WorldCon 2012 and assorted

Man, what a weekend. This was my first WorldCon. I got in on Thursday, and as I was checking into the convention, I ran into my friends, Dantzel and Megan. We went to dinner and I got guested into the SFWA suite, by another of my friends, Brad. After that, we went to some of the WorldCon bid parties. I had to go back to my hotel early because I still needed finish my writing samples for the Sail to Success cruise later this year, at least I thought I had to finish them. As it turned out, I already had everything I needed as far as manuscripts, Alacia and Dreams of the Elder Gods. The third writing sample they ask for was a query letter, so while the revisions I did to Soul of Humanity were important, they weren’t necessarily needed right then. Overall, a quiet day, which isn’t bad for a travel day.

Day two was more interesting. I started by going to a panel on agents. One of the people on this panel was Joshua Bilmes, one of the best, if not the best, agent in SciFi and fantasy. Most of the panel was stuff I’d heard before, but there were a few new tidbits. For example, he said to write that you are querying because you’ve read specific author’s an agent represents. This shows that you’ve at least done a modicum of research. After that, went to the dealer’s room where I bought a three headed flail.
Three headed flail


Then, I sat in on three coffee talks, where a small group of people sit down and chat with an industry profession. I was with Jim Franco of Tor, which was decent, Lee Harris of Angry Robot, which was amazing, and Eddie Schneider, an agent from Jabberwocky, the same agency as Joshua Bilmes. Lee and Eddie both invited those at the coffee talk to submit to them. This is a big deal for a couple of reasons. First, Angry Robot is based in the UK, and getting a book into European libraries can be huge. I don’t know the mechanics of it, but I do know a writer gets paid every time their book is checked out. I’ve done some research on Eddie, and I know he’s interested in high fantasy in a setting other than medieval Europe. Alacia is set in an iceberg. How much more non-medieval can you get?

After that, it was back to the dealer’s room where I bought a copy of Foundation’s Edge signed by Issac Asimov

Then, there were a few more panels, including a group world building one which resulted in intelligent floating soap scum as the dominant life on a planet. Then there was dinner with some friends in which I got pooped on by birds and Dantzel demonstrated how she’d do an interpretive dance for Megan if made too many professional sales to qualify for writers of the future.
Interpretative dance

More importantly, we found out the location of the Tor party. At 9, we headed up there, and I spoke to some editors. Joshua Bilmes showed there as well. We got in a conversation and he started asking people if they had completed novels. Most didn’t. When he got to me, I said, “Actually, I have three.” He also invited me to submit, which, by itself, was almost worth the price of the convention. I had to leave early (early being 11:30) because I had to do an eight miles run the next day. At this phase in marathon training, skipping a run really isn’t something I can do.

Saturday was similar. Highlights include a reading by Pat Rothfuss in which he explain why guanine pigs are fish and a continuation of the world building panel in which our intelligent floating soap scum gained the ability to shoot out gasses to confused the giant flying worms that eat it. In the SWFA suite, I played a game of Munchkin where everyone was at level nine by the time it ended. It lasted two hours, and, by chance, Joshua was there to watch the end. It ended in a tie (stupid elves). On another note, it’s nice to be in a place where the outcasts are the ones who haven’t played D&D. Later, I went to a 1632 panel where I got an idea for a Grantville Gazette story which I’ve now started. Dinner was followed by the Baen party. Nothing special happened there, but it was fun.

Sunday was more of the same until the evening where the Hugo awards were presented. We all (ok, only some of us) got dressed up for them.


I knew several of those who were up for them, including John Picacio who won best professional artist.


John Picacio and me

I will confess to feeling a tingle of joy when George R R Martin lost the Hugo for best novel. That’s partially because I was annoyed at how A Game of Thrones was treated. Like some others, I think individual episodes should have been up for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) as opposed to putting the entire season up for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form). On another note, the winner of the Short Form was the Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”, written by Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman0

In a spectacular failure, ustream bots shut down the broadcast because the Hugo’s presented clips for the dramatic presentation, a thing they had permission to do.

The last day looked like it was going to be uneventful. I started the Grantville Gazette story while I was in the lobby. Joshua Bilmes walked up to me, which was a surprise. He reminded me to submit to him, which was very nearly a jaw dropper. Now, I’m in St. Louis, waiting for my flight back.

FenCon is in a few weeks, and I have a Writer’s of the Future story that’s with beta readers. I need to do a revision of Alacia before I send it off to Lee and Joshua. It’s only a minor one. I need to read through it out loud. I also need to finish critiquing a story for a friend of mine.

Apart from writing stuff, running has been going well. I did the Rebel Race a few weeks ago. Here’s a picture of me jumping off a wall.

Three headed flail

It was draining and painful almost made me throw up. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I’ll do the glow run in a few months, and I have the Richardson Corporate Challenge run later this month. I imagine I’ll do that in roughly 28 minutes.

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