I’m off to the CONduit science fiction convention tomorrow, which is held in Salt Lake City. I attend this con almost every year. The Guests of Honor are: David Farland and Howard Tayler.

I’m taking my daughter Alex, who is almost 9 (her words), this year, which means that on off-hours, we’ll be going to Build-a-Bear and watching Night at the Museum 2 at the mall and multiplex next to the hotel. Which, of course, is great fun. At the con, she’ll hang out with me when she’s not at KidCon stuff. She’s very excited, and so am I.

This year I’m helping out behind the scenes at the convention rather than being on any panels. Two reasons for that – first, every year I go to this con and come away all enthused and inspired to write. This is the third CONduit in a row that I’m attending without having written anything substantial over the previous 12 months. Lots of reasons for that, but they are just reasons. Next time I’m on a panel I want to have some more writing under my belt.

Second, I am REALLY grateful to this convention and the people who run it for a lot of great times. Every CONduit I’ve attended has been fun, and I appreciate the folks who put it on a great deal. I’d do (and will do) more than I’ve done for the con if we can work out my being 100 miles north of all the other folks.

One of my fondest memories was the 2001 convention. Alan Dean Foster was the Guest of Honor. I won the short story contest, which was a real boost for me. Part of my reward for winning was that I got to read the story aloud in front of an audience. I should post that story sometime – wonder if I still like it?

At that same convention, I got to know Ken Rand a little bit. I recall sitting in the consuite talking to Ken and Darryl Murphy (amend that – I listened while they spoke) about a story Ken wrote called “Soul Taster”. Ken passed away earlier this year. I’ll miss you at CONduit, Ken.

Added: I found the history of CONduit HERE. Here are the Guests of Honor and the years I’ve been to CONduit:

1997 – Timothy Zahn
1998 – David Brin
2001 – Alan Dean Foster
2002 – Christopher Stasheff
2003 – Harry Turtledove
2004 – Steve Miller and Sharon Lee
2005 – Tim Powers
2006 – L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
2007 – David Weber
2008 – Michael Stackpole

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