WorldCon Montreal

My first Worldcon was a resounding success.  Due to a stroke of luck or misfortune, depending on your point of view, our hotel room was also on the same floor as the consuite and several of the parties, and within stumbling distance of the elevators.  This being at a con with some 5000 individuals spread across several hotels.  This meant that we were always paces away from coffee, cake, beer, chips, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and conversation.  That helped, as I sometimes went far too long without eating.

I have a thousand and one stories.  Like how I saw ten people enter a bathroom with Neil Gaiman and close the door.  Or how I saw several of my friends walk up on stage to accept Hugos.  Or how we drove home in a monsoon that threatened to sweep the car away.  But right now, still suffering from sleep withdrawal, it is all blending into a pleasurable ball of memory that I will slowly, over the next few days, try to digest.

I got to meet several wonderful people for the first time.  Like Keffy R.M. Kehrli, who made his second sale while at Worldcon (his first was in Sybil’s Garage) and will be appearing alongside a story of mine in next month’s Apex Magazine.  And the super-friendly Kevin J. Maroney, who was nominated alongside my friend Kris Dikeman for a Hugo for his work on NYRSF.  Kevin ushered myself and Mercurio D. Rivera to the Hugo Losers party, where I got to speak with Kij Johnson (of the famed “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss”) and John Kessel (“Pride and Prometheus”).  It was really exciting to be surrounded by such talent and, for the most part, not a drop of ego from anyone.  With few exceptions, even the all-stars were approachable.  One of the nice thing about conventions is getting to meet the people behind the work you have admired for so long.  I had spent many a winter-break down at my grandfather’s condo in Florida reading through Larry Niven novels.  Then, in a hotel party this past weekend, I shook his hand.  There are few words to really describe that feeling.

Also, some highlights: Jetse de Vries “Optimism” t-shirt (it’s a type of whiskey) and his explanation to us how he was “overly optimistic” about finishing his ham hock at dinner, and therefore had to take home a giant doggy bag.  How when Paul Berger’s alarm went off which sounded like a door bell, Mercurio, half-asleep, opened the door to our room and looked outside, before placing a do-not-disturb sign on the hinge.  And Non-Sequitur man, a strange person who ran around the con interjecting one word or sentence into people’s conversations and then running off again.

Plus, I got to see a little of Montreal too.  China town (or Region Chinois) and Le Olde City.  Walking around, Tom Crosshill opined that the reason waiters were so slow to serve us was perhaps, with our con badges, we were Le Geeks.

At some point when I wake up later today, I will post photos.