Bubonicon 50 – Day One

For those of you who follow me on any of the social media platforms that I’m a part of, you’ll know that last weekend I spent most of my time at the Bubonicon convention here in Albuquerque. I really enjoyed myself and as per previous years will be giving you a rundown of who I saw, what I heard and just generally, what went on.

I was a bit smarter this year in that I used my lunch break at work to go pick up my convention badge and program ahead of time. True, I already had a copy of the schedule from the website but the program just looks nicer.


Plus I still had enough time left over that I could cut my lunch short, still make my 8hrs and leave early enough to catch the first of what I had planned for the evening. (Below is my highlighted copy of the schedule).

day 1

5:00-6:00     Jane Lindskold Reading


The first thing I went to was a reading by Jane Lindskold, author of the Firekeeper saga. She had just enough time to read a new short story, Doth Make Thee Mad, in its entirety.  The story features the Old West traveller, gunwoman and occasional werewolf, Prudence Bledsoe; as she takes a winter job as a school teacher and finds herself having to deal with the vengeful spirit of her predecessor. I really enjoyed the story, and the reading was fun; especially when she did the pompous, booming voice of the former teacher.

6:00-6:30     Opening Ceremonies


Time for our co-chairs (far left) to introduce this year’s co-guests of honour, Mary Robinette Kowal and John Scalzi (centre), plus the toastmaster Lee Moyer and guest artist, Eric Velhagen (far right).

6:30-7:30     Old Mythologies Are New Again in SF Worlds


First panel of the evening; featuring Josh Gentry, Carrie Vaughn, Jane Lindskold, Betsy James and S.M. Stirling. A discussion of what myths and legends often find themselves repackaged into works of science fiction or fantasy, which are under-represented and what may become the legends of the future.

7:30-8:30     Caroline Spector


Another reading, this time by Caroline Spector. Her story was not from the book in the picture but rather the soon-to-be-released Texas Hold ‘Em, latest of the Wild Cards books. Bubbles and the Band Trip, featuring her creation the Amazing Bubbles; had less to do with superpowered heroics (although there was some) and more to do with her chaperoning her daughter’s high school band as they head to a competition in Texas. Fun, with an expected amount of snark. And since there wasn’t time to read the whole thing, we spent some time afterwards learning about pin making.

At this point, I had originally intended to go to the Rebecca Roanhorse reading but I found I was a little late and decided instead to take a short break before continuing on.

9:00-10:00     Do Ray Guns & Rocket Ships Still Spark The Imagination


Another panel, this time with Mary Robinette Kowal, Cynthia Felice, David Lee Summers and Robert E. Vardeman. Since this was the 50th Bubonicon, or its golden anniversary, there was a lot of looking back to the golden age of science fiction. This panel asked the question whether the things that inspired the writers of that period, still inspire the writers of today? The answer was both yes and no, as you might imagine.

9:00-11:00    For The Love of Cheese: Return of Son of The Cheese Magnet


To round things off with something a little less serious, I decided to catch the last half of the above panel with Gail Gerstner-Miller, John Jos Miller, Walton ‘Bud’ Simons, Scott Phillips, Nathan Long, Carrie Vaughn and Adam Jarmon Brown. Since the name is a little confusing, it was basically a discussion of cheap and cheesy sci-fi films. Funny, although I will admit I don’t recall any of the titles mentioned while I was in the room. And when this one was over, it was time for me to head home.


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