Monday, 5 April 2010

Odyssey finale

Odyssey 2010 – Monday

Yesterday was busy, starting with a panel on anthologies – Ellen Datlow, Ian Whates, Colin Harvey and Gary Couzens discussing 'the art of compilation'. Al Reynolds' talk about 'SF and the modern cosmos' had tech problems, so it started late and its colour slide-show was only screened in black-and-white. From the main hall, I went to the noon panel about 'writing meaningful reviews' moderated by John Clute, but the panellists (I'd never heard of any of them before) all had completely different perspectives, making any balanced or interactive discussion rather difficult.

I had to leave that item early, to visit Green Room, ready for my panel about Clarke (and whether he's still worth reading), where Colin Harvey moderated our discussion. With Ian Whates, Edward James, Martin McGrath, and Stephen Gaskell, opinions differed but we seemed to agree that such older SF novels ought/ should appeal to younger readers today. After, I listened to some comments from 'Not The Clarke Awards' panel, but found I hadn't read any of the books they were talking about.

Next, meeting Interzone film reviewer Nick Lowe, after his BSFA lecture on “2001 and the Narratology of Transcendence,” revealing the 'untold' story about developing the script for Clarke and Kubrick's masterpiece. I saw Roy Gray just after the dealer's room closed at 6pm, and we went to the poetry readings hosted by Birmingham's former poet laureate Chris Morgan. Roz Kaveney's readings were good, as were some others, but I forgot their names.

I had to leave that room early, in time for my panel on James Cameron's Avatar, where Jetse de Vries moderated our lively discussion of the film's merits and faults. I waited patiently for the Mitch Benn gig to start - much later than expected in the main hall, but his 'adult' comedy/ singing act was not funny and only weakly amusing. I think he's just a retarded Bill Bailey wannabe.

Announcements made in Atrium bar space for 'Steampunk Ball' dance in the main hall were an increasing annoyance during late night drinking and chat, but it didn't really spoil the evening, where conversations included mysterious origins of life and the reportedly surprising popularity of Harry Harrison in Russia... I found a copy of Sentinel newsletter #5, with a picture of my first panel on Friday night. Oh, yay.

This morning, I'll be checking out, but still going to programme items, and I have one more panel to do before the closing ceremony.


roy said...

I see you were kind enough to draw a veil over my poetry.

Tony Lee said...

My hearing's very poor!

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Harry Harrison in Russia? Weird. Did they eat the whole thing?