The Wrap Party: B5 '98

The Wrap Party
21-24 August 1998, Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow

GoHs: J. Michael Straczynski , Harlan Ellison , James White , Bryan Talbot, Jack Cohen , Peter David, John Matthews, Inge Heyer, Dave Lally, ...

I don't go to media cons -- I prefer cons run by fans for fans, not by pros for money. But this was a fan con, to celebrate the five year arc of Babylon 5 , the best SF TV show ever , with the GoHs including Joe Straczynski -- B5 Executive Producer, writer, and Keeper of the Arc -- and Harlan Ellison -- B5 Conceptual Consultant, SF writer, and controversial speaker. So I went. And I had a great time. (Joe Straczynski was recovering from pneumonia, so was a little less ebullient than he might have been -- but he still had some fascinating insights.) But it was very much Morgan's convention.

There were non-B5 programme items, too. The first day was dominated by lots of interesting NASA, Mars, and Hubble Space Telescope stuff, then the focus moved to B5 itself.

Of gravitational lensing: Objects behind massive galaxies may appear brighter than they are.

The Radisson Edwardian Hotel is all very long, absolutely identical corridors --- "you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike". Even though I had been there less than three years earlier, at Evolution , it didn't help; I still got disoriented.

Programme highlights

Inge Heyer: An Overview of the Mars Mission

Panel: 4000 Years of Women in Science

Panel: The Women of Babylon 5

Harlan Ellison: GoH talk

Joe Straczynski : A Work In Progress

Jack Cohen : Credible Aliens...

Mary Talbot: Aliens and 'Otherness'

Morgan interviews Harlan Ellison

Jack Cohen : ...and What They Do to Each Other

. "I can still arm wrestle you after 12 pints." Maybe self-mutilation, body-piercing, is an example: "I've managed to develop despite exposing myself to infection." (But, it's mainly women doing it.)
  • We don't understand nearly all the reproductive biology of nearly all the species on this planet.

  • Morgan: An Overview of B5

    This was the 2nd part of Morgan's B5 thesis, the first having been "The Emergence of Arc", which only about half the audience, myself excluded, had attended. This led to some repetition/arguing/confusion.

    Morgan interviews Joe Straczynski