My Worldcon: Anticipation report, part 2

This is a shot of the entrance of the Palais des Congrès, site of the 2009 Worldcon.

I had never been to a Worldcon before, so I had no point of reference. Heck, I hadn't been to a convention since I attended one of those comic cons back in the days. Everyone I met claimed that Worldcon: Anticipation was a fun convention. However, authors, editors, and fans alike complained that it was not the best run con ever, not by a long shot. I can't really comment on that, but it appears that the con liaison apparently forgot to let the Delta Centre-Ville, the party hotel, know what being the party hotel entailed. Which created problems with the elevators (almost all were reserved to "real" guests and not con members), and security kicked some people out of rooms and suites for being noisy. There seems to have been quite a few fuck-ups with the schedule. But all in all, it appears that fun was had by all.:-)

The weather was great for the first time this summer, which helped a lot. I was told that my restaurant guide was fantastic on several occasions, and I'm glad to have been of help.

Missed the Tor Books party on Thursday night because I had a mini high school reunion. Too bad, as I would have liked to chat with Brandon Sanderson and many other Tor people. I was able to sneak in the dealers' room on Friday before lunch, where I discovered that my A Game of Thrones ARC was worth 400$!!! Let it be known that I would let it go for less!

Had lunch with David J. Williams, author of The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Skies, as well as fantasy author Alma Alexander. As a matter of course, they asked questions about the Hotlist, but the better part of the meal was spent discussing what sort of marketing midlist authors and first-time writers get from their publishers. After talking shop with a number 1 bestselling author like George R. R. Martin the day before, it was cool to elaborate on what most SFF writers have to deal with. Was supposed to meet with Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert for coffee, but the Daw Books presentation lasted a bit longer than planned, and they had to cancel to get to the Aurora Awards on time. But they invited me to the annual Daw Books dinner on Saturday night, so it was all good!

Stumbled upon some of the Brotherhood Without Banners on my way to the subway, and we hung out for a while. We hit quite a few parties that night, the culmination of which was the Angry Robot party. They actually had a robot in there, and it was hilarious. There is even photographic evidence of me with said angry robot somewhere on the internet. . .

On Saturday I met with L. E. Modesitt, jr. for a late lunch. I've been a big fan of Modesitt for nearly twenty years now, so it was pretty cool to get to meet the man. On our way to L'Académie, Lee was explaining how difficult it was to market him since his readership is all over the place. Back on the marketing campaigns topic, Lee revealed quite a few things I wasn't aware of. That discussion was sort of an eye-opener in many ways, and I learned that though publishers may not market certain authors "directly," they often do so "indirectly." Which is why fans often feel that publishers are doing squat for certain writers. Our discussion ranged from cons to politics to his wife, and much more. Running Pat's Fantasy Hotlist enables me to meet authors and editors as something other than a fan (though I remain a fan of the genre and always will be), and it's wonderful to have the opportunity to have such discussions with them. So again, it was a very interesting couple of hours spent in the company of a talented author.

Following that late lunch, I had to haul my ass back to the suburbs because my best friend was throwing a pool party. Stayed there for a while, had a drink or three, and then changed into something nice because I needed to drive back to Old Montreal to attend the annual Daw Books dinner at Chez L'Épicier. In addition to Betsy and Sheila, I was introduced to a number of Daw authors. However, I'm so bad with names that sadly I can't enumerate everyone who was there. What I can say is that the food was fantastic, and so was the company.

Okay, let's get this straight. Big bearded guy: Patrick Rothfuss, the bestselling fantasy writer. The guy with the shaved head: Patrick St-Denis, idiotic dumbass blogger responsible for wasting technology and about five year's worth of drivel on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. Now, how can anyone actually think that we are the same person!?! But it doesn't matter, as I now have Pat's blessing to sign books in his stead. He feels that I could probably make decent money out of the gig, so what the heck!?!

