Worldcon report

Got back from the Worldcon today. It was a busy five days. Dave and I checked into the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto on Thursday morning and then went to the convention registration. The start wasn’t promising.

We were told that the program books and schedules weren’t out yet, but at least they had sheets with the updated schedule available. When we finally did get the program booklet it was almost useless except for descriptions of what the panels were about. As an example of the wackiness, Rob Sawyer was booked in four different panels at once.

Thursday night we checked out some of the room parties. The bid parties were supposed to be the best ones to go to, but they were pretty quiet. I figured it was mostly because it was the first night.

Friday morning we met up with a lot of people from Julie Czerneda’s newsgroup for breakfast. Kenn Brown made us tee-shirts for all, which was extremely generous. Thanks Kenn. It was too bad Kenn himself was unable to make it. More panels and readings during the day. We had a Kaffeklasch with David Hartwell, too bad that due to a miscommunication he never showed. Friday night was fun. I spent time with more friends from the newsgroup.

Saturday was full. We attended a good number of panels and started to get the idea that at the Worldcon it was better to try and get to panels and readings of authors that I wouldn’t have a chance to see at a small regional con like Ad Astra. I tried to get to the Aurora Awards but missed them completely by giving blood. Typical Canadian bureaucracy meant it took over two hours for the whole process. I dropped a ton of money in the dealers room and barely had enough room to pack all the books on the way home. Dave and I met up with friends Joe O’Brien and Joyce Poon at dinner and then went on to the big event for the night.

Saturday night was my first Hugo Award ceremony. It was great to see Julie Czerneda presenting the award for best Novella to winner Neil Gaiman. And another friend, Isaac Szpindel presented the award for best long form work. The winner was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Peter Jackson had actually taped an acceptance speech. The highlight was that friend and one of my mentors, Robert J. Sawyer won the Hugo Award for best novel for Hominids. He also received the Seieun Award that he won in July. After the ceremony the four of us went to a number of the room parties. The best, without a doubt, was the Japanese bid party for the 2007 Worldcon. There was lots of swag, food and sake (rice wine). We also ran into Rob Sawyer there and were able to congratulate him and get a good look at the Hugo.

Sunday was the launch party for Space Inc. where I was able to get the signatures for quite a few of the contributors. I also went to the launch party for Rob Sawyer’s latest book, Hybrids. Sunday night Dave and I went to the masquerade (a costume show). I was shocked to see one of the contestants was Marc Ladouceur. I just want to take this opportunity to say it was not me in the show.

Monday I was able to attend just one panel and then we had to check out of the hotel.

What an experience. I’m tired, but it was worth it. Looking back on the past few days, the panels and readings are a blur. It was interesting seeing so many authors in attendance. People I’ve read and names I’ve seen on the bookstore shelf. I’m already hoping that I’ll be able to make it to the next Worldcon in Boston.

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