Saturday, August 09, 2008

Guess what? Yeah, I'm at WorldCon (hee hee)

Can there really be only one more day? Noooooo. Say it isn't so.

Day 4 in review:

I was debating between a panel and a signing (by Stephen Baxter who I really like a lot and whose anthologies I'd bought this weekend, I'd gotten out last night and tagged his stories in for him to sign) this morning, but since I stayed up half the night/morning watching the rerun of the Olympics opening ceremonies, what I did this morning was roll over and go back to sleep. Hey I'm supposedly on holiday, right? Still, probably not my best decision since I missed the opportunity to stand in Baxter's autographing line with Kathryn. Sorry, Kathryn. Maybe I should have asked for a less comfortable bed. I will go to sleep before 4am tonite. I WILL DANG IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I did haul my fanny to the 11:30 panel on the Wild Cards series which was very cool. I never read any of the volumes, but I think I'll pick at least one up now and see what happens. Then I trotted over the the Hyatt for readings by Charles Stross and then Sharon Shinn. While trotting I clutched the latest convention newsletter which I grabbed on my way out of the convention center. I got a spot in the back of the Stross reading room and got my stitching ready then decided to look at the morning newsletter where I found the message saying that he (followed by Sharon) would be reading in the convention center. I rallied the room and we all trotted back across the street to join the folks who HAD read the newsletter. lol You know, all the way to the Hyatt I kept thinking "you really out to look at the newsletter to see if they changed any rooms." Oh well. Apparently I needed the extra walking today.

Regardless, Stross (seen below) gave a fine reading of his recently released Saturn's Children.
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So engaging was what he read that when he was finished with his reading I hot footed it upstairs to the dealer's room to collect one (and my newly traditional strawberry/blackberry smoothie lunch)--
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As you can tell, it found some friends. lol You wouldn't want it to be lonely, would you? I didn't think so.

Post-shopping I was back downstairs, to the right and a few rows forward of my seat from the Stross reading for Sharon Shinn's reading. She did pieces of an upcoming Angel novella and a 13 Houses novel. I couldn't rush out for those since they aren't out yet. that's probably the only thing that kept me from a return to the dealer's room. I'd show you a pic of Sharon in action but the one I got has given her bright red eyes. I really don't feel she's meant to look possessed.

After Sharon in was back downstairs for the Sigma panel -- a science fiction, pro-bonoish think tank. Entertaining, frightening, and thoughtful.

And, I saved the best for last, thinking, I wonder if I ought to go to something else, I settled into "Worth a Thousand Words." It's described in the pocket program as:
"Authors read a new or favorite brief description of a character, setting, or action, and the artists spontaneously illustrate it. The artists then reciprocate with a new or favorite original drawing, and the authors spontaneously write a description of it."

I laughed so hard I cried. Someone said they were youtubing it. If you want to be entertained, try and find it. OMG. The writer was David Brin and the artists were Frank Wu and Teddy Harvia and with Frank and Teddy on dual easels, Brin began a audience-participation-driven improv. I can't really begin to explain it all, but here are a few pics and you can pick up some bits from the quotes of today ---
It started with the words "laser canon," "dragon," and "home-made peach jam."
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That's Brin story telling and Wu working on his laser canon.

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Contrary to the story Wu's early-stages dragon attacks the laser canon with a jar of peach jam.

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That's Teddy Harvia with his dalek which contains 12 monkeys and an echidna.

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And that's Teddy with Fred, the intelligent laser canon who's not as smart as he thinks he is. Fred has performance anxiety and dreams of electric sheep.

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Brin doing his platydude dance.

Honest, funniest hour and a half of the week!

Still chuckling as I left I had to find a quick dinner and get back to the convention center for the Hugos (the big literary award series voted by the members of the convention annually). My mistake--- NOT going back to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. I headed instead for "16th Street" which is touted as the cool shopping dining, hanging experience downtown. What a waste. For those of you with this point of reference, you'll understand -- think 3rd Street Promenade (Santa Monica) without the smells and the parking garages, but with all the junky kind of shops interspersed with big-ish named restaurants, oh and here the "walk street" concept allows for trams, pedicabs, and horse-drawn carriages. The good thing is I learned I don't need to go exploring there on Monday! Bubba, I'm sorry.

