Athena’s Daughters Library of Congress panel

We were invited to do a panel on the first Athena’s Daughters anthology at the Library of Congress “What If” Science Fiction & Fantasy forum.

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It ended up being really fun! I packed up a suitcase of books to sell and metroed to Cap South. I was a little early so I had the chance to snap a few pics.

Here’s the Capitol with its scaffolding up:
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There was a case at the Supreme Court – big crowd and cameras:
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And the Library of Congress, a lovely building:
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I’d never been inside before, which was clearly a mistake because it’s gorgeous. One of the ladies involved with the SF/F group gave me a tour, which was super cool. We didn’t have a ton of time, but I got a good look at a lot of the building!

George Gershwin’s piano. They let Billy Joel play it. The room of Stradivarius violins was unfortunately occupied so we couldn’t get in there.
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The Library of Congress is gorgeous. 1890’s mixed with classical in style for the Jefferson building.

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I might be remembering this wrong, but British poets on one side:
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US poets on the other:
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Mix of “modern” and classical – cherub has a gear in his hand:
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A Gutenberg Bible!
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Which one can compare with the hand-done Bible
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They had an exhibit going on and I got to see a real Magna Carta:
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One of the reading rooms:
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That’s Isaac Newton to the right:
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Astronomy!
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Physics!
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This is only a tiny fraction of the beautiful artwork all over, which celebrates learning of all forms. It celebrates “modern” technology – all the light fixtures are highlighted because it was a big deal to have electric lighting at the time. And all the little touches which mix this with the classical are really cool. One of the classical looking statues in the reading room was holding a steam engine. You enter the reading room between statues of Moses and Isaac Newton…

This site covers some of the artwork and what it means:
http://www.loc.gov/visit/tours/online-tours/thomas-jefferson-building/

More on the main reading room:
http://www.loc.gov/visit/tours/online-tours/thomas-jefferson-building/main-reading-room/

It’s worth paging through the “next” buttons on the online tour.

I have more pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/maggie42/sets/72157647705468113/

After the tour I met up with Diana, Tanya, and Jean Marie for our panel discussion. It went very well and though Janine wasn’t there, it was like she was in spirit! We talked about the origins of the anthology, our thoughts on women in science fiction, and we did two readings (one from my story and one from Jean Marie’s). We didn’t have a huge audience but I ended selling quite a few books. One lady in particular bought one of everything that we had! So my suitcase was much lighter going home, which was awesome. Afterwards, Helen, who organized the panel for us, treated us to lunch at the LoC cafeteria!

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All in all, a pretty great day!