Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Worldcon Continued

Sorry if this is hyper-detailed and boring, but I'm doing it as much for my own memory as for your enjoyment.

Friday: I mentioned yesterday that I'm in an on-line writers group called Codex. Friday morning, a bunch of us met up in the Hyatt for a get-to-know-you breakfast. Forgot my camera, of course. I'm going to name as many as I can, with links, because they're a really talented group, and probably much more fun to read than me.

Besides Mary and Ted (mentioned yesterday), there were a ton of others. Cat Rambo and her husband Wayne, Tina Connolly, Catherine Yoachim, Rachel Ann Dryden (no link, sorry), J.F. Lewis a.k.a. Jeremy, Eric James Stone, Sandra Tayler and her husband Howard (creator of Schlock Mercenary), Elaine Isaak, Rebecca Roland (sorry, no link), Camille Alexa, Lawrence M. Schoen. The two dudes I talked movies with the previous evening, Matt Rotundo and Larry Hodges, were there, along with Matt's wife Tracy. The lovely Alethea Kontis stopped in for a bit, and the equally lovely Diana Rowland (pictured at right; all party photos are from Sat. night, which is when I finally remembered my camera) organized the whole deal. I'm forgetting some people, so please forgive me, but there literally wasn't enough time to get to know everyone.

Whew. Like reading Matthew Chapter 1, isn't it? The breakfast was a $20 buffet AND I ONLY MADE ONE TRIP (thereby breaking another personal rule)! That's how busy I was meeting new people.

So anyway...

I don't remember what else I did for most of the day. I know I spent some time in the SFWA suite, eating the free lunch to compensate for the double-hit of Maggiano's and Hyatt buffet. Talked to some guys there, probably Ted and Jeremy (that's Ted to your left). I know I made a pass or two through the dealers room to talk to other Codexians at the SFWA table, and I went through the art show to check on another piece I was bidding on. I had a list of panels I wanted to attend, but for some reason, when the time came, I blew them all off.

At 4:00, I hit the Baen Travelling Slide Show, which was fun, and then I ditched the con to see a little of downtown Denver. Along about 7, I dropped back in to the SFWA suite for a bite to eat and the Analog/Asimov's Party. Lots of fun. Talked to a bunch of folks, including a Codexian I hadn't met yet, Jenny Rae Rappaport. I remember some sort of good-humored drunken argument with Camille Alexa, in which I don't think she ever got to her point, then a bunch of us went party-hopping. I stumbled back to the Marriott at 0-drunk-thirty.

Saturday: Somehow avoided a hangover and headed to the Marriott early to attend an editors panel. The one best thing about the con was meeting a bunch of people at all levels--newbie writers, rising stars, experienced pros, agents, editors--and finally internalizing the not-so-remarkable fact that people do this stuff all the time, and so can I. I've known it and paid lip-service to it for a long time, but for at least a couple of days, I really believed it. Crazy. And to prove how serious I was getting, I not only joined SFWA, but took out a year's subscription to Locus (although it didn't hurt that the curiously hot Amelia Beamer was manning the table).

Blew off the Wild Cards panel to wander the dealers room and talk to people, probably including Jeremy (pictured at right). Jeremy is the author of Staked, from Pocket Books, which is one of the books I brought back from the con and have in my To Be Read stack. At 1:00, I headed to the Upcoming Tor Books presentation. Man, Tor has a lot of books coming out. They had like five editors there presenting different pieces of the line. That was followed by a podcasting panel that was pretty informative, after which I headed to the dealers room again.

The thing about Saturday at Worldcon is, most other cons are three days long, and that's being generous. They generally start in the afternoon on Friday and go till the early afternoon on Sunday. At some point on Saturday, you realize the con is going into its fourth full day, and you're like, "God, isn't it over yet?" I was hitting that point.

In the dealers room, I hung out with Sandra Tayler at the Schlock Mercenary table for a while, then ran into Camille Alexa, who wanted to finish her comment from the previous evening, but somehow never did. She invited me to the Abyss and Apex party, then promptly left for another engagement. So I was stuck talking to lovely new writer Alycia C. Cooke for an hour or so (that's a pic of the party at left--Hadley Rille books editor Eric Reynolds, Camille Alexa and Alycia on the right--so you can tell I was really suffering by having to pass time with her), until she headed for the Hugo ceremony and I went to dinner with friends.

