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Worldcon part one

Thud.

I think the Noreascon people outdid themselves in terms of programming. This is the politic way of saying that there was so darned much of it that it would have taken me just as long to read the new Stephenson as it did to go through the program book weeping. The weeping is, of course, a direct result of the tantalizing things I didn't get to see. I personally think that, as Terry Pratchett was the guest of honour, they did the L-space maneuver and translated it into programming tracks.

This may get longish, but I'm also fighting the world's worst headache, and have not yet succumbed to con cruddlies, so it may be suprising in its brevity.

Nah.


Thursday, andpuff and I were on a flight with two other people, Isaac Spindel (I'm spelling that wrong, I'm sure) and a woman whose name escapes me, although I did recognize her) -- but none of us were seated together. We caught a cab to the hotel together, spent a lot of time at the end figuring out how to divide 32.00 by four when it came to making change, and then got our room.

That done, the geographically challenged among us (me) headed out to registration, got my badge & the aforementioned program book, and then tried to find the location of my first convention item -- a signing. There was one slight problem: The autograph area wasn't actually on any of the convention maps at the end of the book, and asking various people resulted in answers of less than perfect accuracy. We did find the information booth, however (okay, andpuff and greenmtnboy18 did; the sign was clearly not meant to be seen by me, even though it was about 5 times my size and hanging from the ceiling in plain view, and did find the area.

Which meant that I missed tnh's Mary Sue panel. I really really wanted to go to that one, so if anyone else managed to, could you fill me in?

After that, I hooked up with trektone and we went off to Pandemonium, where a number of clients of agent Joshua Bilmes had been gathered to sign books. I'm not one of them <g>. I did, however, in the very recognizable compulsive behaviour of booksellers everywhere, straighten shelves. It's just a habit. I can kick it at any time.

The staff there were lovely, and the store was small, but it had a lot of stuff in it; I was impressed by the inventory per square footage; there was a single almost moment of awkwardness, which I recognize well, when the woman behind the counter saw me, recognized my writing name, and felt bad that there were no large piles of books for me to sign <wry g>. I told her to relax; that she had had no idea that I was going to be there, that there was normal shelf stock, and that, in fact, I work in a specialty SF store, and realize all of the above. She laughed, and we talked about the store for a while.

After that, dinner. I failed to be able to actually read the menu and ended up ordering enough food for, oh, ten (it was a rib place). Then we walked back from Cambridge to the hotel, which was made more interesting my trektone's map. Or rather, sense of direction. Something is scary in the universe when I'm the one who can figure out a map <wry g>.

I went to bed early because it was the first night of the convention. andpuff was already sleeping.

FRIDAY

Friday should have started with breakfast. But. Well. It started with getting up too late for breakfast, and running to the green room instead. By this time, I could be relied on to find anything in the Hynes convention centre, more or less, so I didn't actually miss any panels, and wasn't even late for any of them. I think. More awake minds will have to vouch for the accuracy of these words.

The first panel was the Firefly panel. Ginjer Buchanan had actually seen the script, as she was part of an auction for the novelization rights (someone else got them, and she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which severely limited what she was willing to tell us. As in, she told us nothing <wry g>. The panel was in one of the small rooms, and we had to pull the table back three feet to accommodate a couple of rows of floor space, and people were actually sitting behind the table and out both open doors before it started. Yay Firefly! There was much firefly love. And afterwards, buttons and tattoos. You know, the painless kind.

Two hours later, the first panel I was supposed to moderate. This one, I was a bit nervous about: Archetypes in Fantasy; The Princess Alone. But Ellen Datlow seems to have turned into Diane Duane (who is always a fabulous speaker, and funny); Jo Walton was erudite, and Justine L. (this is me being too lazy to go and look up the name) also had a lot to say that was on topic and interesting. Poor Paul Witcover (who wrote the excellent Waking Beauty several years back) said perhaps one thing on the panel. A number of interesting points were raised by different people, but perhaps my favourite was Jo Walton's comment on the force of story, on the natural flow of it, and the way in which one has to build and work to change its course (except she said it better). Justine then spoke of a study in Australia, which featured the PAPER BAG PRINCESS by Robert Munsch. It's about a Princess in, well, a paper bag, who goes through all kinds of adventures, even defeating a dragon to rescue a prince -- who then sniffs his little nose because she doesn't look like a real princess. So she leaves him there.

