Ad Astra 2007 – There and Back Again

Had a great time this year. As it was my second year out, I felt much more comfortable and was able to meet and network with a lot more people. Picked up two books and was able to control my spending after that.

On Friday I attended the:
The Opening Ceremonies

SF Idols – a short story contest which I did not place in. It was interesting to hear the feedback of the judges on each story as opinions often varied widely on the same piece.

Afterwards I met with Writers of the Future winner Tony Pi –

 to discuss my feedback on a draft of a novel he has finished. Tony has come up with an unique concept and written a very fast paced story filled with wonderful descriptions and details. I gave him a few suggestions to consider and he seemed very pleased with what I had given me. Great to meet you face to face. Good luck Tony!

Saturday

Science vs PseudoScience

Reading by Robert J Sawyer from his upcoming book – Rollback. RJS did an excellent job as usual. A real pro in action, Rob is the complete package: writer, speaker, promoter, and public relations all rolled into one.

Robert J Sawyer Yahoo Group Lunch – this was an annual event for Rob and gives his fans a chance to pick his brains and allows us to meet one another. Had a great time!

Urban Fantasy

BattleStar Galatica: Great Show, but is it Really SF? – great panel and we all concurred – BSG is SF!

Geopolitics as Entertainment

Where Did This Go in the Future?

What is Scary? – excellent panel on the different types of horror.

Sunday

The Serial:More Than Just Magazines – interesting and sobering panel where Robert J Sawyer laid it out quite plainly the SF mags are dying and will be gone in 10 to 20 years.

Writers of the Future

Digital Rights Management with GOH – Cory Doctorow, the man is smart and his positions on this are radical and will take people and big business a long time to digest.

Fan Fiction -Praise or Plagiarism? – with Cory Doctorow as one of the panelists again and he continued his crusade on ownership of intellectual properties. Very entertaining though he dominated the panel somewhat as did one audience member.

Toronto Based SF – excellent panel with Peter Halasz, Robert J Sawyer, Karen Bennett, John Robert Columbo, and Don Hutchinson. There was a wealth of knowledge and experience on this panel and great stories about Toronto and the writers that wrote about them were relayed to the audience.

I stuck around to hear some feedback about the con to the committee but frankly it was all nitpicky stuff. The con was great, the panels varied and interesting, the panel members were great, and the hotel staff were very accommodating.

Great job, Ad Astra!

Feb 28th – Literary Lunch – Karl Schroeder and Robert J Sawyer

I managed to catch the last day of this which featured SF writers –
Karl Schroeder and Robert J Sawyer.

Both gave excellent readings, especially Rob, whom I believe harbours
secret aspirations of being the next William Shatner! He gave a very
impassioned reading for the last time from Mindscan and was highly
entertaining.

The Q&A afterwards was great and highlighted by a young boy, playing
hookey I suspect with his mother in tow, who is a big fan of Rob’s.
His youthful enthusiasm and energy really tickled the audience’s fancy.

Here is a link to some photos I took during the event:
http://picasaweb.google.com/LouSytsma/Feb28LiteraryLunch

Cheers!

Lou