|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 09:49 am: |
All in all a good experience. Shared a table with F&SF in the Dealer's Room. The room itself was pretty sparse, about a third to half as many dealers as normal, but I think a lot of people were loathe to try and cross the border with $1000s of product upon which they would have to pay taxes. I sold a few dozen individual issues (nearly selling out of #2 in the process [the Jeff VanderMeer and Rick Bowes issue]) and sold about a half-dozen subscriptions. Not too bad considering that I am not that widely distributed or known, and that I'm not quite what a WorldCon crowd is looking for in fiction. Much more of a World Fantasy type thing. Also fun to work next to Mr. van Gelder, even though he was busy at panels and other things for much of the convention.
(The following will consist of a lot of name dropping)
Good points: meeting Charlie Stross (briefly), Jay Lake, Charlie Finlay, Liz Williams, Steve Haffner, Greg van Eekout, and many readers, fans, and fiction submitters; chatting football with Robert Reed in the dealer's room for an hour; seeing old acquaintances (who I don't see often enough) like Cory Doctorow, Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfield, Craig Engler, Bill Schaefer, Meishe Merlin folk, and people whom I've forgotten, no offense meant; having untold numbers of people walk up to the table, say "I've heard of Electric Velocipede, but I've never seen it," pick up a copy, set it back down and walk away (a little ego-boo never hurt); acquiring CORALINE, DATING SECRETS OF THE DEAD, CUSTER'S LAST JUMP, POLYPHONY 1 & 2, and QUIN'S SHANGHAI CIRCUS; good beef at any restaurant you go to (despite Aylmer Meat Packers Inc.); the Tor party (they're great fun); Bounty Bars, Mars Bars, Ruffles All Dressing chips, Dorito's Italiano Nacho chips, Dorito's Zesty Chili Chips, bacon-flavoured potato chips, pickle-flavoured potato chips, Coffee Crunch bars (French Vanilla); everything being in English and French; Montreal (the first four days of my trip...a vacation, holy crap!); and much much more.
Bad points: not meeting China Mievile (again!), Frank Wu, Nalo Hopkinson, and others; not having a drink with Laure Anna Gilman (my own fault); Caselberg being across the ocean; somehow missing Sawicki and Chepaitis; the Tor party (wasn't in the mood to drink and they're CROWDED); having some righteous cunty bitch hassle my wife for not having a badge when we got off on the wrong floor of one of the convention hotels, this over-zealous whore bag of puss tried to physically stop my wife from getting off the elevator (who the FUCK gave you the right to be badge monitor?)...it's not as if the entire hotel was infested with motherfucking fans, there were some guests who had the unfortunateness of being in the same place as the con, but they had every right to be there...this happened Friday as we were trying to go home after a long day and really ticked me off.
Thankfully, Saturday was redemptive in many ways so I forgot about the encounter (unless I dredge it up, then I just see red). Plus, I ended the trip in Niagara getting drenched with cold falls mist and spending my last $50 CAN on junk food I can't find in the US. And Ice Wine.
I don't know if I'd want to run a table at a WorldCon ever again. I'm not the right thing for WorldCon fans. I'll have to try a table at a smaller con or at a World Fantasy to see if that's any better for me. There was nothing annoying about running the table, and I think a lot of good came from it, but if I hadn't been able to do it with F&SF, there's no way it would have been affordable for me.
Mostly a good time, and in the end, a good experience, but thankfully it's another year before the next one so I can forget the pain and suffering by then.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 11:26 am: |
"not having a drink with Laure Anne Gilman (my own fault);"
Damn straight. Not as though I wasn't, y'know, in the bar or anything...
I gave the Tor party a pass. Overcrowded room parties in general wear on you after a while, and I've been attending them since 1980 or thereabouts.