I made it back for the Hugos and got a prime balcony seat. It was a lovely ceremony moderated handily by Wil McCarthy (a personal favorite author of mine). You know, I think it might have set a record for brevity. I was quite impressed. Here are the winners:
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Stitching of the day:
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This is a yet unbeaded version of the specialty-stitch version of part 7-8 of Papillon Creations "How Does Your Garden Grow" done in a couple Belle Soirs. I plan on using white beads but I didn't bring any of those along. The pattern calls for stitching all those specialty stitches with two threads which I did, but I think the one I started right after this one will get one-stranded specialty stitches. It's just to thick with two and you can't tell so much from the pic but it's not that it is rumpled, but rather that all that tread is playing heck with the fabric flatness. Memo to self: stuff that ornie really full!

Quotes of the Day:
"Next year's novel is a short story collection." Charles Stross

"A lilliputian unspeakable horror???" David Brin

"Wait a minute; I'm not done with the electric sheep." Teddy Harvia

"Back in my day we used to have to do our own genetic engineering." Frank Wu mocking David Brin

"Am I the Rodney Dangerfield of science fiction?" David Brin

"In the annals of Hugo lore I would like to be remembered as the people's moderator." Wil McCarthy

"It's not enough that we make you sit there for two long hours. We also make you clap." Wil McCarthy

"My SF efforts have been rewarded with venture capital. Take that John Scalzi!" Wil McCarthy on not having won a Hugo

"...the coolest award in the world mostly because it's got a detachable rocket." Steven Moffat and Hettie Macdonald upon winning the Hugo for best dramatic presentation short form for the Doctor Who episode Blink (my personal favorite -- dang it was creepy!!!)

"Oy! Who new?" George R.R. Martin accepting the Hugo for best novel on behalf of Michael Chabon for The Yiddish Policeman's Union

Specific notes:

Nic --- err not by my phots... oh wait, the Hugos pic shows unfuzzed faces, of course most of those are women, editors, or friends of writers accepting on their behalves. lol BTW, I'm with you on Gaiman. He's marvelous. I first encountered him with his co-authoriship with Terry Pratchett on Good Omens, then fell head-over-heels for Neverwhere. Have you read Anansi Boys? I liked that one a lot too.

Barbara -- See ya there I hope! But you know, how much of a honeymoon is it if you both spend all you time at the convention center? lol BTW, I was over on the Toronto page yesterday and they have a "deal" on membership costs that ends this weekend I think.

Dani -- I can add that Elizabeth Moon is also darn funny. She was a hoot telling stories of dealing with the "old broads" in her small town when she was reserching characters.


Nic said...

Oh gosh, more bearded SF writers ... LOL

Sonda in OR said...

It all sounds like such fun! Especially as you describe it! Glad you're having a fabulous time!

Barbara said...

I've got to get Niek to read your entries on this. My god, I'm laughing so hard! LOL!

As for what kind of honeymoon would a convention be ... we took our first two kids on our first honeymoon and it rained every single day we were away. LOL.

Kathryn said...

Sorry we didn't connect during the Hugos. I saved you a seat down front, but apparently you never saw me. After the Hugos I was involved in talking to my favorite writer, Robert Charles Wilson, and his wife Sherry. I first met him during a interview at Conjecture in San Diego. He was too shy to give a speech on his own. I only see him at worldcons (he lives near Toronto) and we talk for only five minutes. I really treasure those five minutes. Maybe I will see you at the Stross signing this afternoon?

Chiasmata said...

Wow, sounds like you're having a blast at WorldCon! Stephen Baxter must be interesting to meet in person, he has the most incredible ideas - his books are amazing. I'm loving all the quotes. And you're still stitching too!