I went to Worldcon in Texas in the United States and I did not get shot or die of heat.
I admit it’s probably fairly unlikely either of those things was actually going to happen and I may have been worrying about them far too much but still, I count it as a win. (Also, I still think Texas probably has about a billion guns, but, in fairness, I didn’t actually see any more there than I have in any other US state I’ve visited.)
Possibly I was getting used to the heat by the end, or it was getting cooler, because when we went to see the Alamo, it was mostly lovely being outside, and San Antonio was very pretty and surprisingly green. Or maybe we were just in a park. I’m not sure.
Texas seems to have a slighty weird idea about how history should be presented: very, um, non-objectively.
The Texan declaration of independence is pretty awesome though. I managed to get about halfway through the thing before I was cruelly dragged away and, man, were those people angry. Angry at the State. Angry at the Church. Angry about the attacks on what they considered their civil liberties (some of which I am yay about – trial by jury, freedom of religion; some of which I am whatev, dudes – right to bear arms.) It’s fascinating stuff, and reads as remarkably modern to me, in its language. I would’ve bought a pretty copy of it from the wee shop, but I was sure it would get crushed on the trip back.
And the San Antonio Riverwalk is incredibly tourist-y, yes, but also gorgeous. Even if I did spend the entire time being vaguely terrified I was about to fall into the river. NO BARRIERS. V scary. There were ducks though. Lots of ducks.
I was nominated for a Hugo (with Deb Stanish, for Chicks Unravel Time, in Best Related Work) but we not win. (Congrats to Writing Excuses, who did!) Naturally, I was consumed by anger and bitterness and immediately began writing out a revenge list and brainstorming for my supervillain name. It was an amazing looking Hugo, dammit! Easily one of the best! There’s a robot on it! And the robot is reading a book.
I did get a Hugo pin though, which is now in the care of miniature Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. (Who knew Character Options designed their action figures with the right sort of hands to hold Hugo pins?)
And Chicks Unravel Time did come second. Which is pretty awesome. A huge thanks to everyone who voted for us, and to all our amazing contributors, my smashing co-editor Deb Stanish and Mad Norwegian Press for their hard work and talent and time. Twas a pleasure to make the book, and it’s ridiculous we even got nominated really. I wish I could write to ma wee eleven year old self, who’s just finished reading Dune and decided that she’d like a Hugo award in the same way that she thinks “I’d like a spaceship” and let her know, well, actually, that’s not quite as out there a dream as you think, small person.
There were some NASA people at the con, which was wonderful. I met an astronaut. I did not say “OMG, SPACE IS SO COOL” at her, despite very much wanting to. No, no, I was totally chilled and relaxed and instead said “Is space really as cool as it looks?” SHUSHT. ASTRONAUT. It’s a wonder I managed to say proper words.
Anyway, yes, space is just as cool as it looks. And Neil Armstrong was very shy. That is what I learned.
Also the guy whose job it is to stop us all dying from a major asteroid impact was there. He seemed pretty competent. So that’s good.
Loncon3 people win my special invisible party prize cause at the Hugo Losers’ Party, which they put on, there was free fizzy wine. That was magical. I love fizzy wine. Basically, if you wish to bribe me or trick me into anything, you should offer free fizzy wine, and maybe cake.
I was super nervous before the Hugo ceremony. There was a practice thing for in case you win so you know what to do and don’t, like, throw the impressively heavy bronze statue thingie at the audience or something. And turns out, I still get stage fright. WHO KNEW. So I spent from the practice to the actual ceremony feeling just a smidgen queasy about, say, freezing in front of several thousand people. So was quite glad when Paul Cornell’s MC speech turned out to be awfully funny, and I forgot about how nervous I was for practically the whole time until our category actually turned up.
There was a dress what I wore. It was sparkly. So were my shoes.
Glitter and Mayhem had a smashing launch party at a roller-skating…place thingie. I managed a full THREE SECONDS on the rink before I decided that I didn’t particularly want to break my ankle in a foreign country with a seriously dodgy healthcare system and maybe I’ll just go and lose gracefully at table football instead. Other people were amazingly good at the skating thing. I suspect some sort of dubious sorcery was involved.
I had some sort of magical gin and tonic. I can’t remember what it was called, only that it was the most delicious of all gin and tonics I’d ever had. I should find out what that was.
There were many lovely people there. Hello if you’re reading this! Yes, you, you were particularly lovely. Well done.
And there was an exhibition hall and there were many ways in which it was wonderous and good, but the most fantastic was the life-size Morbius at the Doctor Who bit. (I poked him! It was a very small and gentle poke and I’m sorry cause I’m almost certain I wasn’t supposed to do that, but omg, he was amazing and I wanted to check he was real.)
That seems like everything. By which I mean all the things I remembered when I sat down to write this, um, con report. Yeah. I like how I focus on the really important issues.
In conclusion, all Worldcons should have astronauts attending. They are awesome.