Monday, September 16, 2013

Some final WorldCon thoughts

Two weeks ago I was driving back to East Texas from San Antonio, having attended my first WorldCon. I've spent much of this blog space since then reviewing the event. Here are some random and parting thoughts:

It's an expensive proposition a attend a WorldCon, especially considering the hundreds of dollars it costs for registration. If I hadn't been a Sidewise award nominee, my wife wouldn't have allowed me to come (my wife is not a fan). I'm impressed at the effort made by many people whom I know are much more broke than I am to attend.

My roommate, Alex Schvartsman, took a Hugo Boss suit for good luck to wear at the Hugo awards, and it worked as he got to accept the Hugo for Ken Liu. Late Sunday night, he was complaining how heavy the award is to lug around!

There were two panels I attended as an audience member, the panel on small towns held Friday, "Good Things Do Come From Small Places" and "The George and Howard Show" on Saturday. Chum Howard Waldrop was on both of them.

Other panelists on the small town discussion were Connie Willis, Joe Lansdale, Steve Gould and Robin Hobb. Willis was moderator and never asked for any questions from the audience. Joe had some interesting things to say about growing up in a small East Texas town.

The razzle-dazzle Saturday with George R.R. Martin and Howard Saturday afternoon was a hoot, somebody needs to release that as a video! Funniest thing I ever saw, everyone laughed their butts off.

Having the WorldCon and Dragon Con in Atlanta the same weekend was goofy. I don't know how it affected DragonCon, but I definitely think it cut down on the WorldCon attendance. I also don't think having a WorldCon in Texas in August helped attendance.

I wasn't surprised Spokane won the 2015 WorldCon bid. I was slightly surprised when after the vote was announced, one old pro - who will remain nameless here - said that the "elites" in s-f were pushing for Helsinki, which had been exactly my impression. I don't think Orlando ever stood a chance, from what I heard. One problem with the Helsinki bid was that, if they won, that would put two Worldcons overseas for two years in a row. With the crappy state of America's neo-Third World economy, few people are going to be able to go to London next year (my wife has already told me "Don't even think of it!"). It's quite possible two WorldCons overseas in a row would have sunk the whole Worldcon proposition.

I changed up my attire regularly during the con. Friday I wore my Mad Scientists Union jersey, and Saturday my black suit. I wore my Texas Nationalist Movement shirt for the first half of Sunday, then changed at lunchtime to  regular short-sleeved shirt for the during of the convention. I was pleased when a member of the audience for the political panel Sunday - who lives in a northern state - told me she agreed with the TNM shirt. I told her I'm not surprised that there are people up north wouldn't mind if Texas took off, either.

No Texan was in the running for a Hugo literary award, and neither of the two who were nominated for other awards - myself for the Sidewise and Stina Leicht for the Campbell Award - won. Although Stina and I are far from friends, I have to concede it's only human to feel sympathy for the sting of disappointment.

I felt very disappointed when I was blackballed from the anthology that was released at the convention, but I got over it, too.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

    fiction marketing

    ReplyDelete

Latest reviews

"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

- Frank Dutkiewicz, Diabolical Plots

“Great White Ship”: A traveler stuck waiting for a flight strikes up a conversation with an old airline employee. The Old Timer tells him a story of a Great White Airship that arrives from a most unusual destination. The story of a craft from an alternate reality and how it got there is only the precursor to the final act. This is one of my favorite stories from this site. I have a great passion for lighter-than-air craft and their potential as a future means of transport, which opens the story. The author uses this speculation to launch into an engaging tale. As fascinating as the main story line is, the alternate history premise that accompanies it is just as worthwhile. This story was well written and very well thought out. It is well worth the read. Recommended.

- James Hanzelka, Diabolical Plots

Blog Archive

Legalese

The content of this web site is subject to the following creative commons license: Click here for the fine print