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World Fantasy Con: a bullet post

Still pretty dizzy, but sorta able to sit up and think between bouts of moving floor, so thought I'd try to sneak a con report in here mostly copied/pasted from my iPad notes before the election coverage gets going.

Summary: Con, yay. Hotel and Toronto airport, not yay. A surprisingly emotional con for me, very up and down, where I felt caught between tears and laughter, severe disappointment and massive excitement, fury and glee, and talked entirely too much. I did cry far too much on the first couple of con days, and got pretty dizzy pretty much every afternoon and most evenings, but things improved later.

From my notes on the cheerful and good things:

1. As always, the very very best part of the con was all of the wonderful conversations with the amazing people, and no, I'm not just talking about the conversations about photocopying sharks. (Which were less conversations and more me explaining why I once photocopied dead sharks. Look. This is just one of those things that can happen, ok?) I also finally got to meet in real life various people I've only "met" through Twitter or Tor.com.

2. Alas, the sad part of the con is that I didn't get to talk to ANYBODY enough. Even though, oddly, I also talked FAR too much.

In her con wrap-up, wirewalking said something that really spoke to me, about types of friends at cons, including:

"The ones you pass and exchange hellos and waves with in the halls and wish you could hang out with more, but scheduling always gets in the way."

Yeah, that.


3. On the other hand, I did get to sing with Charles de Lint. Admittedly the more neutral observers of this event would call this less "singing with Charles de Lint" and more "sitting in the audience and joining in the chorus," but instead of quibbling or providing an accurate report, let's call this "singing with Charles de Lint."

I did, however, really and truly have drinks with him before the con actually started, although this was entirely by mistake since for the first half hour I had absolutely no idea who he was. Sometimes it takes a little while for obvious things (mentions of his book titles, for instance) to enter my little brain.

4. It will surprise exactly no one that my last dinner at World Fantasy Con (which technically happened after the con, but whatever) involved Jonathon Coulton songs. What can I say?

5. Speaking of music, I am absolutely shocked, shocked by my completely reliable statistical sampling of random World Fantasy attendees: Bedlam Boys, which I sang 1 1/2 times, was recognized by 15 people. The Wombling Song, which I sang 10 times (sorta), was recognized by 0 people. AT A FANTASY CONVENTION, NO LESS. My little heart, it breaks.

6. Darlings, I must tell you, csecooney made me all wet. Deliciously wet. And then she recited poetry, and soon, I was even wetter. This was at – and I kid you not, darlings, I have witnesses – at an erotica party. A literary science fiction erotica party. Some words about wine and knees might even have been spoken. I cannot be sure. It was all quite dazzling.

7. And yet, all of the witnesses remained fully clothed. (If you wanted proof that we were not at Dragoncon.)

8. On a related note, I did finally make a graceful appearance INSIDE the Tor party. (Usually I make my graceful appearance OUTSIDE the Tor party, because, wow, is that one popular party.) I also have witnesses for this unusual achievement. It lasted about 15 minutes but I feel this should count, especially since people had offered to pull things out of the Jacuzzi for me by that point, which, you know, means it's now a PARTY.

9. I failed, alas, to make a similar appearance at the Vandermeer party, and thus missed the bunny.

(I have no more context for this. I was simply told, "you missed the bunny," so I thought I'd share so we could all miss the bunny together. Except of course for those reading this who didn't miss the bunny.)

10. On the other hand, I also missed the funeral and open casket viewing that took place in the room right next to various panels, including the ghost story panel, and all the assorted creepiness. I did, however, get to experience the Sheraton's Haunted Elevators. I suspect editors are going to get slammed with Haunted Elevator stories in just a few months.

11. I kept expecting the con to end, for people to drift out and away, because that was what has happened in previous cons – on Sunday, I am often back alone in a hotel room, crouched against the noise of a convention, returning to myself bit by bit.

This time, though, the convention lingered – Sunday dinner, late Monday coffee and semi-lunch, cab ride to the airport, the ticket counter – and then, the real shock, shortly after I'd said goodbye to everyone I'd shared the cab with, feeling that it was time to return to myself again.....

....there was neile at an airport store! It was the con that never ended. Well, until I got on the plane (upgrade to business class, which was nice if mostly pointless since I was sick the entire flight, after my not exactly happy fight with Air Canada and the Toronto airport) switching back to a world of delighted small children who were going to see BUZZ LIGHTYEAR and TINKERBELL and needed TO YELL ABOUT THIS.

