Worldcon brief report


So we had a great romp in the US (except for the bit where we burst the tyre landing, see earlier post): we got to stay with the amazing Dario Ciriello and his wife Linda; to meet up with Keyan Bowes, Jason Ridler, Erin Hoffman, Nick Mamatas, Katherine Sparrow, Kate Kligman, and Mike-whose-last-name-I-keep-blanking-out-on (sorry. If you’re around in comments and want to amend, I’d very much appreciate it).
And I had a great worldcon altogether, meeting with many many friends, and staying up far too late. I got to see good friends T.L. Morganfield, Chris Kastensmidt and Ken Scholes, met a whole bunch of people I only knew from online (or didn’t know at all) and spent a lot of time hanging out with awesome people, which is always cool. Many thanks to Patty Wells and her organising team –it is truly a massive labour of love to organise those events, and I don’t think I’m near aware enough of the enormous quantity of work that goes on behind the scene to give us this wonderful space in which to share our love of genre.

I had a lovely time on panels as well, though in retrospect I should have taken on more programme load (I wanted to avoid the Montreal burnout, but I ended up on too few items). The panel on non-European fantasy we had with Chris Kastensmidt, Ken Scholes and Saladin Ahmed had a great discussion going on, and many insights (and it was filmed, too, which means you should be able to see it on the internet somewhere…) I mostly played wallflower on the Minorities on Covers one (though I should really have registered my opposition to the notion that the reason Hollywood movies were so racist was because of foreign demand. Uh, I’m sorry? We don’t particularly care about White Americans over in Europe either, and I’m pretty sure most of Asia would rather have Chinese-Americans than middle-aged White dudes. Please stop using us non US-ians as excuses for all-Hollywoodian failings). And I ended up cancelling the Cross-Cultural Influences one because I was so nervous about the Hugos (which was stupid, I freely admit. I could have managed it). Reading and kaffeklatsch went pretty well, and so did autographing session. And I came home with lots of books (OK, not so many. Got Warbreaker, my fave Brandon Sanderson book, and a load of Shlock Mercenary comics).

It’ll come as no particular surprise that not only did I not win a Hugo, I also ranked pretty much last on most people’s ballots… [1] Not complaining though. It is truly an honour to be a nominee, especially for a Hugo, aka the award which defined so much of my science fiction reading. And it was a very strong ballot, and I am truly humbled by the number of people who read, enjoyed, and voted for “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”. Also, I got to show off my lovely dress, which counts for something [2] 🙂 (and the Hugo nomination was an excuse to do the California roadtrip with the H–on which more later, when we upload the pictures–, so pretty good there as well).

Many congrats to the Hugo winners, in particular to Mary Robinette Kowal for picking up her first Hugo, to Clarkesworld for their second (NOTE: Neil posted they were retiring from contention for next year, in the interests of the category)–and especially many many congrats for Sheila Williams for her well-deserved win: given the number of Asimov’s stories on the Hugo ballot/who won a Hugo in recent years, not having her win Best Editor for Short Form seemed downright odd. A bit miffed that the following wins didn’t happen: Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House (plus, Ian in kilt was awesome), N.K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (yes, it’s two in the same category. I’m allowed to be schizophrenic), Alastair Reynolds’ “Troika” (Alastair hasn’t exactly been recognised by the Hugo voters before, and it’s a crying shame…), and Lauren Beukes (who is very much made of awesome. Definitely looking forward to her next book). But you can’t win every time…

The H and I were also fairly puzzled by the Japan video at the Hugo Awards: we loved the glimpse into other cons in another country, but listing only the Western Anglophone winners on the Seiun Awards felt… oddly self-centered? We kind of wanted to see what was cutting edge in Japan, as well [3] (and I have to admit neither of the two names meant much to us except in a “oh, I’ve seen this name before” way, so seeing a few Japanese names and publication covers wouldn’t have been so conceptually different for us).

In travel news, I knew this already, but I think I’ll never trust security checks again: we realised after we’d cleared security that we had a folded Opinel knife in the outer pocket of our backpack, in full sight–and that absolutely no one had seen it or commented on it. But, on the other hand, I couldn’t check in online with American Airlines because they couldn’t figure out that “Aliette Debodarddelajacopiere” and “Aliette de Bodard de la Jacopiere” were really the same person (hey, not my fault the reservation systems has limited space for my full name and insists on lumping it all together…); and we got the suitcase searched coming AND going. Which, at a guess, probably didn’t yield much of interest (except if you’re looking for fully licit Shlock Mercenary contraband, of which there was plenty), and got me fairly miffed when whoever repacked the suitcase broke all the cookies we were bringing to the con. Still wondering–was it the TSA-friendly lock that they saw as a challenge?

Anyway, more later (including a confession post, and California picture trips). Gotta cook dinner and go to bed, and then we can see about this writing thing tomorrow…

[1] Most people on the internet seemed to be complaining about the story not working for them, so I figured my chances ran pretty close to a snowball’s in Hell…
[2] And the rocket pin. Don’t forget the rocket pin. I now have a Nebula pin, a Hugo pin and a Campbell pin, and feel I can dazzle my way out of pretty much everything (and if it doesn’t work, I’ll just hit people with the BSFA trophy).
[3] And thanks to the magic of Google, here’s the list of winners, and nominees (nominees isn’t great, there seem to be info missing from it, but I don’t read Japanese, it’s the best I could find…)


  1. Your name is SO cool.

  2. He 🙂 I did think of hyphenating my maiden name when I got married, but the sheer length dissuaded me…

  3. Thank you for the link! Always glad to enlighten the masses about Japan’s SF scene. In other news, I’ve gone and requested Servant of the Underworld from the library just for fun.

  4. I didn’t have a chance to talk to you at WorldCon, (I dislike interrupting people when they appear to be in conversation with others), but I wanted to tell you that I loved your story. It’s how I found you and your writing, and I also referred you to a friend who is deeply interested in Aztec fantasy. So, even if you didn’t win, you still have new fans!

  5. Brittain: he, thanks for making this available! And hope you have fun with SoU.
    Laura C: I didn’t know you were at Worldcon! (and you should so totally have interrupted me, no worries. My rule of thumb is that I don’t get into a conversation between two people, because it’s likely to be none of my business. Three or more is more likely to be random talk, and if it looks too embarrassing I’ll just move away 🙂 ). And thanks for reccing me to your friend!

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