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?