Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Tuesday, 02 September 2003

WorldCon is over. I had a wonderful time!

I did all the ordinary stuff--panels, readings, the awards ceremony, and the masquerade. (All I did was attend; I wasn't on any panels nor did I dress up in the masquerade.) I also went to a few of the parties.

Jackie and I both went to the Firefly party, where we got to see one of the un-aired episodes. Amazon made the DVD with the un-aired episodes available for pre-order a few months ago, only to have it sell out within minutes. (Before I had a chance to order one.) Now, though, they say that it's no longer scheduled for release. They have a page where you can register to get some email if it is ever released. I signed up. Since we don't know if the DVD with the un-aired episodes is going to come out, we were glad to get this chance to see one.

Fellow Chambana Speculator Kelly Searsmith had asked me to look up Karen Traviss, a British writer who had been in her Clarion. I went to one of Karen's panels and introduced myself and chatted for a bit. She's got a new book coming out, City of Perl, about aliens and how humans react to them. I had been too busy to check to see what she'd written before I went, but now that I look I see that I just read and two stories by her, without realizing it. (I'm bad about noticing bylines.) And she's got a bunch of other stuff that I'll be able to track down pretty easily.

We also went to the Strange Horizons and Ideomancer tea party. It was a who's who of the important people in small press and on-line fiction. I talked to Jed Hartman, Strange Horizons's fiction editor, and to Chelsea Polk, Ideomancers's sf editor. I haven't submitted much to these markets, so I need to do that. Jay Lake, one of the editors of Polyphony was there as well. I wanted to introduce myself and tell him I would be sending him a story to consider for Polyphony 4, but never saw him when he wasn't already involved in some other conversation.

The tea party was packed with non-editors as well. Cory Doctorow was there! I did manage to catch him between conversations and tell him how much I enjoyed his reading (which I had attended the previous day). Most of my Clarion friends (who were at the con) were there-- Karina Sumner-Smith, Genevieve Kierans, Rick Polney, Thomas Seay, and Kelly Link. I found out that Corie Ralston had already gone home, so Genevieve's party was the only place I managed to talk to her. Oh well.

The party was so loud and so packed that people spilled out into the hall. What happened, apparently, was that Thomas and Kelly sat down in the hall and a whole clump of people formed around them, including Nalo Hopkinson. Jackie joined me at the party (she'd been off visiting Canada's national Textile Museum) and several of us moved out to the other end of the hall, near the elevators, where it was a lot quieter and we didn't need to worry so much about annoying hotel guests in adjacent rooms. Jackie got out her spindle and started spinning, something that caught the attention of a lot of people.

(Since I seem to have reached the point of dropping names of people I didn't actually talk to but just saw in passing, let me go ahead and mention a few more. I walked past Niel Gaiman on the sidewalk outside the convention center (in addition to seeing him receive his Hugo for Coraline). Charlie Stross was walking to the convention center at the same time as me and I practically walked along with him, but he was talking to someone, so I didn't interrupt to tell him what a big fan I am. I saw Ellen Datlow a couple of times, but never when there seemed to be a good chance to introduce myself and thank her for the personal rejections that she's sent. I was with both Geoff Landis and Jim Kelly when they ran into Gardner Dozois, the editor of Asimov's, but neither one introduced me. (A few minutes later Jim did try to introduce me to Ginjer Buchanan, an editor at Ace, without much success--he was introducing both Thomas and me, but she already knew Thomas and sort of skipped over me. I can see how people react that way. Even I, a relative nobody, got introduced to far more people than I can remember.). I sat at the far end of a big group in the bar at the Royal York with Walter Jon Williams one of the people at the other end.)

I ran into a couple of people I previously knew only from the net. One was Tobias Buckell who came by the Save Clarion table while I was there. Lister told him he'd mentioned him to a journalist. "Did you get my name right?" he asked. "Of course I did, Mr. Bucknell," Lister said. I also ran into Allan Rousselle and chatted with him for a bit. It's great to put actual people to some of the the net-presences.

Kelly, Jim, and Thomas are all SFWA members, so they were able to get us into the SFWA party Sunday night! That was wonderful fun!.

Karen Traviss was there. She and I and Rick and Lister talked and drank SFWA's booze and told ethnic jokes. I got introduced to other Clarion grads from other years: David Findlay, Diana Sherman, and Simran Khalsa. Chelsey was there and told a wonderfully funny joke too dirty to post here, but which I will happily tell you in person. If I don't remember, remind me it was the bullfrog joke.

I drank way more than I usually do, but spread it out over the whole evening--two beers (rather than one) with dinner, and then two bourbon-and-cokes (rather than none) at the SFWA party. I also stayed up way later than I usually do, not getting to bed until almost 1:00 (despite having to drive to Kalamazoo the next day). Rick was not impressed.

Jackie didn't come to the SFWA party, but between Genevieve's BBQ and the tea party, I got to introduce her to some of my Clarion friends who hadn't met her. Since I talk about her here in my journal, the people who read this get a fragmentary image of her that doesn't do her justice. So, I was glad some friends got to meet her in person (and vice versa!).

This has turned into something of a name-dropping entry. Since I'm very bad at remembering names and faces, I'm pleased to have been able to do this. One thing that helped was subscribing to Locus. I've been making a habit of looking through all the photos and trying to come up with the names of the people who are in it before I read the caption. Despite my limited abilities in this area, the exercise was somewhat effective--there are a bunch of big-name writers and a few big-name editors that I could recognize, even without being introduced.

Yesterday we drove from Toronto to Kalamazoo and spent the night at my Dad's. Today we drove on home. Tomorrow I go back to work; my vacation is over. It was sure a great one.


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