The Rest of MidAmeriCon II

Now that I’ve opined about the Hugos, how was the rest of my MidAmeriCon II?

I had fun! My schedule was relatively light: Two panels, a reading, a signing and a kaffeklatsch, which left a lot of time to do fun things with fun people. The panels — one on moderation (with Teresa Nielsen Hayden) and one on social media — went off without a hitch and with good crowds and questions. The reading went especially well; I read a chapter from The Collapsing Empire which was well received (the audience actually clapped at a moment of climactic action, which made me squee inside), and then after that the short story I read from Miniatures, my upcoming collection, was interpreted by an ASL speaker who did an amazing job keeping up with the made-up alien words in the story. She really took it over the top and I was delighted she was there.

Aside from that Krissy and I hung out with friends, ate a lot of barbeque, went to a ton of parties and then slept in the next day. It was everything I like about a Worldcon.

Also, it turns out that Kansas City is quite a congenial place to have a Worldcon-sized convention (which is one that’s about 4,000 – 5,000 members, usually). There are a number of really excellent restaurants, the square around the convention center is filled with hotels, and everything was walkable. A+++ two thumbs up, would Worldcon there again.

(Actually, this is the fourth time I’ve been to Kansas City for a convention and each previous time was also really excellent. Kansas City: A tragically underappreciated convention town.)

I also give MidAmeriCon II high marks as a Worldcon. As with any convention, I’m sure behind the scenes there were people running around with their hair on fire, but from my point of view everything worked like it should, which I think is the point. Also, MAC II did a fine job with harassment and consent policies and with the Incident Response Team tasked with taking reports — I know people who had to avail themselves of them (alas), and the IRT came away with high marks. This is important; until we’re at a point where harassment/consent policies aren’t need (which will be never), the next best thing is a responsive convention at that addresses problems quickly.

(I’m also aware of at least one person getting booted from the convention; the short version of that story as I understand it is that someone decided to be a raging dickhead in an overt and premeditated fashion, and as a result was invited to be a raging dickhead on his own time, elsewhere. Seems fair to me. If you want some details, here’s a more detailed write-up, and feel free to leave comments about it there, not here.)

The basic gist of this Worldcon is that I got to spend with people I really like, and had fun in a cool place. Thanks, MidAmeriCon II — you were just what I needed.

27 Comments on “The Rest of MidAmeriCon II”

  1. MAC II was only my second Worldcon. I had a stupendous time, and was strongly reminded of how much I adore fandom.

    I also had a really good experience with their Incident Response Team. I had a potential problem which I wanted to make sure didn’t develop, and they gave me exactly the support I needed to be able to concentrate on my one program item. I have rarely been on programming at all, and never at a Worldcon, so I was all nervous about my one event, and they were so very nice, so very supportive, and that let me concentrate on getting my piece of it right. So I give them very high marks. Everything else I hear also suggests that this piece of it worked great.

  2. We were really hoping to go this year, but finances sadly intervened. Maybe we can make San Jose . . .

  3. Thank you for the kudos to the staff and volunteers behind the scenes (I was one of the volunteers and was only singed once). Also huge thanks for the shout out to Kansas City. It is indeed underestimated and unappreciated by much of the rest of the country, who prefer to flyover us instead of stop for a brief visit (and some of that famous barbecue). I’m glad you enjoyed your visit and hope you’ll be back soon.

    Best wishes, Jon

  4. Hee! If I squint, I can see my spouse and me way in the back of that picture! I have to say that your reading was the highlight of the convention for me, and your graciousness with a stammering fan (me) who brought you a cheap paperback to sign was an example I’ll always remember. You, sir, are a class act.

    I completely agree with you about the city, the convention, and the way it was run. I was delighted – DELIGHTED – to see the Code of Conduct and “Cosplay is not consent” plastered on pillars and walls all through the venue, and even more delighted to see evidence that both were being enforced consistently.

    One thing that I especially want to emphasize is that the Access folks did a stupendous job of getting the entire committee, all departments, on board and working together to make the event something that people of all abilities could enjoy. Loved the mikes in every program room, and REALLY loved the fact that panelists and mods reminded each other regularly to use them. Loved the wheelchair parking spaces marked off in every program room, loved the chairs reserved for those with hearing impairments, loved the ASL interpreters (and the same one who was so awesome at your signing did an equally fabulous job at the Paul and Storm concert on Thursday, by the way), loved the CART at the big events. Loved the way folks who needed elevators to navigate between floors were given first dibs over folks who just wanted a fast trip to the third floor – Access, you rocked my world big time. SMOFs, take note – THAT is how you do it.

