That's What You Get

2 September 2002

"You're laborers -- you're supposed to be laboring. That's what you get for not having an education."

Ten points to those who can name that quote, movie and character.

We didn't go to the Hugo ceremonies yesterday, but the results are readily available through the wonders of the internet. I'm happy with the novel and the long dramatic presentation. The editor was a good pick although not my top choice. (Which major pro editor has bought from me? And to whose magazine have I subscribed the longest? You do the math on who's my favorite this year.) Not so happy with the short stuff or the Campbell. A lot of the rest doesn't matter much to me.

Timprov was physically unwell still yesterday, but perking up a good bit, I think. He's planning on going down to the con this morning with Mark and me. I'm looking forward to this last morning/early afternoon: it seems to be a really concentrated set of interesting stuff, and then we'll be done. Someone, it may have been Thomas, said that we wouldn't want it to end today. Hmm. I don't think I want it to end before today, but -- I need to get some work done! I've been exhausted. And, I mean, sure, I had the time to get some groceries and make pumpkin bread last night, but partly that was because my brain was kind of jumping around and hyperactive. I haven't opened my paper journal since Wednesday night. All of my notes have been on the pocket program. My paper journal is unwieldy enough that it makes a difference, which is odd, because usually I like it unwieldy. If I didn't have a backpack with book, sweater, con programs, snacks, etc., in it, maybe I'd just whip out my journal easily. Who knows.

Anyway, yesterday morning we went down and had Stan Schmidt sign my copy of The Sins of the Fathers, so I finally got to meet him. He told us to hang around and jump in when there was a lull in the signing line, but that seemed deeply weird to both of us when there were people behind us, and when we ran across Thomas, it seemed weird to him, too. So we went with Thomas to get Stan to sign something for him, and as we were leaving, Stan called, "Come over to the booth this afternoon!" Uh, okay! So we hung out with Thomas and then with Raechel and Matt and Zed, and we signed up for Kaffees. (Every time I see mention of Kaffee, I think of the line in "The Producers": "Oh, no sank you, I have just ordered kaffee.") The Nielsen Haydens, hurrah! That's 1:00 this afternoon. (Editor-people at Tor, for those of you inside the genre enough to know that Tor is a big ol' book publisher but outside enough not to know the editors' names.)

So at 11:30 we went to the Torturing Your Characters panel. Thomas told us it would just be the same panel they have at every con, about having more conflict conflict conflict. Heh. Um, no. Susan Matthews was the moderator. Susan Matthews' main character is a torturer. It was about torturing your characters, and the audience questions were sometimes a bit creepy (to me and to the panelists!), but it was cool anyway, and Susan Matthews wins my vote for best moderator I've seen all con. In the moderatoring sense, of course, as will become clear in just a moment. We had fun.

Then we went to the improv storytelling, where nobody seemed to know what was supposed to happen, but the audience showed up wanting A Good Time. The panelists were Alison Lonsdale, Terry Pratchett, Tad Williams, and Phil Foglio, and while the story was not a particularly scintillating work of improv, everybody had the fun they were determined to have. And Foglio was less of a great big lame dork than I expected him to be, but most of my memories of him are from Magic cards. Back in that day. Lo these many many moons ago. (I was amazed to see kids still playing Magic at Games of Berkeley a couple of months ago. Younger kids, but still.)

Err...oh, yes, the con. Right. Well, after the improv storytelling, we went to lunch at Original Joe's with Tempest, which was nice, but I don't think we'll be returning to Original Joe's, as I felt it was overpriced and undergood. Both problems. (We rarely eat in downtown SJ anyway.) So. After that, I stopped by the booth as instructed and had a good half hour chat with Stan Schmidt and Sheila Williams, and then a bit with Robert Sawyer, totally unintentionally and also really pleasantly. We discussed the recent catchphrase here, "It's legal in Ontario!", and Sawyer was, let me tell you, quite enthusiastic about it being legal in Ontario. For several values of "it." Stan was exactly, exactly as you would expect him to be (which includes being a really nice guy), and I'd spent time with Sheila before from the Asimov Award stuff at the ICFA, so I knew what to expect. Oh, and I got to meet Trevor and Brian, at least I think it was a Brian, littler editing people around there. Generally a good time had by all, or at least by me.

Went to a Gender and the SF War Machine panel solely to gaze adoringly at Joe Haldeman. Which I did. Catherine Asaro and Karin Lowachee and Sabrina Chase were also interesting, although the who-exactly-are-you part with Sabrina Chase was never clear to me. I chatted with Gay afterwards, attempting not to gaze adoringly there as well. They are So Cool, and she remembered me from the ICFA and was soooooo nice to me. I was not the sort of teenager to put boyband pictures on my bedroom walls, but if I had been, I think Joe and Gay would have been my boyband. If they were on the cover of Tiger Beat and Teen People, I would so have memorized the articles. "Did you know that Gay's favorite color is cerulean?"

There's your simple explanation for why I never read or used to read Tiger Beat and Teen People.

I attempted not to drip awe as I chatted.

So then we went home, and eventually we figured out something to make for supper, and Mark started making it while Timprov and I went for the remaining ingredients. Fajitas. Yum. So. I'm going to jump in the shower and go to two cool panels and get some kaffee, and then I will be done with this con, more or less, give or take some chatting with people. And then, back to work! I like work. I miss work. But I like cons, too, so there we have it.

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