I skipped the Opening Ceremony due to needing to get my head together and move into con-mode by changing into a suitable uniform (the Space Above and Beyond flightsuit which gets not nearly enough wear). On the other hand I did manage to make it to 'There's a Hole in my Plot' at 5pm.
The main points to come out of the panel of authors and one editor were that the deus ex machina is particularly annoying, and no genre is worse for plot holes than any other. Also no planning method is better or worse than any other: it's whatever works for a particular author and book that's the important factor.
After some social interaction, I headed to the 7pm panel on 'Sex and Fantasy on TV'. The discussion mainly revolved around shows I'm not familiar with, and one panelist had some particularly offputting opinions. One good point to come out of the conversations, however, was that many of the current showrunners have come from 1980s comics fandom, and this may be strongly influencing the types of sex and nudity we see on screen.
I had planned to head onwards to the panel on Dr Who and older women, but I stopped off at the bar for a glass of white wine and ended up talking about the previous panel, Dr Who and upcoming books for the better part of an hour instead.
After that, it was time for 'Is Space Opera Dead', which began with an attempt to define space opera, closely followed by having to explain the difference between romantic in an adventure context, and romantic in terms of relationships between characters. I took a lot of notes, the gist of which is that there's plenty of scope for series, but not necessarily the incentive for any of the big players to commission one right now. Which is a shame, because one line in my note book really intrigues me: Steampunk Space Opera.
The final panel of the day that I went to was 'Where Have All the Hippies Gone?', which seems to be the point at which my note-taking started to flag. Main complaints from the panel included the 'cleaning up' of SF and the media to make everything less geeky and more general, the loss of that indie-movie spirit, studios taking more control of film production, less challenges to society by SF -- particularly post 9/11, and a general shift in consensus as to how the future will pan out. I'm not sure I have a good answer to any of that.
After a busy day, I turned in rather early for the first night of a convention.