I knew way back when – long before I was married or had a stepson – that I would probably be going to Denver this year. When I declared this intention the future Bonusbarn, then aged 12, declared that he was coming too and was going to start saving. And did, coins in a bottle, which was rather sweet. He has stuck to this intention, though not necessarily to the saving. Somehow he also wangled a promise to drop in on New York. This all swelled into a major family holiday when we got married. Via a long and circuitous route it has now dwindled to just him and me again, flying out to New York for a few days at the end of July; then he flies home and I go on to Denver to do my stuff. Our onward flights are on the same day within hours of each other from different airports ... could be fun.
Different people get different things out of cons. Some go for the room parties, which are a refined form of hell on earth. Some go for the costumes, which just baffles me. I go for the panels: I enjoy the throwing about of ideas and I get a mild dose of self-promotion. Okay, the social scene is fun too and it’s nice to see familiar faces, though most of them are Brits and I could keep in touch much more cheaply by staying at home. Highlights of previous worldcon programmes:
- Learning on arrival that I was meant to be giving a reading from The New World Order, not having actually packed a copy, leading to an epic wrestle with the Boston public library system as I tried to print off the chapter I had put on the website.
- Partnering Christopher Priest in "I'm Sorry I Haven't an SFing Clue" at Glasgow, vs. Ken McLeod and John Meaney.
- Also in Glasgow, chairing a panel on young adult literature and what is and isn’t acceptable. Somehow – and I’m still not sure how – discussion turned briefly to rainbow parties. An artist on the panel pointed out they wouldn't work because if you mix lots of colours together they just blend into muddy brown. "In that case," said one of the panellists, a Mr Pratchett, "you use masking tape ..."
Next year's is in Montreal. Which I would also quite like to see.