I made the trek, along with fellow author, Madison Keller, to Spokane Washington for our first ever Worldcon. After a stop in Seattle, a bad lunch decision at DQ and nine long hours, we arrived. Let’s just say Spokane is a dirty place on the outskirts of the convention center. Our hotel was in the sketchy parts and I saw some things that reminded me of documentaries on urban city life gone wrong.
Day 0 was a whirlwind of people coming and going as they set up their wares. Not really a day for socializing. More like “Get er done!” Being part of NIWA is a blessing because it meant there were ten of us ready to man our booth in rotation. That allowed us to go to events and not have to worry about coverage. So, when Day 1 came, the real mayhem began. Panels, readings, book signings and the ever popular Meet & Greets (Which is the long wordy version for Parties). I took every chance to hit up a few panels and shmooze with the elite, the upper echelon of SciFi. Many of the programs were happening in the same time blocks so I had to decide which ones I ‘really’ wanted to attend. It was a bit frustrating, considering the layout of the Convention Center.
Where was the Goblin King? I ask because the place is literally a labyrinth. Even some of the staff commented on how the map was a lesson in futility. The only positive outcome of this? I got my exercise in on a daily basis, in conjunction with the long walk from the hotel. If you happen to be in the area and want to workout for free, take a spin around that ginormous place.
Some of the memorable panels I attended: Future Pharmaceuticals, Afrofurturism, Diversity in Science Fiction, How to Edit an Anthology and YA (Where to Draw the Line with Sex and Gore). I took a TON of notes and now feel confident to delve into other genres. Each panel was conducted by experts of the subject matter with a lot of well known names. Yes, I shmoozed there too. Free books were everywhere and made me glad we drove. I feel for the anyone who had to either ship their book purchases of find a way to get them on a plane.
Parties, and more parties. I went to a few of those. The Heinlein Society had three vats of chili, each a different flavor. Big and small press had book signings combined with booze. The best spread goes to the Baen party which was held in a presidential suite of epic proportions. They had a bowl of Rolos. Nuff said.
Book sales? Not so much. Word was that may be the case because Worldon is more about networking and/or fangirling/fanboying. I did manage to sell a few of book one and do some signing which always makes my day. Most of the time, my bootay was sauntering over to meet a well known person I either admired or always wanted to talk to. I could name drop all the great people I met but it would take up most of this post. With that said, I’m looking forward to connecting with them all again at the 2016 Worldcon, MidAmeriCon in Kansas City, MO.