Had better luck with panel scheduling today, and was able to find a decent one for each of the first four sessions.
10:00 a.m. - "Quantum Teleportation (for Dogs)"
If I'd had Chad Orzel for my college physics professor... Well, I wouldn't have switched majors, but I sure would've enjoyed my physics classes more. About a year ago he posted one of the funniest science themed blog entries I'd ever read, "Bunnies Made of Cheese." It was the first of several "conversations" with his dog about some quantum mechanical principle he posted of there. Now he's in the process of writing a book on quantum mechanics aimed at the non-physicist based on those dialogs, and this talk was based on the chapter about quantum teleportation.
In this case, the dog wants Orzel to build her a teleporter so she can beam herself into the space between the squirrels that vex her so and the tree they always escape to. Unfortunately, quantum teleportation isn't like Star Trek, and he explains what it actually is and gives some possible applications, the most likely of which is networking quantum computers. Sadly none are likely to help the dog get the squirrels. Chad's a good speaker, and the talk was great fun. I look forward to reading the book when it comes out.
11:00 a.m. - "Will 2008 Be the Year When eBooks Made It?"
This turned out better than I expected. The panel was split 50:50 on using e-books, with Charlie Stross and Darlene Marshall both very strong advocates for e-books, while Ellen Asher and Don D'Ammassa both prefer reading hard copies. There was discussion of the advantages and disadvantages. I was surprised that after about a dozen people had a shot to mention it, I was the first to mention the fact that one advantage e-books have is that they're searchable. Later the discussion drifted over to copyright issues, especially with regards to books written before e-books were thought of. My does Charlie Stross go on when he's excited about something.
12:00 p.m. - "How to Write an SF Mystery"
This was a talk by Wen Spencer, and was much more about the structuring of mysteries in general than SF in particular, although she did offer some side thoughts about incorporating SF. There was a lot of stuff I found useful, along with some good examples. Lots of stuff for me to consider as Tureleg stumbles around Sang Sacre.
1:00 p.m. - "The Honorverse"
They've done this topic before at Boskone, but this time Weber was there as part of the panel. Apparently there's a pretty good chance an HH movie will be made. Weber also mentioned that Harrington was originally supposed to die at the end of At All Costs. Huh. (If only.) I did learn one totally useless piece of trivia. Baron Von Trapp (of the Sound of Music) was made a baron after he disobeyed an order in WWI, and turned out to be right.
There was nothing of interest at 2, and that was pretty much the last session. I took a last walk through the hucksters room. I took a look at a few of Wen Spencer's book, since I like SF mysteries, but none really piqued any interest. I also wanted to try one of Walter Hunt's books, but the only editions I saw were hardcovers so I passed. After that I headed for the T and home.
I looked at the schedule for Friday night, and there were quite a few things that I think I would've enjoyed. I'll have to look at the Friday schedule next year to see if it's worth taking the day off.