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August 20, 2006

Worldcon
Posted by Patrick at 08:59 PM * 48 comments

Behind the cut, our schedule for LACon IV, the 64th World Science Fiction Convention, this coming Wednesday through Sunday.

Wednesday, 2:30 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, 207-C
Blogs and E-Fanzines
Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
Christopher J. Garcia
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Andrew T. Trembley (moderator)
James Bacon

Friday, 10:00 AM, Anaheim Convention Center, 208-AB
Creating Communities Through the Internet
Craig Newmark
Teresa Nielsen Hayden (moderator)
Noel Wolfman

Friday, 11:30 AM
Teresa will be serving as an art show docent to a group of people who sign up in advance. Visit the art show in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center for details.

Friday, 1:00 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, 208-AB
Bloggers as Public Intellectuals
Cory Doctorow (moderator)
Kevin Drum
MaryAnn Johanson
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Phil Plait

Friday, 5:30 PM, Hilton, SMCA
Prometheus Awards Ceremony
Patrick will be on hand as an acceptor for one of the nominees.

Friday, 9:30 PM, Hilton, Lanai Presidential Suite
The traditional gigantic Tor party. Not technically an open event, but Making Light regulars attending LAcon are welcome.

Saturday, 10:00 AM, Anaheim Convention Center, 201-B
What’s Coming from Tor
Jim Frenkel
David G. Hartwell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Saturday, 2:30 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, 206-A
Fighting for Shelf Space
John Barnes (moderator)
Jim Frenkel
Betsy Mitchell
Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Saturday, 8:00 PM, Anaheim Convention Center, Arena
Hugo Awards ceremony
Patrick and Teresa will be there; Patrick is an acceptor for one of the nominees.

Sunday, 11:00 AM, Anaheim Convention Center
“Kaffeeklatsch.” P&T NH will drink coffee and chat with whoever signs up in advance for this titanic privilege. Of course, we don’t know where the actual signup sheet will be, and on this, the convention’s web site is silent.

Comments on Worldcon:
#1 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 09:20 PM:

And no, we're not claiming to be "public intellectuals." That was the convention's title for the panel.

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 10:23 PM:

Did you see Drum's post about his attendance?

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2006, 10:38 PM:

I am vastly envious.

And when did comment posts start getting numbered?

#5 ::: Zak ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 12:15 AM:

I had originally been thinking it'd be nice to organize an excursion to a local-ish super-duper booze-a-torium (High Time Wine, they've got many a hard-to-find bottle and quite a lot of other fun things) but the current travel restrictions seem to make that a bit pointless for the folks who're flying, unless they're going to drink it all before they leave. Hmm. Perhaps not a bad idea, that.

#6 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 12:33 AM:

unless they're going to drink it before they leave.

This dog has ceased to be. It has joined the bleedin' choir invisible. Here's looking at it.

#7 ::: Mac ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 01:22 AM:

I'm goofily, little-kid excited. This will be my first WorldCon. I've also committed HapiSofi's excellent advice to memory.

#8 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 02:19 AM:

Oh, rats. Your Klatsch is up against my reading.

Ah, well. Doubtless our orbits will coincide a time or two.

#9 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 02:49 AM:

The "Bloggers as Public Intellectuals" panel was my suggestion to Craig Miller. The idea was to ask whether some bloggers (James Wolcott, Digby, David Neiwert, Glen Greenwald, Michael Berube, and others) are filling an online niche that resembles the print niche that used to be filled by people like H.L. Mencken, Earl Wilson, and I.F. Stone.

I'm pleased that you and Teresa are on the panel, since the Electrolite/Making Light Bloglist is primarily responsible for introducing me to this stuff.

#10 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 05:36 AM:

Their Klatsch is also up against those of both Diane Duane and Tom Whitmore. Sheesh. I mean, okay, I see Tom at least briefly once every couple of weeks, so I could give him a pass, but versus Diane Duane is really tough.

#11 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:12 AM:

I should look at my actual schedule and see if I can figure out where my panels are. I have a feeling that staying in the Marriott, while good from a sleeping perspective, is going to prove a challenge.

#12 ::: P J evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:20 AM:

Some of us may be bouncing between klatsches. Or standing with an ear glued to a wall.

#13 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 05:12 PM:

Hmm . . . some of the Wednesday and Friday sessions are possible, I think. I'm trying to figure out if really urgent prayers to St. Joseph of Cupertino could result in bilocation. Or in at least one case Sunday, trilocation.

