Saturday, September 04, 2004

Saturday at Worldcon

The Ace/Roc Presentation: Ace Books and Roc Books are a publishing enerprise with one head and two bodies, if I understand it correctly. The same editors run both, but there are different art departments, marketing, etc. It is a very appealing organization and I would love to publish my books with them, but the last four books I've written are YA and they don't do YA. 'tis a pity. I recorded about 30 minutes of this on my iPod as well.

The Del Rey Presentation started at noon, but I really couldn't get a seat, so I just listened in for a few minutes and then left.

Is It Fair?: This panel gave me another shot at listening to Shelia Williams. It was mostly about why editors choose the stories they do, and it was very interesting. I should have recorded it, but I didn't. This was a shining example of what a panel could be, with a good moderator. Carl Frederick kept his three star editors and one writer on their toes and kept the whole panel focused and on topic. When Shelia brought up the idea that most short story writers underpopulate their fiction, he jumped right in with the right blend of interest and insight that let the editors open up and talk about the issue.

The Warner/Aspect Presentation: I recorded fifteen minutes of this one, hoarding my battery life, once I determined that here was another publisher that wasn't doing YA books.

I hopped over to the short 30 minute appreciation of Julius Schwartz, an important figure in comic books and the world of fandom. In honesty, I was getting a little burned out racing around for days, stalking the editors and analyzing the publishing world. I decided to have a little fun. So ...

The Smallville Panel: This was fun, and I even recorded it. Like me, the panelists were long time Superman fans who brought decades of back history into the viewing of the show. It looks like there is some interesting future to the series.

The Eos Presentation: I recorded a few minutes of it. But again, it was a nice publishing house that wasn't doing the kind of books I write.

So that was all the panels I felt like attending for the day. However, there was one other way to stalk editors. Supposedly people are able to network by attending parties. Not me. I have a hard time hearing people in crowded rooms. But at least I had to try.

I am a member of the SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. (Note how the initials don't match the title. Lots of back history there.) At these Worldcon's the SFWA maintains a suite where writers can hang out. However, they don't publicise the room number. Members have to wander the halls and flag down people they know to ask for the secret arcaine number. I cheated. SFWA has started the practice of having a table in the dealer room to advertise the organization and to interest people in the SFWA Bulletin magazine. Shelia Finch was holding down a chair and I asked her.

So, armed with the room number, I found the SFWA suite and visited the place. No editors, but still, being able to sit down and listen to Brian Aldiss and Harry Harrison chat wasn't a bad thing. Of course, I didn't say anything. I'm terminally shy. I got my little secret sticker on my name badge that told the doorman I was allowed in the place, and then left after a while.

People were getting ready for the Hugo Awards ceremony, but I was too tired to consider staying. I still had that half mile hike back to the hotel. But in all, it was a good day.

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