NOTE: I tried to post this yesterday, but my web host seemed to go down. Hence, this is a day late.
The morning started off with sleeping in a bit—there were no 9:00 AM panels that grabbed our interest more than sleep did, and so it was at 10:00 AM that we hit up the “Movements in Fantasy” panel, which talked about the rise of literary movements within the genre. Among the key points discussed were that such movements are usually only identified after the fact, often arise from a group of like-minded authors reading each other’s work and responding to it (usually pre-publication), and need a defining work to kick them off and an ideologue to promote it. Interesting and entertaining stuff.
At 11:00 AM, my girlfriend went to the “On Editing” panel featuring David Hartwell, while I went in search of autographs from Charlie Stross, Julie Czerneda, and John Scalzi. I was happily successful, and they were all very warm and friendly, though due to the lines for each, it meant I could only get to “On Editing” for about the last 5 or 10 minutes. What I saw of that panel was good—Hartwell is a very entertaining and engaging speaker.
After lunch, we took in the panel on “Hard SF: Is It What You Do, or How You Do It?”, which explored whether the definition of the genre is fixed in the rigorous application of science, or in the appearance of the rigorous application of science. They did admit that hard SF could still incorporate “magic” technology, but otherwise no one held forth a conclusive answer, which, I suppose, it not terribly surprising. Interesting, but after an hour the audience ran out of questions and a lot of ground had been covered, so it ended early.
We did a brief run through the Dealers’ Room again, though thankfully did not spend any further money, and then we went to a reading by Robert J. Sawyer. He’s a generally entertaining reader and pretty genial guy, and he entertained us with a reading of his story “Mikeys” and a prose poem (not in that order), and then I got him to sign my copy of the Distant Early Warnings anthology I’d been collecting signatures on all weekend.
Next, at the request of the girlfriend, we went to a reading by George R. R. Martin from his forthcoming and eagerly-anticipated book A Dance With Dragons. Fans of the series (which has been optioned by HBO, and a pilot episode is currently in production) seemed to enjoy it, and I thought it was okay—a little too descriptive and verbose for the kind of reading I’m into these days, but I could see why he has a huge fanbase. I will no doubt pick up this series when I’m back into reading big books.
And then it was the closing ceremonies, which were brief and too the point, handing off things to the Melbourne Worldcon organizers for next year. It was surprisingly well-attended, and a sort or sad send-off back to the real world.
After successfully acquiring dinner at Le Steak Frites, we hung out back at the hotel for a while, before heading to the Dead Dog party at the Consuite at the Delta. It was surprisingly packed, and we ended up in some long and varied conversations with some very nice people before heading back to our hotel after 11:30, because I seem to have come down with the plague.
Or a slight sore throat.
I’m not sure which.
Anyway, that was the Worldcon. Once I’m back in Toronto, I may do a wrap-up post of my thoughts about it, post some pictures, and possibly update these posts with panelist names and such. Yesterday, however, was about seeing a bit of Montreal.