marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
marthawells ([personal profile] marthawells) wrote2018-08-22 10:38 am
Entry tags:

WorldCon Report

I hope this is coherent!

Arrived Wednesday, super friend Lisa picked us up at the airport and we went to dinner at a Thai place and had delicious food, then went to the hotel, got checked in, and collapsed.

Thursday, got up and had breakfast at the hotel, walked through to the convention center at 9:00 and got registered, tried to find things that were not where they were supposed to be and remained elusive despite number of concomm who tried to help. Ended up sitting with Laura Domitz and Jonathan Miles and watching them hand out passes for the dealers room so the dealers could get to their badges.

Then began the great quest for the Hugo Packets, which lasted about forty-five minutes, and involved treking back and forth across the convention center a couple of times, and I distinguished myself by giving Sarah Pinsker and Neil Clarke completely wrong information which I believed at the time.

After that the rest of our base camp arrived, and we got our friend Beth into our room and Lisa and Felicia got into their room at the Westin (which was gorgeous, 1930s beautifully restored building, which was haunted but not cursed). Then we walked a few blocks over to an Irish pub which wasn't serving food, so we went around the corner to the British pub which was, and got to sit out on their back patio and get lunch and lots of hard cider.

We came back to find the registration line halfway across the convention center and left our friends to their fate, and we walked around dealers room a little. And tracked down my Hugo Finalist ribbon. (I didn't actually get mine, I got the one from the packet for Wonder Woman, which was up for best longform media presentation.)

Then around 6:30 we met up with Sharon Shinn for dinner at Original Joes and had a great time. Came back to the con to find the art show still open for the reception and so walked around it for a while.

Friday Lisa took us up to Saratoga Springs for breakfast and we drove through the most gorgeous little town ( "This is how people live on TV") then to Hakone Gardens ( then back to Japantown in San Jose (, where we had lunch. Back to the con for the Hugo finalists reading. There were four of us (Sarah Gailey, Seanan McGuire, and JY Yang) and the room only held about 40 chairs and 200 people wanted to sit in them, there was no mic and no chairs for the readers. (Audience members found us chairs and did crowd control for us.) But everyone seemed to enjoy it.

After that we went back to the British pub for dinner, and then came back and went to the Toast, which was in a private patio in the Hilton and got to hang out and talk to everyone for a bit.

Saturday, I had the Mental Health & Craft: Creating with Depression and Anxiety panel with Vanessa Rose Phin, Arlin Robins, Howard Tayler, and Kate Elliott. I don't know whose panel idea this was, but it was great. It could have gone about two hours easily and I got great comments on it all weekend. There was also a sweet, giant therapy dog under the table the whole time and most people didn't know until he stood up at the end like a gentle kraken rising from the sea.

Then I had an interview with Joel from Barnes and Noble, then met up with friends again and had lunch at the Marriott while watching the handful of idiot Nazis block off the con's traditional blood drive van while a swat team and a bunch of angry con people stared at them and took pictures.

Then the Best Series Finalists reading with Marie Brennan and Brandon Sanderson (which was in the same room and there was not much in the way of improvement, except there were chairs for us that were already up there.)

Then met up with muccamukk and Nenya and got to hang out and relax a bit with them. (The Marriott, which, between the con and the wedding receptions being held there was beginning to look like the aftermath of a rave, had sliding doors which closed on me.) Then the Fantasy Aliens panel (with Caroline M. Yoachim, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Martha Wells, Keffy Kehrli, Jeannette Ng), then dinner with my publisher Irene Gallo, her husband Greg Manchess who had won a Chesley Award (, and my editor Lee Harris (who was also a Hugo Finalist), and publicist Katharine Duckett, and Joel Cunningham from Barnes and Noble. Then came back to see last hour of masquerade, walked over to Fairmont and had drinks.

Sunday, the day. This was the day my husband and friends spent a lot of time trying to keep me calm.

No programming so got up and went to the haunted Westin for a really excellent breakfast, then over to Hugo rehearsal, where we got to see the Hugo base design for first time, met other finalists including Rivers Solomon and Vine Jie-Min Prasad. We practiced walking across the stage and not dying. (My whole group practiced the exit ramp since it was safer, but I should have done the stairs.)

We went to dealers room but I couldn't concentrate on anything, and was allowed to sit on the floor with a pomeranian mix therapy dog. Then at the Borderlands Books booth I got to meet N.K. Jemisin in person for the first time!

