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May 24, 2013

On the road
Posted by Patrick at 05:54 AM * 25 comments

Teresa is Editor Guest of Honor at ConQuest 44 in Kansas City this weekend. It’s the first time any con has had TNH as a solo guest, rather than as part of “Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden,” so naturally she’s been looking forward to it. It’s also one of her (and my!) favorite regional SF cons anywhere. In not unrelated news, the external pins were removed from her left foot earlier this week, which means she can now (cautiously) get out of the house and go places after twelve weeks of being almost totally housebound.

As luck would have it, though, the same mid-continent weather system that spawned the deadly tornado in Oklahoma City is now sending band after band of thunderstorms over the East Coast. Our mid-Thursday-evening flight to Kansas City was cancelled mid-Thursday morning, and we were automatically rescheduled onto a flight leaving Friday morning. But we can read the weather forecasts, and it looked (and still looks) like that flight won’t be going anywhere either. In fact, it looked increasingly likely that we might not make it to Kansas City until Saturday.

It occurred to us, however, that while thunderstorms routinely ground passenger aircraft, automobiles can punch through thunderstorms just fine. New York to Kansas City would be rather a long drive…but New York to Cleveland, Ohio, on the other side of the weather system, is entirely manageable. With admirable alacrity, the ConQuest people rebooked us onto a noon-Friday flight out of Cleveland, and we grabbed a one-way car rental and set forth early Thursday afternoon.

For science-fictional good luck, and because it’s at pretty much the right point in the drive, we got a motel room in Clarion, Pennsylvania, which is indeed the town where the famous SF writing workshop was originally held. Now it’s 6:00 AM on Friday and we’re about to check out and drive the rest of the way to Cleveland. Yesterday’s drive across Pennsylvania was gorgeous, with ever-changing light conditions through the mountains and valleys, and only occasionally terrifying as the bands of heavy rain reduced visibility to near white-out conditions. (I should note that not only is TNH a very skillful driver, but also that her instruction in case she’s pronounced clinically dead is that she be put behind the wheel of a car, since that’s the single thing most likely to revive her.) So that’s where we are—driving from New York to Cleveland in order to catch a flight to Kansas City. Hey, it’s better than missing half the con.

Meanwhile, I see from Locus’s Twitter feed that they’ve now posted, to their web site, some excerpts from their recent interview with us. Worth a look if you haven’t got a copy of the magazine itself.

Comments on On the road:
#1 ::: sussura ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 08:06 AM:

That's a lovely drive - especially the higher-altitude road cuts where you can see geologic layers. Not as fun in downpours.

The logical next step (perhaps for LoneStarCon?) in Nielsen Hayden transportation options.

Have a great time at the con.

#2 ::: zanzjan ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 09:53 AM:

Enjoy the con!

I drove to WisCon once (from here in MA) several years back; it was a couple of long days behind the wheel each way, but there's something very comforting about being in control of your own forward motion.

#3 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 10:14 AM:

We have now achieved the United Club at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Whew.

#5 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 10:40 AM:

Yay! Have a good time!

I'll be at WisCon (unless my flights are cancelled too).

#6 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 10:59 AM:

See if it's possible to visit the rose garden at Loose Park while you're in Kansas City. It should be blooming nicely by then.

#7 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 11:20 AM:

And I look forward to meeting you at ConQuesT. Hope your flight to KC is smooth and uneventful.

#8 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 11:47 AM:

I will be getting them at the airport. YAAAY

#9 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 12:24 PM:

Enjoy the con! And it's an honor well deserved, T.

#10 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 01:36 PM:

Sounds like quite an adventure. Have a great time!

And enjoy Kansas City. I hear everything is up-to-date there.

#11 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 01:43 PM:

Tom Whitmore writes in #9:

Enjoy the con! And it's an honor well deserved, T.

It's an honor just to have Paula Helm Murray pick you up at the airport.

#12 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2013, 04:42 PM:

I've a feeling they're not in Brooklyn anymore...

#13 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 09:02 AM:

What a nifty trip. Have fun. As You Know, Bob, I don't think it's possible to honor TNH too much.

#14 ::: Inquisitive Raven ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 05:20 PM:

Okay, this is totally off topic, but I wanted to see our hosts' reaction to this announcement from Amazon and didn't see an immediately available open thread to drop it in.

#15 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 06:35 PM:

I think it shows that Amazon is smart and forward-thinking. I also think anyone considering signing that contract should think long and hard before doing so.

#16 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2013, 07:05 PM:

Raven #14: John Scalzi also wrote about this program

#17 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 06:35 AM:

Twelve weeks of being housebound due to a broken/mangled foot is utterly vile, and Teresa has my deepest sympathy.

(Recent personal experience: I got a nasty spiral fracture of my second metatarsal on my left foot last September, falling down the bedroom stairs. No pins needed, thankfully, but 12 weeks in an ortho boot when you live on the fourth floor with no elevator is No Fun At All.)

Patrick: do you drive as well?

#18 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 04:24 PM:

Inquisitive Raven #14: First thought: The original article talks about what the licensors get, what the writers get, and what the readers get... but not about what Amazon or Alloy get. Scalzi does talk about what Amazon and Alloy get, and it's not pretty.

#19 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 05:28 PM:

Inquisitive Raven @14

>> ... and didn't see an immediately available open thread ...

You mean you don't check the current open thread three or four times a day so it's always near the top of your history? :)

#20 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2013, 07:34 PM:

I would take a long drive in order to avoid a chancy flight connection, yes. Of course, I would take a long drive to avoid a flight in most circumstances—I really don't like what's happened to air travel in the last decade. Though I rather like a long train ride as well...

#21 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2013, 12:53 PM:

So... how was the trip?

#22 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2013, 03:52 PM:

And when the rain came on Monday, we were ready to spring into action again.

#23 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2013, 10:28 PM:

It was great to visit with both our hosts. And the weather here cleared before they had to fly out (it rained/stormed/delayed the inevitable loss to the Cardinals).

It was a fun weekend. I fell over at about 8 last night, and felt strangely refreshed this morning.

#24 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2013, 04:12 PM:

Teresa - it was nice to meet you at the con!

#25 ::: Dave Howell ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2013, 06:29 PM:

My go-to backup plan when weather messes with air travel is Amtrak. A few years ago, my husband and I were in Chicago, due to fly to his parents' in Denver on the 23rd, and then fly w/them from Denver to Puerto Vallarta on the 26th. My brother dropped us off at Midway just in time for Immanent Blizzard to cancel all the remaining flights for the day. They *said* they'd be rebooking us for the following day, but I was dubious that (a) there would be enough room and (b) that any of THOSE flights would get to depart, either, and I had no intention of missing the flight to Puerto Vallarta!

So we promptly called Amtrak, booked a sleeperette, watched the snow blanket the landscape while having dinner in the dining car, and then went to bed. The only real downside was that the train arrived in Denver around 6am, so we had to get up fairly early. But it *did* arrive.

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