My Labor Day weekend was a blur because I was on the program at WorldCon. So were a lot of other people I know and love (though not all, because this weekend was also DragonCon). What this meant was much time spent rushing back and forth from hotel to convention center in San Antonio heat. They take their heat seriously in Texas.
The weekend was made much more interesting by virtue of last week’s announcement. More on that in a minute.
I read my work twice – once on my own (though Not Really because Wes Chu gave a ninja reading at the end of my reading!) and once with Jack McDevitt and Edward M. Lerner, the Impossible Futures anthology authors who were at LoneStarCon. People came to the readings and everything. So cool. My friend Sunil came to both readings and took some great photos and sent them to me. Thank you, Sunil! Thank you also to Maurice Broaddus, who escorted me to reading #2 in grand style.
This year, I joined Liz Argall and John Pitts on the Food in Science Fiction and/or Fantasy panel, and Jim Cambias, Janine Wardale, and Chris O’Halloran on the Molecular Gastronomy panel. Both were excellent, with audiences ready to jump in and defend their favorite fictional foods. Slurm! Soylent Green! Waybread! The Food in SF/F panel took a vote about which had better food, fantasy or science fiction, and fantasy won, hands down… UNTIL everyone started naming their favorite foods… and then there were many more science fictional foods than fantasy on the list. HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS.
And on Sunday, I taught with Jack McDevitt in the WorldCon Writers’ Workshop. The workshop is 40 writer-students and a dozen pros and neo-pros, ably organized by the amazing Oz Drummond into small groups that gather for two hours to talk about writing and to critique the students’ work. Jack and I were lucky to have three great students, and the workshop was excellent all around.
I got to a number of panels and business meetings during the weekend. My favorites being Politics and Fiction with Gregory A. Wilson, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Madeline Ashby, David Nickel, and Lou Antonelli, and Steven Brust’s performance of “Railroad Bill.” I am sad I missed the YA panels due to scheduling, Chiropractor, Please!, and so many other panels, readings, and interviews. I’m learning that this is the way of cons. You go to what you can, and grill your friends on the panels they attended later.
Because things lined up so that the sale of Bone Arrow to Tor was announced just
before the con, I got to meet my wonderful and shiny editor, Miriam Weinberg! There’s not enough exclamation points in the world for this one. She’s brilliant and we share a brain on a broad range of topics. I am beyond excited to work with her.
More highlights: My roommates and my extro-roomies, Kelly Lagor, Nicole Feldringer, Sandra Wickham, Sara Mueller, Lauren Teffau. Sitting down with Asimov’s editor Sheila Williams and authors Daryl Gregory, Vylar Kaftan, Nancy Kress, Jack Skillingstead, and Maurice Broaddus. Hanging out with Gardner Dozois, Susan Casper, and their raygun-toting pal GRRM. All the conversations with friends new and old – and I know I’m going to miss folks – Michael Swanwick, Kim Stanley Robinson, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, Amanda Downum, John Chu, Saladin Ahmed, Rhiannon Held, Chuck Wendig, Nancy Hightower, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Brooke Bolander, Mur Lafferty, The SFWA Suite CAH Gang (Kate Baker, Bud Sparhawk, Tina Connolly, and Jaime Todd Rubin), the Codex brunch, the folks at the Reddit booth (HAI REDDIT!), Keffy Kehrli, Karen Bovenmyer, Amy Sundeberg, Mary Robinette Kowal, ChrisMG, Lou Berger, Wes Chu, Julia Rios and Moss Collum, Marco Palmieri, Myke Cole, Neil Clarke, Beth Meacham, Scott Andrews, Lynne and Michael Thomas, Deb Stanish, Jaime Lee Moyer. And I had the great honor of meeting Caitlin Thomas for the first time in person. There. Now go forth and tell me I missed several dozen of my closest friends. My sepukku blade is sharpened and ready.
All this, plus getting to know better several people who absolutely have my heart (the part that my roommates don’t have). You know who you are. I miss you all already.
I managed to do one tourist thing besides racing along the Riverwalk trying to not be late to my panels! Kelly, Nicole, and I went to the Alamo. I thought it was pretty amazing.
The long weekend was capped by a near-Odyssean journey home that will be fodder for another post. Or a story. Or both. Suffice it to say, my second flight from Atlanta was on DragonConAir – and a whole other order of fun. Thanks for letting me join in the extended con!
Others have spoken about the age and diversity disparities at WorldCon. More still have discussed accessibility – from the fact that my friend Mari Ness and several others had no ramp access to their panels, all the way to the fact that none of the doors at the convention center were ADA-compliant. These issues are fixable. There are a lot of suggestions for how going around. I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop.
Thank you so much to the LoneStarCon concom – I had a blast.
Believe it or not, there are more photos up on my tubmlr.