Then we had late lunch at hotel, went up to take a rest and watched some BritBox to calm down. went down at 5 to make up and hair event organized by Mary Robinette Kowal where Jayme Goh put awesome purple eyeshadow on me. Ran back up to the hotel room to change into the Dress, then down for the pre Hugo cocktail party.

There was food and cocktails and gift bags and everybody looked fabulous in everything from sparkly dresses to gorgeous funky handmade outfits, and Felicia Day was there to be one of the presenters. I met Ann Leckie in person for the first time! The party was awesome and crowded and bonkers, and we got our pictures taken by Olav Rokne: (Not everyone was there, so in some cases award acceptors are standing in for finalists)

Then we went into the auditorium. It had a big screen on either side of the stage, one with captions and two people sitting near it who were doing the sign language version.

And we got started.

The Hugo rocket is the same each time but the base is unique to the individual convention and made by different artists. This year it was Sara Felix and Vincent Villafranca from San Antonio who made it, and they showed a hilarious video about how the Hugos were made. It was especially funny because they made us think it was a video about bronze casting. Which it kind of is, if you did your bronze casting with punk rock aliens on the sun.

John Picacio, who was the MC and (and who also did the MexicanX Initiative to bring 50 Mexican and Mexican-American writers, artists, and creators to the con) kept things moving and it was fun getting to see who won. We got to Best Series category, the first one I was up for, and I wasn't really nervous because I was pretty sure I wasn't going to win and I didn't win. (From the nominating and voting numbers released afterward, Books of the Raksura came in fourth out of six positions.) But it was awesome to be in that category.

(Full nominating and voting numbers: )

Then we got to novella, and I was extremely nervous. I felt like I had a strong chance and was hopeful, but it was still awesome to win. I managed to get up the stairs to the stage, give my speech without crying (After the Nebula Awards I didn't want to be the author who cries all the time.) (I saved it all up for Monday, when every time anyone said anything nice to me, I would start crying.) Managed to get down the Stairs of Doom backstage with the help of about four people, got stopped to get a photo outside the auditorium in the reception area, went back in the wrong door and could not get it open and had to thump on it until the backstage people heard me, and then got back to my seat in time to see Nnedi Okorafor win for Best YA novel and N.K. Jemisin win for Best Novel!

N.K. Jemisin's speech

(Full ceremony: )


After that there were more photos and then we went back to the room so I could change out of my dress and leave the Hugo (it's extremely heavy) then head to the Hugo Losers' Party, which is the traditional big party after the awards. It used to be held in the con party area, but during the trouble years with the Nazi puppies, they had to move it offsite to a private venue and George R.R. Martin sponsors it. Each year it's different, and this time it was in a place called the Glass House which was decorated with light effects of planets and stars and there was all kinds of food and drinks and giant DANCING ROBOTS!!! I can't tell you how cool this party was, I'd never been to anything like it.


Monday I brought the Hugo to my signing at Borderlands Books, then we decided to ship it home since the awards people said that was probably safest. (It's hard to get a big metal rocket on a plane, oddly enough.) The room we were supposed to go to get it packed seemed not to exist at first, and a convention center employee who was trying to help people find it helped us search until we stumbled on it. (It had been the secret Hugo storage room where you had to have a password to get in.) My Hugo was pool-noodled and swaddled and packed and hopefully it should get here this afternoon.

Then I did a late signing at the con signing area, then slowly collapsed from exhaustion. We had to leave the hotel at 4:00 am to make our flight back, which was pretty uneventful, except the lost my bag for about ten minutes at our local airport because it accidentally got left on the plane. (It's a tiny airport.)
muccamukk: Jaime's family laughing and hugging him. (DC: Family hugs!)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2018-08-22 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
This was totally the most fun! I mean, we spent a lot of time looking for things too, but it was so fun to meet you, and see everything, and I really loved the Hugo ceremony (especially seeing you win!). Def going to worldcon again, especially since the accessibility thing worked pretty well for Nenya.
Edited 2018-08-22 16:52 (UTC)
caitri: (Default)

[personal profile] caitri 2018-08-22 05:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Congratulations again--I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sam_gardener: The catbus from My Neighbor Totoro. (Default)

[personal profile] sam_gardener 2018-08-22 05:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Huge Congrats!!
nenya_kanadka: cartoon teddy squees with joy (@ squeh!)

[personal profile] nenya_kanadka 2018-08-22 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
It was so great to meet you (you are very cool and earnest and sweet and things, hello new friend!) which then took my feelings about the Hugos from "I hope Murderbot wins!" to "Oh no what if shiny new friend doesn't win???" but then you did! :D :D :D

Also the con generally was an experience of "Wow, MY PEOPLE" even though there were plenty of types of nerdery that weren't mine. Would totally go again.

