Final Thoughts on Sasquan, The World SF&F Convention 2015

Frog and I had a wonderful, amazing convention.  We got to meet fans we didn’t know we had, sell many books, hang out with authors and friends, find more people who share our interests, and even attend a few room parties.  It was a beautiful, smokey, unforgettable experience.

Conventions always remind me why I started writing in the first place; why I love doing it so much.  But even more this year, it reminded me that you need to seize the opportunities as they come.  The chances to see your friends, love your family, strive for excellence, and be true to yourself.   I feel it even more keenly now, because on coming home after Worldcon, I learned that a beautiful lady who I have known for my whole life, and who was there for just about every pivotal moment I’ve had up until now, has passed away.  She lived 90 years with panache and passion.  I only hope when the time comes for me to tally my achievements, I will have done half as much.  My life thus far has been blessed with such lovely people and potential futures.  I am so grateful.

Cherish the moments you have, seize the opportunities as they come, and love life.  After all, no matter what the video games tell us, we only get one each.

On Collateral Damage

Let me talk to you for a moment about Jennifer Brozek.

Now, I’ve been going to panels with Jennifer for a couple of years.  She’s an amazing speaker, she’s a hell of a gamer, and she is amazing at what she does.  She has nothing to do with the Sad Puppy or Rapid Puppy or any kind of fucking puppy.

I am pissed off at the moment.  Fandom, fellow Hugo voters, I am talking to you.  You.  Fucked.  Up.

See, Jennifer was nominated for Best Editor – Short Fiction.  And rightfully so.  Her work on Apocalypse Ink Productions is fabulous, and I can’t recommend it more.  She didn’t have anything to do with the political fallout; she was there on her own power.

And you voted “no award.”

I get that Vox Day is a prick.  I’m not behind him at all.  And I would never encourage you to vote for him.

But “no award” is a vote that means I do not believe anyone nominated in this category is worthy.  It takes every nominee out, not just the ones you don’t like.

When you voted “no award,” you told the world that Jennifer didn’t deserve a Hugo.  Did you truly believe that?  Or did the Sad Puppy thing mean you just checked the “No Award” box all the way down?

I haven’t looked, but I’m willing to bet within hours of the awards closing, the Puppies will be claiming victory.  And that’s too bad, because there were gems hidden in this muck.  Gems that deserved a little recognition.  Gems who work hard to present good content to the fan community.

Toni Weisskopf has nothing to do with the Puppies.  Tedd Roberts had nothing to do with the Puppies.

So I am sorry, to all those who deserved a Hugo, who should have gotten a Hugo, and who have nothing to do with the political fuckups concerning the Hugos.  For what its worth, you had my vote.

 

WorldCon Report, Day 3: Into the Smoke

So, day 3 was supposed to be simple.  I had one job to do.  That job, by the way, was to drink beer, an activity that I perform on occasion with no obligation whatsoever.

Well, that and work sgt-at-arms for the Business Meeting, which was fun but uneventful (wait for Day 5).

No, Friday was shaping up to be the day during which unscheduled activities dominated.

Let’s start with this little tidbit:  panelists here at Worldcon, in a shocking display of apathy for the environment, are given a different table tent for each panel.  What do we do with the old ones?  Chuck ’em!

Well, Bob Brown got his hands on one of mine.  The results have been…interesting.

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Then we drank beer.  Beer was good.  Met some good peeps, drank some good brew, talked books and writing.  What more could you possibly want?

Then, as we sat with beers in hand, the smoke rolled in.

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Now, let’s be clear here; we set our state on fire to celebrate Sasquan about a week ago.  But on Friday, the wind shifted, and like smoke following beauty at a campfire the entire con was enveloped in a dense haze.  Fliers were posted indicating that it was unsafe to travel outside, which is kinda crazy for a con that is happening in multiple hotels.

Last, we ended up at dinner with the following people:

  1.  Us
  2. Out Publisher, Maggie Bonham of Sky Warrior Books
  3. Voss Foster, brilliant author in his own right and recent podcast guest for the 3 Unwise Men
  4. Trish McCallan, who writes romance novels and for whom I do not have a link,
  5. The girl who started us writing
  6. An attorney that used to work for me
  7. That attorney’s brother
  8. That attorney’s brother’s girlfriend

This was something of a clashing of the worlds, but a good time and decent mexican food was had by all.

Today, you can catch us at the 10-2 session in Author’s Alley, as we’ll be sharing a table with Kaye Thornbrugh and Jessica Rising.  Esther will be signing autographs at 10.:00.  I’ll be talking about humor in teen and middle grade fiction in 401C at 11:00, then Fandom for Children and Teens at 2:00.  I’m finishing up by taking up the mantle of Cyberpunk in the Sub-Genre Games at 4:00; that should be a blast.

See you there!

WorldCon Report, Day 1: The drumbeat begins

Alright, day one of Worldcon was a slow start.

Jessica Rising was awesome enough to show Esther and I a sneaky way to get in the registration line before the doors to the convention center opened, thus insuring that we did not actually have to wait in said line for more than a couple of seconds once registration opened.  This cleared up our day significantly.

The green room at Worldcon appears to be one of the more lackluster green rooms I’ve been in.  This actually makes a certain amount of sense, as authors will stab a bitch to get on panels at this con; there’s really no reason to try to seduce us further with nummy treats.  Still, I dream of the (literal) salad days in the Radcon green room.

On a more interesting front, I will be standing sergeant-at-arms for the World Science Fiction organization.  Does this sound boring to you?  It is not.  Allow me to rephrase:

I am a peacekeeper for the rule-making committee for Worldcon.  Including the committee that will be debating changes to the Hugo nominating process.

Now, I have been specifically told that, in the event of physical resistance, I am not allowed to simply bounce a motherfucker, which is too bad.  That would have been fun.  That said, I’ll be the one trying to impose some form of order on what is shaping up to be an absolute train wreck.  Wish me luck on that, and await my final con report for details on how it went.

I did have a single panel on Day One, a Legends and Lore panel which turned out to have three authentic Native American Storytellers on it, one other lady, and myself.  How in the hell am I supposed to contribute to Legends and Lore discussions in that setting?  I mean, I’m not whipping out the undoubtedly butchered Native American stories I heard back in Scout Camp, that’s for damn sure.

Didn’t stop the other lady, who dove headlong into an embarassing tale of her father’s sister-in-law’s second cousin, who had some Indian blood, and also may or may not have seen a UFO.  I stopped listening at that point.  Instead, I talked about the culture of old fogeys BS’ing in greasy spoon diners (for those of you who knew Colfax in the day, I specifically went into a description of Allen’s restaurant).  All in all, had a good time and pulled off yet another what the hell am I doing on this panel moment.  All’s well as ends well.

Looking forward to Day Two, which will include such things as the beginning of my stint at Sgt-at-Arms, the Sky Warrior Books table in Author’s Alley (look for Esther or I there), and the following schedule of appearances where you can catch yours truly in living color:

11:00 AM:  Reading in Spokane Falls Suite A/B
4:00 PM:  A shift at the autographing table
5:00 PM:  “Conventions of the Pacific Northwest” in room 303A
7:00 PM:  “Role-Playing Games as an Author’s Tool” in room 401C

I am slightly disappointed that all of these panels seem to be completely en pointe for me, but occasionally I do actually have to be an adult.  Looking forward to seeing anyone who can make it!