All The Cool People at Wiscon
Posted on May 31, 2005 Posted by John Scalzi 12 Comments
Well, okay, not all the cool people, just the ones that happened to wander by my camera during the “Sign-Out,” in which authors signed books for their adoring fans (three of them in my case, although none were tremendously adoring, although they were perfectly nice). In case you’re wondering who is who in this little collage:
Top row (left to right): DJ (the guy who came by to get his book signed even though his girlfriend thought he was a geek. But he’s not! He’s totally wicked, so there), Justine Larbalestier (with a signed copy sticker on her head), Kelly Link (identifying her photographer), Benjamin “Pie Victim” Rosenbaum.
Second Row: Blogger and all-around nice guy Michael Rawdon, Nebula nominee Christopher Rowe, Superagent Shana Cohen, Strange Horizons EIC Susan Marie Groppi and friend whose name I know but for the life of me can’t remember at the moment; I want to say Matthew Wilder but I know that’s wrong, because that’s the guy who had the tremendously annoying 80s hit “Break My stride,” and that’s certainly not this fellow, thank God. So very sorry, friend of Susan Marie Groppi! You deserve better.
Third Row: Mary Anne Mohanraj (Strange Horizons founder, and living proof that, per Scott Westerfeld, “Sri Lanka is the new black”), Bond — Gwenda Bond, Elizabeth Bear (and her next book, Scardown), Nebula winner Elieen Gunn.
Fourth Row: Claire “I was browbeaten into buying John’s book” Light (thanks for buying the book, Claire!), Naomi “She of the Fabulous Jackets” Kritzer, Kristine “I tried to assassinate Ellen Kushner with a revolving door” Scalzi and Ellen “I survived an assassination attempt by Kristine Scalzi, so HA!” Kushner, Scott “This is me imitating William Shatner on the cover of The Transformed Man” Westerfeld.
Some cool people who were at Wiscon and who I hung about/were on panels/wish to imply I developed a special bond with but who did not fall into the clutches of my camera lens, thus retaining their souls(and in no particular order): Karen Meisner, Doselle and Janine Young, Lauren McLaughlin and her totally chav husband Andrew, Ted Chiang, Helen Pilinovsky, Theodora Goss, Gavin Grant, Anne KG Murphy, Liz Gorinsky, Jim Minz, Barth Anderson, Ellen Klages, and Jed Hartman. There are people I hung out with who I am not noting, mostly because it’s 1:35am and man, I’m beat. But I love you all, and it’s the wet, sloppy sort of love that becomes embarrassing in public spaces.
I’ll also take an additional paragraph to note the extreme supercoolosity of The Fabulous Lorraine and Jody Wurl, who drove three and a half hours to have lunch with Krissy and me, even though Lorraine was clearly in the late stages of consumption and I nearly caused her to hork up a lung on a number of occasions by telling her jokes. On the other hand I did find her some truly outstanding sunglasses that looked as if they were time-warped to us from 1983, snatched from the very face of Terry Bozzio to be flung forward to the present day. We were all very fortunate to experience them.
I’ll have some more coherent thoughts on Wiscon later, including what I recognize now is my biggest science fiction convention gripe. but for now, enjoy the photos and the namechecks. Because really, that’s what blogging about conventions is all about.
I *would* have asked you to sign your book, but alas, it was at home, and it’s a library book anyway which I think they would rather frown upon… but as such, it does at least take read-this-now priority over poor Elizabeth Bear’s, which I’ve been carrying around unread since it came out! :)
No worries — I was really happy to see Bear doing so well. I saw her book all over the convention, actually.
Speaking of seeing books, my Borders finally had a copy of OMW on the shelf…
Justine Larbalestier and Ms. Bond are rather lovely — what the hell are they doing at a sci-fi con. The only way they might fit in is if they dressed as vampires or Sailor Scouts.
And sadly, I’ve been to enough sci-fi cons in my dark, dimly lit past to have seen this rule applied with my very own eyes. ;-)
Justine and Gwenda are indeed lovely, although there were a number of lovely women there (some of the guys weren’t so bad, either), so they weren’t an abberation. Wiscon is a feminist SF convention and it has an academic streak as well, so many of the attendees look (and are) like grad students, professors and the like (writers by and large have a closely-related look to these) as opposed to the “traditional” con look — although there’s a lot of that, too. I found it to be a really good mix of people, actually.
I have to say that you, Justine, and Eileen in particular were fabulous on panels. I will be attending WisCon yearly (this was my first) if this is any indication of the quality of the con.
I look forward to reading your book in the near future. Perhaps I’ll be able to review it for one or another of my veteran’s organizations.
I hope you like the book when you get around to it, Rick!
Re: Wiscon — this was my first too, but my impression taking to folks was that indeed, this was a fairly average Wiscon in terms of quality of panels/readings, which means good things for the convention in general. I do have to say I found how they structured the readings (three or four people around a general theme) was excellently done and the readings seemed really well attended. Now I wish I’d done one.
I did think this was a fairly average WisCon overall, in terms of programming and so on (it’s my fifth consecutive one), but the number of interesting people just gets higher every year. Sorry I didn’t get to talk to you — I saw you across rooms and so forth at various times, but never quite managed to connect. Perhaps next time.
(Oh, the friend of Susan Groppi is named Matt Withers, by the way, and you’ll not find a better drinking companion.)
(Oh, right, except you don’t drink. Well, Matt’s a nice guy even when you’re sober in his company.)
Matt Withers! Yes, that’s right. I wasn’t too far off in my recollection, then.
I saw you across a crowded room more than once as well, Tim, and kept meaning to wend my way toward you, but I assume I kept getting distracted by shiny bits of foil. My apologies.
It was good to see you again, John! Next time I will seek out some of your panels.
This was my first WisCon since 2001, and I think my 7th overall (dating back to WisCon 19 in 1995). I think I’d agree that it’s about average among that set. Since I like attending panels and since I have many friends who live in Madison, WisCon fits well with what I want in a con.