Monday, April 23, 2007

Ravencon / Barnes and Noble

Carolyn and I had a great time at Ravencon in Richmond, Virginia. The convention is only in its second year, but it is clearly on its way to being one of the great regionals. I heard various attendance figures quoted; something approaching 700 people seems to be the right number (although, as is often the case at cons these days, a good hunk of those were gamers).

On Sunday, I was on two panels: one on AI, and the other on whether hard SF is still central to the science-fiction field. Then Carolyn and I had lunch with the artist Guest of Honor Steve Stiles and his wife, and then made a final circuit through the dealers room (chatting with Bud Webster; one of the highlights of the con for me was getting to spend some time with him). At 2:00 p.m., we hit the road -- with a passenger. Alexandria fan Keith Lynch, who often attends my kaffeeklatsches at Worldcons, needed a lift, and that's where we were headed, so we were happy to oblige.

My reading at Barnes and Noble in Alexandria wasn't as well attended as I'd have liked, but 5:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon is a lousy timeslot (although it was all I could fit into my schedule), plus it was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the entire store was deserted when I arrived -- I can't blame people for not wanting to be indoors! The SF reading group associated with the store had promised to come out in force, but only one member arrived in time for the start of my event (and only one more showed up by the end). Still, we had a nice audience of other people, and I was pleased to learn that the book club's reading choice for the previous month had been my Flashforward. Some of the people who did come out for the event came (they said) because of an events listing in The Washington Post; others, because of the in-store publicity; others still because of the notice on my website.

After the reading, Carolyn and I drove back to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to stay once more at the gorgeous river-side country home of paleontologist Mike Brett-Surman and his wife Kim Moeller, where we spent Sunday night. Mike and Kim have been great hosts -- thanks, guys!

Photos from the Barnes and Noble event:

A nice poster announcing the signing

Rob's youngest fan

Robert J. Sawyer signing books

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


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