Sasquan is over.
I’m home again after five days in Spokane (which will forever be remembered as ‘Smokane’ by many, including yours truly). On Friday, the smoke inside the buildings was almost as thick as outside.
This WorldCon was fun, entertaining, educational, and exhausting. I learned a lot, met a lot of new people and people I’d known but never met face-to-face, and reconnected with friends I never get to see enough of. I got to meet one of my favorite authors, Richard Kadrey, and hear him read from his latest Sandman Slim novel, Killing Pretty.
I got to listen in on a fabulous conversation between two more of my favorite authors, George R. R. Martin and Robert Silverberg, as these two friends discussed their careers, previous WorldCons, writing, and poked fun at each other. There were probably 500 other people in the room, and not a whisper could be heard.
I met with several editors and got a sneak peek at what a couple of the ‘big 5’ publishers are releasing this next year. On Saturday, some of my Writers of the Future siblings, Kary English, Jessica TC Lee, Steve Pantazis, Martin L. Shoemaker and I participated in a sell-out signing of our #WOTF31 anthology, hosted by publisher Patrick Swenson and Fairwood Press. I browsed the fantastic (really, really fantastic) art show and stalked the aisles of the vendor’s room and even helped out in the SFWA hospitality suit for a couple hours. Not enough hours in the day to see or do it all, and the nights were even busier.
I watched the Hugo Awards remotely on a big screen instead of attending, and was glad I chose to do so, as the number of attendees to the event was the largest in history. The evening’s award results have been thoroughly dissected elsewhere, but I will say I found the program and acceptance speeches to be tastefully done.
As far as lessons learned, I came to Sasquan with specific business goals in mind. Those goals were not achieved, but that doesn’t mean that attending wasn’t a valuable experience. I believe that the learning and networking and relationship building and other intangibles will continue to help me move forward as a writer long after the smoke clears.
Next year, WorldCon will be in Kansas City (MO), and the year after, Helsinki, Finland). I’m already looking forward to both of them.