I attended my first WorldCon (14-18 Aug) over the weekend. In four days I went to 33 panels and saw countless authors and bloggers, including a few of my favourites. Exhausted, I decided to skip Monday’s events to come home earlier than planned, saddled with heavy bags on each shoulder like a mule.
We in the UK don’t have huge conventions like ComicCon so for years my being has turned green with envy whenever my fellow American readers mention them. This was likely my only chance to attend something with literally hundreds of authors making an appearance and where being an introverted reader is welcome and “normal”. For once I wasn’t the only one in the room. As August is my birthday month, I decided to spoil myself with a full 5-day ticket.
And in an effort to share the love I paid for my sister and brother-in-law to come with me on Saturday and Sunday. They were both interested in seeing George R.R. Martin. Unfortunately the event featuring him on Sunday was “unavoidably cancelled”. My first thought was, “Did he die?” I always jump to the worst possibility. In case you’re panicking, he is very much alive.
I didn’t take many photos because the rules were so strict, sometimes you were allowed to take photos and sometimes you weren’t. It was the same with audio recording. Instead I took copious notes for every panel I attended.
Each panel lasted 50 or 70 minutes leaving 10 mins between each panel for toilet breaks and travelling time to the next one. Every panel had a moderator asking questions of at least three other panelists and taking questions from audience members.
I came away with a lot of names I want to look up. Justin Landon and Foz Meadows were two of the best moderators. Ah, Foz Meadows. I wonder if she thought I was stalking her. If she wasn’t sitting behind me or a couple of seats away in the same row, she was sitting in front of me on the panel. Everyday I saw her.
And then there’s Jody Lynn Nye who twice sat next to me to eat her lunch. And Carrie Vaughn whom I literally bumped into trying to get through the crowd on my way to her panel, “OMG I touched Carrie Vaughn!” screamed my brain. I didn’t think I was a squeeing fangirl until that moment. Later I bumped into Leigh Bardugo, again while navigating the crowd. My brain respects anyone who writes for a living and sells thousands of copies of their books. I was surprised at how accessible most of the authors were.
There were some beautiful costumes among the attendees, the period dresses were especially detailed and must’ve months to make. I saw a full-size Tardis and I encountered a real Virtual Presence Device like the one Sheldon creates in The Big Bang Theory. I didn’t realise those existed in real life.
I grabbed these free books:
I bought these books:
Afterparty by Daryl Gregory
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant
The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister by George R.R. Martin
Holy Sci-Fi!: Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect by Paul J Nahin
And I bought a t-shirt with this design:
I loved the funny t-shirts from this company – cat people were well catered for – I just wish they had some for dog people.
As I found some of the panels particularly interesting, I’ll write a few posts on them over the next couple of weeks.