Kevin Andrew Murphy August 30th, 2006
WorldCon 2006 (I forget the proper number)/LAConIV (in Anaheim) is now wrapped and the last of the stragglers have I think now left.Â I left my sunglasses in the green room at the Hilton.
In attendance from Deep Genre were myself, Sherwood Smith, David Edelman, Kate Elliot and Madeleine Robins.Â Except Sherwood, we ended up meeting at Madeleine’s reading on Sunday and hit Starbucks for coffee afterwards.
As David E. mentioned back during my Comicon post, too many con reports read like exercises in name dropping (which that post avoided), so I’ll try to avoid that here too, except to say that it was fun to put faces to people I’d before only known as names.Â For example, David Keck, who I’d before only known as a sometime poster here on the blog, was suddenly there to talk to in person and everything at the Wild Cards reception and then on Sunday, we got to talk more after sharing a panel.
Rather than go for the gossip columnist approach, which is tacky when you’re one of the ones going to the parties and dinners, I’ll simply describe it as a novelist: There were swanky parties and simple parties, both on and off site.Â There were fabulous dinners worthy of hobbit salivation and there were dinners that made me feel like I was stuck in a not terribly original comedy sketch.Â (How many times can the Hilton’s kitchen’s screw up a burger?)Â Terribly famous people were revealed as nice folks you hang out with in the bar.
In short, it was a con.Â Panels went well from what I saw, and I saw a lot of it because I was on a lot of panels.Â Apart fromÂ the usual scheduling snafus, bad mics, a spilled water pitcher and occasionalÂ overenthusiasm, things appeared to go to plan.Â Name tags were ready and waiting on every panel.Â Room temperatures were perfect, water was ready.Â AÂ few authors brought enough books to use for a gamemaster’s screen, but given the trouble with psuedonyms and publishing logjams, I’ll look less askance at that than I might.Â Ideally you shouldÂ pimp only one book at a time, but publishing doesn’t always cooperate.
The Dealers Room floor was pretty amazing even for a WorldCon, and with panels and parties, I did not manage to see all of it, but I did see a lot.Â The Masquerade was also nice, with the standout being costumes for “Dancing with the Intergalactic Stars.”Â I don’t know if they won, but I expect they did, since I did the same as many and left for the parties after the last entrant but before the judging.
What else should be said of the parties?Â Well, I have to admit I really liked the Wild Cards reception, not because it was swanky (though that was still incredibly cool), but because it let everyone have fun and talk in a nice relaxed atmosphere and let me meet folk I haven’t seen for years or have only talked to on the phone.Â Other parties?Â Well, of the author’s parties, some you pretty much needed a shoehorn to get people in the door.
The fan and bid parties were vastly entertaining as well, and not as insanely crowded.Â Kansas City had a “ribs tasting” which ended up being a case of too much sauce and not enough ribs, since I got to the part in time to see a table covered with bowls of various barbecue sauces.Â However, that meant that the next day at their fan table, they were selling the excess bottles of barbecue sauce for $2 each.Â So I grabbed four so I can do my own ribs tasting at home.
I missed the Hugo awards, but was told they went wellÂ with Connie Willis doing a great job as presenter.Â The buzz about the Hugo slate was also good, with the phrase I heard more than once being “remarkably sane,” meaning that the nominees and the winners were all there as a matter of popular choice of good art, as opposed to something being pumped by media frenzy rather than quality.
Small disappointment in that WorldCon did not apparently have any swag bags of books or even cloth souvenir totes.Â Maybe for sale at the T-shirt booth, but no “Welcome to the con, this if for you” like you get at World Horror, World Fantasy or some past WorldCons (including LAConIII).Â However, it’s not mandatory, and my bag from WorldHorror is still sitting on my floor (though emptied of books).
And that was WorldCon, or at least what I’m conscious enought talk about after driving back last night.