World Fantasy wrap up

Well. I got home around 1:30 am. My flight was delayed out of Austin and I just barely caught the connecting flight. Alas, my luggage did not. The wait for the flight to take off would have been worse had I not had a lovely conversation with Sally Harding.

The weekend is a complete blur, so I’m not going to try to tell you about things in chronological order. Because Beth and I were running around getting ready for the Shimmer pirate party, I only made it to a couple of panels. The panel on Alternate History sparked a pretty exciting conversation. The panel had been talking about “deep stories” as the point where events had changed in an alternate history. Howard Waldrop was talking about the Cone of History and used the words “Alternate Future.” I asked if anyone had every done a SF story with an alternate history deep story. You know, like, what would space look like if Lincoln hadn’t been shot? The panel stopped dead and then they all started saying that they couldn’t think of an example and wanted to write one. In one of those moments of telepathy, where I don’t remember having the conversation with Beth, we agreed that Shimmer had to do an anthology of Alternate Future stories. I announced that to the room at large and Paul Park said, “What are you going to call it?”

“Alternate Future. Is there another choice?” Howard Waldrop cautioned us that we needed to pay attention to Heinlein’s rule that you could only change one thing in a story. I know what he means, but I think with careful guidelines this could be an exciting project. So, anytime Beth and I weren’t working on the Shimmer Pirate party, we were hashing out beginning guidelines for the Alternate Future anthology. I’ll keep you posted.

I also got to hang out with folks from Codex, InkSlingers, Shimmer and meet new people. I finally met a whole host of online friends like Patrick Swenson, Lisa Mantchev, Cat Rambo, Eric James Stone, Deanna Hoak and Edmund Schubert.

Getting to be total fangirl to Peter S. Beagle and Charles Vess was very satisfying.

And then there were the folks I’d met before and getting to see them again made me happy. Mr. Fisher, Alethea Kontis, Jenny Rae Rappaport, John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Ken Scholes, Jen West, Jay Lake, Brad Beaulieu, Beth Wodzinski, Gavin Grant, Mike Munsil and his wife, Julia, Alan DeNiro and, and…there are more, but I suck with names and the weekend, as mentioned previously, is a blur.

The Pirate Party went off better than we could have hoped, since neither Beth nor I had thrown a con party before. We were totally stressed leading up to it but Melissa Tolliver saved our tails. Her son Adrick has a room decorated with pirate gear and very, very kindly let us use his stuff as part of our decorations. The piece de resistance was a giant Pirate Mr. Potato Head. Beth fell in love with it and bought one of her very own. We were also saved by Sulin, who cut lemons and got music going and took photos and generally filled in the gaps for us. I spent the party pouring drinks for folks, which was loads of fun since it meant that I got to meet everybody.

After it ended, I headed down to the Awards banquet to sit with Brad. The presentation on Six Fantastic Flags over Texas was very funny and I wish I had caught the name of the gentleman who delivered it. Everyone at the table was very nice, and despite the fact that we all introduced ourselves, I have forgotten everyone’s names except for Katie, Howard and John. I only remember them because we talked afterwards and I was able to stare at name badges and well, Brad blogged about them first. Sigh. I’ll have to come up with a better system for remembering names for the next con.

How about you? How do you remember names of people you meet at cons?

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5 Responses

  1. Dave Goldman

    I asked if anyone had every done a SF story with an alternate history deep story. You know, like, what would space look like if Lincoln hadn’t been shot?

    Doesn’t sound that unusual to me. For example, I’m just this evening happening to be reading a John Barnes novel in which Boris Yeltsin does something just slightly different in August 1991, and the next two hundred years proceeds in rather ugly directions.

    Then there’s Leiber’s “Catch That Zeppelin!” where Zeppelins ply the skies of 1973 New York. And, I’m pretty sure, many other examples.

    Or am I confused about what you’re looking for?

  2. Aliette de Bodard

    I like the idea of the anthology–does that mean I get to dust off my alternate history and write something set in that universe ? *g*

    The only con I attended was Worldcon Glasgow, where I was so overwhelmed I merely stared at people (and attended a couple of panels, all right). Number of people met was nil, which simplifies things 😉