Bubonicon 51

Bubonicon 51 will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico this coming weekend, Friday August 23 through Sunday August 25. The guests of honor are Allen Steele, author of Arkwright, and Ursula Vernon, artist and author. The toastmaster is Darynda Jones, author of Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave. The guest artist is Greg Spalenka, who designed the logo you see in this post. The science speaker is Dr. Harrison Schmidt, the Apollo 17 astronaut, geologist, and former senator from New Mexico. The convention’s theme is “The Future is Now.” I will be there all weekend as both a guest author and a vendor. Bubonicon 51 will be held at the Albuquerque Marriott Uptown at 2101 Louisiana Boulevard. You can get more information about the convention at http://bubonicon.com.


My schedule is as follows:

Saturday, August 24

11am-noon. Main Room. Space Cowboys: Where Westerns and Space Opera Collide. Malcolm Reynolds hauled cattle on his spaceship. Captain Harlock strode through batwing doors into a few dusty saloons. Captain Kirk’s show was originally described as “Wagon Train to the Stars.” And then there’s the animated BraveStarr. At what point does the hero of a space opera become a space cowboy? How “retro” can you make your space opera before it becomes fantasy or steampunk? I’ll be moderating this panel that includes such luminaries as Robert E. Vardeman, Craig Butler, Susan Matthews, and Allen Steele.

4-5pm. Salon A-D. Surveying the Universe. Traditionally, astronomers made a hypothesis, applied for time on telescopes, took their data and examined it. That model is being replaced by large scale surveys being conducted by organizations such as the Department of Energy and NASA. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing astronomy, and science in general, by large scale survey as opposed to small teams working on their own questions? I’ll be moderating this panel which includes John Barnes, Loretta Hall, Kathy Kitts, and Cathy Plesko.

5:25-6:40pm. Main Room. Mass Autographing. All the Bubonicon guests will be happy to sign your books, art, or whatever you happen to bring. If it has the property of mass, I’ll do my best to sign it!

Sunday, August 25

2:45-3:30pm. Salon A-D. 45 minutes with David Lee Summers. I will read from my recent work. I’m thinking a sample of the revised version of The Pirates of Sufiro, but I may include a surprise or two if there’s time.


If you’re in Albuquerque this coming weekend, I hope you’ll drop by Bubonicon and check out a few of the many panels going on over the course of the weekend. Please drop into the “flea market” where Hadrosaur Productions will be set up. You can preview our wares, or shop online, at: http://www.hadrosaur.com.

4 comments on “Bubonicon 51

  1. It still blows me away that they named their convention after a deadly disease. Makes me wonder what the subtext was when they chose that name.

    • There really is no subtext. The con got its name because the year it was founded, Egypt placed travel restrictions on New Mexico because of cases of the Bubonic Plague cropping up in the mountains near Albuquerque. The plague’s been there since the days of the conquistadors and it’s still there to this day. The reason you don’t hear more about it is that it’s easily treatable with modern antibiotics. If you go camping in the mountains near Albuquerque and come down with flu-like symptoms, go see your doctor. In fact, most people who get the plague today never knew they had it.

      • Are you serious? Do we know if the plague was there all along or did Europeans introduce it?

      • I’m absolutely serious. As I understand, the plague was introduced by the Spanish conquistadors when they came through in the 1500s. The fleas that carry the plague don’t do well in the desert environment where the Native Americans lived near the river on the valley floor, but they found homes in the rodent populations of the high country. It’s still a sufficiently wild area that the rodent population doesn’t get out of control, which is one reason they don’t have major outbreaks like they did in the rodent-infested urban areas of Europe at the time.

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