September 18th, 2004


Belated Worldcon Ramblings

It's been a while, but I've been busy enough not to devote time to really summarizing Worldcon until now. As I've just completed another section of Boundary, I'll pause here and do that.

The Bad: Really only two things, one of them just an annoyance: walking to the Con from the hotel wasn't fun, as noted earlier. And the second ... probably due to the late decision and no idea of how things would be organized at Worldcon, I did not get to run anything at Worldcon, alas, though I did speak to some people in the gaming room.

Oh, and for various reasons I'm never going to a Con again where my family can't attend. Takes too much out of us, and it seems I just can't pretend I'm 19 again, I keep getting distracted.

The Good!

People: I mentioned earlier that I met a whole bunch of people I knew from LJ or Abusenet or otherwise. In addition, I got to talk with a number of authors I've been waiting to meet:

Lawrence Watt-Evans: I've loved LWE's work since I first encountered "The Lure of the Basilisk" many years ago, and in addition I've come to know him as a well respected and level-headed resident of the Net. I'm going to be ordering Wildside's new re-issue of the Lords of Dus series, because my old copies are kinda messed up (and one of them, I think was a stripped copy, so he never got the money for that one). He did hand me a cover for his newest (Dragon Venom) but didn't have any copies at the time.


Gabriel, my younger son, was making unhappy noises upstairs. When we all gathered around, we found that he had hurt his arm. When I straightened it, something seemed wrong. Which, now, after about seven hours at the hospital, we know was true; his elbow is broken and he'll be having surgery Monday or Tuesday to repair it.


Now where was I? Oh, people.

Larry Smith -- well, I've of course met Larry before, but this time I was able to bring HIM books, which he was happy to take. I'm not sure if he'd sold ALL of them before he left Worldcon, but I know he'd sold many of the copies I gave him.

During one of my visits to Larry's tables, I found myself standing next to a gentleman who turned out to be none other than S.M. Stirling himself, so I grabbed myself a copy of On the Oceans of Eternity (my prior copy having gone missing) and got "Joat Simeon" to sign it on the spot. Despite his combative online persona, Mr. Stirling seemed to be less intimidating in person. :)

Elizabeth Moon: I finally got to meet this wonderful lady in person; I'd exchanged a number of Emails with her in the past few years; this time I confronted her at the "Answer To Your Characters" forum, in which people brought charges against the authors for their character abuse. I of course asked her to defend her horrid treatment of Paks, among other things. (the defense was just as spirited as the prosecution, I should note. This was, by far, the most FUN panel I've ever been to). She then signed Deed for me.

I finally met Jim Butcher, whose Dresden Files often come up in comparison with Digital Knight and with whom I had a short mediated correspondence while trying to pitch DK to the Sci-Fi channel. He seemed pleased to meet me, and we then swapped books, me giving him a copy of DK and he handing me the first of the Dresden books. I hope I get time to read this one soon!

*** note: being an author AND having a job AND a family seems to cut WAY down on the "read for pleasure" time. ***

The "big name" of the Convention to others may have been Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman, but to me, it was Robert Silverberg. Not only did he give a marvelous History of the Hugos speech (he is, apparently, the only known living person to have attended each and every Hugo), he also demonstrated a marvelously dry and incisive humor while on panels. I finally got to speak to him after the panel on the boundary between super-science and fantasy and he signed a hardcover copy of Lord Valentine's Castle while I got to tell him how very much I loved that particular book and that I re-read it quite often. He grinned and said "I've re-read it a few times myself."

I've mentioned the Doc Smith Exhibit. I purchased Stephen Luchetti's book on Doc ("Doc: First Galactic Roamer") and got him to sign it (I also gave him copies of Mountain Magic and DK as thanks for, well, just making that exhibit. I seriously cannot say I have ever been as affected by anything not involving living people as I was by that exhibit.). In addition, Al Trestail -- known in his youth as "Kim", obviously after Kimball Kinnision -- showed up at the convention; he signed the book as well. He is a charming man himself, and clearly has fond memories of his grandfather and is pleased by the fact that there are still those of us who hold Doc's name in high esteem.

I had lunch before the Hugos with Zyxwvut (known best to me as the Green Adept back at SUNYA, something like 17 years ago) and attended the Hugo ceremony with him. I left before the end, but not before I'd seen quite a bit of the ceremony (including, as I said, Robert Silverberg's retrospective). I then went to two important parties (important for me, anyway) -- one for Albacon, where I saw my own face from last Albacon on their tape of selected events (neat!), and the Baen party, which of course was most livened by the arrival of Lois McMaster Bujold and her Hugo Du Jour. I got to touch it.... precioussss, we wantsss -- HEY you, get OUT!... This year's Hugos are a lovely design, the base and copper/brass flames being particularly artistic.

Speaking of parties, on Friday I dropped in on a couple -- the one for Japan's (later successful) bid to host Worldcon, and then on the League of Evil Geniuses party. Both of these I saw Ellen... (many groveling apologies, I cannot recall the last name, but she and her other half were wonderful people and helped get me the courage to actually ENTER the parties at all, which, for me, is a VERY not-easy thing) at. The League of Evil Geniuses party was particularly amusing, showing their wide-ranging tastes in Evil (Dr. Miguelito Loveless, Bun-Bun, The master, Kagato, Mojo-Jojo, and Barney all on the same walls...), and also present was a charmingly perfect Dilandau cosplayer who happened to also be marvelously good-looking (and was accompanied by her two lovely daughters, both of whom also Cosplay.). (were I unmarried, I'd have probably would have been bird-dogging her all night; as it was, seeing her there cosplaying with her kids ended up just making me think of Kathleen and MY two kids NOT being there to wear silly costumes -- somewhat depressing, but not her fault, and I did appreciate talking to her and seeing someone with real craftsmanship in her costumes) (there is actually a VAST amount of costuming talent in fandom, and I doubt it gets much better than at Worldcon. It's a good thing the American anime fans aren't competing with some of these people, they'd get their butts whipped).

Overall, a hell of a convention. Good work and congrats to the hundreds of people who made it happen!