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.