Rolling Whirlkon Report – 17 AUG 2011

17 AUG 2011 – RENO, NV – 1500 HRS
I’d been trying to decide what to call this series of posts, and toyed with a few cute options, before settling on Rolling Whirlkon Report. Since this is my first time at the World Science Fiction Convention, I’m trying to keep my eyes and ears open and absorb as much of it as I can. It is the granddaddy of science fiction conventions, after all. WorldCon! Fabled! Storied! According to Larry Niven, nothing else like it on Earth!

For me, the convention actually got started on the plane itself, as I walked on to see Bud Sparhawk seated near the front of the cabin. I’d met Bud previously, having been introduced to him at the Nebula awards in Washington D.C. Bud had the window seat, and John G. Hemry (“Jack Campbell”) had the aisle seat, so I asked Bud if a young Analog author could join them in the middle — thus it was 85 minutes of 3 Analog authors (two veterans and one new guy) jabbering happily about writing, Analog, the field as a whole, Analog, anecdotes about this, that, and the other, and… Analog.

Not a bad way to start the ‘whirlkon’ if I do say so myself. Big thanks to both Bud and John for making me feel welcome and at home, before we’d even gotten on the ground.

I caught a taxi at the curb, and am now at the Courtyard Marriott, getting my bearings and trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to make it over to the convention and back each day. For some reason I thought I’d be closer? I am hoping that my roommate — and New York Times bestselling author — Larry Correia, has a plan. If not… well, a rental might be in order. Cheaper than paying a taxi twice per day.

I’m out to eat, and check the con schedule. It’s 73 frickin’ pages. Not exactly the manageable plate of activities I can find at my home-base conventions, like CONduit. Looks both exciting and overwhelming.

17 AUG 2011 – RENO, NV – 2330 HRS
Had a busy afternoon and evening. The Marriott is 1.5 miles from the convention center, so I got a total of 3 miles walking in today. Not bad. Saw several professional friends, such as my buddy (and Nebula award winner) Eric James Stone, Annie Bellet from Oregon, as well as Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith. Saw some other judges from Writers of the Future, including Greg Benford and Tim Powers. Spoke to them all, chit-chatted where I was able.

Then was set upon by two aspiring writers from the January Superstars Writing Seminar: Stone Sanchez and Colton Goodrich. (Don’t be surprised if you see these two showing up on the winners list at Writers of the Future before too long.) I took them up to the Science Fiction Writers of America suite and introduced them to Bud Sparhawk. The suite was fairly empty — dinner time — so we went back to the lobby.

Where I was reminded why I don’t like the insides of casinos. Too much noise, too many flashing lights and hooting bells, and too much smoke stench.

Stone, Colton and myself also stopped by and said hello to award-winning artist Bob Eggleton and his lovely wife Marianne Plumridge. They are very good people, and he is displaying my painting he did for the December Analog cover. GORGEOUS! I spoutted off for several minutes, at least. Bob’s got it displayed with a big note for all to read saying, “Brad Torgersen’s story “Ray of Light” is awesome and I loved doing this painting for this awesome new Analog writer.”

Some times, I can’t believe how amazing this writing thing has gotten in the last two years. Truly amazing.

In addition to being Baen Books’ latest smash-hit bestselling lead author, Larry Correia’s a real peach of a dude too. He’s decided he doesn’t want to walk so far in the heat every day — it is August in Nevada! — so he got a rental, and four of us from the Marriott are chipping in for the cost so we have a taxi to and from the convention every day. Otherwise, the hotel is VERY nice and I am pleased about the free wireless. So I should have no trouble keeping this report updated.

Well, it’s an early start tomorrow, and a fulllllllll schedule. To bed with me.

ZZZ zzzz ZZZZ zzzz…..


6 thoughts on “Rolling Whirlkon Report – 17 AUG 2011

  1. Brad, It was a pleasure meeting you tonight. Thanks for letting us up into the secret SFWA room. Gave me an opportunity to meet Bud officially. Looking forward to seeing you around at the convention for the next few days.

  2. No, the pleasure was mine. Thank you for coming up and introducing yourself. If you see me again, don’t hesitate to nab me and chit-chat. This is my first World Science Fiction Convention, so I can’t do people too many favors, but the small favors I can do, I try to do, just because they’ve been done for me when I was just getting started.

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