Worldcon – About Wednesday

Well, I’m pleased to report that my physical endurance was up to the task, which it would not have been a year ago. So that was good.

The Colorado Convention Center is beautiful. All the ceilings are extremely high, giving this impression of a huge, modern, clean-swept space with occasional curvy lines to break up all the squareness. The art on the walls is impressive as well. The con seemed to be (for the most part) very well organized and the signage is good.

I attended ‘Writers as Readers’, which was a panel involving Lois McMaster Bujold, George RR Martin, and Connie Willis–two of my favorite authors and one I’ve read much, all at the same time. It’s always amusing to see people try to keep Mr. Martin from running away with the mic, but he’s a very enjoyable speaker. They all were, truly… Connie Willis turns out to be a well-spoken lady. Among the questions asked was, ‘What do you feel about your readers?’ I thought it was a bit of an odd question (I mean, the obvious answer is, I love you all, please keep buying my stuff) and she did too. After unsuccessfully asking what the panel moderator meant, she said, “Well, I guess I don’t feel anything toward my readers.” There was a roar of laughter, and she managed not to get embarassed; personally I would have crawled under the table. Ultimately she brought it back around to being happy they liked her stuff, and hoping her works did for the readers what those wonderful Golden Age of SF books did for her when she was younger. I thought that was a good answer and a good recovery.

I also attended a panel about tips for beginning writers–meaning, those in my spot, who have sold a few pieces and want to know where to go next. The authors on the panel all had wildly different stories about how they got published; there’s no one right way to do it. One went the usual route of writing and publishing short stories, and then going on to novels. Another published the first novel she ever wrote. The last had to shop around hugely for an agent for a long time before getting anything to work, but has since published 10 novels (and points out he is still getting rejection slips). The consensus was what I already knew: it’s hard work, it never stops being hard work, it’s persistence that counts above luck or who you know, you probably DO need an agent, and self promotion is very very important.

The festivities went on quite late into the night, but at 6 pm the elevators that went to the parking were locked out, and the doors were locked once you went out them. This left us wandering aimlessly trying to find a way back to our car (it’s a very tall, spiral parking garage). We were rescued by someone with a car, who was fortunately connected with the organizers and able (she said) to render a change in this. We’ll see tonight!

And the food actually at the con is ghastly. We didn’t go to the con suite to see what was laid on there, but we will try that today.

More tomorrow!

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