It’s entirely possible there is an industry that is run more incompetently than the airline industry, but if there is I don’t have to deal with it on a regular basis. At the moment I’m at in Dulles International Airport, waiting to if and when I might get on another flight. I suspect I’ll be here for a while; if nothing else, I’ll be on a 8:30 flight tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I’m watching what looks to be an eight-year-old boy bang his head against one of the airport waiting area couches out of what I suspect is pure hyperactive boredom. I do sympathize with his plight, although I wish he would stop, because it’s deeply aggravating.
My current travails cause me to propose a new law of airline travel, called Scalzi’s Law of Airline Delays: Any airline delay will expand to precisely fill the amount of time between your connecting flights, plus fifteen minutes. I was actually on the ground at Dulles when my flight to Dayton left, but I was trapped on the plane because apparently the ground crew forgot how to extend a walkway. Clearly, the work of insidious beasts. In any event, when the revolution comes, I nominate airline schedulers to be the first up against the wall. If they are, I will take to ground travel henceforth with a song in my heart.
But enough about that. At least Readercon was a lot of fun, and not even the massive incompetence of the airlines can flout me out of my humor. As stated here earlier, one of the reasons I went to this particular convention was because shameless China Mieville fan boy, and I’m delighted to say that in addition to being a marvelous writer and a top-notch intellect, Mieville is also a hell of a nice guy and a lot of fun to chat with. It’s always a nice thing when someone whose talents you admire is also a person you like.
But although China was one of the deciding factors in my attending, he was far from the only person I was thrilled to spend a little time with. Some notable moments for me:
* Meeting Infoquake author David Louis Edelman before my connecting flight with Boston and sharing much of the weekend with him;
* Having a cell phone war with Allen Steele and Peter Watts (no, I’m not sure what having a cell phone war actually entailed; nevertheless, we had one);
* Celebrating the birthday of Deanna Hoak, unquestionably the hottest copy editor, like, ever;
* Sharing secret code with Tempest Bradford;
* Discussing pirates and ninjas with Mary Robinette Kowal;
* Bribing Geoff Landis (twenty-six cents!);
* Delving into informational metaphors with Charles Brown, Gary K. Wolfe and John Clute;
* Exploring consciousness with R. Scott Bakker, his friend Roger (whose last name I didn’t catch), and Gordon Van Gelder ;
* Discussing the intruiging/disturbing possiblity of Scalzi/Bear slash with Elizabeth Bear;
And generally meeting and/or catching up and/or having a meal with a whole bunch of delightful people including Karl Schroeder and family, John Joseph Adams, Nick Mamatas, Chad Orzel, Kate Nepveu, Lauren McLaughlin, Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, Amanda Beamer, Eliani Torres, Helen Pilinovsky, Scott Edelman, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Beth Meacham, Liz Gorinsky, Sandra Macdonald, Alan DeNiro, Kristin Livdahl, James Cambias, Ellen Kushner and tons and tons and tons of other people, pros, fans and con staff alike, whose names escape me because it’s late on a very long travel day (forgive me), and also, it’s not like I’ve not already name dropped enough. Anyway, this isn’t even discussing my own progamming, which I think went reasonably well, especially my reading, at which people laughed in all the places where I hoped they would laugh.
Long story short: I had a great time at Readercon and I’m glad I went, even if I’m currently trapped in airport hell. It was worth it.