And speaking of reading, a couple of the books on the summer reading list I posted yesterday were actually purchased at the World Science Fiction Convention dealers’ room! We were lucky that this year the con was in Montreal, my home town and very near Ste-Agathe, where we spent most of our vacation time. The whole family came down to Montreal for the Friday of the con, while I stayed for Saturday and Sunday as well.
Overall, the con was a blast. I had a fantastic time! Of course, since I lived in Montreal for 38 years and was quite involved in Montreal sf fandom for a few years (I was on the first four organizing committees of Concept, for example), I knew a lot of people who were there and was able to see a lot of good friends from the old days, many of whom I hadn’t seen in a while, Keith and Berny amongst them. (Hi guys!) Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see Rene Walling, one of the co-chairs who I know from the old days and congratulate him on a job well done. Now’s the chance, of course — great job, Rene! (And congrats to all the organizers, too!)
The programming was decent, if a little sparsely attended at times. In my programming choices, I was lucky enough not to be affected by any of the timing/scheduling snafus that Worldcon’s seem prone to. I enjoyed the art show and other displays, particularly the David G. Hartwell Necktie Display (pic). The dealers’ room was very small by Worldcon standards with almost no used book dealers to speak of. Most small local cons are better served in that department, at least here in Toronto. Only a few small press publishers managed to make the trip. It’s too bad that so many potential dealers were scared off by the usually fairly minor border crossing requirements for dealers, not to mention that the difficult economy probably influenced a bunch of them as well. Many of the dealers that did make the trip seemed to make a killing, selling all or nearly all of what they brought. Of course, I managed to spend my allotted funds.
From a blogging perspective, I did run into SciBling Chad Orzel as well as friend Mark Tovey. I also dropped by the Tor.com party to thank them for my book deal. The con was probably also the cheapest way to ever get to see Paul Krugman speak.
And speaking of parties, it was a complete joy to attend the book launch party for my old friend Claude Lalumière’s first collection, Objects of Worship. And speaking of Claude, if you want to get a sense of what Worldcon was like, you should check out the blogging he and Matthew Surridge did for the Montreal Gazette.