Tag: chicon7

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?

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Chicon 7: Saturday (Or, Life Among My Amazing Friends)

Just a warning: this post can't possibly convey the fun that I had at Chicon yesterday. Writer, though I am, I lack the tools the make you feel what I was feeling. But I will do my best.

I slept in yesterday. If memory serves, I maintained reasonable hours the night before, but was still somewhat worn out from the 2 long days and so I didn't rise at the crack of dawn, but instead closer to 7am. I found some caffeine, wrote up yesterday's blog post, and then wandered down to where the SFWA Business meeting was taking place. These are not the most interesting meetings in the world, but I attend them for 3 reasons:

  1. I am an active member and it is my organization and I feel an obligation.
  2. You are guaranteed to find some giants of the field in the room.
  3. Sometimes, there is interesting stuff going on.

All three of these were true yesterday. I made my obligation. I saw lots of people. I got some information. Afterward, I caught a moment with John Scalzi to say hello.

I was supposed to have a noon panel, but I had a conflict, so I got in touch with another of my fellow panelists, Ferrett Steinmetz, and asked if he could cover for me as moderator, something he agreed to. I offered to buy him a beer later

At about 2pm, I headed over to a corner bakery for an SF Signal Meetup. The meetup drew just a ton of people and was a lot of fun. It also turned out to be the only time I remembered to take a picture all day long (because I was otherwise have too much fun):

That's John DeNardo, making hand signals in the middle, and James Enge in the foreground looking off to the right.

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Chicon 7: Friday (Or, Panels and Parties)

I managed to be up just after 6am on Friday, despite the late night the night before. I came down to the lobby to write up the Thursday blog post, and then met Allen Steele for breakfast. It was a great breakfast and set the tone for the rest of the day. Allen has always given me very good, practical advice for being a writer and that breakfast was no different. He imparted on my some wisdom that has changed the way I am approaching my career as a short fiction writer–and I think for the better. I also got to see the cover for his upcoming YA science fiction novel, which was pretty darn cool.

The first panel I attended was titled “The Bob and Connie Show” and as you might guess from the title, it was Robert Silverberg and Connie Willis up on stage, chatting.

It was an absolutely hilarious panel, although it had its serious moments as well. To give a flavor of it, Bob said at the opening, “Let's get started,” he turned to Connie and said, “Remind me what your name is again?” He then went on to read a completely fictionalized (but supremely funny) biography of Connie Willis which he claimed to have taken from her website. This kind of back and forth went on for nearly ninety minutes. It immediately became one of the best panels I'd ever seen.

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Chicon 7: Thursday (Or, Meeting Robert Silverberg)

Yesterday (Thursday) was my first full day at the 70th World Science Fiction Convention. As a reminder to those who may not have been following along, this is my first Worldcon. Despite being up later than usual the night before (in part, listening to Scott Edelman's excited descriptions of his dinner at Next–which I see he has not yet posted about), I was up early yesterday morning. Indeed, I was up with the sunrise. I pulled open the blinds in my hotel room and saw this:

I came down to the hotel lobby around 6:30am, had breakfast (a surprisingly good one) and then sat in the lobby waiting for things to get started.

It was while I sat waiting that I saw Robert Silverberg roaming the lobby. He was wearing a bright blue button down shirt and beige jeans. In the past, I would have been terrified to approach such a giant of the field, but two things were in my favor: first, he wasn't engaged in conversation with anyone else; he was wandering alone. Second, we'd corresponded by email a number of times and had planned to meet. So after a false start or two, I gathered myself from my seat, walked over to him and said, “Bob, hi, I'm Jamie Rubin.”

“Jamie,” he said, “you caught me early, I see.” We chatted for a moment and he asked, “What do you hear from Barry?” (He was referring to our mutual friend, Barry Malzberg.) We chatted some more and then Bob asked, “Have you seen the Wall Street Journal this morning?” I hadn't so Bob went on to explain, with sardonic delight, a front page story about how eBay will no longer be selling metaphysical items. (I had no idea they sold that stuff in the first place.) Shortly after that, Scott Edelman came down. He and Bob were having breakfast together and we went our separate ways.

But, wow! It was so cool to talk with him. I tried very hard to suppress the fanboy in me and act reserve and professional in his presence. I think I did okay.

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My tentative Chicon 7 schedule

Chicon 7, also known as the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, will be the first Worldcon that I’ve ever attended, either as a fan or a writer. It’s a little over 3 weeks away and I’m really looking forward to it. I have received my tentative (because there are always last-minute changes in a convention this large) programming schedule and I’ll share it below. Keep in mind that this is a tentative  schedule and you should check the times, dates, and rooms beforehand if you are planning to sit in on one of these panels.

  • Friday, August 31, 3pm (until 4:30pm): Turning Ideas into Stories: Many people ask authors where they get their ideas. This panel asks: “How do you develop your ideas into stories?”
  • Saturday, September 1, noon (until 1:30pm)Drill Down into Story Ideas: Many people ask authors where they get their idea . This panel asks: “How do you develop your ideas into stories?” We will take an idea or two and work on how we would turn it into a story.”
  • Saturday, September 1, 3pm (until 4:30pm)Develop Your Story Idea: We will take an idea or two from the audience and work on how we would turn it into a story.

So it looks like my focus at Worldcon will be on, well, story ideas. Actually, I like that I’ve got a few panels on the same subject. For one thing, it is an interesting subject. For another, it means preparing for one panel leaves me prepared for all of the panels. And the list of co-panelists I’ll be there with is impressive, too. It should be a lot of fun.

Those are the panels for which I am programmed. I plan to attend a lot more, of course. I’ll be arriving in Chicago on Wednesday, August 29, and I’m staying until the end, heading home on Monday, September 3. I look forward to seeing everyone there.