My roommate at WorldCon, Larry Correia, posted a fine wrap-up on his blog yesterday, which I am linking to here. I don’t have much to add because I was traveling all day Sunday — which was essentially a non-con day for me — and Saturday… I let myself sleep in on Saturday. As in, waaaaaay in. Like, noon. Having stayed up too late the previous three nights, and also having established that Saturday would be the night to get out to parties, I didn’t want to be wasted right when the action was happening.
And, also, Reno was my first bona fide vacation in several years. I don’t know how other Reserve and Guard troops do it, but most of my “vacation” time away from the civvy job is spent doing Army training of one sort or another. In fact, I can only recall one year in the last nine when I have had a ‘normal’ year: one weekend a month, plus two weeks. It’s almost always more. As in, waaaaay more. This year alone I spent over a month doing my ‘two weeks’ at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. Last year? 9 weeks at Ft. Jackson followed by at least four other trips throughout the summer, each lasting from 3 to 5 days, and usually on top of weekend stuff. The year before that? More of the same. So when I find myself able to sleep in like I slept in on Saturday, with no civvy or Army job duties breathing down my neck, by golly, I take the sleep!
Thus I was well-rested and fully awake to watch all my friends lose. Larry Correia and Dan Wells both lost the Campbell, Howard Tayler and Brandon Sanderson both lost the Hugo, Eric James Stone lost the Hugo, etc. I’d hoped that with a higher-than-normal percentage of Utahns attending the con, that maybe we’d have a little leverage. Nope. And the beehive state got skunked as a result. Will Schlock Mercenary have a fighting chance next year, since Girl Genius has been removed from contention at its creator’s request? I certainly hope so! As for everyone else who lost, I am sure they’ll be back. You don’t concentrate that much talent and creative ability in those few hands without it continually manifesting in one form or another. Meanwhile, I am sure Larry, Brandon, and Dan put together make more money each year on their books than any dozen Hugo winners put together. Like Jerry Pournelle once quipped, bestsellers will carry you through hard times far better than trophies.
Little did I know until after the Hugos were over that Very Good Things were afoot for me. I can’t be public about what those Very Good Things are, but they wound up making the entire con worth it for me. As both a vacation, and a business opportunity. It’s up to me to make the most of windows and doors that have been opened on my behalf. Though I can say with confidence that none of those windows or doors would have been opened if I hadn’t already written and published some good stories first. Big-time thanks to my friends Larry Correia and Eric James Stone, and especially to my editor at Analog, Stan Schmidt. Who also did not win a hugo, even though he’s arguably been the most-deserving short form editor of the last dozen years. Maybe we can get Stan his Hugo in Chicago? I’ll certainly be voting for him!
Needless to say, Larry and I both got to bed very, very late (or was it very early?) and then wound up crawling from the blankets at 8:30 AM to go have breakfast with Dan Wells and the crew headed back to Utah in Dan’s van. Larry dropped me at the airport, and I took the long way home, with a connecting flight through Phoenix. Which was fine. I caught up on sleep, and had a wonderful warm giddy feeling running through me, in anticipation of what was possibly to come in the next 12 to 24 months, assuming I bust my butt, do the work right, and turn in some excellent manuscripts.
Next year is Chicon 7, which I am 98.7% likely to attend. Both because of the potential for my name to be on the Campbell short list, and because Mike Resnick is the Guest-Of-Honor. You don’t say thanks to your Writer Dad by being a no-show at his GOH WorldCon in his own back yard — Mike lives in Cincinnati. So, barring a disaster, I will be on-deck for next year’s WorldCon. I deliberately played spectator this time, because I was new to the experience. Next year? I’ll be more actively structuring my time, to include putting my name in for panels and other events. After my cover story comes out this December, with the beautiful Bob Eggleton painting that was displayed in Reno, I think any lingering questions about my street cred can be laid to rest.
Big-time thanks (again) to my many friends who were there to make merry with me. Most of whom I’ve named in the previous Whirlkon Reports.