Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Doing Stuff at Worldcon

I don’t have a big stamina bar, which complicates doing PR, because PR requires you to go to functions where you have to stand and make polite chitchat – sometimes while juggling canapes and being blasted with loud music – and I’m bad at that. I have to do modified duty as far as PR, and this consists of Putting The Bookmarks On The Table. I was stoked to notice that this year I actually had to replenish the bookmarks. Twice. I never left too many out (that would make me look desperate) but people actually snagged ‘em.

I also talked to various publishers of books and magazines and grabbed their cards and inspected their wares; I’ll talk more about that later in my name dropping post that I’ll write after I get off the couch and get my pile of bizcards from my suitcase. And I also spent a lot of time doing old lady stuff like resting, and napping. I’m not totally an old lady yet, just practicing.

As far as the stuff I experienced that I feel like writing about, on Wednesday I hid in my room eating room service BBQ that was actually pretty damn tasty.

On Thursday I appertained myself a cappucino at the Marriott, then I headed to the What’s New in Medicine panel, and listened to a discussion on aging, on health issues specific to space/zero g environments, on designer medicine based on genetics and other fascinating stuff. I ended up buying a book written by one of the speakers, Using Medicine in Science Fiction: The SF Writer’s Guide to Human Biology by H.G. Stratman.  

Then I went to the dealer’s room to wander around. I explored Filer Park, and bought a t-shirt, and left some PR lying around.

At noon I went to The Mainstreaming of Pseudoscience panel, and was entertained by talk about homeopathy and Nessie. I also found someone who left the Future Forensics panel that I wanted to attend, and we briefed each other on the sections we had missed. It was like being Hermione and having a time-turner, and in fact there was a cardboard cut out of Hermione glaring down at us from above the escalators.

I attempted to eat an Aramark pretzel for lunch but it was just slimy and foul. Fortunately there was a red Kansas City Barbecue food truck outside that hooked me up with a nice brisket sammich, and after I ate that I dropped in on a couple of panels but didn’t stay long. My back was starting to get sore, and after briefly wrestling with denial I headed back to the hotel for a nap.

The File 770 meetup happened at the Flying Saucer that night, and we overflowed into three tables. I stayed there for a couple hours and then headed back to the hotel to soak my back in the Jacuzzi.

On Friday, I ate some biscuits and gravy and took my sweet leisurely time plodding around before heading to the GRRM reading. I thought I was being clever by sitting in on the prior panel, Queer Star Wars, a discussion on which characters in SW might possibly be queer. Some of the panelists were talking about how they didn’t like characters of ambiguous orientation as much as characters that were declared queer, and one of them wished they would make Rey in the new Star Wars movies an asexual. I thought that would be interesting too.

Then my cleverness was dashed as the room was cleared, and I ran around to the back of the line and spent the next hour blissfully listening to GRRM read an excerpt from Westeros history.

Next I tried to go to John Scalzi’s reading, but they had him packed into a very small room and it was full, so I hung around the dealer’s room some more replenishing my PR and chitchatting with various random people, then I headed back to the hotel for a nap, followed by dinner at Jack Stack’s and more Jacuzzi.

On Saturday I went back for more biscuits and gravy before taking my copy of Fevre Dream to GRRM’s second signing, then I found the iron throne and got another fan to take my picture sitting in it. Then I hit the Know Your Immune System panel, and learned there still isn’t a cure for mysterious autoimmune disorders associated with fatigue and joint pain and such – but autoimmune disorders may be protective for cancer, so there’s that. I needed a nap afterwards, and a steak.

Full of delicious beef, I then put on some clean pants and headed to Filer park to meet fellow filers, many of whom were dressed far fancier than me in stunning brocade jackets. We all traipsed over to the theater, where I sat insecurely rattling my candy wrappers through the show.

It was a very tasteful and severe show this year, with Pat Cadigan (wielding a whip) presiding. I know from reading File 770 that Pat has terminal cancer and I’m really glad she had the stamina to go through with the show.

I had a 3:30 am wakeup call scheduled, for my 4:10 shuttle to meet a 7am flight, so I vanished right after the awards. Why did I leave at such an obscenely early hour? So I could retrieve my cat from boarding, of course. I missed him very much. 

I would have liked to have done more but my spine was being a whiny little beotch; occasionally it does that, which can be frustrating when you're traveling a long distance specifically to do something. There was a time when I would just power through it and accept the extra aggravation later, but this isn't that time. 

I do believe I will skip Finland, but I'm looking forward to Worldcon being in San Jose in 2018 -- driving distance! No airports!  

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