Challenger Logo by Alan White   A Science Fiction Fanzine   Winter 2004/5

 

Mike Resnick's Noreascon IV Diary

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday
August 31
Wednesday
September 1
Thursday
September 2
Friday
September 3
Saturday
September 4
Sunday
September 5
Monday
September 6
Tuesday
September 7

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Friday, September 3: My schedule was really getting busy now. I ran into Laura (my daughter, who very likely outsells me these days) on the way to the hucksters' room, met Stephe Pagel, the publisher of Meisha Merlin, and we went out for an early lunch. I had just turned in A Gathering of Widowmakers to Stephe two weeks earlier, and I spent half the meal begging for a Donato Giancola cover and the other half hitting him with a 3-book proposal - one reprint, one new novel, one collection, all related - that I think he'll be making an offer on once he runs the figures later this month or next.

Then, at 1:00 PM, I stopped by to introduce and watch "Metal Tears", the 40-minute movie made by Jake Bradbury from my Hugo-nominated story, "Robots Don't Cry". Jerry Bradbury - Jake's father and the film's producer - had sent me a DVD a week earlier. I was enjoying the hell out of it for the first ten or twelve minutes when the damned thing froze, so I was really eager to see it all the way through. They started running it...and it froze again. They put in a different DVD and the same thing happened. But it had worked on Jerry's laptop, so finally they tied the laptop into the projector and it worked perfectly, and it was clear that the audience loved it.

It's a wonderful effort, and stayed far closer to the original than I did when adapting Santiago and The Widowmaker for Hollywood. The robot, the alien, and the older version of the narrator were excellent, and the younger version was at least adequate, and you can't get much better than that for a $6,000 film. (To give you an example: $6,000 buys approximately one-third of a second of Van Helsing, the biggest turkey of the summer.) I'm incredibly flattered that they chose my story to film, and equally pleased with the way it turned out. Contractually it's an amateur project, so they can't sell it or charge people to watch it...but I hope they take it on the convention circuit and let people get a look at it. It's worth the effort.

At 2:00 I had to rush off to a panel about what would have happened if JFK had lived. I looked at the audience, composed mostly of people who hadn't been born before he was assassinated and who worshipped him because the press worshipped him. I explained that he was a multi-millionaire from a wealthy and politically-powerful family, he had a brother who also held considerable political power, and that the hallmarks of his brief presidency were tax cuts, an aggressive foreign policy (he was elected because of the mythical "missile gap"), and military intervention overseas (Cuba and Vietnam). Pause. Then I pointed out that if he were alive today with those credentials, his name would be George W. Bush. Kinda got the audience thinking.

At 3:00 Greg Benford and I autographed at the Asimov's table, which seemed to be taking the transition from Gardner Dozois to Sheila Williams very well. (So was I. I sold Gardner the last story he bought as Asimov's editor, and I sold Sheila one of the first she bought.)

At 4:00 I was on a panel promoting a new science fiction imprint, Pyr Books, owned by Prometheus Press, which has been around for ages but never published any fiction before. Lou Anders, the editor, was there. So were a couple of artists, and a pair of writers. (I was there because I was in the process of selling him some books. Gardner was scheduled to be there, too, having sold him an anthology - but he was still laid up in the hospital back in Philadelphia.) I especially liked one of the artists' work, and requested him for the first novel I do for Pyr - and got him.

Then Carol and Xin, Lou's lovely Chinese wife, joined us and we went off to the Kashmir, an Indian restaurant, for dinner. I had my usual korma - I don't do spicy, ever -- but Carol, who loves hot food, tells me her meal was excellent, which means it probably stopped just short of melting the enamel on her teeth.

We got back in time for the Retro Hugos. I still can't get over that list of novels - Fahrenheit 451, The Caves of Steel, Childhood's End, Mission of Gravity,_ and More Than Human. Can you imagine any other year when The Space Merchants couldn't make the final ballot? Bob Eggleton did a very competent job as the emcee, and Terry Pratchett and Phil Klass, the pro Guests of Honor, and Jack Speer, the Fan Guest of Honor, took turns interviewing each other.

I went off to the Asimov's/Analog party in the SFWA Suite, ran into Tony Lewis, and learned that NESFA Press had agreed to buy a book Joe Siclari and I have been assembling for years and which I had proposed to him Tuesday night.

There were parties galore this night - Asimov's/Analog, a Tor party up on the top floor (where I visited with my del Rey editor, Steve Saffel, and never found my Tor editor, Beth Meacham), a Norwescon party, Columbus and Japan bidding parties, a sff.net party, a Glasgow party, an ASFA party (that's the science fiction artists' group), tons of others. When I stopped in the Japanese party the second time, someone there who works for

Hayakawa's science fiction magazine handed me a contract for the Japanese rights to my short story, "Stanley the Eighteen Percenter". I hit them all, pro and fan parties alike, checked in at the CFG Suite, hit 'em all again, and wound up at CFG at maybe 4:30 AM.

 

On to Saturday, September 4...

 

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