Chicon 7: Sunday (Or, The Hugo Awards)

I‘m writing this 2 days after the fact so the winners of the 2012 Hugo Awards are known around the world, but I wanted to start with a big shout out to John DeNardo and everyone over at the Hugo Award-Winning SF Signal. Seeing John win the Hugo may have been the most exciting moment of the award ceremony for me.

Sunday morning started off calmly. I sat down in the hotel lobby, waiting to meet up with other SF Signal folks in order to go to breakfast. John DeNardo and his wife, Connie, soon showed up, and Patrick Hester showed up a little while later. I noted Bob Silverberg wandering around the lobby and I wanted to talk to him one more time, since I wasn’t sure I’d get another chance. We chatted for ten minutes or so, and John came over and joined us. All the while, Patrick was sending John amusing texts.

After a bit of a search, we ended up at Houllihan’s for breakfast. They had a buffet and they were pretty crowded and the line around the buffet was a long one. The food wasn’t great, but I wasn’t there for the food. It was wonderful getting to hang out with John and Patrick and I am still so thrilled that SF Signal won the Hugo.

At some point in the morning I ran into Allen Steele and thanked him for what he’d done for me the night before.

Patrick Hester was moderating a panel on podcasting and so I went to sit in on that. Among the panelists were James Patrick Kelly, Mur Lafferty, Patrick, Kate Baker, and someone I am forgetting. They were all cheerful, as you can see:


It was actually a fascinating panel and they had a crowded, standing-room only audience. I was never a regular listener to podcasts before this panel, but I may have become one afterward.

Later, while waiting in the hotel lobby, I saw this coming down the escalator:


Kind of blurry, I know. Sorry about that. I have no idea what they were doing or where they were going. Perhaps they were late for the masquerade?

By 4pm, I was waiting outside the Big Bar in hopes of getting a big table when it opened. I chatted with Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Also waiting was Kij Johnson, whom I’d never met in person before and so I got to say hello to her. Louise Marley–who did such a wonderful job moderating my first Worldcon panel–was also there. Eventually, there were a bunch of us at the table. Also among the group was Jay Werkheiser and Lisa Montoya. I usually forget to take pictures, but Bryan took this picture of me and Jay in the bar:


Louise Marley joined us and so did Kay Kenyon, who I met for the first time. It was great hanging out with everyone. Eventually, I had to leave and head upstairs to change for the Hugo Awards. I got dressed, freshened up, and then headed down to the big conference center. There was an enormous line to get in, but it moved quickly and I eventually found myself sitting on an aisle about two-thirds of the way back from the stage. My view looked like this:


Sitting next to me were some folks dressed in 1920s garb who were helping to run the big for the 2016 Worldcon in Kansas City. I loved their outfits! Before things got started, I also got to talk to Deron Rein, who saw me and stopped by just to tell me how he liked the blog and followed along with my Going Paperless posts. That was very, very cool!

You know about the Hugo Awards and who won and I won’t repeat all that, but I will say there were a couple of tense moments for me. I had a number of friends up for Best Short Story. I was very happy to see Ken Liu win for his excellent story, “The Paper Menagerie” but also say that Nancy Fulda didn’t win for her outstanding story, “Movement.” When the Hugo for best fanzine came up, I actually closed my eyes until the announcement was made and shouted, hooted and hollered when it was  SF Signal. I had a feeling that Jo Walton would win for Best Novel and I was glad to see that as well. I then dashed out as quickly as I could, beating the crowds and chilling in the lobby. Within 20 minutes, there was an enormous line for the elevators leading up to the parties.

I sat there in the lobby for an hour or so people watching. It had been my plan to attend some parties (I’d been invited to a few) but my energy was fading fast. The con had me completely worn out. So at midnight, reluctantly, I said goodbye to the festivities, headed up to my room and went to bed.

I flew home yesterday morning. My family got back from their vacation at about the same time and it was a joy to see them all again.

Chicon 7 set the bar for the best convention I’ve ever attended. That bar seemed to get higher and higher and I had an absolutely blast. I have a long list of people with whom I need to follow up.

To everyone involved in making Chicon 7 possible, to all of the committees and volunteers and panelists and guests, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I had the best time ever!


  1. Thanks again for the pre-Hugo chat! It was nice to meet you, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.


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