The 2007 Windycon Science Fiction Convention

Astronaut with Windycon science fiction convention sign
It's time for Windycon

How quickly a year can pass. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was posting my schedule for the 2006 Windycon Science Fiction convention. Once again I'll be a participant in Windycon which opens Friday Nov 9 and continues through Sunday Nov 11. Following is what's in store for me this year.

The Lunar Barrier Grand Ballroom North, Saturday 11:00:
From 1968 to 1972, eight manned missions reached the Moon. In the past 35 years, man has never risen above low Earth orbit. Will this be the state of manned space exploration for the rest of our lifetimes or will we actually once again rise above Earth's gravity well? Will we be able to say “To Lunar orbit and beyond!” Panelists: T. Buckell, B. Higgins, J. Plaxco, F. Ruiz, H. Spencer

This should be an interesting panel especially since we have an election coming up in a year. Given that the return to the Moon program is a product of the Bush administration and widely derided by Democrats, I fear that plans for a return to the Moon may be short lived. I find it strange and disappointing that the party that gave us the Apollo missions to the Moon should be so non-supportive of a return visit.

The Vision for Space Exploration Grand Ballroom North, Saturday Noon:
Is NASA's new preoccupation with a return to the Moon a massive mistake, a wonderful idea, or of no real importance? Where should we be going in space, and how? Panelists: B. Higgins, J. Liss, J. Plaxco, H. Spencer

Another excellent topic of discussion. The Vision for Space Exploration is the most strategic mission that NASA has been given since Apollo. What's even more amazing is that this program has survived for three years in the current political environment. If the American voters want to see this project last beyond the end of George Bush's term as President, then we had better do everything humanly possible to make sure that the next president continues to support this vision. One thing you can do to help is to join the National Space Society.

Prints and Originals Orly, Sunday Noon:
You look at the originals and crave them, but the prices seem so high. When should you consider buying a print rather than an original? What exactly does it mean to be a print (and how are they created)? Panelists: P. Charlifu, S.V. Johnson, J. Lee, J. Plaxco, D. Waltz

Looking around my office, I count 8 prints and 4 originals hanging on my walls. Interestingly, I bought three of the originals at a couple of different Windycon art auctions many years ago and they actually cost less than most of the prints I have.

The whole issue of originals vs prints has been further complicated by the advent of digital art and the giclee or giclée. Digital prints represent an entirely new arena. But there is precedent provided by the world of photography. For example, the film negative is analogous to the digital file in that both are the source of the final printed image.

The Windycon art show can be a great place to acquire art at a bargain price. I'll have several of my own pieces in the show (haven't decided which yet) so if you're at the convention, take the time to look for my art in the show.

Politics in the Future Orly, Sunday 2:00:
No, we aren't interested if you think Dennis Kucinich should run against John Cox in the general election (well, we might be interested, but not for the purposes of this panel). We're more interested in thoughts of politics in the long term. Will democracy survive? What sort of political systems will exist after mankind colonizes the planets? D. Bingle, J. Lilly, J. Plaxco, W. Thomasson, L. Zeldes

Definitely the most open ended panel I'll be on. Who knows where this one will go. Interplanetary Fascism in the 23rd century? Technological advances, smallish physically isolated communities, the nature of trade between different settlements, the legal regime of ownership – these will all be ingredients thrown into the mix. And of course the plight of the individual will be a factor as well. To quote Robert LeFevre: “To live is good. To live well is better. To live in abundance, security, and joy is the acme of living.

See you at Windycon. Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2007 at 9:28 amand is filed under Digital Art, Presentations, SF Cons, Space Exploration.

2 Responses to “The 2007 Windycon Science Fiction Convention”

  1. Lori says:
    November 12, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Hey Jim, hope you had a good con, I enjoyed the panels of yours that I saw, and it was cool to hear Henry Spencer too. I'd not heard of him before this weekend (losing geek cred here) and he was really interesting.
    I know you just got done with a busy weekend but if you're thinking about attending Cap would you be interested in doing any panels there? We have a con com meeting this week, if you say it's ok I'll pass your email on to our programming folks.

  2. Plaxco says:
    November 13, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Lori,

    I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience at Windycon. I even picked up an extra panel on Saturday so I wound up doing a total of five.

    Regarding Henry Spencer, I met him once before about 15 years ago at a convention. I of course am primarily familiar with him through his frequent space exploration postings on the Usenet.

    You know Lori it has been a few years since I've attended a Capricon. I'd love to do some programming – whether it is participating on panels or delivering one of my own presentations. Capricon was actually the first science fiction convention that I ever attended – way back when they were still in the purple Hyatt. Feel free to give the con com my email address.

    Looking forward to seeing you at Capricon, Jim.