Tuesday, September 04, 2012

 

Chicon 7 - Back from the Worldcon

I'm slowly recovering from my trip to Chicago over the weekend for Chicon 7, the 70th Worldcon. This was one of those conventions where most of the items of programming I got to were ones that I was participating in. All of the panels went well, though a few of them were in smaller rooms than they should have been; I was astonished that the Brit SF TV panel would be SRO at 9:00 AM, and of course a Doctor Who panel will frequently fill the room. The Star Wars panel I was on was quite possibly the best Star Wars panel I've been on, and one of my favorite panels at the con. First of all, I sat next to James Kahn, who wrote the Return of the Jedi novelization. When that novel first came out, I got it for my birthday, and so I read it before the film -- perhaps giving me my first experience with spoilers. My other favorite point on that panel was my realization when we discussed the impact of Star Wars on the world, that I said that without Star Wars, we would have had no ILM. Without ILM, we would not have had Pixar. No Pixar, Steve Jobs doesn't have had a second act after he leaves Apple for the first time, so he doesn't return to Apple. And therefore, without Star Wars, we would have no iPhones. Our other big endeavor of the weekend was the Minnesota Magpie room. We had GREAT help from Joel Philips, Jody Wurl, Eric Heideman, Matt Strait, Joe Pregracke, Matthew Gress and Missy Hayes, George Richard and Andy Murphy, and others as well. The parties went fantastically well in the evening, but I don't think any of our plans during the day were as successful. I'm OK with that, and I think much of that had to do with being on the top floor, but it will be worth considering for the future. It was also exciting to have multiple friends, previous CONvergence guests of honor, and future guests of honor visit our party, including several shortly after they had won the Hugo. We were frequently the last party going every night. One of the other real highlights for me as well was that I was able to talk to conrunners and fans from around the world -- they are becoming better friends and colleagues each time I see them, and I am very excited about the future of fandom. One of the things I like about the Worldcon is that it's been going on for nearly 75 years -- it's really the FIRST convention. I think there are some real challenges -- and I'm probably going to Dragon*Con next year instead of Texas for some of those reasons -- but I'll be in London in 2014, and I'm very excited to see Worldcon go to Kansas City in 2016.

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