Well, the Bubonicon Science Fiction convention #50 here in Albuquerque, NM is over for 2018. It ran from August 24 to 26, and as I do every year, I attended as much of it as I could, hoping to grab a rare tidbit of information or advice, or perhaps a little dirt or the real scoop on some facet of science fiction or fantasy or even real science. This year’s theme was the “Golden Age of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” playing off the fact that the Convention (the “con”) is fifty years old this year (its golden anniversary), and taking a look back at the “Golden Age of SF and F, which, from what I was able to gather, lasted from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, or thereabouts. Many of today’s sci-fi writers lived through at least a part of that time, and cut their sci-fi teeth reading the popular authors of the day. A number of authors acknowledged the role that all that reading paid in the development of their writing. A debt I can well understand. I even got a few books autographed.
I will have to admit, though, that I am somewhat unfamiliar with the works of that era. I came to science fiction late in my career, and though I grew up during that time, I read more non-fiction (science mostly, especially biological sciences) than fiction, and what fiction I did read tended to be related to real life. So, in many of the sessions of this con I had difficulty identifying with the lives of the older writers. I did find it interesting learning about the development of sci-fi through the years, though. I had read a few of the works of Robert Heinlein (“Starship Troopers,” “Methuselah’s Children”) but that was about the extent of my sci-fi reading before I entered college and began concentrating on science, especially microbiology and virology (the biology of the teeny-tiny). It wasn’t until almost time for me to retire from paid scientific work and shortly after the time I began my first sci-fi novel that I read Heinlein’s most popular work, “Stranger In A Strange Land.” About that time also, I began reading quite a number of science fiction works of many other authors (I generally eschew fantasy, however). Sci-fi is my life now; I’ve graduated from science to science fiction. It’s been quite a ride.
I’m beginning to look forward to Bubonicon 51 in 2019. See you there.