#14 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 05:23 PM:

Actually, I was looking at the schedule yesterday with friend. We figure there needs to be at least six of each of us to do everything we want. It's the merge at the end that's the killer. Calling the Xeroids: is the people-copier ready yet?

#15 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 09:22 PM:

Oh, yes, Teresa: I have some of 'Greg's Killer Peppers' for you. The seeds should be good for another two or three years. Using the bits of dried shell is potentially hazardous - I just checked them; they don't smell hot, but they had a definite bite when I rubbed my fingers on them and then licked the fingers. (At least five minutes of bite.)

#16 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 10:06 PM:

Is the people-copier ready yet?

From the manual:

--First all flys removing from room of using.
--One person in Gogo-Box per time. Not matter if you like him/her/it lots of.
--Copier not wise at devining foody contents of person from person contents. Excellent to be purging prior. Sample packet Mach-I-Go-Go(tm) pilles included whenly drugster close.
--Not to be jumping much. Blur nogood and messy.
--That not USB port. That not gamepad port neither.
--Dimenson of threes scanning entablature just good as are. Making of funny salaryman picture by of sitting on scanner unadvisory.
--No mirrors. NO AT ANY!!
--Not to be doing that, ever.
--If the cranching-sprang be not orderly, enter not in the Gogo-Box.
--UPS (Unidentifiable Pwn Supplies) meritorious addition to copier for modest plus charge.
--Happy Avatarnicating!

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 10:20 PM:

St. Joseph of Cupertino was a good man to have around when the lightbulbs in the atrium ceiling needed changing, but he was ot-nay oo-tay ick-quay on the uptake-way. Are you sure you can get across to him what exactly it is you're trying to do?

#18 ::: Molly ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:01 PM:

May I delurk for a moment to request any kind of advice you might have for a first-time WorldCon attendee?
The only other related con I've been to before is the (I know very different) San Diego Comicon. I'm quite excited about the switch, as my interests are written SF first and other media only second. But, I'm also not quite sure what to expect.
Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

#19 ::: Dori ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:05 PM:

Molly: the very end of this post links to HapiSofi's Semi-random bits of advice for writers attending their first SF convention -- but it's not really just for writers.

#20 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:39 PM:

John M. Ford (16): Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball (tm).

#21 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2006, 11:55 PM:

Mitch: All your crude are belong to us. Launch, uh, two zig, tops. For great profits.
-- Gohan Rumsfeld, 2003

Someone set us up the quagmire. You have no chance to democrate make your time.
-- Gohan Rumsfeld, 2006

#22 ::: Molly ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 12:06 AM:

Oh, thank you Dori. That's exactly what I was looking for!

#23 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 12:06 AM:

Molly: get five hours of sleep and two meals a day; don't try to swap these no matter how young and energetic you are, unless you've proven you can do this under convention conditions. Read the pocket program whenever you have a few minutes and mark \everything/ that looks interesting; your moods will change depending on (e.g.) where in the five-and-two cycle you are at the moment. Most panels won't be jammed; if something starts badly you can bail and still get into something else -- or you can wait, because sometimes they take a while to get moving. You may find the masquerade disappointing (I haven't been to Comicon but have heard). Look for used books in the dealers' room. (LA has several dealers who don't make it east -- I envy you.) See Laurie Edison's jewelry retrospective (in the Art Show?); she doesn't do this often and her pieces are worth looking at even if you can't buy at her table. Go to the parties; Worldcons usually don't have stars, so you could run into anyone.

#24 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 01:38 AM:

Unless Comicon's masquerade has gotten much better since I stopped going to it regularly, Worldcon's masquerade won't be of worse quality.

#25 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 03:14 PM:

CHip, this is my first Worldcon, too, but I don't think I'm going to be marking everything that looks interesting. I have learned from 25+ comic-cons that program burnout is a major source of con stress for me. Letting go and understanding that you won't see everything you wanted to is part of the joy of multitudinous tracked programming. :)

I am loving going through the program and seeing all the cultural differences. Although I keep having weird missteps in my thinking, because my assumptions are all based on comic-con. As in, I wonder if I can actually get into a kaffeeklatch, let alone which one. :) Are they first-come first-served or by lottery? I am soooo going to love not having to line up for hours for stuff (well, except at Disneyland).

Also, has anybody, perchance, started a Flickr group for this convention?

#26 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 03:28 PM:

The traditional gigantic Tor party. Not technically an open event, but Making Light regulars attending LAcon are welcome.

Leading one to wonder what level and length of participation makes one a regular.

