Yes, I am back from Spokane, glad to escape the land of the red sun, to rainy New Hampshire.
At the con, I enjoyed talks by Ken Liu and Kate Elliot about world-building, sparking some new ideas for my next project: epic, historical, Asian–all the good stuff. I also attended the conversation between George R. R. Martin and Robert Silverberg, where they talked about the history and future of the genres and of Worldcon itself. Steven Barnes led two sessions of Tai Chi, which, with him, is part inspirational gathering and part exercise, and always worth the visit. I attended a talk by James C. Glass about Australian Aborigines as the first astronomers, which was fascinating, and went to one on Imposter Syndrome run by Crystal Huff (highly recommended if you suffer from this).
Here are some favorite quotes:
“Growing old is like making ice sculpture in the desert. There is less ice every day, but if you get a little bit better at sculpting every day, you can still make something great.” Steven Barnes
“The internet makes it too easy to say stupid things and multiply them indefinitely before you can call them back.” Robert Silverberg
“The idea of the nation-state was created out of iron and blood.” Ken Liu
This year’s much-anticipated Hugo Award Ceremony was very enjoyable, with both hosts and recipients keeping the mood light and focusing on the community of science fiction. Wired magazine had a great article about the event and the results. I like to attend the ceremony in part because (like GRRM and Robert Silverberg) I can imagine myself up there some day, and in part because of that sense of community–the anticipation of a few thousand fans sharing the excitement of what is to come.
My own events were a lot of fun, especially the panel on Learning to Love Your Deadline, wherein I tried to remember if I had ever missed a deadline in my publishing career (causing Patricia Briggs to look for a heavy object with which to bludgeon me–thankfully, nobody had a hardcover handy). It was great to see some new faces at my reading as well, and I think I gave some useful feedback to three new writers at the Writers’ Workshop.
Outside the con, a group of artists worked feverishly to repair and refresh these amazing lanterns for the Chinese Lantern Festival–wire frame creatures with lights inside and brightly colored fabric outside, an intriguing process to watch. And where else but Spokane can you feed raw meat to tigers?