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That Worldcon report...

...or at least highlights and lowlights.

Wednesday: Flew non-stop from SFO to YUL. Departure was delayed by a FAA-enforced sleep-in for the crew. We were a bit late getting to the Delta, and eventually caught up with steverogerson's BritFan Pub Crawl. It was a blast. Highly recommended, Steve puts a lot of work into doing recon a few days before. We should have taken the Metro to get to the Latin Quarter, but we walked. Live and learn.

Thursday: We got registered. K installed his space suit in the costume exhibit. We looked at the dealers' room. It was tiny (not unusual for a Canadian Worldcon). We checked out the Fanzine lounge. It wasn't the best location or space (Noreascon 4 still had the best "in exhibit space" fanzine lounge).We met a bunch of folks (hi, randy_byers) and caught the Metro (having learned a lesson) to the Latin Quarter again for dinner at Restaurant Au Pied de Cochon. This place is what a Bistro is supposed to be, casual space, lots of people, fabulous food. The Foie Gras Cromesquis were to die for. We were there for hours (Worldcon sent the restaurant a lot of business on Thursday). When we got back to the hotel, the Reno in 2011 party had already closed, so we adjourned to the Fanzine Lounge After Dark and stayed until oh-godawful in the morning.

Friday: We slept. K did a panel. We ate. We went to parties. Once again, we ended up in the Fanzine Lounge After Dark, but didn't stay up quite as late. The hotel night manager and hotel security had a meltdown over parties and the elevators were overloaded, so we used the stairs to get around.

Saturday: K had 2 panels and masquerade stuff. I slept late. We ate. I went to the masquerade. It was pretty good, and there were a lot of new faces (not unusual for a Canadian Worldcon). K had a great time working with Julie Czerneda, she's a total sweetie. We went to parties. (Say it with me!) Once again, we ended up in the Fanzine Lounge After Dark and stayed up too late.

Sunday: K had a panel. I slept late. We ate. Reno was announced the winner of the 2011 Worldcon bid. Raleigh was announced the winner of the 2010 NASFiC bid. We went to the Hugos. We cheered when Cheryl won. We cheered when Scalzi won. We cheered when Weird Tales won. We cheered when Girl Genius won. We cheered when Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog won. It was a good awards ceremony, and a lot of fun. We went to parties. (Say it with me!) Once again, we ended up in the Fanzine Lounge After Dark and stayed up too late.

Monday: K had a panel. I slept late. We ate. We went to closing ceremonies. I wish we had the time and money to go to Australia next year, but it's not in the cards. For dead dog, we ended up in the Fanzine Lounge After Dark and stayed up too late.

Tuesday: We got up, got breakfast, packed, and went to the airport. Somehow we weren't affected by the crazy-ass weather going around the Northeast.

So, all in all?

There was a significant level of programming failure in scheduling, rescheduling and ensuring that panelist tech needs were fulfilled. The tabloid-sized pocket program (that was significantly wrong) didn't help. At least the infamous pink sheets were better than Anaheim's dumping program corrections on the newsletter where they would only fit at 4.5pt type.

There was a significant level of hotel failure on the part of the Delta regarding the party floors.

I've been reading complaints about hotel distances, and have to say, for the most part, they were within the realm of reasonable for a Worldcon. No, they weren't Anaheim (nobody is Anaheim). They were a bit longer than San Jose and Philly, probably equivalent to Boston and much shorter than Toronto, Denver or Glasgow.

Otherwise, the con was pretty damned good. Major events started nearly on time. They ran smoothly. Tech did the best job they were allowed to do (and for events they did very well). Info desk was staffed by cheerful and helpful people. Attendees had fun at the convention. I'm not going to saddle Anticipation with the review that Denver got. It wasn't a better con than it deserved to be, it was just a good con.

And, you know?

I had a great time.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
It was very good to see you both.

They tried, several times, to dump programme changes on us in newsletter but we barred the door and explained what pink sheets were for until they went away.
Despite it's flaws, I think the punters had a good time and a lot of the staff worked damn hard to ensure that they did.

Aug. 15th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. A lot of cutting and pasting in that report!
What about Monday's BASFA meeting in the Writer's Den in the Intercontinental?
Aug. 15th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
What happens at BASFA stays at BASFA...
Aug. 15th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
Actually, interesting comment - we have been to only a few Worldcons, Nippon 2007, LA Con IV, Noreascon (last one), Con Jose, Millienium Philcon, and then the prior Noreascon, and we dropped by Chicon in the early 90s. (Karisu may have gone to one before she met me)

Anyway, the Con Jose just feels like it has the worst distance to walk to us (we were at the Fairmount), but I suspect the Noreascon weren't any better.
Aug. 16th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
At Noreascon 4 it was farther from the Marriott (party hotel) to the convention center, but it was indoors and not in the hot sun. The heat and the traffic lights made the Fairmont seem farther.

It was possible to avoid the traffic lights in Montreal by taking the Réso (underground tunnels). They were interesting. Malls, strange architecture and giant art installations...

Reno 2011 (Renovation) has a huge hotel directly attached to the convention center, and another huge hotel a shuttle bus ride away. You are planning for Reno, aren't you?

Edited at 2009-08-16 12:25 am (UTC)
Aug. 16th, 2009 12:48 am (UTC)
We don't plan 3 years in advance. What not with kids and all...

We will see!!

But I will volunteer to be the official photog if you and K run the Masquerade!!!
Aug. 16th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
But Reno is only 2 years away, and in the neighborhood, so to speak.
Aug. 16th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
With the Firstborn's schedule, she has 4x 10+ week quarters each year, so she only has 2-3 weeks between quarters. So it really depends on where it falls on her schedule and what other plans we may have (visit out of country etc.)

But you are right, I can't count :-) 2 years it is.
Aug. 15th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
I'll certainly agree that the "pocket" program was bizarre and unhelpful. Although I guess I did find at least one thing using it, come to think of it. Still, a pretty unwieldy format.
Aug. 16th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
The occasionally-missing rows and seemingly random room order on the grid is what got me. Oh, and the Pink Sheets didn't have an issue time/date/version#.
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I just realized that the last WorldCon I went to was in Toronto. Holy crap.

Man, I needs me a WorldCon fix.

What I want to know is when (and how) ComiCon seems to have "overtaken" WorldCon as the BIG annual mass media SF con. It seems all the big film leaks and TV announcements and so on happen at CC rather than WC. That's just wrong. ;)
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC)
Toronto was tragically flawed. I had a good time, but it was tragically flawed.

Worldcon was never a media destination. Comic-Con International is now 130,000 people, and it's just down the road from LA (every year).

It's Reno in 2011, and you might, just might, talk gurdymonkey into traveling to a con (we've got her attending a local now) if you came out to Worldcon.
Aug. 16th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
K had a panel. I slept late. We ate.

I sense a pattern here ... ;) Nice to sleep in huh?
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
Well, except for Friday and Monday nights, we were up until sometime between 5:00am and 6:00am each day. Sleeping until noon barely qualifies as "sleeping in."
Aug. 18th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
I apologize for the fine print in the newsletter at Anaheim. That was my fault, and seeing as I've been to Worldcons before I should have had a better plan.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )