I’m having trouble readjusting to the real world after a long weekend of soaking in science fiction. I got back last night from spending a long weekend in Spokane for the World Science Fiction Convention.
The personal highlight for me was joining the Broad Universe RFR (Rapid Fire Reading) on Friday night. 19 members of Broad Universe read fantasy, alternate history, comic horror, paranormal romance, and more. I discovered two writers whose work I really enjoyed, Paula S. Jordan and Wendy Van Camp.
I read the scene from The Dangerous Type where Raena booby-trapped the mountainside. It was the only space opera of the night.
I joined Broad Universe a little more than a year ago and it is turning out to be a great resource. I wish there had been more socializing with them in Spokane, but when I was asked to organize it, I was struggling with pneumonia and dropped the ball. I look forward to meeting up with everyone again sometime soon.
I explored a little of what SFWA (the Science Fiction Writers of America) has to offer, too. I was accepted as an active member in March, so this convention was the first time I’ve gotten to meet other members. The SFWA suite was kind of dead the two times I dropped by (although I did get dinner there Saturday night), but I met some nice people. I also volunteered at the SFWA table in the Dealers’ Room, which was entertaining. It seemed like everyone stopped by to say hi.
I spent most of my social time with members of the Sci-Fi Binder Club, a division of the Binders Full of Women Writers on Facebook. Our conversations were wide-ranging and fascinating and I am very much looking forward to exploring the work of Jilly Dreadful, K. Tempest Bradford, and Jessie Kwak. It was great to meet them in person.
In and around meeting writers, I caught a couple of panels. The Space Opera panel with Ann Leckie and Charles Stross gave me a better perspective on my heritage, while the Self-Promotion and Marketing panel with Kameron Hurley and Annie Bellet had some useful suggestions. Wesley Chu’s reading was fun, too.
Of course, the big controversy of the weekend was the Hugo Awards on Saturday night. Unlike nearly everyone I asked about it, I both read all the nominees and voted. Things at the ceremony went pretty much as I expected, based on the literary quality of the works nominated, but I was disappointed (if not surprised) that Sex Criminals: One Weird Trick didn’t win Best Graphic Story. It was amazing.
There may have been parties over the course of the weekend, but I didn’t get invited to any. Just as well. The entire state of Washington seemed to be on fire and the air quality in Spokane was apocalyptic, so I fled back to my air-conditioned hotel room to clear my lungs every so often. Even so, my suitcase smelled like an ashtray inside.
It’s good to be home and sorting through all the bits I brought back with me. I’m glad to have survived my first Worldcon. I’m even starting to think about going to another next year. There are so many people I have yet to meet…