Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back From WorldCon

So I'm back from Worldcon, and gotta say, it was in many ways the best one ever (of course, I've only gone to three, so ever doesn't mean much). I had meant to liveblog via wifi, but my portable keyboard wasn't working, and neither was my wifi access, so no go. The con was held (mostly--more about that later) in the Colorado Convention Center, which features a giant blue bear peeking in. Looks pretty cute from the outside...

But from the inside as you made the long walk from the convention area to the exit, you got a prime view of bear-crotch.

Quick recap:

Wednesday: Went first to registration to pick up my badge'n'stuff. Stood in a LONG line behind this girl, kinda cute, with hair dyed shocking red and a blue dress with red lace at the bottom of the skirt--Superman colors. More about her later.

Took a couple of turns through the Dealers Room and the Art Room, both of which were still setting up. Broke my "never buy anything on your first trip through the dealers room" rule when I snapped up the new Naomi Novik, Victory of Eagles. Saw some art I liked, but didn't bid on anything.

Attended the Wizards of the Coast slideshow by the very cute and personable Erin Evans. I don't read Dungeons and Dragons books, really, but the talented Ms. Evans (who is apparently also an editor) convinced me to give one a try. After the panel, she put some free books on a table and I went up to get one. I managed to get a copy, but some other folks weren't so lucky, thanks to a couple of bookpigs who grabbed up multiple titles (one guy hoovered up six).

Also went to a panel for beginning writers, which I probably wouldn't have done if it hadn't featured Mary Robinette Kowal, someone I knew on-line from the Codex writers group (you'll see that word a lot in the rest of the recap). Mary, besides being a Codexian, is also the secretary of SFWA and was a nominee for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, which was to be awarded at the con on Saturday night.

Skipped opening ceremonies, but did attend the reception for Lois McMaster Bujold, the Guest of Honor at the con, with the friends I was staying with (who attended the first day of the con, then bummed around Denver and attended the Scottish Games over the weekend). It was not too crowded, pretty low-key. Great spinach puffs, not-so-great manners from several of the fans rushing at any waiter with a tray of food in his hands. I was still a bit fried from the drive up the day before, so we skipped the parties.

Thursday: Spent the early part of the day just wandering. Went through the art show again, and decided to buy something. This was not a small decision for me, given the amounts of money gushing through my hands at downtown Denver prices. I bought a beautiful piece: "Zephyr's Tomb" by William O'Connor. It was a Giclee' print on canvas which the artist had retouched with oils to brighten certain areas, giving it the look of an original painting. An absolutely gorgeous addition to my new house, but it means I need to make a sale now to help pay for it.

Attended a panel on getting an agent with several big names in the industry, then went to the dealers room and bought my membership to SFWA from Mary. Met Ted Kosmatka, who is also in Codex; Ted's mom Marilyn was also at the con, having co-written a book with Eric Flint from Baen. The SFWA table turned out to be a pretty regular Codex hangout throughout the convention.

Hiked over to the Sheraton to check out the SFWA suite and attend the Rising Stars reception. There was a lot of walking at this convention: I was staying at the Marriott, but the con was being held in the Convention Center, with other events held at the Sheraton and the Hyatt. Sometimes, the decision on which event to attend was made by simply saying, "How far away is it?" Met Ken Scholes at the event, another Codexian who has a book coming out with Tor.

There were some panels I wanted to attend, but skipped in favor of finding a bar where I could smoke a cigar and relax. After the cigar (Cifuentes y Cia Partagas Black Label), I went to the SFWA suite, where I got into a discussion with a couple of other writers (whose names I didn't catch) about underrated SF movies. We batted around a few possibilities, then I took off to join my friends at Maggiano's Little Italy, a fantastic Italian place, but ended up costing us $40 bucks a person. Really need to make some sales now.

After dinner, I headed to the Daw Books party held in the SFWA suite. It was fun. I talked for a while with a couple of brothers, Dani and Eytan Kollin, who have a book, The Unincorporated Man, coming out next year from Tor (I would link you to the book's website, but it seems to be down, so I'm giving you Dani's LiveJournal instead). Cool guys, and the book sounds interesting. Left the party fairly early to try the main party floor, but the line for the elevators was so long that I blew it off and headed back to the Marriott to sleep.

More con stuff tomorrow...


Mary Robinette Kowal said...

It was really good meeting you in person, Tony. And I'm ::sniff:: so proud to be the one to have sold you your SFWA membership.

See ya on Codex.

Kosmo said...

Tony! I didn't know you blogged. It was nice hanging out with you at Denvention. We'll have to posse-up again at some future cons. Great pics by the way. I'd noticed the bear/crotch thing, too. :)

TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...

Kosmo, I haven't blogged regularly in a long time. Now that I've got Internet back, I hope to start more regularly again.

Mary, it was great meeting you too. Posting the picture tomorrow.