Worldcon

Awesomeness Out of WorldCon

My editor, Sheila Gilbert of DAW Books, won the Hugo for Best Editor – Long Form! I’ve worked with Sheila for more than a decade now, and she’s been both a wonderful editor and an all-around great human being. I’m so happy to see her receive this well-deserved honor and recognition.

Sheila Gilbert

Photo via Edward Willett

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Michi Trota became the first Filipino to win a Hugo award. She won, along with Michael and Lynne Thomas, for her work on Uncanny Magazine. Combine that with Alyssa Wong winning an Alfie from George R. R. Martin, and you get one of the best photos of the weekend:

Alyssa Wong and Michi Trota

Photo via Alyssa Wong

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Looking at the voting stats, Invisible 2 came in pretty high on the longlist for Best Related Work, which is wonderful to see. Thank you to everyone who nominated it.

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Mary Robinette Kowal gives a masterclass in how to accept the consequences of your actions like a grown-up, as well as single-handedly showing that no, the convention wasn’t selectively using its code of conduct to punish people for political views or beliefs.

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Andy Weir and The Martian won the Campbell Award and the Hugo for Best Dramatic Work, Long Form, respectively. Which led to actual astronauts accepting in both categories. I made a joke on Twitter about it not being a real party until the astronauts were wearing the Campbell tiara. Little did I realize…

Stan Love wearing the Campbell tiara

Photo from Twitter (uncredited)

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Next year’s North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFIC) will be in San Juan, and my friend Tobias Buckell is one of the guests of honor! This is awesomeness times two!

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There’s so much more wonderful and amazing news from Worldcon. Huge congrats to all the Hugo winners. Nnedi Okorafor won for Binti. N. K. Jemisin took home the Best Novel Hugo for Fifth Season. A translated work, “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang, won the Best Novelette. So many well-deserve honors.

While no event is ever perfect, almost all the accounts I’m reading describe Worldcon as a great time.

I’m sure there’s other great stuff I haven’t mentioned. Please remedy that in the comments! 🙂

On Being Blown Off

Maybe it was the number of people, but I’ve heard or read more stories about people feeling blown off at Worldcon than just about any other con I can remember.

You know how it is. You’re sitting there in a group, when along comes Big Name Author Robert J. J. Muttonchops. Bob to his friends. He says hi to the person on your left, grins and jokes with the person on your right, glances at your name badge, and then wanders off without saying a word to you.

Your friends may or may not even notice your newfound powers of selective invisibility, but you’re left wondering what the hell just happened.

It’s not something that happens to me very often these days. I know that sounds a little egotistical, but it’s also the reality of being a moderately successful author and blogger. Anyway, after several of these conversations at Worldcon, I started watching for the blow-off. And damn if I didn’t start seeing it happen.

And then I got to wondering if I had done the same thing to people.

It’s possible. There were a lot of people I wanted to say hi to, and for much of the weekend I was running around in high gear, barely stopping for breath. On top of that, my social skills and my ability to fake extroversion are inversely proportional to the number of people in the immediate group.

What I can say is that if I blew you off, I didn’t do so intentionally. There are only two people I would have deliberately brushed off or ignored at this con, and happily, I didn’t run into either one.

If I did do something to make you feel blown off or unimportant, I apologize. I’ve been there, and it sucks. Thirteen years later, I still remember the annoyed brush-off I received from one Big Name Author who clearly had more important things to do with his time.

I know there are people out there who check name badges to determine whether someone is worthy of their time. (Me, I check name badges because I suck at names.) I don’t get that. Partly because whether or not you’re famous in the SF/F community has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you’d be an interesting person to talk to. Heck, if you’re only there to figure out how to get ahead and what “important” people you can use to boost your career, I probably don’t want to talk to you anyway.

But even if you’re being That Guy, it’s a stupid strategy — the person you shun today could be next year’s hot new author, or could be running that big convention you’re hoping to attend.

Sometimes it’s accidental. In the rush to see old friends or talk to a writing buddy about the business, it’s easy to focus only on the people you already know, and to exclude those you don’t. I’ve probably done this before, which can make people feel shut out. I apologize if I’ve done it to you.

