Monday, September 9, 2013

WorldCon Post-Mortem #6: Next time around (Next time?)

For all that Louis Prima's song "There'll Be No Next Time" is going through my head, the idea of another WorldCon is very appealing to me. Heck, I'd just want another chance to do this last WorldCon over again. (Though let's be honest: I feel the same way about some improv scenes I did years ago.) I heard stories about people up at 4 am, drinking and talking, and that sounds kinda appealing to try out. Maybe I'm still young enough to do so?

Well, even if I'm too old now--and certainly I'm not getting any younger--that's part of my plan for cons in the future. So much of the best times was chatting with people at the parties and elsewhere, that it has to be part of my plan for future cons. Similarly, if there are kaffeeklatsches at the con, I want to go to more of those; even if I've never heard of the person or only slightly know them, talking with them can be very fun and entertaining.

Since I'm also interested in, you know, being published, I'd especially like to attend more kaffeeklatsches with editors. Not to tell them my excellent story idea about a Jewish dwarf in a traveling circus who solves crimes. More to hear about what they want in general, what they're getting too much of, what they look for (or try to avoid) in their submissions. I'm particularly interested in editors of magazines, since the short story market may be more volatile and responsive to change.

And since my goal is to chat more, go to more parties, and generally hang out, I'd want to seriously consider getting a room at the hotel. Sure, I saved some money by staying a friend's house (and I discovered this incredible asthma reaction to cat fur); but when you're already taking several days off and spending money for the con itself, you might just consider going whole hog.

Now, with all that chatting and party-going, I'd still be interested in going to some panels, but my advice to future me on panels: if the panel feels weird or not helpful, feel free to skip out. (Also: even if you like the panel but have to go to the bathroom, consider heading out during the middle of the panel, when the bathrooms will be largely empty. That way you avoid the awkward moment of holding the door open for George R. R. Martin as he walks out and you walk in.)

Lastly, always carry your phone charger and powercord with you and make sure you take time to charge it. Twitter was an integral part of keeping connected with what was happening at the con. So, for instance, when Mur Lafferty tweeted out that people should come say hello at her lightly attended signing, I hopped right over and had a nice little chat. Or when Mary Robinette Kowal tweeted that she had trouble finding her kaffeeklatsch, I got that tweet and we sent out a rescue party for her. If I didn't have my phone charged then--she might be wandering the halls of the convention center even now!

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