I did not know about the gentle kraken therapy dog but that is wonderful.

(no subject)

[personal profile] nenya_kanadka - 2018-08-24 05:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] nenya_kanadka - 2018-09-02 23:00 (UTC) - Expand
cgbookcat1: (giraffe)

[personal profile] cgbookcat1 2018-08-22 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
boxofdelights: (Default)

[personal profile] boxofdelights 2018-08-22 07:10 pm (UTC)(link)
larryhammer: drawing of a wildhaired figure dancing, label: "La!" (celebrate)

[personal profile] larryhammer 2018-08-22 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Huge confabulistications!
esteefee: (chibijohn_by_crysothemis)

[personal profile] esteefee 2018-08-22 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
YES YES YES this is huge!!!!!!! omg you so deserve this I am verklempt with happy!!

>pomeranian mix therapy dog

yay for therapy pup!

thank you for the excellent account and pics. you look fabulous and so does the award and the DANCING ROBOTS. <3 <3 <3

I'm so happy for you, lambchop.

(no subject)

[personal profile] esteefee - 2018-08-23 19:30 (UTC) - Expand
estara: (Default)

[personal profile] estara 2018-08-22 09:58 pm (UTC)(link)
ConGRATULATIONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNS - I always thought you were the Nebula winner starting with Death of the Necromancer. So lovely to see you get the kudos you deserve.
Snoopy Dance photo mysnooop2.gif
kyleri: (Default)

[personal profile] kyleri 2018-08-22 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Therapy dogs make EVERYTHING better.
theoldone: (Default)

[personal profile] theoldone 2018-08-22 11:41 pm (UTC)(link)
So Awesome! Congratulations Again!
bubbleigh: (Default)

[personal profile] bubbleigh 2018-08-23 12:05 am (UTC)(link)
Many Congrats!
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)

[personal profile] stardreamer 2018-08-23 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on Murderbot! And I will always be convinced that the only reason Raksura didn't win Best Series is that not enough people had read it.
destina: cherry blossoms (Default)

[personal profile] destina 2018-08-23 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
Aw, I'm so happy for you. Your success is so well-deserved, and this Hugo was won in the company of other amazing writers. Go you.
dranon: (Default)

[personal profile] dranon 2018-08-23 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on a very well-deserved win!
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Default)

[personal profile] chomiji 2018-08-23 01:02 am (UTC)(link)

It sounds like an awesome time. I'm glad you got to meet Ann Leckie -- we're friends from Shejidan, the Cherryh fanboard (as is Nenya, for that matter) and she is super nice.

rhi: a woman dancing, legs stomping out the beat and skirt flaring (dancing)

[personal profile] rhi 2018-08-23 05:14 am (UTC)(link)
So many congratulations!!
voidampersand: (Default)

[personal profile] voidampersand 2018-08-23 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Glad you had such a good time at Worldcon. We were in the audience at the Hugo Awards. Very happy to cheer for your win.
em_kellesvig: Teyla smiling (SGATeylaGlee)

[personal profile] em_kellesvig 2018-08-23 03:08 pm (UTC)(link)
So glad you won with Murderbot!!!! Congrats!!!
sobelle: (Default)

[personal profile] sobelle 2018-08-23 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
So very fabulous!! Congratulations!!
(I live just up the road from San Jose and thought how cool it would've been to actually see/meet you and some of my favorite authors... but I tend to get way overwhelmed in crowds so thanks for the pix too.)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

[personal profile] rmc28 2018-08-23 09:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much for sharing the photos and writeup. And of course congratulations!

Before the announcements, my friend and I agreed that what we really wanted was for N.K. Jemisin to win the Best Novel, and for you to win the Best Novella, and I woke up Monday morning in the UK to discover that we got both of those things and it was brilliant. (And a different friend messaged me specifically to thank me for introducing him to Murderbot, and wasn't it great that it had won a Hugo.)
grammarwoman: (SGA OT4)

[personal profile] grammarwoman 2018-08-24 08:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Massive congratulations for a well-deserved win! (I am also tickled by all the SGA icons you've used for responses. :D)
jreynoldsward: (Default)

[personal profile] jreynoldsward 2018-08-29 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
spatz: woman's lower face with fan of golden hair laced with tiny math equations (Fringe Olivia math hair)

[personal profile] spatz 2018-09-03 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I have been off in Canada and am therefore late to the party, but I'm so happy for you! (and a little sad Raksura didn't win for the Best Series, but losing to Bujold must surely be a long and noble tradition at the Hugos at this point ;)