I do think sometimes we mistake the unintentional brush-off for deliberate dismissal. But speaking as an author and HUGO-AWARD WINNING BLOGGER (sorry – the squee is still slipping out occasionally), I also think it’s on me to be more aware of how easy it is to make someone feel blown off, and to try harder to avoid doing that.

What do you think?

Off to Chicon

Our internet is fixed! Just in time for me to leave the state tomorrow morning for Worldcon. I’m reposting my schedule here, mostly so I can find it this weekend when I manage to confuse myself.

  • 8/30, 5:30 p.m., Dusable – Reading (Any requests? I’ll probably do something from Libriomancer, but I’m willing to reconsider. I read the Muppet Werewolf story at WFC a few years back, otherwise I’d do that one.)
  • 8/31, 10 a.m. – Noon – Writers Workshop (Preregistered attendees only)
  • 9/1, 9:00 a.m., Comiskey – SFWA Business Meeting
  • 9/1, 10:30 a.m. – Noon, Columbus IJ – The Art of the Cover Pose (Jim C. Hines, Karen Haber, Steven Vincent Johnson, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Yanni Kuznia)
  • 9/1, Noon – 1:30 p.m., Autograph Tables – Autographing (Charles Justiz, James Kahn, Jim C. Hines, Joan Slonczewski, Lee Martindale, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nancy Fulda, Robert Reed, Tony Pi)
  • 9/2, 6:00 p.m. – ??? – Hugo Reception/Ceremony/Loser’s Party – In which Jim will wear … a suit! Just like a real grown-up! The ceremony begins at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. There should be live video here.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! If you’re a regular reader/commenter, please say hi if you have a moment! (And if your real name doesn’t match your online handle, please throw me a bone and tell me who you are. I can barely remember my own name at these things.)

I’ll probably be posting random Worldcon-related miscellany on Twitter, and maybe Facebook.

Other things while I’m thinking about it…

Anton Strout’s book Alchemystic [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out September 25. He and Penguin are donating $2 per preorder, up to $3000, to Worldbuilders. Details are on Pat Rothfuss’ blog.

Morgan Keyes has a new book out called Darkbeast [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], which sounds like a lot of fun. I’m hoping to have a guest blog post from her soon.

Finally, LEGO: The Piece of Resistance is a live-action and CGI LEGO movie, currently in development. It’s just been announced that they’ll be turning Morgan Freeman and Elizabeth Banks into minifigs for the film. The movie will also have Superman and Batman sharing the screen. (In minifig form, naturally.) I believe this is the point where I say SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!

Worldcon Schedule

In two and a half weeks, I’ll be attending my very first Worldcon. They’ve posted a draft of the program grid here, and my tentative schedule looks like so:

  • 8/30, 5:30 p.m., Dusable – Reading
  • 8/31, 10 a.m. – Noon – Writers Workshop (Preregistered attendees only)
  • 9/1, 9:00 a.m., Comiskey – SFWA Business Meeting
  • 9/1, 10:30 a.m. – Noon, Columbus IJ – The Art of the Cover Pose (Jim C. Hines, Karen Haber, Steven Vincent Johnson, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Yanni Kuznia)
  • 9/1, Noon – 1:30 p.m., Autograph Tables – Autographing (Charles Justiz, James Kahn, Jim C. Hines, Joan Slonczewski, Lee Martindale, Mary Robinette Kowal, Nancy Fulda, Robert Reed, Tony Pi)
  • 9/2, 6:00 p.m. – ??? – Hugo Reception/Ceremony/Loser’s Party – I still haven’t picked out a suit for the Hugos. What do you think of this one?

I’ve also got dinner with my publisher and my agent (Friday and Saturday, respectively), a few interview/podcast recordings, and most importantly, random hanging out at the bar and elsewhere!

I’m already feeling a little overwhelmed by the number of people I want to see and/or meet at this thing. Between business-type stuff and “OMG look at all of the cool people who will be there!!!” I expect it to be a busy but very fun time.

For those of you who have been to a Worldcon before, any advice for making the most of the weekend?

(And I know I said I was done babbling about Libriomancer, but I found out last night that the book has already gone back for a second printing, one week after the release, which is pretty dang cool!!!)

Jim C. Hines