So I went to my first Worldcon! The programming was far better than I expected considering the pre-con issues. The Mexicanx initiative made for some excellent panels (see E.M. Markoff’s blog post for a deeper look at the initiative), I picked up some tips in the more craft-oriented sessions, and I’ll be scouring the Internet for videos of a few that I missed out on. As I tweeted earlier, I’m also looking forward to revisiting the Mexican Gothic panel, which will be podcast on the Outer Dark later this fall.
I was even on a panel, and read with Broad Universe! You can see the panel here.
So the programming was great, it was great to see folks from the Internet and writers I’ve been getting to know, and I felt a bit more included in this field overall.
There were, however, a couple of downsides. One is that I was apparently wearing an invisible sign around my neck that said “Tell me why you think SFF today sucks.” A few individuals introduced themselves by unloading onto me their misgivings about the Hugos and the field overall, each time at the end of the day when I was completely out of energy. To watch these individuals, who held positions of privilege in both SFF and their day jobs, jump through verbal hoops to justify dismissing the Hugo slate as sub-par was depressing and exhausting.
The other problem is harder to describe, and personal to me. Since I returned to this field, people have been telling me the value of conventions for networking, especially Worldcon, which has been repeatedly described to me as the Oscars of SFF. Yet many people behaved as if the con was an extension of their personal space, like a large shared house they were hanging out in. I had deeply mixed feelings throughout the weekend: on the one hand I appreciated a convention where I could dress as I pleased, act within reason as I pleased, and casually strike up conversations with creatives whose work I deeply admire. On the other hand, Worldcon is expensive, and I went feeling pressured to make the convention, I dunno, pay off in some manner. When you’ve skimped and struggled to be there, when you’re trying to wring everything you can out of it, when you’re performing a level of aspirational professionalism … and then the person next to you in a panel audience starts chatting incessantly, or snoring, or painting their nails, well. It’s hard not to feel frustrated.
But enough of my grousing. It was overall great, and hopefully someday I’ll have the money to do it again. In the meantime, I had made chapbooks for the convention, and I have just a couple left:
$5 plus shipping! If you’re interested, shoot me a message via the Contact link ^^^ with your location and I’ll let you know the total cost.
And with that, back to it. I’ve got a beast of a history textbook I’m proofreading, I’m doing a master outline of the now 4-book saga (but that’s it! 4 books actually gets it all in!!), I’ve got novelettes wrapping up and I’m figuring out the saggy middle of the third Chase & Daniels novella. It’s gonna be a busy fall …