03 Sep

Worldcon 2013 is over… I walked into a wall of exhaustion. Literally.

I’m so exhausted.

I don’t even.

First I spent a week in Barbados meeting fans, signing books, seeing some cool things that’ll be folded into Hurricane Fever (the book that will be out in summer 2014). I was tired, exhausted, and happy after that.

Then I flew to San Antonio and tried to rest up for Worldcon 2013, a major gathering of readers, authors, fans of all various types. This year I got to experience San Antonio’s amazing Riverwalk, glimpse The Alamo, and do my best to stay out of the heat and my best not to walk too much and thus collapse like I did in Montreal in 2009.

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I found that Lee Harris of the ever interesting publisher Angry Robot was already there, along with authors Emma Newman and Adam Christopher. We had drinks with Justin Landon from Staffer’s Book Review at Ernie’s Bar (where Drinks with Writers would be held just a few days later)…

Like most conventions, I usually plan to note everything that happened in that day at the end of the day, but instead I collapse into bed and pass out at some obscene late night/early morning hour and then wake up without notes.

I have flickers of encounters, funny jokes, and more. So many people I wanted to spend more time talking to, but that is the nature of Worldcon. Glad to have met some new people and not just stayed within friend circles exclusively, though.

Highlights (i.e.: things I actually remember):

-Getting to know Ramez Naam better while at Drinks with Writers. I should have circulated more, but I was already exhausted and sitting down with Molly and Kristine Scalzi and happy to be ensconced.

-Sitting on a panel with Ramez and Paolo Bacigalupi. I should not slight the amazingly whip smart Vincent Docherty and Rick Lynch, the other panelists, but I’ve been looking forward to being on a panel with Mez and Paolo for *ages.* One day I’d pay to get on one with Karl Schroeder, Paolo, and Mez. That shit would be off. the. chain.

Our panel was on Near Future Energy. I’ll admit it felt like we’d each sat on a table with a space between us all on different approaches, as the other two panelists could have been seen to represent the interests of status quo. But once the panel got going ideas flew and it was one of the better panels I was on. We had the room pretty packed, here’s a pic I took just before it pretty much got to standing room only:

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The downside of that panel were two SpaceX-obessed gentlemen who got riled up because no one on the panel thought the economics of space-based solar made much sense for the near future (i.e.: the topic of the panel); shooting mass into space to beam back energy still isn’t cheaper than using up deserts with cheap solar panels (I think Ramez made that point), and, as I pointed out, large mirrors in space (kind of like, ahem, one in a book I may have just written) allow the weaponizing of space, which means your legal costs for breaking the weaponization of space treaty will likely be greater than just the infrastructure costs and also create political side effects.

Yeah, they hissed at that. Afterwards they tried to shove flyers about SpaceX in our hands, and I was cornered and literally yelled at for saying it weaponizing space and was prevented from walking out of the door until Paolo grabbed my arm and swept me through (thank you). Somewhat uncomfortable. I’m a Space X booster, but this was that sort of fundamentalist anger that comes from true believers. Very interesting.

-Talking about Korean revenge cinema with Jason Hough. Talking to Jason Hough in general, who’s a cool dude. I’d just heard about his novel from a friend just days before the con, and then read a review of it that led me to mark the book in my to-read pile. Now I can’t wait to read it, Jason’s awesome-sauce. We shared a panel where we talked about AI, and it just added to my fond feelings toward the guy. Smart, quick, and I can’t wait to read his book Darwin’s Elevator.

-Getting into the Hugo reception. The last two times I’ve gone I’ve had a stake in the awards. You carry that, even if a little. This time I was Paolo Bacigalupi’s plus one (thanks man) due to his winning a Seiun Award, so I got to enjoy watching friends all dressed up for the Hugo Awards Ceremony, like Cat Valente and (newly met) Heath Miller:

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-Watching John Scalzi win the Hugo for best novel was cool, as I was just a few seats away. I’ve known John forever, cool to see a good friend experience something that cool.

-Since I’m a Del Rey UK author now I got an invite to the Del Rey party at the top of a space needle thing. I got to chat with many people there, and met Kevin Hearne:

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Also was excited to see Scott Lynch. I’m listening to The Lies of Locke Lamora on audiobook right now in preparation for when his next comes out:

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-I split my room with Karl Schroeder, on the left (he’s chatting with John Scalzi). We had a lot of fun briefly catching up, and also sharing some of the very expensive rum I snagged while in Barbados:

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-I finally got to eat a Brazilian steak house thanks to Yanni Kuznia of Subterranean and Paolo Bacigalupi, who laughed madly when I flipped the card and was mobbed by people cutting off slices of meat for me. As I’ve been avoiding carbs as much as I could it was awesome.

-This is the first long trip I’ve ever made where I came back having been good about food and weighing two pounds less. For the win.

-Chuck Wendig shows off those ninja fingers that type so madly and put me to great shame:

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-Wes Chu is a Chicago-based author I first met this January. On his side is Rob Zeigler, a friend of Paolo’s and cool author that I’ve been hoping to meet for a while!

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-I also enjoyed getting to catch up with Derek Silver, a YA author I’ve been buddies with since we first met back in Montreal in 2009 through mutual friends.

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-Thanks to everyone who came to my Kaffeeklatsch, it was great to meet you and and answer questions! Thanks also to the long line at my autographing. I got to see some copies of books that even I don’t have! You collectors are awesome.

-There are more memories and more people I met who I’ve only known on twitter, but these are all the pictures I have on my iPhone. I tried to post hellos and thank yous on twitter as I went along, I know there are people I’ve left out, people I adored meeting but due to the fact I have shit memory have basically spaced on but will go ‘oh, yeah! I remember’ later on this week as my brain begins sorting it all out. Fair cop, I was so tired that halfway through my 11am panel Sunday I had to ask for a question to be repeated because I felt I was having trouble holding on to what was going on around me.

-My thanks to all the volunteers who ran things. I was bummed my schedule shifted in such a way I couldn’t do the 11am Monday reading, but that was the fault of circumstances, not the con. I do wish I’d found a way to guerilla-show my movie and do a reading, but as time approached I had little organization time on my hands.

-Thank you to everyone who said hi, introduced themselves, chatted with me, and so on.

-When I got home I fell asleep with my kids playing on iPhones sprawled on me. Today, after twelve hours of sleep, I got up and walked into a wall. Looks like I got home just in time to prevent punching past my own personal envelope, because I don’t have any more oomph in me.

Not even an o’s worth of it.