Reno WorldCon 2011 Renovation Convention Report

Gentle Reader, I understand from previous surveys that convention reports are not your favorite, but I am in need of processing, and being a writer I do that best in print. I have endeavored to be as amusing as possible while also stretching my very foggy brain back over the events of the past few days. Truly my brain is not the steel trap it once was, well, honestly, it was always more a soft squishy kind of trap but I digress.

Reno, Reno, Reno.

A strange place in the middle of the desert where the lights go flashy-flashy, the cigarette smoke wafts in some pale reminiscence of the 1940s, the food is banal, the service is excellent, the heat unacceptable, and (for the last week) the Geeks were At Play.


The funniest thing about this WorldCon was all my friends who’s first WorldCon was Melbourne last year or had never been to one before. In the case of the first party, they compared the one to the other, and in the case of the second, they compared the one to other SF conventions.

WorldCon is different. It’s different each location, that’s part of it’s charm, and it’s different from a regular convention. AussieCon 2010 was fun, but universally admitted a nightmare in many regards. It was disorganized to the point of inattentiveness and chaos and, because it was all the way in Australia had about half the average attendance. This year, being in Reno (driving distance from the fannish enthusiasm of the left coast) attendance was up to about 4000.

I planned my outfits with much attention to the ability to pack any number of shoes (generally sacrificed on the alter of flight) and the certain knowledge that there would be a pool! I am proud to report I made it to bed by midnight every night save one and that I made it for a swim every morning save the one after the night I stayed up after midnight. Starting the day with a little light exercise and a soak in the hot tub turned my brain on much earlier than normal and keep my poor feet from going entirely bonkers.

I lost my voice but did not pick up Con Crud, and I should far rather one over the other. There meetings and reunions with friends and business associates, lovely dinners out, and an excellent Greenroom providing me with enough healthy nibbles I didn’t have to do breakfast or lunch which was good as I wouldn’t have had the time. The parties were up to snuff. A dear friend won a Hugo. My outfits went over well, and I’ll be bloging more about them on Retro Rack as photos come in. The drive was mainly painless. I meet the editors I was supposed to meet, and chatted with the authors I wanted to chat with, and renewed old acquaintances near and dear to my heart. All in all, a successful con.

The Nitty Gritty

Thursday, Futuristic Fashion and Wearable Art. Moderated by Cory Doctorow Himself. A pleasant start and a pleasing topic well moderated before an engaged and attentive audience. Can’t ask for more.

Thursday, Presentation on Experimental Ceramic Archaeology. Since this was at 7 pm dinner time I thought no one would come,and I was in one of the double sized room. It was very well attended and people seemed to really enjoy themselves, I was so pleased to exhibit the other side of my career path. It was like teaching students who were actually interested, a nice change. I need to righten the presentation though if I plan on doing it again for a convention audience.

After that I changed for the Girl Genius Ball and put in an appearance with the Locus-ites but quickly drifted away to the parties instead.

Friday, Urbane vrs Urban Fantasy with such heavy hitters as Patricia Briggs and Carrie Vaughan and newcomer Dale Ivan Smith. Carrie moderated beautifully and was as sweet and lovely a ever, we have meet before. This seems to have been a useful pannel for me th author as a numebr of people came up to say they bought the first book in my series in the Dealer’s Room later as a result.

On Friday I also worked the SFWA table and visited the Orbit book panel where we made a Very Big Announcement. I haven’t had the go ahead to talk online about it, yet, and so far as I can tell the info hasn’t been leaked so I’m keeping mum for the time being.

However I did an interview with Rome and he gave me permission to announce that the SF Book Club will be bringing out an omnibus edition of Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless this September.

Hit the parties that night and stayed up way too late.

Saturday I had a KaffeeKlatsch and a TeaTalk. I basically ran the second just like the first since the KaffeeKlatsch was so small. However the TeaLounge was very very loud right next to the stage and it was at this point I started to loose my voice.

Nevertheless, I went off and out to very loud parties that night and ruined the rest of it. The life of an author does not prepare one for short bouts of public speakign at high volumes.

Sunday, I was up for autographing. I had a nice line, always complimentary, and many well dressed fans. I am proud to say mine are the best dressed in fandom, if you ask me. Report from the dealer’s rom was most favorable, I mainly sold out, which made them happy.

I made the acquaintance of Jean Johnson who interdicted me to Decent Exposures, a custom cotton bra maker. I intend to give them a try, expect a report in Retro Rack.

Then I wandered about the Dealers Room delighted to discover a very plain steel ring that fit (I have a 5.25 size ring finger) and the first Schlock Mercenary book. After that, I snuck off for some Timeless galley work by the pool (and perhaps a little comic book reading) and hit the Dead Dog party later that night.

At some point I was interviewed for the Short Story Geeks podcast, photographed by Lincoln Peters, introduced by the ever entertaining Kollin brothers to David Boop, ran into Amy & NASA Paul, and encountered the face that thereis a new convention coming to the Bay Area, Convolution. I also gained a roommate, the lovely Unwoman‘s cello took up residence in my room for the duration of the con. Definitely the nicest quietest tidiest roommate I’ve ever had.

Fan Art Alexia by Rebecca Nandi


Book News:
School Library Review discusses Heartless and a little about my Finishing School series. “These books just keep getting better and better.” ~ Caroline Bartels

Quote of the Day:

“If you present a book to a friend, do not write his or her name in it, unless requested. You have no right to presume that it will be rendered any the more valuable for that addition; and you ought not to conclude beforehand that you gift will be accepted.”

~ Etiquette for Gentlemen, 1850


Posted by Gail Carriger

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