Tim Pratt's Journal
2802785 Curiosities served
2004-09-07 7:04 AM
All the World's a Con
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I had vague thoughts of doing an actual con report, but it would take hours, so I'll just hit some of the highlights instead.
I didn't win the Campbell award (came in fourth out of five in the voting). But I meant it when I said it was an amazing honor just to be nominated, and I got free drinks and lots of congratulations and a nifty rocket-ship pin (destined to join my Nebula pin on a lampshade), so I'm not complaining. I also console myself with the fact that I'm younger than all the other nominees, and really, for a guy who's not yet thirty, I seem to be doing okay career-wise.
I had two stories shortlisted for the Gaylactic Spectrum award (for works that positively present aspects of gay/bisexual/lesbian/transgendered life): "Living with the Harpy" and "Down with the Lizards and the Bees." (Barth Anderson beat me with his brilliant "Lark till Dawn, Princess," a story I love, so I'm not a bit put out about not winning). Since I'm not actually gay or transgendered, it's immensely reassuring to be told that I did a good job portraying gay and lesbian characters. One of the award administrators told me I'd made a lot of new fans with those stories. I couldn't be more pleased.
I met my agent and my editor -- and they're both smart, funny, pleasant, erudite, engaging people! Even if we didn't have business relationships, I'd love to hang out with either one of them just to chat. I have so totally and completely lucked-out by being involved with them. My agent took Heather and I to a lovely lunch, and my editor to a wonderful dinner.
Most of my unscheduled time was spent hanging out with Jenn, Greg, and Heather, and they made Worldcon (which can be a bit overwhelming) into a relaxing, fun-filled good time. I miss Jenn and Greg already. Also got to spend some good time with Karen Meisner, whom I love dearly and see far too seldom.
I saw lots of other great people, far too many to list. And there were many parties and gatherings of people. At the big Bantam dinner on Friday I got to chat with George Martin and his wife, and Ellen Kushner, and Connie Willis, all while eating fabulous seafood (mmm, chowder!). I didn't have much of a chance to talk to Jeff VanderMeer, which was a shame. I'd wanted to talk to him about his story "Three Days in a Border Town" in Polyphony 4 (it's wonderful, and deals with issues of transcendence (or perceived transcendence), which I've been thinking about a lot lately). The HarperCollins party was held at the aquarium, so I ate sushi and mingled among tanks full of jellyfish. Had especially nice chats there with Jonathan Strahan, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, and John Joseph Adams (who has lost lots of weight and looks fabulous; we didn't recognize him at first!). My first moment of transcendental happiness came when Neil Gaiman introduced me to John Clute and said I was a very good writer. I left the party shortly after in a sort of happy daze, saying to Heather "Neil thinks I'm a good writer! And I've stolen so many ideas from him!" (I was especially affected by his Sandman comics, which became a great influence on me when I read them all from start to finish in college.) The Hugo Reception was lots of fun (I met Jim Kelly!), as was the pre-reception-reception that Ace/Roc held, where I got to talk to Robert Metzger and Lyda Morehouse. I've met them both at other conventions in the past, and always enjoy their company. The Hugo Loser's party was wonderfully decorated, all in white, with death-masks hanging from white balloons. Once I'd eaten some food and sipped some champagne, though, it became too hot and crowded, so Heather and I slipped away to get some food with Jenn and Greg. The Hugo Ceremony was pretty good. Neil Gaiman was a very relaxed MC, Robert Silverberg gave a funny and fascinating speech about the history of the Hugos, and there were only a couple of technical mishaps. The Strange Horizons tea party was so overwhelmingly well-attended that I could barely get into the room for a cup of tea, and a de-facto hallway party soon formed. It was nice seeing andyhat again, and getting to meet Matthew Cheney at last, and getting copies of both volumes of The Best of Strange Horizons, and seeing the lovely Susan Marie and Mary Anne and Jed, and and and... already things begin breaking down. I can't possibly list all the people I enjoyed seeing, so if we talked and I haven't mentioned you here, don't be offended -- I'm just giving up.
I will mention the lovely picnic lunch Heather and I had with Theodora Goss, her husband Kendrick, and their six-month-old daughter Ophelia (with the beautiful blue eyes). We talked about babies, fantasy, publishing, and all manner of other nice things, all while sitting on the grass by a fountain. That was on Monday, just a few hours before we departed Boston, and it was a perfect end to a sometimes hectic convention -- peace, fine company, the outdoors. Delightful.
And of course I bought some books. Finally got Avram Davidson's Limekiller collection; Theodora Goss's chapbook The Rose in Twelve Petals; and Edward Whittemore's Quin's Shanghai Circus. Along with a heap of HarperCollins books, because they were giving them away at the party.
Other highlights? Walking through a park with Heather, Greg, and Jenn one beautiful morning. Having a much-needed and snuggle-filled nap with Heather one afternoon. Doing circuits of the dealer's room and stopping to chat with people seemingly every third step. Getting the contents of Sonya Taaffe's upcoming collection (I'm going to write the introduction). Eating an exquisite bowl of mushroom risotto, perhaps the most flavorful thing I've ever put in my mouth. Sitting around in the bar with my peeps. Going to introduce myself to people I admire, and finding out they already know who I am. Not getting sick. Getting buzzed on liquor, but never getting catastrophically drunk, or even a little hungover. Writing 1500 words of a new story on the plane ride home (it could be good, if I finish it). And being home. The con was great, but I'm glad I'm home. Also glad that while I have to go to work today, tomorrow is my day off...
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