    All in all, a thoroughly wonderful, if exhausting, five days, and I hope that Kansas City fandom doesn’t wait another four decades before hosting WorldCon again. You guys done good!

  5. Oh did you talk about moderating us? What did you say? How bad did you say we were? :)

    I’m delighted to hear that MidCon II did so well with harassment and consent policies, access and room prep. It takes awhile but it can happen. And that makes it truly a fun but also professional con.

  6. Is there by any chance video of your ASL session? The response on Twitter made me really wish to see it.

  7. Hey! I can find my giant bald head in that picture. (Please don’t say too many nice things about KC, our self-deprecating Great Plains egos don’t know how to deal with it.) I loved the reading, (and that ASL interpreter deserves combat pay!) thanks for signing my shiny new copy of Redshirts, and I wish you the best of luck in your future burrito-based endeavors.

    This was my first WorldCon. I’m 50-frigging-1 years old, and I had to keep myself from freaking out when I realized I was two feet from Robert Silverberg in the dealer’s room. And then I went to a panel on the Academic track with Brin/Benford/Bear/Niven/Haldeman. Wow. Just wow. I may never get to another WorldCon, but if you ever get the chance, GO!

  8. I had a good time. Saw a number of good panels (yours with Teresa was nicely done) and spent a lot of time in the business meetings.
    I talked with people I had been hoping to find and found bbq and other tasty restaurants.
    Overall, a good time.

  9. Nice meeting you and your wife at the MCI airport on Sunday, and I’m still looking for the better chocolate promised to me when I started getting published in SF. And my God, what a crowded terminal that was…

  10. Your reading was awesome, and your byplay with the interpreter was a riot. I don’t normally go to readings, but I am SO GLAD I made exceptions for you and for Connie Willis. Just two of the high points in a Worldcon that had many.
    I am on the left side, giving the Vulcan salute. I see that I prudently managed to obscure most of my face.

  11. All the Twitter talk was excellent. Couldn’t be there but am very grateful to you and others who kept showing us moments of awesomeness.

  12. I agree the food in KC was excellent. The walking was a bit hot, but the public transit made distances tolerable–and the cabs weren’t terrible if needed. Considering their local con is small, they did a pretty good job. The guests were great.

  13. It was my first sci-fi con and it was wonderful. Everyone I met was helpful and friendly, including the authors and Facebook friends I met in person for the first time. I am older than escapecar and got all squeaky voiced when Pat Cadigan, Connie Willis, and Ann Leckie gave me their autographs.

  14. I wasn’t able to make it, but I heard that it was a great time. KC is a wonderful city….good food, friendly people, and lots of history. Sure hope ya’ll come back!!! xx

  15. I wish I had seen you more than the 10 second hug and actually got to chat, but my weekend ended up being a bit more eventful than I had anticipated :)

  16. Love the way you thow poor Jim Hines under the bus with the people who want to discuss ejectgate. Nice! I hope you buy him drinks next time your paths cross! 😉

  17. All in all, sounds like it was a good Worldcon, and that you had a good time there. I know this is probably a little premature to ask, but are you planning to attend Worldcon 75 in Helsinki next year?

  18. With all the drama these ‘conservatives’ are causing at cons and with the award ceremonies, why don’t they just band together and have their own damn sci-fi convention and leave everyone else alone?

  19. But anglotopia, organizing and running a ‘conservative’ SF con would involve actual WORK!

  20. Thank you so much for the wonderful dinner on Saturday night. It was just what I needed, and recharged me so that I could push through to the end of the con. I was in so much of a better mood at the end of that evening. And thank you for putting up with the slightly non-communicative version of me at the beginning of the evening before I started to perk up again.

  21. A nice convention indeed — although probably the least world-ly one I attended yet.
    Besides the Finn delegation, obviously, a couple of French people (Hi!), a handful of Germans and Russians, a few Japanese, and that’s about all… I didn’t even saw much French-Canadians.

    (hope our paths will cross again in Helsinki…)

  22. anglotopia says:
    August 23, 2016 at 10:21 am

    With all the drama these ‘conservatives’ are causing at cons and with the award ceremonies, why don’t they just band together and have their own damn sci-fi convention and leave everyone else alone?

    Isn’t that what Libertycon is? And the Prometheus award?

    Except for the ‘leaving everybody else alone’ part….

  23. I like how you give population numbers, because I am from a small city, Calgary, where we don’t get such numbers, except for Japanese or comic book festivals.

  24. Wow, what happened to this blog? You don’t see much interest in the comment section these days

  25. You appear to have missed the previous entry, with nearly 200 comments. Also, this is the way it’s always been. Some posts get a lot of comments, some don’t.

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