Yesterday (Friday) was a fun – albeit exhausting – day. LibertyCon registration kicked off in the morning, and we (myself, Miss D., Old NFO, Lawdog, DaddyBear and others) picked up our badges and material at the registration desk. As usual, kudos to the organizers for making the process as painless as possible.
Old NFO joined me at my table in Author’s Alley early in the afternoon, to sign books for those wanting to buy them from the authors. My stock of books is unfortunately limited, after an order for fresh stocks went astray in shipping, but Castalia House came through by sending copies of my latest Western novel to the convention hotel, where they were waiting for me when I arrived. I’m sorry to disappoint those who wanted my most recent SF novels, but those are the breaks . . . sometimes we just can’t help it. Lawdog and other friends came to visit while we were sitting there. I was highly amused to encounter two of his fans, who went into full-on squeeeee! mode when I introduced them to him. I rather think his first book, due for publication shortly, is going to be a much bigger success than he realizes. He’s got fans out there who’ve been waiting for it for years.
My first panel followed my Author’s Alley session. I moderated a discussion on ‘The Confluence of the Science Fiction and Western Genres’. It was a lively and interesting session, because there are many similarities between the genres – and, for that matter, between some of their staple clichés and real life! We had a fun time. I didn’t get to attend the official opening session immediately afterwards, because Mad Mike hijacked me to sign 525 bookplates for a forthcoming anthology set in his ‘Freehold‘ universe. (I’m one of the contributors.) Almost two hours later, arm, wrist and hand aching, I’d finished them, and joined our friends as we all went off to supper.
Our usual crowd was joined by Joe Speer, gunsmith to some of us and good friend to all of us, who drove up from Birmingham, AL to join us for the evening. We raided the City Café Diner again, for the second time this trip, enjoying its usual outsized servings of outstandingly good food. (The Diner is one of the unspoken highlights of our annual trips to Chattanooga . . . I sometimes wonder how many come back for LibertyCon, and how many for the food!). We adjourned to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel’s new ‘Frothy Monkey‘ coffee bar for postprandial imbibement. (Lawdog and I, both being old Africa hands, regarded the bar’s name with a certain dubious alarm . . . it sounds as if the critter’s got rabies!) Finally, we all collapsed into bed, exhausted but happy, the first day of the convention safely under our belts.
We’ve got a busy Saturday ahead of us. I’ll try to queue up a couple of posts for later on.