Monday, June 02, 2008

Denver fills up my senses

I tend to go to the world science fiction convention only if it's somewhere I would like to see anyway. The exception to this was my first, San Jose in 2002, which was a business necessity, though I did get a day out in San Francisco which was nice. Thereafter Toronto in 2003, Boston in 2004 and Glasgow in 2005. I gave Los Angeles a miss in 2006 – though as it turned out I had other things to be doing that summer – and I don’t think wild horses could have dragged me to Tokyo last year.

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 ..."
Today I learnt my programme items for this year. Only two panels, though I'll let them know I'm happy to do more: "Where are all the travelers? (If time travel is possible)", Wednesday, 11:30 and "Depicting Christianity in F&SF", Thursday, 11:30. Both good, stolid staples of paneldom. Now to see who I’m on with ...

Next year's is in Montreal. Which I would also quite like to see.


  1. Masking tape X) Genius. Although I'm not sure it would work.

    Ben, help me :( They've deleted my blog!

  2. Yeah, I did notice that ... Blogspot has been distinctly iffy today so that might be part of it. I'll gladly be a character witness that you don't seem to have violated their content policy, have not been libellous of anyone and have not published anything indecent or incriminating, not even about your first dates. Other than that I can only commiserate. Hope to see it back soon.

  3. I accidentally deleted my google account... I'm ghosting, hehehe. It's not a blogger problem, unless you call it a problem that they delete your blog with no way of contacting them if you don't have a google account. >:(


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