Saturday, April 4, 2009

Williamson Lectureship 2009

This is the last Williamson Lectureship I'll make it to for a while, as we'll be halfway around the planet come this time next year. This year, I had some trouble finding the number to call to get tickets, so I emailed the coordinator, Patrice Caldwell. Imagine my surprise when I got an email back explaining that I'm an invited guest, so no tickets, and they're covering the cost of my hotel room too.

This year's guest of honor is Nalo Hopkinson. As I've said before, she was one of my Clarion West instructors. Last year Patrice was trying to get in touch with Nalo and her emails weren't getting through. I Facebook messaged Nalo and was able to get the two in touch - this isn't all that impressive, that I am a Facebook friend with Nalo. She's famous. She has a ton of Facebook friends. But in any case, I'm glad I was able to be of use to the Lectureship.

Other guests will include Steve Gould and Laura Mixon, Connie Willis, Steve Haffner, and (I hope!) Ian Tregillis. Gardner Dozois was also making noises about coming. Locals I look forward to seeing include the aforementioned Patrice, Gene Bundy (librarian in charge of the Williamson Library), and Betty Williamson - Jack's niece whom I actually knew through Girl Scouting before I got into SF. This may be the last time I get to see Connie before I leave the country! She's another of my former Clarion West instructors, and has always been wonderfully kind to me whenever we've crossed paths, taking time to have lunch with me and friends at cons and so on. The others I hope to see again at Bubonicon later on this year.

I'm going to be on a panel, it looks like, with Steve Gould and Ian Tregillis about SF in television and film. That should be a lot of fun. This Lectureship is one of the best kept secrets in science fiction. Nowhere do you get so much one on one contact with so many luminaries in the field. What's funny is that it is on the ENMU campus at the same time as the high school state speech and debate tournament, usually. I went to this tournament three times in high school and was already an avid SF fan. I had no clue that right there on campus, SFWA Grand Masters and Hugo winners were holding their own little event! I even did extemp prep in the library, in a spot the authors and guests walk past about a dozen times in the course of the Lectureship. I was so clueless...

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