Saturday, October 3, 2009

V-Con (No, Really!)

Sometimes it's really very easy to do without a car. Friday morning found us up early and on the municipal bus out to the ferry.
20 Minutes to down-town and another 40 or so out to the ferry with a 5 minute transfer layover, that's not bad. Sure, we ended up at the ferry an hour earlier than we needed to, but that was my fault rather than a flaw in the transit system.
Traveling as a walk-on is really a good way to use the ferry; it's so much more relaxed than worrying if your car is going to start, and making sure to park close enough and all the rest of what we think of as normal at the terminal and on the ferry.

Notice that there's two layers of traffic loading. That's a lot of cars, and this isn't one of the new "Super-C's."

Passengers, on the other hand, have a much quieter boarding experience.

Although there are a lot more passengers than 20 years ago. Paula and I have boarded, gone up a deck, found kiosks to sit at (so that I could plug in the Aspire 1ne), and dropped our packs, and there are still walk-ons loading.

Once at the other end of the ferry route, we waited maybe 10 minutes to board a municipal bus. Okay, 5 bucks, but that got us right into down-town Vancouver.

This was one of the articulated buses we're familiar with from our days in Edmonton, but haven't ridden out here. Victoria went with the even cooler, retro-styled double deckers rather than the articulated buses. A good choice, I think.

The double-decker buses (you can see one at the front of the queue here) are air-conditioned and quite comfortable. Besides, riding up top offers a hell of a good view, even if the ride itself can be a bit rocky on occasion.

The Skytrain, on the other hand, especially the new Canada Line, is a terrific ride. And the new cars are a delight. Notice the vertical bar on the right, with the four loops sticking out of it--making a terrific number of handholds when the car is full.
Our trip in from the ferry took about an hour all told. We boarded the bus about 10:00 am and were checking in to the hotel just after 12:00.

It is strange to be at a V-Con again after so many years away. It didn't take long before I was having fanzines thrust into my hands; an old BCSFAzine, and a copy of Why You Got This Zine #5. It took me about ten minutes to realize that we'd published the original WYGTZ and we'd done it back in 1983 (all nicely credited in the extended colophon). Kathleen is now pubbing her ish, and doing a lovely job of it--making sure that its only available in print and not online, which is unusual and quite nice.

And after decades:

Garth! It was great to see Garth again and catch up on at least an overview of the last few years.
There were other people, of course. People I live near:

like Karl, busy minding the Neo-Opsis table.

And Stephanie, gettinga few minutes away from the table.
But there's also Donna and Clint

who seem to becoming regular features in this life. Which is interesting and unexpected.

Marlene happened to be in Van and so she showed up--and got the chance to play dress up in the dealer's room. The period / pirate clothing was a real treat; the women looked lovely and the men looked dashing, and I even gave it a go. Ah, to be independently wealthy, and have a place to wear pirate clothes...!

SF Canada threw a author party / book-launch Friday night

Which was neat and well-attended. The idea was to create various circles of chairs and then scatter author names about, so that people could either sit beside authors they knew, or figure out who it was they were sitting beside.

There was also a book table--these are, after all, authors.
The event was well attended. Just a few of the familiar faces:

Brian Hades

Barry Alder

Selu--whom we had met on the Skytrain, having completely missed her on the ferry and bus....

Paula, having a good time chatting.

And Fran. Overall, quite a different Friday for me.

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