The first meeting of The Gernsback Continuum went well. I had initially worried that the group was stillborn. My mail to group members asking if they were going to participate garnered a couple of grouchy replies. Apparently my diplomatic skills are lacking.
It went down to the wire. A few minutes before the meeting, I did not know if we would be able to do a private chat with Yahoo Messenger, the tool that another group had recommended. Yahoo's help files say, "We do not have private chat," and when one chooses Chat/Create A Room, the "Create A Room" option is greyed out and inoperative.
I guess Yahoo is worried that someone will say, "A strange man took me to a private chat room and invited me to his house and took pictures of me." So Yahoo does not have private chat rooms--but they do have Conference Rooms, which is pretty much the same thing. Yahoo's help files do not say, "We do not have private chat rooms, but you can open conference rooms," though. So I tried the last option on the menu that I was unsure of, and it worked.
We critiqued two members' stories--including Suffrage. The most important thing that I got from the critiques was that the story's big turning point should be better prepared for, which is what B. J. previously told me--but I uploaded Suffrage for critique before I met with B. J. Alas.
The other author under the microscope got some good advice (I think). She has a solidly conceived world that is well researched and fleshed out. I have not attempted to create such an extensive literary environment as she has created.
We have two more on the block for our meeting in two weeks--more if time allows.
The group members are good readers. I am looking forward to the next meeting.