Hippoi Athanatoi

WorldCon: Day 2

And now our report for Day 2:

We didn’t get enough sleep, but that’s the norm for Worldcon. Once we got out, we got ourselves registered (the lanyards they used are very smart this year—easier to handle than the clips from Interaction, although I see some preferred it) and made our way to our first panel of the event, on the SF Generation Gap, which featured George as moderator as well as Bradford Lyau, John Barnes, Randy Smith and Mark von Schlegell. It was an interesting discussion, with Brandon Lyau (a historian) and John Barnes (a writer—go buy his books!—and ‘statistical semiotician’, which basically means he studies trends from a statistical perspective) providing some particularly interesting bits of information. The tidbit of information I found most interesting what Barnes suggesting that fantasy as a popular genre will more or less no longer exist by the mid-century because trends like this tend to only last about three generations (he cited jazz as an example of this) before they become almost antiquarian interests. Implicit in this, of course, is that SF is fast approaching the same point in time, and really everyone seems to accept the greying of fandom as an unstoppable force. When a call was put out for a show of hands of those were twenty or younger, only two people fit description (and interestingly, both have been involved in fandom from childhood, so they would be quite atypical, I think); George noted that thirty years ago, half the room would have been raising their hands.

After that, we went out and checked out the dealers room. Much good stuff was to be had—Linda picked up a French edition of Eric Shanower’s absolutely brilliant Age of Bronze, which he was kind enough to sign (even did a lovely portrait of Helen of Troy as well). Very nice guy, who quickly fell into discussing his recent trip to Hissarlik (aka the real Troy) to take part in the international archaeological dig there for a few days. Good stuff. I picked up a Best of Jack Vance book, and plan to go hunting for more STUFF in general when we get a chance. Then we took a brief look at the art show, and ran into George, Parris, Raya (Parris’s goddaughter, I’ve been told, and a very fine artist!), Jo, and Jaime Sims. We arranged for Raya to take us to a reception we had been invited to, and then checked out her work and Jaime’s, which was of course brilliant and gorgeous and I wish I had more pocket money because I want ‘em all! Jaime’s done some big canvases of the Imp and Tywin, and also a fantastic depiction of Dany and the dragons which has this sort of retro, 1960-1970 feel.

After this, we went to the BwB Meet & Greet, where Linda and I were roped into discussing the board and Westeros.org. The number of attendees was very large, and only half of that were the Bros! Good stuff. Much hilarity was had when Lodengarl was repeatedly ask to take off his coat (some hijinks last night have left him covered in graffiti, the precise content of which I have not been told, but in broad terms its _FOUL_!) And then we went to get ourselves ready for the reception. George’s agent, Kay, who did yeoman’s work landing the companion book project with Bantam, invited us to a champagne reception at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, as she wasn’t going to be attending the con proper but would love to meet us (eek!) Suffice it to say, traffic was bad and it took an hour to make the 30 mile trip, but it was well worth it. Raya was great company. :) The Chateau Marmont was where John Belushi ODed, if anyone recalls that, and Raya swears she saw some movie star just outside the hotel. We made our way up to the suite, where Kay proved to be a consummate hostess. The event was for the forthcoming new Wild Cards books that Tor will be publishing, so a number of the writers were there, both the old (Melinda Snodgrass, Victor Milan, Stephen Leigh, Michael Cassut, George of course, and others) and the new (Ian Tregillis, Carrie Vaughn, and Daniel Abraham to name a few). We got some tidbits about the new trilogy from them, and I chatted with Melinda and Stephen about the original books for a fair bit. Other guests at the party included the illustrious PNH and TNH (Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, top editors at TOR) and Tom Doherty. All in all, it was really brilliant!

The trip back was even _worse_, if you can believe it—it took _two hours_ to get back to the hotel. I would have gone crazy had it not been for Raya’s amusing vignettes, including some censored stories from the con itself. No sharing—we’re sworn to secrecy! ;)

And then it was off to the parties. We swung around and got stickers from just about every party there, got some very nice chocolate from Denver in 2008 (which is featuring gnomes, on loan from Zurich and the Geneva hoax bid), the Kansas City bid party had great cookies, and just a lot more stuff (like nachos with cheese and spicy stuff for Linda). We eventually ran into Mormont and Maid Sansa and chatted awhile (its from Mormont that I had the Zurich gnome thing explained), and then bros started pouring in from Medieval Times with shouts of, “YELLOW!” Jo, I’ve been told, was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty, though I think the mountainous Ser Sean pulled the purple wreath off better. We chanted Grogmosh’s name, I took a number of pictures (which I can’t post yet, because I’m now in a hurry to wrap it up and get out of here for today’s events), heard some great tales of what had been going on, and basically just had a terrific time. I love these people!

Linda and I headed to bed at around 1 (after delaying an hour because it was just so much fun, even though Linda—despite being Swedish!—spent much of the late evening shivering in her little dress), and that was it for our day.

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