How to sum up my Chicon experience… Well, I resolved to have a better Worldcon versus Reno by reaching out to more people, arranging more interviews and planning out my time better. I managed to accomplish these goals and then some. I think the location helped, as the con itself was not as spread out and it was easier to find people. I drove to Chicago from Denver, which is kinda crazy. Economically, it worked out as saving me money, but timewise, I probably would’ve been better served simply flying. I had a lot of good times, met a lot of people, some for the first time, other’s I have seen face to face before, and come away with much more positive impressions than I had of Reno.
I started writing this post at WorldCon. Whenever I needed to charge my phone, I tried to jot down notes of who I’d seen or chatted with. I also tried to take pictures. As the Con continued, I took fewer photos and napped rather than putting thoughts to pixels. Ah, well. Here it is, as best as I can recollect…
Wednesday Day 1. Up at the crack of OH SHIT WHO GETS UP THIS EARY?! On the road by 5:45 to watch the sun come up over the cow pastures of north-eastern Colorado. GPS and I begin arguing immediately after I realize she is taking me TO THE FUCKING TOLL ROAD! ARGH! STUPID GPS! BAD GPS! NO! *swats with rolled up newspaper*.
Drive for OH FUCK NO HOW MANY HOURS ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? and stop around 9:30ish am at a Denny’s for cheap-cheap breakfast. Back on the road and drive, drive drive. Stop for ‘late lunch / early dinner’ around 5ish pm (11 hours on the road so far) for cheap-though-not-as-cheap-as-breakfast food. Back on the road.
Hello Iowa City! *cough-cough* …hello massive crowd of smokers standing in entry way for motel. Check-in? Yes please. Into elevator to 3rd floor. Doors ope-
AW PUKE! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SMELL? DID A SMOKER DIE HERE? SMOKING? WAS HE SMOKING LIKE TEN PACKS A MINUTE AND JUST DIED? RIGHT HERE? ON THIS VERY SPOT? NO? THE SMELL PERMEATES DOWN THE HALL AND IN EVERY ROOM EVEN THE NON-SMOKING ROOMS? REALLY?
AUGH! HOW FUCKING HOT CAN A ROOM BE? IT’S NOT POSSIBLE FOR A ROOM TO BE A HUNDRED TIMES HOTTER THAN OUTSIDE, IS IT? ARE THEY GROWING POT IN HERE? IS THAT WHY IT’S SO HOT? SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE FUCKITY FUCK FUCK?
Thursday Day 2. Woke up, fell outta bed, dragged a comb across my head. Made my way downstairs and…stopped…cuz…the breakfast area looks all gross and shit… Um. Cornflakes. Yeah. Can’t really screw that up. Oh. Unless they’re stale-ish.
BACK ON THE ROAD! Only 4 more hours-I gotta pee. Stupid bladder. /rest stop. OKAY BACK ON THE ROAD! Only 3.5 more hours-shit, I gotta pee. I can hold it. What the hell, body? /rest stop. ALL RIGHTY THEN – BACK ON THE ROAD! Only 2.5-SERIOUSLY?! AGAIN?! ARE YOU NOT EVEN TRYING TO PROCESS WHAT I’M DRINKING OR ARE YOU JUST SENDING IT STRAIGHT TO THE DUMP TANK?
OH HEY! SEARS TOWER! Wait, it’s not the Sears Tower anymore.
Mom: It’ll ALWAYS BE the SEARS TOWER!
Lower Wacker Drive. “Hey, watch for Batman. Or Joker.”
Mom: I-what now?
Me: Have fun in Cicero!
Mom: I will.
Mur: See my Campbel Pin?
Me: Cool! I have a Hugo pin.
Mur: Where is it?
Me: …in my room.
Me: I didn’t open it. It’s mint.
Mur: *exasperated* IT’S NOT A COLLECTIBLE! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WEAR IT!
*eats $13 quesadilla*
Oh, hey, Stina Leicht!
Quickly followed by Gareth Kavanagh, Chuck Wendig, Adam Christopher, Myke Cole, Kat Richardson, Jennifer Brozek, Emma Newman, Jay Lake, Charlie Jane Anders, Jamie Todd Rubin, Maurice Broaddus, Jerry L. Gordon, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Douglas Hulick and Matt Forbeck. Oh, and let’s not forget John DeNardo, Mike Resnick, Jennifer L. Harriett, Brian McClellan, Devi Pillai, Tim Holman and a slew of others.
2 am – Bed.
