I sold my first story and attended my first science fiction convention in 1971. It was a Disclave, in Washington D.C.
I appeared on my first panel five years later, at a Windycon. By that time I had published a score of stories, lost the Campbell Award, lost two Nebulas and a Hugo… and won a Hugo. It was not easy to get on panels in those days. You had to pay your dues.
Subsequently I have appeared on dozens, if not hundreds, of panels, at more cons than I can count. Some were fun and some were boring. Some were serious and some were goofy. Some were good and some were terrible — terrible for the audience, in some cases, and terrible for the panelists, in a few cases. That’s another kind of paying dues.
A few I still cherish in memory, and none more than this one, a panel without a topic that I did with Gardner Dozois and Howard Waldrop at Capclave in 2013. Mostly it was just the three of us telling stories of our years in the wild and wooly fandom of our youth.
It seems like it was only last week we did this panel… but no, 2013 was eleven years ago, I am shocked to realize. Here we are, talking about the good old days, and now the panel itself is part of those good old day.
And now Howard and Gardner are both gone. That makes me the last of the three stooges, I guess. (The Stooges were always favorites of H’ard, especially Shemp).
Current Mood: melancholy