I have a new digital camera, a Canon A80, that I am still learning to use, and have been taking pictures for the last three weeks, of the family, the World Fantasy Convention, and Windycon. See picture above, and elsewhere in this issue. A sampling in color can be seen at Kathryn¹s blog
I have been grateful for the distraction of the new camera while going through another month of recuperation and three-times-a-week physical therapy, and various other difficulties and upsets. The camera did not arrive until a week after the end of Albacon, and because of complicated family travel plans, Kathryn drove separately to Albacon with the kids, and forgot our regular camera. So although we had a glorious sunny fall weekend in the heart of Adirondack foliage, and took a tour of Lake George Village with Hal Clement before taking him to a sunset dinner lakeside Sunday night, we took no pictures. He said he was finished with the third chapter of his next novel, Credit Rating I think he was going to call it, in the same sf setting as his novella "Exchange Rate," and would finish or report on progress to me at Boskone in February. His new novel, Noise, was recently published and had a cover illustration that particularly pleased him. We will miss him. Everyone in the sf world has to deal with the aesthetic he established for hard sf, even if they reject it utterly. He defined one of the poles of the genre. I hope NESFA decides to do a final collection of his later work, which was significant.
I take little pleasure in telling you all that life has otherwise has not been terribly smooth, either. At the World Fantasy Con, which was otherwise marvelous, I was called by hotel security to remove my car from the hotel parking garage immediately on Friday, because of a gas leak. After much time had been consumed, I arrived home late Monday night with a new $700 gas tank. I had just bought four new tires the week before, and the car drove well, so I was unprepared when three days after WFC, on the morning of the day we were to fly to Windycon, one tire went flat and had to be replaced at full cost (never mind). Windycon was a fine convention marred only by what we older con fans sometimes call the old Boskone problem or the Disclave problem‹party-driven fans and non-fans misbehaving. Search Kathryn¹s weblog for more information. If they don¹t take care of it, it will only be a matter of time. . . . And here in the heart of peaceful semi-rural suburbia last Thursday, two hapless gunmen knocked on one of our neighbors¹ doors and robbed them. They escaped with a small amount of cash, but the neighborhood was full of police with rifles and shotguns for hours. All this, and our government launched Operation Ninnyhammer in Iraq, too. As I say, I was really glad for the distractions of the new camera.
This issue will be followed quickly by the next, and the one after, and then perhaps there will be a longer-than-usual gap of five or six weeks between issues, because Kathryn and I are going to Brisbane for the latter part of January while I teach for a week at Clarion South, and thence to Melbourne, Sidney, and New Zealand. We¹ll be back just in time for Boskone. We¹ll miss Confusion this year because of the trip, but will be fan guests there in 2005.