Jo Walton (papersky) wrote,
Jo Walton

Worldcon: Friends

First and most important, I got to see a lot of friends. Some of them I hadn't seen for years, some of them I see all the time, some of them I'd never met in person before. I didn't get to hang out with anyone enough, but I did a lot of very intense socialising that will keep me going through months of my usual hermit-like existence. It was terrific.

I saw far to many people to mention all of them by name. One of the odd things was meeting people who then didn't tell me for hours that I already knew them. kayselkiemoon this means you! I'd thought the LJ "anonymity" thing was just fine, but this was an angle on it I hadn't experienced before. Tell me your user name too! And for goodness sake come and say hello -- I'm talking to you merriehaskell! Say hello and let me decide if I want to talk to you. John Campbell used to say he was the only one allowed to reject stories for his magazine.

One of the very good things and good ways of meeting people was helping out on elisem's table. That was lots of fun, and I did it a lot when I wasn't on program.

I normally wake up around six, no matter when I went to bed. In normal life, this is a good thing. In a con, this can be a major disability. I try to pace myself, and I try to be in bed by midnight. (I even mostly succeeded.) Every morning of the convention I ran into Farah Mendelsohn or Robert Silverberg or both, in the Starbucks in the Sheraton lobby, in the hours before eight o'clock. I'd met Robert Silverberg before, when we were on a panel together at MilPhil (and seen him blush and stammer when Phil Klass/William Tenn complimented Dying Inside,) but this was the first time I'd ever hung out with him. We had very interesting conversations about writing, about the differences between North America and Europe, and about aging into becoming a time traveller. I know I missed a lot of good things late at parties by turning into a pumpkin at midnight, but I'd not have missed that for anything.

I had breakfast every day with Marci Malinovich and assorted other people. I know Marci because Tom Whitmore and I both love Peter Dickinson, but I'm friends with her because we're both morning people. We arranged to meet at eight every day for breakfast, and we did. Friday we ate with Farah and Mary Anne Moharaj of Strange Horizons, Saturday we ate with beamjockey and Kelley and half a dozen of his fascinating scientist friends, Sunday we ate alone, Monday we ate with Tom Whitmore, and Tuesday we ate with nancylebov and a pile of interesting people who are Marci's friends and who weren't, at that point, wearing name badges.

I had lunch one day at Legal Seafood with pnh and tnh, and another day at Movenpicks with my agent. Other days I let breakfast take me through to dinner, with the occasional bite in the Green Room or consuite -- that's what I usually do.

I had dinner on Thursday with rivka and with davidlevine and Kate Yule. We went to a fish place that wasn't Legal Seafoods, and talked about writing, and congoing and Rivka's impending baby. Friday evening I was still stuffed from lunch, so just had a cup of miso soup in the room, and hung out with Rivka and Misha and Elise, who were eating there too. Saturday evening I ate with jonsinger, sdn, elisem, nancylebov, Mike Ford and Jim Young at an Asian fusion restaurant called Typhoon. It was pretty good, but not a patch on the one at Philadelphia, but the conversation was wide ranging and terrific. Sunday night I ate at the other Legal Seafoods with marykaykare and Jordin, kate_nepveu and Chad, and malkingrey and Jim Macdonald. Conversation was largely about blowing things up and poisoning people, great lab accidents of our time. Monday night I ate at Trident bookstore and cafe with Mary Kay, Jordin, Elise and Mike, which was low key, pleasant and cheap.

I went to parties every night -- first Mary Kay's excellent LJ party, at which I saw many people, some of them reading this, then the Tor party, at which I saw even more people and had a terrific conversation with Madeleine Robins about writing about significant things, then on Saturday afternoon we had a tea-party in our room at which were present rivka and Misha, ailsaek, rushthatspeaks and her fiancee Ruth, ckd who brought us styrofoam cups above and beyond the call of duty, aethereal_girl and dhole and their friend Marsha, two other cool people whose usernames I don't know but who are on LJ (and if you're reading this, please say hello) and (briefly) jonsinger.

Saturday evening I went to Eileen Gunn's party in SFWA suite, and had a very interesting conversation with Greer and some guy about fortifications in the Eastern Empire post-Adrianople. I still don't like SFWA -- there's just something about it that reminds me of cliques in boarding school that people desperately want to join though when they do get in there's a frenetic hollowness. I left to go to bed at midnight but kept talking to sdn until nearly one, which was great fun.

Sunday night we had another tea party in the room, with tnh and pnh and Jon Singer and teddywolf and Nancy and a pile of people. Afterwards I went off to find the Montreal in 2008 party, where I not only pre-supported but volunteered to write the Restaurant Guide should they win the bid. I got to meet Yves Meynard, whose work I've loved for ages, and also a guy called Rene who turns out to live next door to me. Yes, really, literally, he lives in the next building.

Monday night I hung out at the dead dog party, largely with xiphias and cheshyre, who I hadn't seen enough of during the con, though they'd been absolute lifesavers with helping pack up elisem's stuff earlier in the afternoon. Then I started talking to nancylebov and had my one real failure on midnight -- I didn't get to bed until almost three.

In addition to this I saw people in the corridors -- sometimes every few yards -- after panels, at Elise's table, wandering around, and there were still people who were there and who I like and I didn't see at all. Worldcons are big. Biiiig.
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