Thank you so much for Purrsonal Mewsings 55, and another chance to get caught up. Not only will I comment on the issue at hand, but also get caught up on other correspondence.
How common are horned lizards where you are? With global warming, a new species has made its way up into southern Ontario…we now have opossums, fighting for territory with the huge population of raccoons we have here.
I am not sure, but I think Jim Butcher is attempting a new series of books with a steampunk motif to them, and The Aeronaut’s Windlass is the first of them. What few steampunk novels I have read have been fascinating, especially those by Stephen Hunt, but others tend to go with the Victorian style of writing, and can be long and dreary.
The Canadian Star Trek stamps were merely stills from the series, but the Canadian Mint got in on things with commemorative coins. I can’t really buy things like this any more, so I have refrained from buying anything about the 50th anniversary, as much as I might have wanted to.
The locol…good to see that Rodney Leighton is still with us, and publishing. I would have to wonder if Ben Bova is as optimistic about the future given the new administration in Washington.
I see that you are following me on Google+? I went to the Google+ site many years ago, but I haven’t been on it for some years now, and with Facebook giving me the social media I need, it’s not likely that I will do anything on Google+. Facebook, LinkedIn and my loc archive on LiveJournal are about as much social media as I can handle.
You said to me in a past e-mail that Al Sirois wondered about the differences between The Asylum, the big steampunk event in Lincoln, UK that we went to this past August, and the usual model of SF conventions we’re all used to. Please share this with Al…
We all know the usual conventions we attend are usually at a hotel, and most, if not all, aspects of the convention are in hotel function rooms. We called The Asylum a convention, as did many, but they called themselves a steampunk festival. Attendees stayed in various hotels and university dorms (Lincoln has two universities), and we stayed at perhaps the best and most central of all hotels, the Castle Hotel. Con suite? Just a short walk west of our hotel was a school and schoolyard, and the schoolyard was transformed into a food court, with food trucks and stands, and what we called the gin bus. A double decker bus was changed into a bar on the main floor, with seating outside, and the upstairs was converted into a cocktail lounge, with a small bar at the front. We’d never seen anything like that before, and I can think of various places that would really benefit from this. The back of the schoolyard contained the registration tents, and a grassy area behind that held an Alice-style mad tea party on one day, which we very much enjoyed.
Let me check with The Asylum’s programme book, very detailed…the assorted panels, evening parties, banquets and concerts took place in eleven different venues all over the city of Lincoln, many of them in the area we were in, the cathedral/artistic quarter of the city. The dealers’ room was actually four different venues in the quarter, one in a church, and the others in outdoor markets in the centre area of the quarter crossroad between the cathedral and the castle. The evening parties were held in the Assembly Hall, an ancient building again steps away from our hotel. (Parts of the façade of the Assembly Hall date back to the 1400s.) Some of the outdoor events took place at Lincoln Castle, and we took part in the parade of the Illustrious Assemblage of Honourable Foreigners, in which all attendees from outside of Britain gathered to parade and show off their steampunkish costumes and national flags. We were proud to march in that parade as the only Canadians attending; indeed, we were the only North Americans there. We met others from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Only four days long, but a marvelous time. So much we saw, and so much more we didn’t see. Lots of walking, but so many bits of costume, so much creativity, and so much mad fun. Creativity is foremost, and with no iconic characters to model your costume against, no one will tell you your costume isn’t right or proper.
When you share this with Al, ask him to get in touch with me if he has any other questions about the event, and give him my e-mail address if he doesn’t already have it. Thanks for this issue, and I am sure the next one is on the way soon.