karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

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10 Things I Learned at Worldcon

My husband and I made it home from Denver late last night. We had a great time at Worldcon—no travel disasters, and a lot of fun! You can't ask for a lot more from a 12,000 mile trip these days. Here are the 10 things I learned at Denvention 3:

1. Age matters when considering the effect of high altitude. When I was in college, 5,280 feet above sea level was barely noticeable. At my present age, I felt it a lot more.

2. It is not a good idea to put the con suite four blocks away from the con, especially in a place where afternoon storms are common in August. My husband and I made it to the con suite once in five days.

3. maryturzillo is not only a good writer, she is a wonderfully entertaining reader! If you have a chance to hear her read, you should take it. (Also watch for her story coming out in Analog some time soon!)

4. "Peeps" aren't just marshmallow Easter candies. The word can also mean buddies, pals, friends. I learned this when Charlie and I ran into David Louis Edelman in the hotel bar. He said he was looking for his peeps, so we volunteered.

5. At every con, there will be one person you run into more than anyone else. I noticed this phenomenon because this time it was a new friend, Rani Graff, whom we met by chance in the bar, and discovered we had Carol Berg as a mutual friend. It seemed like every time I went from one place to another, I saw Rani along the way. There really should be a name for this phenomenon. (Note: as reverse example of this, even though I knew shunn was going to Worldcon, and I was keeping an eye out for him, I never once saw him.)

6. Rudyard Kipling wrote science fiction! I knew about the fantasy elements in Kim, and of course The Jungle Book is pure fantasy, but I never knew he wrote some futuristic short stories. The Kipling panel was very interesting.

7. scottedelman not only knows almost everyone in speculative fiction, he remembers their names and has probably taken their picture!

8. Writers who are not present when they win awards seem to give better acceptance speeches than writers who are there. I think it's because they write them out precisely rather than trying to wing it.

9. Being surrounded by mountains does not mean you can't have tornadoes. The first evening we were there, we were waiting in our hotel room for friends to call, and the hotel PA system suddenly came on and warned us to go to an interior room until the tornado warning was over. We sat in the bathroom for 20 minutes and read books.

10. If you ever plan to read aloud in front of a group, you should check out Mary Robinette Kowal's pages on how to do it. She gave a great workshop on reading aloud—lots of practical advice!

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