Here is a convenient list of all of my reports from WorldCon 2018:
Monday is typically a slow day at WorldCon. For many people, it is a travel day back to wherever they came from. Dealers tend to start packing up early to avoid the crunch at the close of the convention.
When WorldCon was (is?) held on Labor Day weekend, it makes more sense to me, as Monday is a holiday (at least in the U.S.) when people can attend with their family and free from work. On the other hand, by Sunday night, we tend to be pretty wiped out and Monday is a good day to chill, reflect on the Hugos, and maybe get in some last-minute shopping.
Monday for us was mostly logistics and packing (and a lot of carrying boxes to the car). And, at the end, the table was once again the blank black canvas on which we had built our dreams for the weekend.
To everyone I met, and to everyone I saw: Thank you!
I waited in line for an hour and a half. I met some new people — and met up again with a few people from the line on Friday.
Shortly after I arrived in line, I was informed by a staff member that I was the last person probably guaranteed to get a signature. (WHEW!)
And, this time I did. Spider was every bit as charming and personable as you might hope and expect and thought he probably was.
From what I heard, from talking to people later, everyone in line at the time the session started got autographs.
I sincerely hope that this is part of a “comeback tour” for Spider, and not a “last hurrah” as one of the staff members implied.
Lee will present the illustration to Elliott and Heather. While working through any small requested changes, they’ll contemplate type and line design of the book. Type, design, focus, the spine, and readability on the web will all be discussed.
Panel: Elliott Kay, Lee Moyer, Heather McDougal
This was largely a visual sessions, with lots of images projected, so my notes are sparse as you really need to see what they were referring to in order to understand the context. Also, I won’t repeat points that were made during the first session in this series.
The publishing market continues to evolve with new technology, new business models, and an ever-changing ecosystem of publishers, booksellers, and distributors. Professional writers looking to profit from their work have more choices than ever. How do you choose between pursuing an indie career or a traditional one? What are the benefits to working with a larger publisher? What are the opportunities available if you do it all yourself? Panelists will discuss the paths to publishing success, how to decide between the options, and the factors that go into making the decision.
Panel: SL Huang, Amanda Bridgeman, Scott H. Andrews, Wesley Chu, Linda Nagata
The road to publication has splintered into many twisty paths. Options have never been greater for aspiring authors, but navigating the choices has never been murkier. Where do you start? Indie, traditional publishers or small presses? What about Amazon and Kindle Unlimited? A panel of authors from indie to Big Five publishers—and everything in between—maps the routes and outlines the pros and cons of each path in the brave new world of publishing.
Panel: Jennifer L. Carson, J.L. Doty, Tod McCoy, Jonathan Brazee, Jack Skillingstead
Harlan Ellison thrived on controversy, and left his mark on the professional and fannish sides of the community, for better and for worse. Join friends of Harlan in remembering this cantankerous, strange figure who even in death evokes strong feelings.
Panel: Tom Whitmore, Robert Silverberg, David Gerrold, Chris M. Barkley, Nat Segaloff, Christine Valada
First of all, nearly all of us were surprised that this session was held in a standard-sized room. There must have been a reason why it wasn’t held in the large hall where the Spider Robinson GoH interview was held. It was standing-room only, and many people were turned away. (A lot of people, I suspect, came to the room for the previous session — I have no idea what it was — to ensure that they got a seat, as only about a dozen seats opened up when that session ended. Whoever was on the panel on the previous session probably got a much larger crowd than they expected.)
The session was a wonderful and just barely melancholy mix of remembrances and stories about Harlan, his work, his life, and his impact on others. It was clear that no one believed him to be a saint, not unworthy of criticism, but this was neither the time nor place to dwell on either of those aspects of this influential writer’s life.
Celibacy and Asexuality in Spider Robinson’s Callahan and Stardancer Books
Sexual diversity is one of the strengths of Spider Robinson’s works. His characters engage in a variety of types of romantic relationships and sexual encounters, particularly at Lady Sally’s Place. At one point, Lady Sally indicates that celibacy is “the only form of sexual dysfunction,” yet this seems at odds with the overarching themes of diversity and acceptance. The speaker will argue to the larger context of asexuality in speculative fiction, and how this all plays out.
Panel: Emily Fleming
The main title alone, right?
I originally had marked this session on My Schedule for two reasons: 1) I was amused by the title and its lovely related pun, particularly for a session on the Academic Track; and 2) it was about Spider Robinson and his stories. Either of those alone would have been reason enough. However …
Emily stopped by the Paper Angel Press table on Thursday and we chatted at some length with her about books and writing and Spider Robinson, and she wisely mentioned that she was doing this panel. I promised her that I would attend, even if I was still mildly leery of a session on the Academic Track.
I am pleased to report that Emily’s presentation (which followed one titled “Questioning Mononormativity: Heinleinian Non-Monogamies”, which was quite interesting as well) was engaging, entertaining, and informative. To achieve either of the first two during an academic presentation, in my mind, deserves great and high praise.
I won’t endeavor to capture or try to summarize the presentation. If I find out that it is available online somewhere, I will post a link to it — although that will be far, far from the actual experience of being there when it was presented.
Summary: I am very, very glad that I went. Emily, you did a fantastic job and I hope your sister believed you.