12. Finally, MUCH THANKS to everyone who helped me, either with pushing me around or through the bathroom issues, especially the stalwarts who pushed me back up that ramp to my hotel room. I know that I was frequently too tired to thank all of you in person and I feel terrible about that. I really am grateful.

13. This isn't, strictly speaking, part of the con, but the Little One greeted me hysterically when I came back in through the door ("Shut UP, cat!" was my father's not exactly enthusiastic response to this) and has not been off me since. The Grey One almost seemed dismayed to have me back, and later clawed me, just to remind me where I stand in the world, still living in hope that I might one day earn her permanent affection. It's like publishing, in a way.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
Except of course for those reading this who didn't miss the bunny.

Not only did I not miss the bunny, I CAUGHT THE BUNNY. Snatched him right out of Adam Mills' grasp. He and I now have joint custody of the bunny.

I just thought you should know.

Also I must be added to your statistical sampling of not knowing the Wombling song.

The ones you pass and exchange hellos and waves with in the halls and wish you could hang out with more, but scheduling always gets in the way.

Augh so much this. Blarrgh. If only cons could last a week at the same price.
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
....I was not expecting "I caught the bunny," to be the first response to this post :)

And yeah. I honestly MEANT to hang out more with you and the other mythic poets. And discuss a couple of other things with you but I didn't. :(
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
...I was not expecting "I caught the bunny," to be the first response to this post :)


I honestly MEANT to hang out more with you and the other mythic poets.

Me too! It was honestly an odd con for me in that respect -- the last few cons I've gone to have been largely in order to see people I know and miss. In this case I met loads of people I knew of or admired but had never spoken to in person, so the dynamic sort of shifted -- probably in part because I was rooming with new people, and got to know them a lot better (which was AWESOME) while not spending as much time as I usually would with people I already knew.

The social economics of con-time are truly fascinating and a little saddening, all in all. That wave in the hallway needs to stand in for all the affection and enthusiasm I would be piling on to them if it weren't for ALL THIS OTHER STUFF.

I'm so happy you sang with Charles. He's such a good, kind person.
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
I know. I ended up spending much more time with new people than with old friends, with a couple of exceptions, which was strange. Part of that was missing the Vandermeer party, admittedly -- Neil told me about that at around 11 and I just wasn't up for it. But part of it was just the way this con worked.
Nov. 7th, 2012 02:05 am (UTC)


Just because I am SO CLUMSY with my wine glass. Or maybe all those erotic anthologies unhinged me! Anyway, you have very NICE KNEES, Mari, and more people should spill things on them. :)
Nov. 7th, 2012 02:28 am (UTC)
Hee :)

I thought it was pretty hilarious.
Nov. 7th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
It was certainly fun to be privy to that scene.
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
And even more entertaining to be in it :)

Thanks again for all of your help, by the way.
Nov. 7th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Ha, I'll bet!

It was a pleasure, really. Was just glad to be able to spend time with you - had a great time.

Nov. 7th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
I, for one, am glad to have mart and talked with you! And I, too, missed the bunny--which makes sad, as I love bunnies. But yes, it was quite the con. Can't wait for 2014, which is indeed in Washington, D.C.
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
Me either -- except that's the same year as Worldcon London, which means some painful decisions have to be made.

Very glad that we got to the hang out stage, though, and I'm still jealous that you bought that Dalek lamp!
Nov. 7th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
Definitely painful decisions. I, for one, would love to make it to London Worldcon, but no way is that going to be in our budget by 2014, whereas WFC in DC would be.

I'm glad we got to the hang out stage, too. It was definitely fun talking with you.

We got the Dalek lamp, and it got broke before we even got it shipped--the cab driver broke the gun off. So we're hoping that, once we get it here (it's being shipped, rather than us taking it on the plane), we can talk the artist into making a new gun for it for us (as she only does one of each piece she makes). If not, we'll have to juryrig something.
Nov. 7th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard the Wombling song actually *sung,* so I might have missed it too, despite my love for all things Borrible.
Nov. 7th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Various enterprising people have put up terrible clips of the original 1970s show and various Womble songs up on YouTube -- I've got a couple of links in the forthcoming Tor.com post.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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Mari Ness

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