode does is tell. A really good hour of television could have been constructed from showing Data’s “childhood” on Omicron Theta, witnessing Soong and Juliana’s arguments, observing Juliana’s agonized decision to leave Data behind. This, sadly, was not a good hour of television.
  • Current Music
    "Big Riff and Mando" by Jethro Tull

Friday fanfare: "Copperhead Road"

Earlier I was thinking about great convention memories, mostly in relation to Dragon*Con, and I didn't even mention how many of those involved music. In particular, I did a lot of jam sessions in the 1990s and into the early 2000s. For whatever reason, the jam sessions tapered off over the past ten years or so, which is too bad.

One of my favorites was at the World Fantasy Convention in Montréal in 2001, for which I and C.J. Randall provided percussion. I don't remember who all else was there, but among those jamming were Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, MaryAnn Harris, and Charles de Lint. One of the absolute highlights was Charles singing a superb rendition of Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road." Sadly, none of that jam session was recorded, though there are pictures:

Anyhow, here's the original Steve Earle version of "Copperhead Road."

  • Current Music
    "Tango Till They're Sore" by Tom Waits