And lo, another WorldCon is in the books. This was an odd one, as I didn’t see many of the folk I normally would have expected to, but did get to hang with some old friends, make some new friends, make a few business contacts, and actually get outside of the convention center to see our host city. So I’m going to call it a win, even though my flight home Sunday night was delayed due to wildfire smoke blanketing SeaTac. :-(
My two panels were great – the 50th Anniversary Appreciation of The Last Unicorn was, as expected, the Peter Beagle show, with support from his fellow panelists and a very appreciative audience asking solid questions. And then the “Body and the Shadow of Imagination” kicked serious ass in two languages. Felecia Caton Garcia, Libia Brenda, Iliana Vargas and Mary Anne Monhanraj kicked it into high gear and made me work to keep up. I love shit like that, and from the way people in the audience were scribbling notes, they did, too. I’d really love to see more panels like that, with cross-cultural pollination happening. Hey WFC, Nebulas, make note!
The bars were…well, the one decent space for gathering also had horribly mediocre bands playing at top volume every night, so that didn’t help, and the other bars were too small to be main gathering spaces. And the SFWA suite had an odd layout and large crowds, making it less appealing to those of us of a certain experience points level. (Plus, I was staying off-site, so had to be alert/awake enough to get into the right Lyft at the end of the evening). So I wasn’t a night owl this year, which may explain how I missed folk.
There was one…well, amusing-to-me moment late Saturday night, when the companion of a Currently Hot New Writer eyed me up and down, looked at my badge (with the “panelist” ribbon) and asked “are you a speaker? Should I know you?” I was very tired, so I shrugged and said “maybe.” I wasn’t trying to be snarky, I just didn’t want to play the “are you Important” game just then. So he announced that he was going to look me up in the participants list on his phone.
He did so, and watching his expression go from “you can’t be anyone” to “oh, you… actually have industry cred” was… yah, amusing. I do not begrudge Currently Hot New Writers their status, but I’ve been around long enough to see many of them come and go. Being a survivor is impressive, too.
And getting to my official signing and seeing an Actual Line of People Waiting For Me, With Books… *presses palm to chest, inhales deeply* And people accosting me politely in the hallway to say nice things about The Devil’s West, to thank me for the books, for the Patreon, in one case for something I did ten years ago that they still remember to this day….
Yeah, that was all clean, fresh water shared to this parched soul.
But now I have 9 days before I head out to DragonCon, and so very very much to do before then….