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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Saturday was the Pulp Show at the Merril Collection, consisting of dealers of old paperbacks, pulp SF and detective magazines, movie serials, etc. I could only make it for the morning so I missed the magazine cover slide show in the afternoon (which is always fun). The American dealers ended up canceling, apparently less because of fear of SARS itself than fear of too much hassle getting back across the border.

I picked up Arthur C. Clarke's Prelude to Space, which I had as a kid but which vanished at some point, and three Remo Williams novels. This is a long series of wonderfully stupid adventure novels about an American assassin and his Korean mentor who work for a secret government agency. As Jamie Fraser said "The first fifty were great, and then they started to go downhill."

In the afternoon there was a general meeting at the Regal Constellation for the anime con, which went well. It's a matter now of making sure all the many, many details are attended to. Pre-reg is very strong this year, an increase over last year, and only a few people have requested a refund due to SARS. Of course, we can't be sure how much the walk-up registration at the con will be affected, but right now I'm betting not much.

I was at loose ends in the evening, so I went down to Chicago's on Queen St. to hear a blues group called Blue Room, which I really enjoyed.

Sunday I was back at the hotel for the volunteer orientation meeting. People who wanted to volunteer to help out for the con came out to see the hotel and sign-up in advance for volunteer positions. Got a good turn-out, which is good as we need all the help we can get. One moment of weirdness was when I opened up the white board behind the head table, in order to leave a message for anyone who came late while I was giving a hotel tour. The message already on it was "Welcome Girls! Are we ready?" It somehow seemed fitting.