The children, however, expected a different story, and they all felt it somehow ended in the wrong way. Across schools and ages.

I actually said very little. I tried to keep track of who put their hands up and in what order, and wish I had done what andpuff did on one of her panels -- give them numbers and tell them to remember them <wry g>. But things went well. I only really interfere as a moderator if I'm bored.

Then I had a kaffeklatch. Which, without the help of jediboadicea, I would never have found on time (see me and maps above). I met a couple of LJ users, zhaneel69 and another woman whose LJ name I don't actually remember :/. Out yourself, if you're reading <g>. Julie, who is one of the alpha workshop members I met at Confluence was also there -- I'm really looking forward to the day she's in print. Also, another woman I'd met at a convention workshop some years back. Can you tell I'm horrible with names? :/. I rambled. I do this frequently. This means I had fun, but I can't vouch for anyone else <g>.. Dan Bloch was there, and another person I know from the store, Shaun, and a couple of people who were there because of the books. I ate all the peanuts. No lunch.

Then I ran off to a panel that Tanya was on, with the GOH, Terry Pratchett, James Morrow and P.C. Hodgell, about the character of death. And Tanya, darn her, said something off-colour that took Terry about 30 seconds to get -- and then he broke out laughing and tilted backwards in his chair -- and for the life of me, I still don't get it. Sometimes having a mind that doesn't bend toward the double-entendre is a very frustrating thing.

I thought that I would then have a lot of time to talk and see things, but that lot of time was taken up by the very, very large art show. It was impressive, and Jody Lee had brought the framed original for RIVEN SHIELD, and I also got to see a couple of Donato's original paintings (I adore his work), as well as the Michael Whelan work that's always so damn impressive. I'm missing a ton of artists in this, but if I weren't, I would be writing for the same two and a half hours it took us to look at everything <g>.

Then off to dinner with Glenn Yeffeth of BenBella books, the publishing company responsible for SEVEN SEASONS OF BUFFY, TAKING THE RED PILL, and my Sundered reprints <g>. I'm not a foodie, if this weren't already obvious, but we had Vietnamese food a couple of blocks away from the convention centre, and then we came back and talked about the publishing industry; I even got to critique the design of several covers (he asked, honest -- and I was. Honest).

During which, to my surprise, my agent walked by. I said, "But you're not here." Which, all things considered, was less than factual, since he demonstrably was. He'd made a very late in the day decision to come, and I'd turned off my cell phone, so we met by accident, but ended up talking until 1:00 in the morning, after which I went to bed. A lot of general discussion about the state of the industry, from either of our perspectives, which is something -- in case it hasn't been obvious -- I enjoy. Because, you know, I get to be opinionated.

I was supposed to go to a room party for andpuff. It was over before I'd finished :/.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
roane
Sep. 7th, 2004 08:45 pm (UTC)
I had to say hello, since I was one of the people sitting behind you at the "Firefly" panel! This was my first WorldCon, and in fact, my first con of any kind. Count me among the overwhelmed, but your words in your other post reassured me that it'll get better as I keep going back--which I definitely plan to do. :)

I'm having a ball reading about the con from other people's perspectives, but jeez is it making me realize just how much I missed. I think you're right about the L-space.
msagara
Sep. 8th, 2004 09:32 am (UTC)
I had to say hello, since I was one of the people sitting behind you at the "Firefly" panel! This was my first WorldCon, and in fact, my first con of any kind. Count me among the overwhelmed, but your words in your other post reassured me that it'll get better as I keep going back--which I definitely plan to do. :)

Let me just say that this is the only panel I've ever done where people have ended up sitting behind the panelists for lack of room elsewhere <g>. I've seen them standing against walls before. But. Well <g>.
domynoe
Sep. 7th, 2004 10:36 pm (UTC)
the sign was clearly not meant to be seen by me, even though it was about 5 times my size and hanging from the ceiling in plain view

