Wednesday, I drove for twelve hours from Asheville, NC to Philadelphia. The next morning, I got up early and caught a flight to Spokane. And from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening, I attended Sasquan.
Here are a few of the things that made me happy about this year's Worldcon:
1. Spokane itself. Beautful city, lots of old buildings, a very nice river park that's used as a venue for lots of cultural events. I'm sorry that I'm going to miss the Chinese lantern festival, though.
(The wildfires in the region turned the sky gray and the sun red, filled the air with smoke and rained down ash in a dramatically apocalyptic manner; but that was hardly the city's fault.)
2. Hanging out with Vonda McIntyre and Robert Silverberg in the green room.
3. Seeing Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem win the Hugo for best novel. I have friends in the Chinese science fiction community, so seeing this become the first foreign novel in translation to win the award was a big deal to me. But more than that, I admired the novel for its own sake. Right now I'm reading the next book in the trilogy. Several people who read Chinese have told me it's even better than the first.
4. The fact that next year, when I'm goh at MAC II, Pat Cadigan will be toastmaster. Pat and I are pals from way back. I'm thinking we'll have a ball.
5. Learning that The 2017 Worldcon will be held in Helsinki. All four bids were desirable destinations, and I'm friends with the D. C. people and the Canadians both, so whichever way the vote came out, I was going to be happy. But I have to admit that I'm delighted to have the excuse to visit Finland again.
6. Signing lots and lots of autographs. Some of those who asked seemed to think it was a bit of an imposition on me. Nope. I enjoy it. I also enjoyed the panels and the reading.
7. Getting to congratulate Joe and Gay Haldeman on their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
8. The Hugo Losers Party in Auntie's Book Store. Great venue and it felt like a real party. Also, I met Ken Liu there.
9. The words "He's dreamy" in MAC 2's promo film. I wasn't a bit offended when it got a big lauugh.
10. Having the opportunity to have a conversation with Gregory Manchess.
11. Dinner with former F&SF editor (but still publisher) Gordon Van Gelder.
12. Getting to see Lee Moyer again. And Phil and Kaja Foglio. And Ellen Datlow, Eileen Gunn, and John Berry, for the first time since we wandered through China in April. And Ellen Klages, Judith Berman, Les Howle, and Karl Schroeder. And Chales Finlay and Gary K. Wolfe and... But if I don't stop here the list will start to look inclusive and the dozens and dozens of good friends I haven't mentioned will think I've forgotten them and will feel hurt. Not a bit of it. I'm just looking forward to...
13. A good long sleep at the end of it all. 'Night, all.