Worldcon, Here We Come!

One week until Worldcon!

Spouse and I will be hanging out in D.C. for a few extra days before the convention. There are so many museums here. I went to see the Library of Congress and the congressional building a few years ago when I was traveling with family, but there’s the Smithsonian, and I’m always excited to see new dinosaur bones…

Discon III Logo Image

I’m tingly-excited about getting to see folks at the con–and a bit nervous, too! After the past year, crowds are still kind of disorienting. And awesome.

I’m not on programming this year, but I’ll be hanging around. What all is everyone else up to? When are you headed in? Are there panels you’re excited to be on, and/or watch? Planning to go to the Hugos?

Help Save WisCon

As the pandemic batters our social lives and economies, it’s been particularly hard for conventions to stay afloat. WisCon, the feminist convention that happens annually in Madison WI, is making an appeal. In short:

We don’t have enough funds to pay for what happens if we don’t fill our contracted block of hotel rooms, and we can’t afford to cancel the hotel contract.

We are in a volunteer shortage crisis. It takes a LOT of people to make WisCon happen, and we lack dozens of volunteers in key positions.

–Kit Stubbs (they/them), treasurer and 2022 co-chair

I haven’t attended WisCon in a while, but it was the first convention I got attached to. For several years, Vylar Kaftan and I — along with some rotating folks like Jennifer Pelland — did a reading series called Taboo where we read stories with unexpected content. Here are a few of the stories we read:

“Even a god has human needs, if he resides in a living body.” Aki attends his incarnated god’s private functions, starting with the chamber pot.

I wrote this story as an exercise at the Iowa Writers Workshop based on the prompt “use the words: kiss dead and dog.” I decided to go for it and put all three in the first sentence. “Would you kiss a dead dog?” The story doesn’t get less intense from there. Definitely rated R or X.

Pelland’s Nebula-nominated piece tells the stories of the ghostly victims from several different New York disasters, including 9/11 and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I think this story may feel less like a hot button now than it did, but for a long time, even touching 9/11 in the way this story does–empathetic and intelligent, but unflinching–was daring.

In their call for assistance, Stubbs lists a few things people can do to help get the convention back on track, including:

  • sign up for their newsletter
  • volunteer for the non-profit that organizes the convention, or for the convention itself
  • attend the convention, May 27-30, 2022! (and book your room at the hotel in advance)
  • spread the word

They’ve got a matching fund for the first $5,000 in donations that they receive.

I should also add: Stubbs writes that the convention is working to bring the convention into better alignment with its antiracist values, “particularly as experienced by our attendees and volunteers of color.”

Visit the WisCon website if you’re interested in reading more about how to attend the convention or help it out. (Or help it out by attending!)

Excited to be Attending Worldcon, December 15-19

Discon III Banner Image

Wow, I can’t believe it’s so close to Worldcon already!

My husband, Mike, and I are headed to D.C. for Discon III this December. We’ll be there for the whole convention December 15-19, 2021.

It’s been a few years since we went to a Worldcon. The last one was in San Jose in 2018. Of course, last year we went hardly anywhere outside our bubble. It still feels trippy to be able to see close friends, let alone crowds at panels and dealer’s rooms. Exciting, though! I’ve got my booster shot and my comfortable mask all prepared. (It turns out that what I need to make a mask comfortable is a bit of room between my mouth and the mask so I’m not constantly breathing paper/cloth/whatever.)

After fifteen years in the biz (imagine me saying that in an exaggerated voice, dripping with ennui, perhaps as I hold a cigarette in a long holder from the 1920’s), I can get a bit laissez-faire about conventions. Since picking up a mentee a few years ago– the burgeoning P H Lee who’s published about twenty-five stories in the last two years! — I’ve had the excitement of seeing things through their eyes. I’ve been around the block at the Hugos, but Lee’s still got sparkle-eyed vigor. It makes everything that bit more fun.

I’m hoping to see lots of people I haven’t seen, and hopefully meet some new folks, too! I signed up pretty late, so I don’t think I’ll be on programming, but ping me if you’d like to get together.

Currently, I’m looking forward to going out for Uighur food with a couple of friends. I’m excited because I’ve never tried it before. Even though I may have trouble finding something that’s easy for me to eat–my spice tolerance is so low it’s abyssal–I’m excited anyway. I like trying new, delicious flavors even when I don’t have the tastebuds to appreciate them. Writing gives me a great excuse to try new things; I always have a reason to collect sensory experiences. 😀

Who else will be at Worldcon? What are you planning to do? Is this your first post-pandemic trip or are you old hat at jetting around these days? What are you looking forward to?

Off to MileHiCon!

Headed to MileHiCon in Denver as a Guest of Honor this Friday!

MileHiCon 53 IconHere’s a reminder of my schedule:
  • 6 pm — Opening Ceremonies 
  • 12 pm — Gender Beyond the Binary Panel, a panel
  • 1 pm — An Hour with Rachel Swirsky
  • 4 pm — Art as Resistance, a panel
  • 5 pm — Starfish Out of Water, a panel about alien biology

I hope to see some of you there!

I’ll be at MileHiCon as a Guest of Honor!

I’m a Guest of Honor at MileHiCon in Denver in two weeks–the weekend of October 1. I’ve got a packed three-day schedule with lots of interesting panels.

  • 6 pm — Opening Ceremonies

  • 12 pm — Gender Beyond the Binary Panel, a panel
  • 1 pm — An Hour with Rachel Swirsky
  • 4 pm — Art as Resistance, a panel
  • 5 pm — Starfish Out of Water, a panel about alien biology
It’s exciting–and a bit intimidating!–to be going to a convention in person again. (Don’t worry, I’ve got a mask, my shots, and doctor approval.) It’s kind of hard to believe there’s even still a world outside Portland. Well, really, it’s kind of hard to believe there’s even still a world outside of like a couple miles from my house!

Is anyone going? Any experiences from MileHiCon to share? Any thoughts on what I should make sure to cover on my panels? I’d love to hear it all.

milehicon53 banner, rocketship in left corner, october 1-2-3 2021 and additional information in right corner