Friday Day 3 – 8 am – wake.
Breakfast with the DeNardo’s:
Say hello to Jay Lake, Bud Sparhawk (he didn’t see me), John Scalzi (he didn’t see me either), George R. R. Frickin Martin (he didn’t see me also?), Mur Lafferty, Laura Resnick, John Klima, Howard Andrew Jones, James Enge, Myke Cole (what, again? He’s like everywhere!), Charles Stross, Emma Newman, Lee A. Harris, John O’Neill, Josh Vogt, John Picacio, Jason Sizemore, Cat Valente, Brad Torgerson, Mike Resnick and Carol Resnick.
Probably some other people, too. Oh, hey – I’m on a panel! Pizza Wars, Chicago versus NY. Small room, not a lot of people – John DeNardo & his family show up, as does Jamie Todd Rubin (thanks guys!) and we end up having a really nice, intimate chat about food. Which makes us all very hungry. After, The DeNardo’s and I make our way to the Corner Bakery Cafe for some dinner. This is also where the SFSignal.com hangout will be tomorrow.
…more stuff happens. I don’t remember.
Saturday Day 4.
Douglas Hulick, Violette Malan (and her lovely husband), Mur Lafferty, Laura Resnick, Michaele Jordan, Jamie Todd Rubin, Emma Newman, John Wiswell, JP Frantz, John Scalzi, Paul Cornell, Irene Gallow, Seanan McGuire (oh my GOD she rocked the panel we were on – Eureka vs Warehouse 13. So GD funny and whipsmart. I totally fell in love and will be reading everything she has ever written very soon.), Bob Kuhn, oh, hey – let’s have a live panel recording with Howard Andrew Jones, James Enge and John O’Neill while some Blackgate folks watch nearby…
…um. 2 am bed time? Something like that. There was bar stuff, and sitting, and talking and…I have no idea.
Sunday Day 5 Hugo Day.
Up early for SFSignal.com Contributor Breakfast (I have a sore throat all day) that ends up being me, John DeNardo, Jamie Todd Rubin and Josh Vogt walking around downtown Chicago looking for food until Josh has to run to a reading he promised he would attend, leaving the three of us to the mercies of the Houlihan’s Breakfast Buffet. Runny scrambled eggs… Yum!
I moderate the Podcasting 101 panel at noon with Mur Lafferty, Kate Baker, James Patrick Kelly and Travis Heermann. Tried to record it but my Zoom H2 was full and I only got 30 minutes of the hour and a half. The room was packed and I think it went really well.
After that, I went to a Hugo Award Ceremony rehearsal thing where they walk you up on stage, show you the podium, the back stage area, and what you should do in case you win. Snapped a pic of the Hugo’s back stage. Then you get a quick course in how to hold, clean and ship your Hugo, should you win. Saw John Joseph Adams, John DeNardo, Mur Lafferty, Stina Leicht, John Picacio and Paul Cornell there as well.
Next, an interview with Emma Newman, then back to the room to clean up and get ready for the Hugo Reception where I saw John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, Paul Cornell, Neil Frickin Gaiman, Seanan Macguire, John Scalzi, Gary K. Wolfe, Cat Vallente, Janet L. Harriett, Jason Sizemore, JP Frantz & son, John DeNardo & family, Mur Lafferty & hubby, Ursula Vernon & boyfriend, Kate Baker, and, and, and, and *mental overload*
Hugo Ceremonies. Didn’t win, but John DeNardo did and that FUCKING ROCKS! I could not have been happier to see John’s hard work and love of science fiction rewarded. I said from the beginning that if people felt weird voting for both the podcast and the blog, to cast their vote for the blog because John deserves to win.
Monday Day 6. Bwuh?
Sore throat is gone! Yay!
Congestion has started. Boo!
Lunch with the DeNardo’s, interview with Adam Christopher. Once around the dealer’s room to pick up some t-shirts at discounted end-of-con prices. Feeling sick. Back to room around 3. Crash hard. Sleep. Wake, eat something, crash again.
Tuesday Day 7.
Up and checked out by 10 and out to Cicero to spend some time with family. On the road again by 1. Make it all the way to Des Moines before needing to find a place to sleep. Cheap motel. Congested / miserable.
Wednesday Day 8.
Up and checked out by 9. On the road. Drive home. Collapse. Pick up cats tomorrow…
So there you have it. Loads of friends new and old, a lot of laughs, interviews, and fun times. Thanks to everyone I saw and apologies if I missed you or didn’t list your name above.