Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chicon Days 4 & 5

Sunday was difficult for me. I would rather have spent the day wrapped up in my hotel bed sparing the world from myself, or myself from the world - either one - than continue with the Con. I dragged myself around anyway, though I was not of much use. What a surprise when I learned at dinner that my mood was not unusual. Each of us sitting there holding pizza was relieved to hear that others experience that same brief, but intense, depression at conferences.

But let's get one with the good stuff.

I attended a reading by Rachel Swirsky. On the internet you can't tell how funny and charming she is. She rocked the room with her story and I'm glad I went. I'm sad that I did not introduce myself because of my aforementioned mental state.

Later I went to a panel on religion in SF literature. Let me say here that Teresa Frohock, in case you don't know, is really, really smart. I enjoyed all of her panels. This particular one discussed how to make religions believable in stories and a concrete part of the world you have created. We were reminded that faith is part of a practitioner's daily life, part of their psyche, and that if you don't capture that, it can be a bit thin.

I didn't attend the Hugos, choosing instead to put on my pajamas and watch the Ustream which, ouch, got shut down. "Watched" the rest of the award ceremony on twitter. Even as such a remove I felt part of something. I began to realize that the long, storied tradition of SF and Fantasy is bigger than one conference or one generation of writers. It was inspiring.

I got to look at and fondle some great books. Look out for Tainted City, Courtney Schafer's sequel to The Whitefire Crossing; E. J. Swift's Osiris; Betsy Dornbusch's Exile (forthcoming); Spin the Sky by Katy Stauber; and Bradley Beaulieu's second in The Lays of Anuskaya, The Straits of Galahesh. And then of course all the other great books by the other fantastic writers of Night Shade Books (Martha Wells, Kameron Hurley, Jeff Salyards, etc. etc. there is no end to it! BUY BOOKS!).

Tomorrow: on living under a psuedonym.


  1. Wow. Thanks for these updates. Now I feel like I've actually attended this conference in Chicago.

    I love writing conferences. They're so inspiring. I've only ever been to two in Oxford (UK) but a plan to visit more is high on my list of things to do...

  2. You have attended more conferences than I! They are indeed inspiring, in ways that you don't expect before you get there.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the updates.

  3. I feel exactly the same way towards the end of Boskone (the only con I attend regularly). It's tough for naturally introverted people to put themselves out there for such an extended time.

    We have plans for me to attend next year's Worldcon - I'm looking forward to it, even though I'll be going solo. I also plan to drive to New Mexico after because I spent a couple of years in college there and it's beautiful in a way that New England isn't. The time alone in a car will also help me decompress.

    I'm looking forward to your post on living under a pseudonym and I've really enjoyed living vicariously through your time at Chicon.


  4. Thanks, Lisa! I might see you in San Antonio. I'm still undecided, but I will definitely see you at Boskone. Perhaps we can do a little decompressing together.