Friday, August 7, 2009

OMG, is it Only Friday?

The great part? There's 3 1/2 more days of solid Con to go! The bad part? My brain and stomach are already partly fried! I always forget how overwhelming WorldCon can be, and I also forget that travel + odd food + odd eating hours + liquor = stomach troubles. I shall endeavour to moderation, but no guarantees.

It's already been a great Con. Dinner with Niall, Nic and Abigail on Wed. was wonderful, and we started but didn't finish a very interesting conversation on voice and style in reviewing. Soundbite from Gary Wolfe: "Voice is attitude and style is the presentation of that attitude." I'm still meditating on that one. Farah Mendlesohn also suggested some good books, including (I think I heard this right) Reading like a Writer. Is stayed up rather too late and drank rather too much, but all my favorite people were right there in one bar room! Such are the trials and tribulations of WorldCon.

Needless to say it was not an early morning on Thursday, but that's OK because the con didn't really start until the early afternoon. I (and most other critics in attendance) went to a panel on "One Genre or Many" featuring Farah, Gary, Ellen Klages, Patrick Rothfuss and Michael Swanwick. It was a very entertaining panel, although it didn't come close to answering the prompt. Highlights:
  • There's a spectrum of classification, from calling every aisle in the grocery store "Food" to getting in to sub-sub-sub-sub genres -- probably neither extreme is very useful.
  • Michael Swanwick mentioned that he views genre as reading strategies.
  • Farah likes thinking of theoretical approaches as filters one lays over a book, some of which may be more or less appropriate to the book at hand.
  • Also from Farah, the fact that sf lacks a consistent (?) critical language in which to have these discussions. I thought this was the most interesting point, but it didn't get a lot of follow-up at the time. More things to think about.
I missed the first bit of the panel as I went to track down someone to fix a microphone problem. The ConOps folks were extremely helpful and got the tech guy over immediately. It took him awhile to track down the issue, but by the end of the panel all the mics were working. He left before we had a chance to thank him, but I want to give a shout-out to the great folks who make conventions run and fix problems when they arise!

After that I headed to the dealer room, which is a bit small. However, it's harder for me to actually get through a dealer room now: instead of making a simple sweep through, I keep running in to people I know and stopping to talk. Takes much longer that way!

I caught part of the "Putting the World in WorldCon" panel, ably (although a bit tyrannically) managed by Jetse de Vries--I appreciated it though, because he kept a laser focus on how the lit of the panel's members differed from US/UK sf/f. The panelists were Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Spain), Tore A. Hoie (Germany and Norway) and Kyoko Ogushi (Japan).

I'm in the dealer room at the Locus table now, and running out of charge on my netbook. More to come later. One last note, though: Anticipation is running Kaffeeklatches for scientists as well as authors. So Curtis will be doing a Kaffeeklatch tomorrow morning at 11 in his role as a Systems Engineer for Boeing and NASA -- spread the word, or come on down yourself! It's experimental, but I think it's an excellent idea.

More to come when I get back online. That's the problem with WorldCon -- so much stuff & so little time!

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