This was the first Worldcon I have attended and I had a great amount of fun. In this post, I’ll tell you about it.
We arrived in Chicago on Thursday about 6PM. We took Amtrak from Winona, MN to Chicago Union Station. The train is kind of fun and easier than driving–you get to look at some decent scenery along the way. Here is the view from our room, the room was quite nice:
View from our Room — Chicago river.
Once at the hotel (Susan exclaimed, “Hey look, that guy has a tail!”) and safely ensconced in our room, I proceeded down to registration. I started to realize at this point that the hotel and conference area was large–quite large. Registration was set up quite nicely and I quickly collected my materials and badge. We then ate dinner at a hotel restaurant. David Brin and a bunch of other authors were seated at some tables next to us, so that was my first official author sighting.
After dinner, I wandered around a bit familiarizing myself with the layout (split between two towers) and then at 9:00 I went to the panel: “Ozma Plus 50: My Week Among the Searchers for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” presented by Bill Higgins. This dealt with some of Bill Higgins experiences on a tour of the Ozma SETI site. I only stayed for about half an hour. The panel was interesting, but I wanted to go up to the 34th floor where the Minn-StF people were hosting a party. So, up there I did travel. I hung about there for awhile. Jo Walton came in and mentioned that she had a new summary post on tor.com. I said that I had seen it and then she was whisked off. That was all I got to actually say to Jo over the Con–she was understandably busy.
Friday morning I discovered the Jo Walton Kaffeeklatsch was full and so I went to the panel: (9:00 – 10:30) “Anarchism in Fantasy and Science Fiction.” This was quite a good panel. They discussed anarchism in various works and its relationship to various groups in real life. After this, I proceeded to the Dealer’s Room. This was quite large and I started walking back and forth browsing things. I was extremely happy when, as I browsed, I came upon Glen Cook’s booth. I hadn’t known he was going to have a both so this was a nice surprise. I chatted with him for a while. He mentioned that he was working on a new Garret Novel, book 4 of the Instrumentalities series, and that “Port of Shadows,” is a real thing and is the next Black Company novel. It will take place in the time between “The Black Company” and “Shadows Linger“. He also pointed out that he had written parts of that as a couple shorts in two anthologies that he had on the table.
I then went over to the Angry Robot tables and talked with Amanda Rutter, now editor of Strange Chemistry and one of the reread reviewers for the Malazan reread on tor.com. We mentioned that it was fun to see one another after having exchanged so many words in the reread.
From 11:00 AM-11:30 AM I went to the Seanan McGuire reading. She read from one of the October Daye books. I missed the first couple minutes, so I am unsure which one but I liked what was read and plan to check them out.
Next, it was time to head over to Ian Tregillis’ reading (12:00-12:30). Ian read from the Klaus/Gretel/Jar portion of The Coldest War. This is a really really good portion and it was quite nice to hear Ian read it. The readings were scheduled in half hour time slots. That gets lots of authors slots to read in, but doesn’t leave much time for questions or anything. So, after the reading a number of people wanted books autographed and Ian was happy to oblige. He found a table down the hall and started autographing. I tagged along in my quiet fashion. When the last autographee was satisfied, there were about six people left. One of them glanced at me and said, “You I recognize from the website.” At that point Ian saw me and we chatted about how it is odd to have had lots of conversations with people (I post over on his website and he posts over here) but to have never actually met them. He then kindly invited me along to lunch (Potbelly’s). There were six people along and we chatted about a number of things from food dislikes to the annoyances of the film Prometheus, Ian’s need to learn about Exoplanets for his next panel and the disappointments of the Torchwood:Miracle Day series. This was a very great deal of fun.
At 2:30 I bid adieu to the group and went to Jo Walton’s reading. She read from her work in progress–a generation starship in mid voyage. After this, I again wandered around the dealer room and other exhibits. At 4:30 I went to the panel “Exoplanets, Exobiology, Extensions of SF” (4:30 – 6:00). I addition to Ian Tregillis, David Brin, Dr. Charles E. Gannon, Geoffrey A. Landis and G. David Nordley were panelists. They discussed some of the recent findings in extra solar planets and how that might relate to science fiction and reality. Ian must have effectively looked up some good stuff as he had a number of good comments.
At 6, Susan and I went to dinner with her brother and his girl fried, so, non-con related.
At 9:00PM I went back up to the 34th floor and went to the Tor party for a while. David Brin autographed an imprint sheet of Existence for me. These sheets address a need of which I hadn’t even thought–with eBooks, there isn’t really anything physical that you can carry along and have someone autograph if you are so inclined.
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