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Archive for August 14th, 2009

WorldCon Report, Day 2: The Joys of Volunteering

Slept in on Thursday.  It was the only day of the con for which I had no programming.  Ah, the luxury.

After paying way too much for breakfast at the Delta, I was off to the Palais des congres de Montreal (that’s Montreal Convention Center to you yanks) for registration, and to see what there was to see.  I ran into Paolo again, looking a bit worse for wear after the previous night’s festivities.  Appropriately badged and ribboned, I set out to get the lay of the land.

It was a day of numerous meetings, far too many to catalogue here.  If I tried listing them all, I’m certain I would leave someone out.  So here goes:  Rob Bland, John Joseph Adams, Karl and Stephanie Johanson from Neo-opsis, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sheila Williams, Lou Anders from Pyr Books, Jenny Rae Rappoport, Keffy Kehrli, David Levine, Laura Anne Gilman . . . oh, hell, you get the idea.  It’s WorldCon.

Eventually, I made my way to the dealers’ room, and the SFWA table.  After chatting for a bit there with fellow Codexian Colin Harvey, I decided that since I had nothing pressing to do, and since Jane Jewell still needed volunteers to man the table for a bit, I took a seat.  All about the generosity, me.

And I must have generated some good karma.  Eventually, Lawrence Schoen, Klingon Renaissance Man, showed up for his shift.  Shortly thereafter, a man I didn’t know approached the table and began chatting with Lawrence.  Turns out the guy was Alexandre Phillipe, director of the documentary Earthlings:  Ugly Bags of Mostly Water, among other films.  Well, Alexandre is working on a new project:  The People vs. George Lucas.  As soon as I heard that title, I said, "Now there’s a subject about which I can discourse at length."  To which Alexandre replied, "When are you available?"

Dude.  Seriously?  Seriously.  We set up an interview for the next day.

Volunteering.  I highly recommend it.

That night was the Tor Party, always an event not to be missed.  Nothing like cramming hundreds of people into a hotel suite, no doubt in violation of local fire codes, so they can spend the evening packed like sweaty sardines, trying to be heard over the din while keeping each other’s names straight.  Now that’s a party.

Seriously, it’s a good time, but not for the claustrophobic, shy, or faint of heart.  I ran into John Pitts there, and Jay Lake, and a raft of others.  I discussed the virtues of the conventional two-finger devil horns vs. the two-fingers-plus-thumb variation (aka the Gene Simmons version) with John Joseph Adams, puzzled over the utter lack of hops in Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale (seriously, Alexander Keith’s?), and observed with mingled wonder and amusement the seismic shift that occurred when Neil Gaiman and entourage brushed past me on their way upstairs.  You could almost hear a giant sucking sound as the Coolest Place On Earth To Be relocated.  I consider myself lucky not have suffered atmospheric decompression.

Stayed up a bit too late that night, considering I had a full full full day on Friday.  But you know.  It’s WorldCon.

Next Installment:  Panels!  Babysitting!  Poutine!