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Sci-Fi Valley Con: Day 3 & What's Coming Up

It's late Monday night, and I'm on a wave of busy stuff, coming back from Sci-Fi Valley Con. The three days of con were a success--I am pretty happy about the attendance, although some say it was still lower than expected.

Reasons for this, doing the con in the fall rather than in June (to which it returns next year), and events around the region. Also, COVID-19; are people feeling concerned still about it?

I saw a split in mask usage; I thought most people were pretty good about it, but I suppose at times you felt a bit lax if others weren't or maybe you were far enough away.

In any case, I saw a lot of cool people...

Here was an interesting team-up; saw a few of those this day, and again, happy that everyone enjoyed posing for pix. I mean, if you do this and don't want to be photographed, um, okay...

I don't know this young lady's name for certain, but she got a feature on Sci-Fi's Instagram account...nice person.

I since discovered there was a bunch of people who got a deal on the hotel, and so that answered the question of why so many folks were there each day, and not just local. I do not know where a lot of them came from, but the license plates in the lot showed a few states.

I have seen this person before, I think...another nice cosplay.

And then...HOLY SHIT! All seven feet of Chewbacca brought the Millenium Falcon into Altoona for a cameo...awesome costume.

The interactions with people mostly were good; the elevator pitch for "Call it Love" is working, and the two-fer deal with "Searching for Roy Buchanan" went down well. People were interested, they thought about the idea, and where it went...and a few bought. How nice.

I had one rather strange, uncomfortable conversation with an older fellow. Nice man, but...ever have someone just come up to you in a coffee shop, and start talking at you...not TO you, but AT you, and then just going off into a discussion about something that makes no sense, is not pertinent, and is a little bit racist?

Old guy just started going off about high school football, and all the teams that came to the area, then started talking about one school that no one likes and no one wants to merge with, because, "Do you want another Philadelphia or Pittsburgh here?"

Racism Radar ACTIVATED.

The guy then went off about how as a Lutheran he managed to get into a Catholic school back in the day, when it was not done, told stories about various teachers, priests, nuns and other characters...just fucking weird. And racist.

I managed to be polite, let him run, then was politely able to send him off.

I love meeting like-minded people such as here, but guys like him are why I prefer my cats to people for company.

But, a silver lining...

My fellow Sunbury Press author Hilary Hauck showed up to meet me, bought "Searching..." and we had a nice talk. Hilary has written a wonderful novel, "From Ashes to Song," and it is about Italian immigrants coming to the is a deep book, and you have to put it down after a chapter to digest all you took in. It is brilliant so far. Hilary is a sweetheart, and I was most happy to meet her.

Now...the ride home. Just a word of advice, if you use Waze or a mapping NOT take the further-down suggestions of how to get somewhere. I admit, I was being cheap...I did not want to pay 20 bucks via EZ Pass for the PA Turnpike east from I-99 to Harrisburg. I don't think it cost that must to go west, but that figure got me.

So I traveled through the mountains...over, under, sideways, down narrow, steep rutted roads, in the fog, cold and rain, and saw so many dented and smashed guardrails it was not funny. Just the other side, the abyss, the whole way.

I traveled through Trump County, where they still think he won the election, Confederate and anti-Biden flags abounded, and stopping for longhaired Yankees like me was NOT an option. Hate to say that, because the wild country was largely really pretty, but...yeesh...

Somehow I ended up back at the Pike near Carlisle, so the toll was only seven bucks. An extra 20 minutes, but whatever.

I have been extremely on project...restarting my business to do this right, getting paperwork ready, doing my radio program Monday night, commenced recording the audio book for "Call it Love," doing my nightly news work, sorting out my clothes, my gear, my stock, all of it...

It is a task, and the new one before me is to prepare the next book in the series for next year. Sci-Fi Valley Con Part 10 is back in mid-June...I will have the new one ready by's time to get serious and get fucking moving.

I am feeling the need to make up for the lost time of Covid, and really make an effort. I spent so much of the pandemic when not working, writing, editing, rewriting, doing the things, now let's get it out there.

You may not see much of me, but you likely will see and hear me shamelessly plugging. This is what I do, and want to do--the artist has been reinspired, and now we go.

Peace, Out.


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