Worldcon: Mary’s Roving Launch Party on Thursday and secret codes

In 1916, as part of WWI the Women’s Auxiliary Corps set up a series of “hospitality rooms.” Maybe that sounds like a euphemism, but at the time it was in response to a recognized need to care for soldiers’ mental as well as physical health.

When they had time off, soldiers could go and sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit. Inside the tent, a young lady would pour the tea, perhaps sing a little, and just engage in gentle conversation. Therefore, in the spirit of that, at Worldcon, I’m going to have a roving launch party. Here’s my thinking…

This is in part because I’d rather not try to cram people into a hotel room that’s too hot and too crowded.  Heaven forfend. Everyone always feels like they are on the front lines at a convention anyway, so I’ll be wandering around on Thursday in costume as a member of the Spirit Corps.

Let me explain how this works. On the floor, or on panels, if you find me I’ll have recipes for cocktails, postcards so you can write home from “the front,” biscuits, rum, and… coded messages. Now, there is in fact, a code in this post. Damnable clever of me, what? Oh, I’ve made it simple, so don’t worry. Now, try to decipher it to get the password you need to deliver to me at WorldCon.

But what happens if you decipher it? Rather than tell you straight up, I’ll hint.  All I’ll say is that at the Tor.com party on Friday night, there will be some additional prizes, including books, cocktails, and a bespoke story typed on a 1913 Corona #3 portable typewriter to your specifications, by me, while you wait. No seriously. Clearly, you’re already sorting out the code. How long will it take you to solve it?

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23 thoughts on “Worldcon: Mary’s Roving Launch Party on Thursday and secret codes”

  1. I figured it out; too bad I can’t be at Worldcon this year. Have a great time! Maybe you can send me a spiritual biscuit through the ether?

  2. I’ll take a spiritual biscuit too, please. 😀 Found the code, but sadly won’t be at Worldcon.

  3. Makes me wish I was going to WorldCon. Guess I’ll just have to pick up your book instead. 😉

  4. Man that took me too long. I kept scanning the left hand side trying to figure out what a BLT, an MC, and WWI had in common. Thinking too hard. 🙂 Have fun at the Con

  5. Thanks for this bit of fun 🙂
    I am heading down to Kansas City on Wednesday. This will be my first WorldCon and I’m hoping I won’t be terribly overwhelmed.
    Will keep an eye out for you on Thursday.

  6. That was fun. Thanks!

    I wish I were going to be in Kansas City, but life got seriously in the way this year, so Helsinki will be my Worldcon debut.

  7. Just as a data point — this doesn’t matter to me, because I am not going to Worldcon, but I can’t figure out the code. I have tried and tried, I have gone away and come back, and I can’t figure it out. I’ve gotten annoyed and frustrated enough that I’m going to stop trying.

    Again, this doesn’t matter to *me*, because the code appears to only be needed for people seeing you in person at Worldcon, but I thought you might want to know that it’s not obvious to everyone. I’d feel like I couldn’t approach you for the goodies, since I can’t figure out the code/password.

    (Sorry I can’t play, though: I made a near-replica of a WWI Women’s Land Army outfit and I’ve only had one chance ever to wear it.)

      1. I don’t need to solve it since I won’t be in KC – I have no idea if other people need one. I did try the “simple” things that I know – first/last letter of sentences, counting words past specific punctuation marks, counting number of words in paragraphs, looking at odd vs even words, etc. Not simple for me – but I may be an outlier. Hopefully codes won’t be too critical to reading the book, though.

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