Rothfuss (if I use Pat, you guys will get confused again!) is a terrific guy, and it was great to finally meet him in person. Of course, along with Betsy we discussed The Wise Man's Fear. They are aware that Pat is playing his career with this one, so it won't hit the shelves until it's as close to perfection as humanly possible. It's no spoiler, but I can tell you guys that Rothfuss feels that the sex in this second volume might upset some of his fans. . . This in turn led to one big discussion about sex and, somehow, Pat's impending fatherhood. It was a wonderful evening, and I wish I'd had the chance to speak with everyone there. All to soon I was forced to bid farewell to my hosts and make my way to the infamous BwB party at the Delta Centre-Ville.

GRRM says that the Brotherhood without Banners throw some of the best Worldcon parties. Nope, he's wrong. They throw the BEST Worldcon parties! I was met by the lovely Chataya at the door. If you have no idea who that is, think about the beautiful girl wearing the one-piece latex Catwoman suit. I think every able-bodied man in the hotel came over! No wonder they ran out of booze! By the way, their special drink for this year, the Blood of the Kraken, was the absolute shit! I had about four of them, and man it was good! I met GRRM in the hallway, and he introduced me to quite a few writers and editors along the way. George and Parris were at the party for a few hours, as is usually their wont. Parris wore a button with the inscription "GRRM is not your bitch. He's mine!" GRRM sent a number of newbies on a quest to be knighted. The questers needed to find poutine at about 1:00am in order to be knighted. Those who made it back with the holy grail of Québec's culinary delight were dubbed Sir this or that, Chevalier de Poutine!

To be honest, I couldn't believe how easy-going and accessible George was. We're talking about a #1 NYT bestselling author who sold millions of books worldwide, yet there he is, shaking hands and talking to everyone. Of course, he knows basically every member of the BwB by name, but that night he was there for everyone. People couldn't believe how nice he was. So if I hear anyone claim that GRRM has no respect for his fans, whoever says that it definitely full of shit. Blame him for being a slow writer. Blame him because I enjoys working on a multitude of projects that have nothing to do with ASOIAF. Blame him for all the Ice and Fire merchandise. For Christ's sake, I left around 2:45am because I was working early on Sunday morning, and George was still there, talking with fans. How many bestselling authors do stuff like that? Say what you will about the man, but no one can claim that he has no respect for his fans.

With about three hours of sleep in me, Sunday was a bitch to get through. And with this unit about to shut down, I sat that one out. No parties for Pat on Sunday night. . .

On Monday, the last day of Worldcon: Anticipation, I joined the BwB to attend GRRM's reading at the Palais des Congrès. George says that he chose the new Bran chapter because of the snow, what with this being Canada. He couldn't quite believe that it was 37°C with the humidez factor. The reading went well, and fans seemed to appreciate this new Bran chapter. Following the reading, there was a Q&A session during which the emphasis was on the HBO TV series. But when asked what his idea of a good time at Worldcon was, GRRM replies, "Getting drunk and chasing women!" A few of us met at the bar of Hotel Intercontinental afterwards, where Patrick Rothfuss joined us for a while.

In the end, looking back I have to say that it was an interesting couple of days. Not only because I got to meet many authors and editors, but also because I was finally able to meet several people I've been interacting with on message boards for the last couple of years.

Will there be any other Worldcons in my future, though? Only time will tell. . .

But I had fun!;-)

4 commentaires:

R.J. said...

In the end, looking back I have to say that it was an interesting couple of days

"Interesting couple of days"? Man you don't know how lucky you are :-) I have barely met an ASOIAF fan in my life, let alone the author.

Nice reading about your trip, keep up the great work with your blog.

Steve MC said...

Sounds like a heck of a time. I've never been one to join groups, but this Brotherhood Without Banners sure sounds worth looking into, and what better time to be knighted than with the man there himself.

Dave said...

Sounds like alota fun maybe I should check out one of these cons one day

Anonymous said...

Pat, that is the shit!! Seriously, I love Parris' button. Anyway, I still think that the first picture was the guy from Survivor and mixed martial arts star, Georges Ste-Pierre.