Yesterday was my first ever panel, and it went well. It was mostly the standard reviewing panel, just like every year. Douglas Frantz brought along some survey results about reviewing ethics, which provided some interesting talking points. We all agreed that reviews-for-hire are bad (no matter how standard in the movie industry), and that one should never claim knowledge you don't have (don't imply that you finished a book if you didn't). There was a little more confusion on the subject of pseudonyms: do you "out" the author and review the book in the context of their other work? Do you treat the pseudonym as its own identity? It's a tricky question, but one I rarely have to worry about; usually I have to treat the pseudonym as an individual because I don't know any better. Perhaps someday that won't be true, but it's an easy out for now.
After that was a long lunch with Graham Sleight, Farah Mendlesohn and Jo Walton at a lovely vietnamese fast food place, the Lemongrass Grill. Thier Pho with tofu was just what I needed. We spent some time talking about the BSFA awards and the possibility of re-instituting the non-fiction award. I need to pay attention to that now, since I'm a member now. We also spent some time talking about programming options for the 2009 WorldCon in Montreal, where Farah is head of Programming. It looks like they're thinking of doing some out-of-the-box thinking (pardon the buzzword) and moving away from a pure reliance on 3-5 person panel discussions. Thinking back to one of the most interesting programming items I ever saw, which was Gary Wolfe and John Clute in conversation at Glasgow 2005, I think that's an excellent idea.
After that I wandered around the dealer's room some more. Curtis went to the Trailer Park presentation but didn't see anything that blew him away. We went down and bought our memberships for Anticipation and Curtis voted in the Melbourne site selection. We hung out with the Locus folks for a bit, then had an early dinner.
Sorry for the lack of Twittering last night, but I spent the evening watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics, which was awesome, as always. Although a thunderstorm interrupted the satellite feed for an annoyingly long time. I've been an Olympics fan for a long time, and I have to admit that I really enjoy the opening ceremony theatrics. I even enjoy the Parade of Athletes. It was a good night, and my experiment with drinking mead, which I'd never tried before, was a success.
There's other great non-WorldCon news: the first day of the Olympics featured Women's Sabre fencing, and the USA women swept the medals! Gold, Silver and Bronze. We've come a long way! Of course, does NBC have any recordings of this historic event up on the website? No. A Czech woman winning 10m Air Rifle? Of course! Historic American domination of a sport we failed to medal in for more than a century? Nah. No love for the fencers!
Today I'm on two panels in the afternoon, then it's the Hugo ceremonies, which I'll try to twitter. Then it will be parties! (If we can ever get to the party floor; the stack at the elevators after the Masquerade was so bad that Curtis just came back to our room for mead & Olympics).