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Worldcon: Saturday Evening and Sunday

Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 17:10

You just know that these reports are going to get briefer and less coherent as the con goes on. It's a wrap at this point and here's what I recall from the last 24 hours.

Saturday Evening

When last we heard from our valient heroine, she was about to dress up a little and head off to join up with various other folks from File 770 to attend the Hugo Award ceremony. OK, so not all my readers may know what all that means. The Hugo awards are the annual member-voted awards from the World Science Fiction Society, given at Worldcon. There are awards for both professional and amateur writers, artists, etc., and for fiction, commentary, various types of activity (podcasts, either print or online magazines, etc.) relating to science fiction and fantasy writing and the SFF community. File 770 is a "fanzine", that is, an amateur publication of news, commentary, and discussion of the SFF scene, originally founded as a print periodical, but now also existing as a website that has developed a very active discussion and commenting community. It's a forum where I've been quite active in the past year and where I've made a number of new friends. And both File 770 and its founder, Mike Glyer, were finalists for Hugo awards (for Best Fanzine and Best Fan Writer). So those of us who had gotten to know each other through the site did a lot of socializing at this year's Worldcon--especially given that Our Gracious Host, Mike Glyer, was not able to attend for health reasons. So we sat in a group and were able to cheer together when Mike and File 770 both won in their respective categories. Here's a picture of the physical awards, held by John Hertz, who stook in to accept them for Mike...and he let me hold one of them for the picture.

John Hertz and me holding Mike Glyer's Hugos

After that, it was another evening of having startling success at finding fun conversations at the Marriott bar, but for the life of me I can't remember all of them. All I remember was that I succeeded in doing a few chained introductions where all manner of amazing people who hadn't previously known each other now do.


I had two panels, with the earlier starting at 11am, so I had to skip the last business meeting, but as I expected, the various decisions were ones I would have supported. The first panel was "When the Magic Goes Away", discussing stories and settings where magic is in transition, the magic-technology interface, the continuing echoes of the "lost golden age" motif, and the various purposes that both magic and its loss serve in stories.

The second panel was "Austen and Shelley and their influences on SFF" which was an amaingly fun discussion moderated by Mary Robinette Kowal that covered the literary, historic, and social contexts of Austen and Shelley's works, the reasons why the themes in their work continue to inspire SFF today, and all sorts of ways that readers engage with them. Really, you should have been there. It was a lot of fun.

I finished up by attending a panel sponsored by some of the con committee for next year's Worldcon in Helsinkii on "How to talk to Finns". Lots of humorous presentation of cultural differences and expectations, with a bit of practical Q&A for those expecting to travel from the States for the convention.

I didn't feel like trying to go off somewhere for a real dinner, so I grabbed a sandwich in the bar and hung out with Renay Williams and other folks from the Lady Business blog (who were also finalists for Best Fanzine). And now I'm about to go meet my interviewer. (Someone I met through facebook, not related to Worldcon except by geography.) I'll probably have time to do some more summing up tomorrow since my plane doesn't leave until after noon, but at this point my brain is completely toast.

Oh, and I got an email to expect the editorial feedback on Mother of Souls to be waiting for me when I get home, so there's no rest for the wicked.