We resume on Sunday afternoon, when I returned from lunch to find myself witnessing the official photograph of the official signing of the official contract for the new edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, by John Clute, Dave Langford and Peter Nicholls. I was pleased to learn later from Dave Langford that he is fairly optimistic it can be completed fairly quickly (whatever that means), and positively thrilled to hear that the new Encyclopedia will be primarily a low-cost subscription on-line resource, capable of being continually updated. OK, I do like dead trees as a medium, but for a work like The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction the extra benefits of on-line searches and perhaps also hyperlinks to external information will be huge.
I mainly just hung around for the next few hours, bumping into
I’ve already written up the Hugo results, but just want to note that I felt a small lump in my throat at the ceremony. I’ve been writing various web pages about the Hugos for five years now, and at last I was actually there. More prosaically, as well as a particularly high percentage of UK-bsed winners, I have a suspicion (which I will check some time) that a higher proportion (or at least number) of women won Hugos this year than is usual. (I calculated three years ago that a third of Nebulas in the fiction categories had been won by women, but only a quarter of Hugos.) More number-crunching to follow.
Met up with
On Monday morning I bumped into
My one comment on programming – which in general I greatly enjoyed – would be that, if possible, moderators should have a bit more input into both the description and personnel of their panels. I did seven panels throughout the con; the one I myself moderated had an extraordinarily ambiguous description which left it unclear as to what it was supposed to be about; another had a moderator whose views were completely different to those of the other three panellists, which distorted the discussion; two had at least one panellist who really had no interesting ideas about the topic of the panel (and in one of those two cases the panellist in question was me). I appreciate that it’s not an exact science; also in comparison to the many many such events I do for work, I’d say that Worldcon panellists are without exception (of the panels I attended) clever enough and articulate enough to rise above the petty problems I mention, and that Worldcon audiences are among the most forgiving, appreciative and intelligent I have ever addressed. In terms of the logistics of the panels on which I myself appeared I have no complaints, but we were all just talking heads; I noted problems elsewhere with overhead projectors and slide projectors.
Wandered into a conversation with
I seemed to spend the afternoon helping with the dismantling of the Science Fiction Foundation stall, then, long chat with
Minor logistical complaint – I put a bid in on one of the scanner/printer sets that the con was trying to get rid of, but come the crucial moment nobody seemed to be able to tell me if I had won the auction or indeed where the equipment physically was, so I dropped the issue. I would certainly have had difficulty humping it onto the plane, so perhaps it’s just as well.
Apart from the two very minor grumbles noted above, I had a great time. Apologies to those weren’t there and who’ve had to endure these ramblings over the last few days. Apologies to anyone I met and haven’t mentioned. See you all again soon.