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LoneStarCon 3: Friday

Who knew the 'War of the Worlds' had its last stand in San Antonio?

By Robert Faires, 9:43AM, Sat. Aug. 31, 2013

All's Welles that ends Wells
All's Welles that ends Wells

So two years after that mad wunderkind named Orson scared the bejeezus out of Mr. and Mrs. America and all you ships at sea with his radio version of a Martian invasion, he had a little sit-down with the venerable author of that tale as it originally appeared in print, courtesy of none other than a little Alamo City radio station, KTSA.

That nugget of lost history – well, lost to me, anyway – was just one of the benefits of my first day at LoneStarCon 3, aka the 71st World Science Fiction Convention, being held through Monday, Sep. 1, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. A panel on the 75th anniversary of young Welles' Halloween adaptation of elder Wells' The War of the Worlds included snippets of the 25-minute exchange between the two, which took place almost two years to the day from the broadcast that "panicked America," as it's sometimes described. The 74-year-old H.G. was in San Antonio to address, of all things, the United States Brewers Association, while the 25-year-old Orson was presumably just marking time until RKO released Citizen Kane. The chat is amiable, even fond, and KTSA has released about a quarter of it, which can be found handily online.

The rest of the day was spent indulging in theories of alternative history with Harry Turtledove and Jo Walton, puzzling over DC Comics' radical reboot of its entire line, the New 52, with Jess Nevins, learning just how atrociously some Texas science fiction and fantasy authors get treated just because they're women, with Stina Leicht and Elizabeth Moon, and getting a hilarious introduction to Texas Weird from Joe Lansdale, William Browning Spencer, Don Webb, Peggy Hailey, and Josh Rountree.

Oops, spaceship's leaving. Time for a new day of sf education and enlightenment.

For more information, visit www.lonestarcon3.org.

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