Before I catch up on some interesting presentations, I’m going to go off topic to discuss why things have been so quiet. In a word: Sasquan! The 73rd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) was held here, in beautiful Spokane, WA, USA, Earth. Wednesday through Sunday saw multiple presentations, speeches, panels, autograph sessions and other wonderful events. As a local, I volunteered from setup last Monday to move-out today. I’m tired but overjoyed.
The art show was wonderful, the vendor booth and exhibits packed, and many of the panels were standing room only. We set a record for the most attended Worldcon and had far more first time Worldcon attendees than even the most optimistic planners expected.
Along with move in and move out, I volunteered at the information desk, to keep the autograph lines moving and in many other areas. I’m exhausted but happy.
My favorite big author in the autograph sessions: Vonda McIntyre. She had a long line and stayed past her time to finish signing for all the folks who waited.
I’m not much of an autograph person myself, but as long as I was handling the lines, Joe Haldeman signed my first addition paperback of Forever War, which I bought in a used bookstore the year it came out and which has followed me around. He and his wife were very gracious and it was nice to meet them.
The Hugo Awards had a lot of controversy this year, with a very conservative group of people putting forward a slate they hoped would stop progress. What it ended up doing is causing the largest number of no awards ever in a year. However, the ceremony will more importantly leave the great image of Robert Silverberg telling the story on the 1968 event in Berkeley and then leading everyone in the Hari Krishna chant. That hilariously relieved some of the tension.
The worst note had nothing to do with the conference. Eastern Washington is on fire. Three firefighters have died (as of this writing and hopefully total this season) from the many fires in a very dry summer. There’s been a haze of ash most of the time, but Thursday was terrible, with many folks needing surgical masks to go outside. I hope we get rain soon and my best wishes to the brave fire fighters and sympathy to the families of those who died.
Now it’s time to get back to the business blogging, but that was my week.