I headed back for parties at 10. Hit the Ace Books party first, where I spoke with the awesome Shanna Swendson (pictured at right), with whom I'd had a reading at Conestoga. You can't see them in the picture, but she was wearing killer-sexy red heels.

At some point, I hooked up with a bunch of Codexians--Rachel and her very nice friend whose name might have been Heidi, Matt and Tracy, Ted--and we hit some of the other parties, mainly the Baen Books party. I actually ended up getting stuck outside the party for ten minutes or so; the door guards said the party was crowded, so they were limiting entrance to just Baen authors and guests. Now, I'm not a Baen novelist (yet), but I have had two stories published in Baen's Universe, which was more than could be said of the rest of our group, and they all got in right away.

Eventually, they let me in, and I hooked up with my newfound friends just in time to take off again. After a couple of quick turns through other parties, we headed back down to the Ace party again, where I encountered the highlight of my night. As we're going in the door, John Scalzi comes out carrying his Hugo for Best Fan Writer (which is probably the closest I'll ever get to a real one), followed closely by Mary Robinette Kowal, who is...

wait for it... longer a Campbell Award nominee, but a Campbell award WINNER. I pulled out my camera to get a picture of her and somebody there says, "No, you've got to take a picture together." So that's her on the left, there. We're both a little flushed. In her case, it's the glow of victory; in mine, it's beer. Plus, my gel was getting tired, so I've got the crazy Reverend Jim hair going, and I had spinach or something in my teeth, but I GIMP'ed it out.

Big, big congratulations, Mary.

Sunday: Hit the art show to pick up my O'Connor. Talked to a couple of folks and lingered in the dealers room, hoping to spot a few others. It was strange and sad. Saturday, I was ready to go home, at least until someone waved free booze under my nose. But Sunday, I didn't want to go without saying goodbye to the many really cool people I met, and I didn't get to. So on the drive home, though I was happy with the con, I felt incomplete.

So let this be my other excuse for all the name-dropping. Because if I mentioned you here in the recaps and went to the trouble to link, it's because I thought you were pretty cool and wish I could have talked to you more face-to-face. And if I didn't get to say goodbye in person, let me say it here.

Goodbye. It was nice meeting you. I hope to see you again.


Mary Robinette Kowal said...

Thanks, Tony! It sounds like you had a grand time.

TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...

I did! I'm generally shy and anti-social, but it was so much fun to meet so many great new people. Unless something radical happens, like a BIG novel sale, I probably won't make another Worldcon for at least three years, but this one was mighty fine.

Jeremy F. Lewis said...

Hi, Tony!

Is it wrong that for a while there I totally felt like you, me, and Ted were the Three Musketeers (okay, maybe the Three Amigos) or something?

It was an absolute pleasure to meet you! Now go make a big novel sale so we can keep hanging out at cons. :)

Alethea said...

It was awesome to meet you Tony! (There are still people I'm finding out that went whom I never saw...) My blisters and I were both feeling that same Saturday Stretch - I'm glad it wasn't just me.

And I totally dug the Superman shirt. It's probably a good thing we didn't have more than 5 minutes, or I would have found a way to steal it right off your back. ;)

TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...


No, I think you're right. I was hoping to see you on Sunday to get a little personalized something in my copy of Staked. Yes, I know I dithered a long time before buying, but I had a bid in on something else in the art show and didn't want to go completely crazy with the money spending and the glavin... Lost the bid and bought the book.

Lee (can I call you Lee? Are we there yet?):

It was great meeting you. You're just as nice in person as on-line, and much prettier. It might have been fun to have you try to get the shirt, but seriously, you can't have it.

tina said...

Hey, good to meet you Tony! I didn't see anyone for near long enough. Look forward to the next one!

TheyStoleFrazier'sBrain said...

It was good meeting you, too, Tina. Wish we'd had more time to talk.

Rebecca Roland said...

Hi, Tony!

It was great meeting you at the Codex breakfast. I wish we all could've had more time to hang out and talk.

Camille Alexa said...

Look what I just found!

See -- always late to parties or leaving them early. I've got a bad habit of forcing people to socialize, perhaps inappropriately. It's a (not very)clever screen to mask my own sociophobia.

I had a great time chatting with you and hanging out!