In June (told you it was a busy month!) I also presented a paper on Ray Bradbury to the Science Fiction Research Association Conference in New York State. I've been to academic conferences before, but this was my first presenting stint. Thankfully, the audience wasn't so huge as turn me to jelly.
The paper was the one mentioned earlier, on Leviathan '99. I have submitted the paper for possible publication in the conference book.
Funding for my trip was provided by my employer, the University of Wolverhampton, to whom I am immensely grateful.
Apart from the presenting, the highlight of the conference was listening to Norman Spinrad, the science fiction writer and critic. Although I think I may have upset him a bit by asking what had happened to the proposed film version of his novel Bug Jack Barron.
"Didn't Harlan Ellison write a screenplay for it?" I ask.
"Ellison wrote a screenplay," Spinrad replies.
"Was there more than one?"
"Ellison wrote a screenplay, I wrote a screenplay, Peter Weir wrote half a screenplay. Universal Studios now owns the whole damned thing, forever."
I also met Andy Sawyer of the Science Fiction Foundation and the University of Liverpool's SF Hub. Many years ago I used to write book reviews and type copy for Paperback Inferno, which Andy edited - and yet we never met, until SFRA 2006 in New York.