Friday, February 24, 2006

Toronto's Ad Astra loses three of its Guests of Honour

It'll still be a wonderful con, with authors Terry Brooks and Peter David, editor Betsty Mitchell from Del Rey, and fan David Warren (who, among other things, is also my real-estate lawyer), but the other announced guests have all bowed out. Here's the scoop from Ad Astra's website:

As I'm sure some have now noticed, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury and Rowena have been removed from our website as Guests of Honour for our upcoming convention.

Although this is very disheartening, we could not avoid the situation.

Ray Harryhausen was contacted last year via his British agent. They agreed on attending our convention, even going so far as to waive the normal appearance fee. We were overjoyed. We were also informed that they would be releasing a new book this year in North America, so we were trying to tie in a book launch. Sadly, Ray's North American agent was not happy with the arrangements, and booked Ray for a conflicting convention. As they were willing to pay a large stipend, and we could not, Ray has been booked with them.

Ray Bradbury has informed us that he has a project in the works that has had it's deadline changed, and it now also conflicts with Ad Astra. Again, earning a living has won out over a free appearance.

Rowena was forced to cancel when she ran into some difficulties with Canada Customs and importing her work. She has also opted to not attend in order to save herself some money.

So, although it is sad to lose three large guests so suddenly, we certainly understand why they opt to do what is financially best for them, especially in today's economy.

We wish them the best going forward.

We are currently looking to replace them with other Guests of Honour. At this point, we will not be making any announcements vis-a-vis who we are contacting. Once we have firmed up an appearance, we will make an announcement and update our website.


At February 25, 2006 2:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you get a French Canadian Science Fiction writer like Esther Rochon to show up as one of your guest speakers? She is well known in French Canada and in Europe, and some of her books and short stories hove been published in English, German, etc. She is also completely bilingual and an interesting speaker.
It would be interesting not only to have people from all over the world (i.e., the USA) give us their perspective on the field, but to also hear from the other parts of Canada.
Best Wishes
A Fan.

At February 25, 2006 5:10 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

I certainly know Esther's work -- but, just to be clear, I have absolutely nothing to do with the running of Ad Astra.

At March 01, 2006 12:15 AM , Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

It's probably time for Canadian conventions to stop booking American artists. Either that or someone needs to start working with Canada Customs and the government to change the rules. Even if artists do come, their art often doesn't.

All of which has nothing to do with the two Rays, but that just sounds like bad luck.


At March 01, 2006 12:41 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Yeah, Derryl, it is an ongoing problem, isn't it? Fortuantely, we have lots of great Canadian artists! :)

I note that Ad Astra has added the wonderful Kelley Armstrong as an additional author guest of honour.


Post a Comment

<< Home