Potlatch Day Two

(I’ve been incredibly busy for the last several days, so I haven’t had time to blog anything. So this Potlatch follow-up post is late. Sorry!)

Potlatch day two is the main day of programming, and I spent most of the day going to panels and listening to interesting people speak. The main attraction, of course, was Ursula K. LeGuin, who spoke on many panels, and was spoken of on many more. I managed to wrangle a book-signing and a photograph out of her!

The programming for the day can be found on this page. Here’s some brief thoughts on each panel:

Graphic Novels: not something that I’m all that interested in myself, but I was surprised and delighted to see LeGuin leading it. I learned lots about the history and current trends in graphic novels and comics, and saw panels from some very nice webcomics.

The Scalzi Rule: So our little panel attracted the attention of the great John Scalzi himself! I didn’t stay for the whole thing, as I had to go out for lunch, but this was an interesting panel of con etiquette, and what to do about That Guy. You know, the one who wants to soapbox and won’t shut up. I suggested that the Scalzi Rule was appropriate, even necessary for large groups, which garnered lots of disagreement.

Lunch: Delicious sushi with a childhood friend who lives in the Bay Area!

Good Reads: Got only the tail end, because of aforementioned lunch.

Ursula LeGuin’s reading from Always Coming Home: Exceptional. The readings were fine, and the questions were surprisingly insightful and interesting. The last question, about hope, was so inspiring and appropriate to end the reading that I could hardly believe that it wasn’t planned.

Poetry Reading: Entitled Invocation Against Entropy: A Chiastic Farrago of Poetry from John M. Ford and Ursula K. LeGuin. This was the surprise hit of the con, for me. I have little ear for poetry and low expectations from readings. But this was organized into a quasi-dramatic presentation, with gorgeous writing, good readers, and a beautiful chiastic structure.

Auction: Led by Jay Lake and… somebody whose name I really should remember but can’t right now. Entertaining, but I didn’t buy anything.

Scotch tasting: Not an official event, but a Potlatch tradition and a great time nonetheless. This was the best conversation I had the whole con, covering Gene Wolfe, cruelty and beauty, scifi bookstores, and intelligent moles.

I’ll have the brief recap of day three up this evening. Hopefully.

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