My first convention of any sort was last weekend. It was AWESOME! I’m not sure how but I’ve never been to one before but I’m glad that Worldcon was my first. Worldcon was in Spokane a few years ago and I remembered thinking then that I probably should go check it out but never did. So when I found out that it was going to be in San Jose this year I immediately made plans to go.
I was able to convince my fellow science fiction and fantasy nerd friend from work, Derrick Seiner, to go and then my friends Doug and Jess said they were down and we were on our way. Jess is an amazing artist and she has been gracious enough to work on some Harbingers maps and drawings for me, all of which are amazing. When I did The Brainery online workshop she even let me use one of her paintings for my cover and I now have the original hanging in my geek room. I hope to use her maps and artwork in Harbingers some day soon.
By some awesome chance of fate the Anthology, Alternative Theologies, which has my first ever published story was also going to be sold at the B Cubed Press table at the convention. There was a snafu with shipping so I ended up bringing the only copy of the book but it was so awesome to meet some of the other authors and editors, like Phyllis Irene Radford and David Gerrold and get them to sign my copy of the book. I also got to meet and hang out with the crew/family that helps Bob Brown make B Cubed Press so fantastic; Cheyenne Brown, Nathan Ockerman, and their daughter Eden/Hermione.
I’ve got a ton of stories from the convention and a few pictures to boot but I’ll just share some of my favorite moments here on Cuppa. The convention started off with a loooong line to get our badges. It was fun to see some familiar faces and chat with people as we made our way up to get setup. I found out that one of the things that you do at Worldcon is collect Ribbons. I ended up with a nice variety but I saw some people walking around with nearly a hundred attached to their badge. The only one I regret not finding was a Star Wars themed one that said Rebel Scum. I’m still sad I never found the person handing them out.
My favorite ribbon is the one with the feather that I got from Becky Chambers. She had an amazing panel with her mom Nikki Chambers, who is an Astrobiologist, on how to consult with scientists when writing Science Fiction. So when I saw she was doing a signing, even though I hadn’t read any of her books (I currently can’t put down The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet) I bought a copy of Wayfarers #1 and had her sign it. I asked if she had any ribbons for her books and she made me answer what my favorite starship is and why I would want to fly around on it (Millenium Falcon because I would get to go on awesome Star Wars adventures). Now that I’m almost done with her book I know the meaning of the feather and it makes it that much more awesome.
The ribbon with the craziest story is the In Loteria We Trust. The first night, after Derrick and I had got our badges and checked out the opening ceremony. We headed back to our hotel room trying to figure out what to do. Right next to our room there was a suite, with a door open and an obvious party going on inside. Derrick went and peeked in and saw that it was Worldcon related and so I also went and peeked in. We were then hurried inside by the catering crew who were setting up a giant spread of delicious food.
We didn’t know anyone but we had our Worldcon badges so everyone was super nice and friendly. Naturally we made our way to the dresser in the second room of the suite that was filled with bottles of liquor. I went and got some ice while Derrick chatted with a fellow we had seen on our flight from Seattle. As we were filling our cups, expecting to be kicked out of this obviously exclusive party, I looked in the corner of the room and saw none other than George R.R. Martin.
I naturally freaked out and didn’t go say hello like I wanted to. It was early enough in the party that he wasn’t surrounded by a gaggle of people yet but Derrick and I didn’t want to make assess of ourselves spluttering over how much we love Game of Thrones. But we stayed and met tons of great people and had several adult beverages while George R.R. Martin sat in the corner about 10 feet away from us, holding court like Jon freakin Snow or something. It was one of the highlights of our trip.
My favorite part of Worldcon was getting to meet the authors and get books signed. I came back with 20 new books. But getting my first edition, first printing of Old Man’s War signed by Scalzi was my favorite moment of the convention. He immediately recognized that it was one of the 3700 first printings and tried to talk me out of having it personalized. He said that when he died in a dolphin incident that it would be worth more if it just had his signature. I didn’t care and asked him to personalize it anyway.
There were so many great panels and the Star Wars ones were some of my favorites. I even bumped into the Senior Editor of Star Wars fiction, Jennifer Heddle, after a panel and told her how much I love all the new Star Wars books. One of my goals as a writer and as a human being is to write for Star Wars in some capacity. So I hope to meet Jennifer Heddle again someday.
Besides the convention we went and checked out the Winchester Mystery House. It was cool but super touristy.
This is me with Doug and Jess in the couryard of the Winchester House.
Crazy bird fountain selfie!
(It’s 220,000 square feet total with all the buildings on the estate)
We ate lots of delicious food in San Jose and I was really surprised how much I liked the city itself, it had a great vibe. Of course one night when we went out to meet Bob, Irene, and the B Cubed crew there was a Harry Potter pub crawl going on. Naturally Newt Scamander was there.
There was a ton of cool artwork and costumes and cosplay going on at the convention so naturally I had to get a picture with Han Solo frozen in Carbonite.
The convention wrapped up for us on Sunday night with the Hugo awards and we flew back Monday. Well we tried to fly back but smoke and the fires currently blazing all across the Pacific Northwest had other plans, but we eventually made it home.
I can’t wait to go to more conventions and to another Worldcon. I met so many great new people and the community was so friendly and welcoming. I hope one day to attend when I’m a nominee and not just a fan. I felt really inspired and motivated to keep on writing and grinding, so I think I’ll do just that.