(Probably irrelevant in my case anyway as I'm generally too shy to go to these parties.)

#27 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 07:43 PM:

Kathy, there are sign-up sheets for the kaffeeklatches and people have been known to get up in the middle of the night to make sure their name is on a list.

#28 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 09:18 PM:

Marilee, ah, as I suspected: first come, first served. At least that'll make it easy to know if you made the list or not. Thanks!

#29 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 09:21 PM:

Also, Kathy, remember that you'll be dealing with approximately five percent of the typical Comic-Con crowd.

#30 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 09:31 PM:

In re Klatch signups, I hope they stick to the procedure of putting out only the sheet for that particular day, early in the morning. I was really annoyed at ConJose to discover that they put out all the signup sheets for all the days on the first morning. Gene Wolfe on Saturday or Sunday (I forget which) was full by 12PM, Thursday. They should have waited until the morning of his event to put out the sheet, to give Thursday and Friday congoing arrivals a sporting chance. (Tom Whitmore, one of the co-chairs of the convention, agreed with me on this point, after the fact.)

#31 ::: Kathy Li ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2006, 09:40 PM:

Thanks, Mike! I feel as if I have a chance without having to pack a tent for camping, now. [grin] I am, however, suffering a major disappointment. David: the klatch dilemma got a little simpler. (sigh). Diane Duane just blogged that she and Peter Morwood have to cancel.

#32 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2006, 12:19 AM:

Lenny Bailes (#30): Boskone puts the sheets out no earlier than 24 hours before the event; if you really want to make it to that 11am Sunday klatch, be in line at the desk before 11am Saturday.

(The same system was used for Noreascon 4.)

#33 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2006, 10:33 AM:

The con hasn't even started yet, but the concom has given Filking Fandom a reason to write a filk:

http://billroper.livejournal.com/341837.html#cutid1

Update: Filkers will be given a Program Participant ribbon and be allowed into the Green Room if they are on 3 or more program items.

I'm wondering if this policy covers ALL program participants or if filking is getting the short end of the stick again...

#34 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2006, 10:40 PM:

#25: my point is to \mark/ everything that looks interesting rather than trying to go to even a fraction of it; that way you can look at the current hour in light of what you've just been doing and decide whether any of the few things that seemed interesting is what you sit at next -- or even that you've had enough sitting and nothing looks so great right now that you wouldn't rather take in a section of the art show, dealers' room, or other exhibits. (That's something I left out of the original: exhibits are a good place to spend small lumps of time, but don't try to get through (e.g.) the entire art show at one go.) It's a style; there are others, but I find separating the stuff that might be interesting from the stuff that's definitely not makes impulse decisions easier. If you don't believe in impulse decisions the method doesn't work -- but a convention should have some room for impulses.

#35 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2006, 11:36 PM:

Make sure there are spaces available for those of us who only have Sunday available to come. (I have to work this week, and if I'm in Anaheim on Sunday that means all the errands have to be done on Saturday.)

#36 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2006, 11:24 AM:

Lori Coulson quotes Bill Roper:

Update: Filkers will be given a Program Participant ribbon and be allowed into the Green Room if they are on 3 or more program items.

Puzzling. Lori, can you explain why this is worth remarking upon? Was it previously thought that filkers who were on program items weren't "real" program participants?

#37 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2006, 11:44 AM:

The Guardian just put up a piece on Worldcon.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/archives/2006/08/23/its_a_seminar_jim_but_not_as_we_know_it.html

#38 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2006, 11:46 AM:

Bill Higgins: Exactly. Apparently the Head of Programming issued a fiat that filkers who were giving concerts, workshops or serving as hosts for theme filks (which they been asked to do by the person in charge of the Filk Track) were not to be given "Program Participant" ribbons and denied access to the Green Room.

If you check Roper's Live Journal post about this, you will find a song entitled "Second Class Fans." (It's also posted on LA Con's Live Journal.)

#39 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2006, 01:03 PM:

Bill Higgins: Exactly. Apparently the Head of Programming issued a fiat that filkers who were giving concerts, workshops or serving as hosts for theme filks (which they been asked to do by the person in charge of the Filk Track) were not to be given "Program Participant" ribbons and denied access to the Green Room.

When I MC'ed a worldcon masquerade recently I was told quite firmly that that was not a program participant position, even though it involved multiple hours of rehearsal and then being on stage half the night trying to come up with clever ways to announce Yet Another Terry Pratchett costume - probably ten hours or so of work at-con. I didn't push the issue since I was a program participant for panels and children's program anyway.