Of course, the SFWA suite was just as crowded, but I was often safe behind the bar.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 12:21 pm: |
Also I decided to save $100 a night and stay a little further from the convention area. While Toronto may be a relatively safe city, and I'm a rather large person, I didn't want to make a habit of walking from the Royal York to my hotel ten blocks north at 2AM or later. Plus, working in the Dealer's Room the whole weekend makes you feel like you have to be able to get up and function before noon.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 01:44 pm: |
Thanks for the con report, John! I hate that I missed it. I don't plan on missing any more in the future.
I'm itching for World Fantasy, big time (either that, or all those bug bites I got while hiking in the North Carolina mountains last week are overtaking me).
See you in DC! Laura Anne, will you be behind the bar there? ;)
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 04:49 pm: |
John, I just wanted to apologize for my attempted purchasing of an F&SF from you, and to thank you for your good-natured approach to the whole thing. I'm quite excited to have gotten my hands on a copy of EV. It's right near the top of my post-WorldCon reading pile.
Personally, EV, Polyphony, and the like are exactly what this WorldCon attendee was looking for. But then, I'm probably more of a World Fantasy type thing myself.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 05:51 pm: |
Well, that's good to hear. I was referring to all the folks who looked at F&SF and said, "I don't read fantasy," and shuffled on (much less taking any sort of look at a 'zine'). I don't know about you, but I can't afford to be that selective in my tastes. There's a lot of great stuff I'd of missed over the years.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - 10:19 pm: |
Kevin was in on most of the ExecCom meetings and he tells me that he doesn't remember any official decision to restrict access to party floors. There was considerable concern, especially around the con suite, as many members of the local Trek club were known to be trying to crash the parties. However, if there had been any such security policy, given the fact that there were non-con guests on the party floors, they should have accepted a room key as well as a badge. So what happened to your wife was wrong regardless of whether any security policy was in place.
I can try to contact the head of Operations to confirm what the policy was if you would like, but she's probably in transit right now. If you want to make enquiries it would help to know where the incident happened. If it was on Floor 1 at the east elevators that makes a big difference as that was right in front of the con suite.
I think I saw someone in an EV t-shirt once, but I was busy working on the con most of the time so I didn't have much chance to say hello.
I'm with you on the "don't read fantasy" crowd. Look at the way the vote redistribution went on Best Novel. Poor China needs one or two more fantasy books on the ballot.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 06:01 am: |
I don't think it was anyone associated with the convention in any way other than being a member of it. It felt like someone who had a heightened sense of self-worth and wanted to show her superiority on the foolish non-SF fans. When my wife looked at her and said: "I'm just trying to get the fuck out of here," the woman backed off. But it's a lot of what sours me on going to conventions.
As for poor China, I'm as much to blame as anyone. I voted HOMINIDS, then THE SCAR. I have no worries that China will get the award attention he richly deserves, especially if he continues to get exponentially better with each novel. My opinion of his writing--always high--has improved from KING RAT to PERDIDO to THE SCAR so much that I'm almost frightened to see what happens next. I think this is in part why his writing can also be disappointing to me. It is so strong that when there are any flaws, even small ones, they seem egregrious.
I saw you in the dealer's room at least once, and I was trying to figure out where I knew your name from. By the time it dawned on me who you were, I didn't see you again. I was working a table with F&SF this year.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 09:55 am: |
Glad to hear that it wasn't con staff responsible, John. Sadly some fans do get overenthusiastic. If the incident happened near the con suite I can sort of understand why it happened, but otherwise it is inexcusible.
I note in passing that Worldcons do try hard to make sure that access issues are dealt with sensitively. We never allow those involved to call themselves "Security" and new recruits do get training. Sadly we cannot legislate for the behavior of individual fans
|Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 10:05 am: |
John, I was at the 'Importance of Small Press' panel, and it has led me bumping several publications higher up my submission list for reasons of pure idealism. Maybe that's good, maybe not, but I really enjoyed the talk.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 12:51 pm: |
Thanks Tim. I tried to keep an eye out for you, but I must have missed you at the panel. I fear we didn't quite talk about the importance of the small press, but rather about what is small press and whether it would be good on your cover letter, which is not a bad thing.