ROTFL!!!!! That sounds so much like me! Only I'd probably miss it even if it were pointed out and get told I need to renew my glasses prescription. lol

Welcome back! I know we don't know each other, but I missed you! ;)
msagara
Sep. 8th, 2004 09:37 am (UTC)
the sign was clearly not meant to be seen by me, even though it was about 5 times my size and hanging from the ceiling in plain view

ROTFL!!!!! That sounds so much like me! Only I'd probably miss it even if it were pointed out and get told I need to renew my glasses prescription. lol


I did, in fact, fail to see it. Which is why I mentioned its size. My excuse is that it was done in the Wrong Colours; all the other signage was black and white, and this was base yellow with blue letters on it. And it was very, very high up.

Otoh, the people I was with noticed it and pointed it out, and after they pointed for a Long Time, I realized which direction I was supposed to be looking in <wry g>.

I'm very happy to be back <g>.
(Deleted comment)
lnhammer
Sep. 8th, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
The geek version "next year in Jerulsalem"?

---L.
msagara
Sep. 8th, 2004 09:39 am (UTC)
I wanted to talk to you!

I mean, it was very nice being on a panel with you, and I thought it was a fun panel, but I was rushing off somewhere and then I never saw you again afterwards.


This was me! I thought: Good! I'm on a panel with Jo Walton, and I will Be Able To Talk To Her. But it almost never works that way, and I think you had some 13 programming items over the convention.

Are you going to WFC this year? I thought you might be because you'd mentioned the possibility elsewhere, and because you're a nominee.

I'm not sure about Glasgow yet <wry g>. The hotels seem to already be sold out, among other things.
(Deleted comment)
glyneth
Sep. 8th, 2004 05:35 pm (UTC)
Hello! I'm a fan from way back - Caroline Julian introduced me to your work and Tanya's. I've met Tanya (and Fiona), but I don't think I ever got the chance to meet you, though I do have signed copies of your first series. My name is Julia Frizzell, by the way. :)

You mentioned reprints of your Sundered series - is this something that's upcoming? I'd love to get some new copies. For a while, I was buying up used copies when I found them and sending them onto people who wanted them! This would make it much easier!
msagara
Sep. 8th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC)
Hello! I'm assuming, if you haven't bumped into me, that you're not in Toronto <g>.

You mentioned reprints of your Sundered series - is this something that's upcoming? I'd love to get some new copies. For a while, I was buying up used copies when I found them and sending them onto people who wanted them! This would make it much easier!

In theory the pub dates are at six months intervals starting September of 2005; I don't actually know what the price will be, but I assume it will fall in line with most of the BenBella trade paperbacks.

Also, we're not quite sure what name they'll be published under -- whether they'll come out as Michelle West novels, Michelle Sagara novels, or Michelle Sagara West novels. So, ummm, I'll let people know when I know for sure.
alfreda89
Sep. 8th, 2004 09:41 pm (UTC)
I did, however, in the very recognizable compulsive behaviour of booksellers everywhere, straighten shelves. It's just a habit. I can kick it at any time.

I'm not even a bookseller, but I'm always rearranging and putting my friends' books face out and series together--at least I was until the hands started getting bad.

But I have a friend who was a buyer for a specialty SF store 20 years ago, and she still does this....

Sounds like a great convention--wistful, here....
zhaneel69
Sep. 13th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC)
Was very, very nice to meet you. One of the highlights for me.

Zhaneel
msagara
Sep. 13th, 2004 05:21 pm (UTC)
 Was very, very nice to meet you. One of the highlights for me.

Me too (as in happy to meet you)! Although -- and you probably get this a lot, so I'm sorry in advance -- you seemed much younger off-line than I would have expected from you on-line. Either that, or I'm just a lot older <wry g>.

I'm kind of fond of kaffeeklatches, when people show up <g>. But I never have a plan.
zhaneel69
Sep. 13th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
I don't actually get that a lot. You would be the first, but it has been rare that I meet up with online people so far. I plan to do it more, though.

And thanks for the compliment. Don't think it is you getting old. You looked quite young and spry to me, so you seem older online too. Maybe just how well spoken you (and maybe me) are?

Zhaneel
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )