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  • 8 August, 2009

    TorDotCom earned its umlauts last night

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 1:26 pm permalink

    I’m pleased to report that last night’s Tor.com Rock Band party was a rousing success! We got off to a bit of a slow start, but once the indomitable Jeremy Lassen of Nightshade Books (who is nursing a rather severe sore throat this morning) got on the mic, the party got into full swing. His stock intro to each song will undoubtedly become a new SF catchphrase: “They say this song is about (insert subjet here), but it’s really a song about science fiction!” Yeah, man. Good times. There will be pictures, Tor Publicist and real-life rock star Patty García has assured me.

    The big highlight of the evening (at least for me) was a totally rockin’ rendition of Journey’s Any Way You Want It, with yours truly on guitar, Annalee Newitz of io9 on bass, and John motherfucking Scalzi blasting out his falsetto on the mic. It was epic. Just plain epic.

    The party ran until around 4:30 in the am, and, as happens at cons, I ducked into my hotel room at that ungodly hour to get some sleep, only to have to wake up in time to make a 10am panel I was ostensibly moderating: a printmaking workshop for kids.

    What sounds great on paper turned out to be a bit on the underwhelming side–one child cutting out foam shapes, gluing them to the bottoms of plastic cups, and ‘inking’ them with magic markers. I was a bit dissappointed, since I was actually kind of looking forward to getting all nice and inky with some kids, but I suppose I can’t complain about being able to just sit there and look engaged while incredibly sleep-deprived.

    Next up: I’m on a panel entitled “Author Reading: The Bloggers”. I’m not sure exactly how that’s gonna work out, since I can’t really see too many people being interested in a reading of blog posts, but the upshot is that I’m sharing the panel with, among others, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, who is an Awesome Person of Note, and a fantastic conversationalist. If nothing else, I can totally see this evolving into some sort of fascinating discussion or another. We’ll see…

    UPDATE: It actually worked out great! The highlight of the panel for me was Teresa reading her Slushkiller post; and there was also a great post-reading discussion among the audience. You know, like the comments section on a post. Or something… ;)

    After that, I’m actually going to be able to attend some panels! There are quite a few things I want to check out, so I’ll hopefully be able to write up some panel reports for Tor.com.

  • 7 August, 2009

    Au Quebec pour le Worldcon. Oui oui.

    posted by Pablo Defendini at 12:34 pm permalink

    I’m in Montréal, a beautiful city (at least what I’ve seen of it) for Worldcon, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention.

    I travelled up by train on Wednesday; a 12 hour trip through the beautiful Adirondacks, punctuated by a spectacular vista of Lake Champlain as we approached the Canadian border (where we waited for about an hour while the train was processed). I think I’m in love with travel by train.

    I arrived in Montréal at night, and proceeded to check into my room. Hotel drama ensued, and I was fortunate enough to be in a position to help someone out. An upshot was waking up this morning and discovering the much celebrated Campbell Tiara sitting on the room table, awaiting its day at the con. Unexpected and cool.

    I’ve spent much of the time here catching up on some work which absolutely could not wait, cavorting around with people I don’t get to see often enough in NYC (like John Joseph Adams and Eric Raab), connecting with friends I haven’t seen since a few cons ago (like Toby Buckell), and meeting some of my internet acquaintances for the first time in real life (like Mur Lafferty and Lou Anders), so I’ve yet to go to too many panels (one exception: the phenomenally fascinating conversation between Nobel Laureate economist and SF fan Paul Krugman and Charlie Stross, one of my favourite SF authors). As luck would have it, the bar in the lobby of my hotel has become the “official bar” of the con, so convenience is on my side.

    Today I had a great breakfast with some Tor.com-related peeps: Cory Doctorow, Mur Lafferty, Jo Walton and her son Sasha, Toby Buckell and his wife Emily (along with their newly-born twins!), John Picacio, and Mary Robinette Kowal. We had a fine and leisurely breakfast; I’m glad they could all make it. The rest of the day will be full of prep. I’m on a panel on Graphic Design at 2PM, along with John Picacio, Lou Anders, and others. After that I need to go check into the hotel where we’ve taken out a room for tonight’s Tor.com party, for which I brought my Xbox and my Rock Band setup—tonight, we rock! Also, must buy booze.

    Hopefully I’ll get to enjoy ore of the con once all this has died down, and I’m able to just go to panels and write about them for Tor.com and conreporter.com.