I won't try and reproduce all my notes here, but here are some thoughts about my first day of the convention itself:
Panel: Are Appendices Needed? (Tad Williams, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Julianne Lee, Susan Forest, Barb Galler-Smith (moderator)
In which we find out that if you need the appendix to follow the book, there's something wrong with it, and that Williams and Modesitt ought to be on the road as a comedy team.
In which I also consider that I need to make a map for Journal of the Dead as I'm editing, and hope like heck I don't have to change it because then I potentially have to re-date 40+ entries. In which I also consider that I really need to look up how long (and exactly when) the annual flooding of the Nile was as that's what I based my society on.
Awesome point made - boundaries are usually at natural barriers. If they're arbitrary lines, then those are the work of surveyors and not terribly plausible in a lot of fantasy.
Panel: Where Have All The Magical Creatures Gone? (Patricia McKillip, Dennis L. McKiernan, Robert Vardeman (moderator))
In which we find out ... primarily a long list of books to check out. But I think McKillip is a sweet lady.
Dinner break! In which I find out the smoothie place closes before I get off for said. And that I have a light in my closet.
Also have tremendous trouble working thermostat until I realize that the arcane numbers I am staring at are temperature ranges. Oh right. In Celsius.
Panel: Argh! My Alien is an Elf! (Robert J. Sawyer, Joe Haldeman, Stephen Stirling, Walter Jon Williams (moderator))
In which we find out that there really is an awful lot of this going on. (George R.R. Martin, of all people, apparently has a scientific vampire novel.) Cross-genre pollination - fantasy and horror tropes in scifi - that is.
These people were hysterical. I haven't laughed this much in ages. There were wild topic diversions (a long dialogue about whether to use pop references in SF, for instance), but it was all in good fun. Another long list of books. Two quotes of note, not precisely recorded but close enough:
"The creature in Alien is basically Cthulhu in a spacesuit." --Joe Haldeman
"We don't have holy missions, we just have fun!" -- Stephen Stirling
Panel: Small Press Roundtable (Jeremy Lassen, Jacob Weisman, Brian Hades, Victoria Blake, Patrick Swenson (moderator))
In which we find out that Lindsey despairs of getting anywhere because of the emphasis on networking. Also that Zelazny had a previously unpublished mystery novel coming out in January. Must check this out!
Did not know Swenson (who did not actually moderate - I think Hades did) had a press as well as a magazine. Groovy.
I have produced much doodling and almost as much coughing. I will now contrive to see if I can get snacks.