Leading dances is not considered program at some cons either. Not litooowawy enough, y'know, those people who dress funny.

#40 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2006, 01:20 PM:

Susan, I understand what you are saying, and at least you were told ***in advance***.

What happened here is that the Head of Programming decided to exclude filkers (a number of whom were doing the same amount of work as others who were considered 'program participants) and the filkers didn't find out until 48 hours before Worldcon started.

Now, maybe I'm being old-fashioned, but every con I've been to allows even those who are on ONE panel to use the Green Room and gives them a participant ID (ribbon, whatever).

This whole situation sounds like someone in Programming either failed to secure a large enough room or failed to plan for an adequate number of refreshments for the participants, so they decided to give one segment of fandom the old heave ho...

I hope I'm wrong. I do know if Columbus wins for 2008, I'll be having a word with Programming to see that this doesn't happen here.

#41 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2006, 01:32 PM:

Since the phrase "Green Room" is being passed around as if it has some meaning other than simply an enclosed section of a building whose walls reflect a certain wavelength of light, but said meaning seems to elude me, I just have one thing to say:

quoi?

#42 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2006, 02:22 PM:

Greg London: The Green Room is a term that originated in the theater. This is where the actors congregate before going onstage, or between scenes. Green was the chosen color as it was reputed to be restful to the eyes, something to be desired when your eyes are continually blasted by spotlights.

The term now applies to TV -- most talk shows have a Green Room, and it usually offers alcoholic beverages.

At a con, the Green Room is for program participants -- panel members may choose to gather there to plot out what they desire to cover during said panel. There are usually soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks available.

#43 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2006, 12:25 AM:

Besides the regular parties and the Green Room, most large conventions will also have a Staff Lounge. These are for the people working for the convention, and is geared more towards giving them real meals -- "fuel" -- than the snacks and finger foods at most parties & Green Rooms.

My wife Hilde and I did a number of these for various conventions, including the 84 Worldcon in LA (same hotels; the descriptions posted here sound very familiar). We usually had various hot bowl foods (soups, stews, chili), a large spread of sandwich makings (my home-smoked turkey was received with great enthusiasm, he said humbly), a salad bar and -lots- of crudites. Plus some chips and such for people who only wanted a light nosh. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and we usually had a jug or two of milk in a cooler.

A few times we made a big batch of Jon Singer's Hot & Sour Soup recipe for our Staff Lounges; even a 3-gallon pot of that vanished quickly.

Dang, now I'm remembering some specifics from that '84 Worldcon. What was the name of that guy who could do the standing backflips? I wonder if Terry Karney remembers flirting vigorously with a gorgeous older woman named Becky? (Terry was in his mid-teens, IIRC, while Becky was close to forty. But she also looked like a five-foot-nothing version of Claudia Black, so who could blame him?) And what the heck -did- we end up doing with all those leftover carrots?

Some good times, thinking back. We were good enough at running staff lounges that some larger conventions (the Austin NASFIC, as well as the '84 Worldcon) specifically sought us out to do their staff lounges. But after about ten years of it, between getting a bit burnt out at it and Hilde's increasing health difficulties, we had to give it up. (Moved into running a dealer's table -- books, jewelry, music -- after that for a number of years instead.)

#44 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2006, 02:21 AM:

Mmmmm..... hot and sour soup.... mmmmm.

Hey, I've been hearing about this Jon Singer guy since 1989. Wonder if I'll finally get a chance to meet him this weekend.

#45 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: August 26, 2006, 08:51 PM:

I do know if Columbus wins for 2008, I'll be having a word with Programming to see that this doesn't happen here.

You'll be wanting to have that word with the folks now planning Denvention III. Denver over Chicago and Columbus in a squeaker - 12-vote winning margin.

#46 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2006, 01:50 PM:

Susan #39: at the Worldcons I've been close enough to that I knew the structure, the Masquerade MC was considered staff or committee, and went to the ]staff or committtee[ lounge whenever the world was too much with hem. The Green Room is (IME/O) a ready room for people who are meeting (often for the first time) just before going "on"; there are always some participants who treat it as their hangout, but a good manager will keep this under control. Putting filk performers outside both categories sounds like an economic bad choice, which I've seen LA (and other concoms) make before.

#47 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 27, 2006, 03:37 PM:

#42 Lori, thanks. learned something new today.

;)

#48 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2013, 07:09 PM:

You mean it isn't a franchise operation? *g*

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