WorldCon Report, Day 5: Rotundo Gets a Hugo! (And Loses It Just As Quickly)

Once again, I had to drag myself out of bed after a late night for an early breakfast, this time with Jay Lake and John Pitts. Jay has a much better head for marketing than I do, and I needed some marketing advice, and this breakfast was the only time he was available. His schedule made mine look positively relaxed by comparison.

The three of us had a good conversation about the realities of the current marketplace. Guess what? It’s tough out there. In spite of which, I came away from breakfast feeling a bit better about my current situation, if for no other reason than I had a better sense of the landscape. Difficult, yes, but not impassable. So thanks, Jay and John.

Jay also invited us to join him for his lunch with Weird Tales editor Ann VanderMeer, which I thought was awfully sporting of him. Jay’s significant other, author Shannon Page, also attended, and the five of us had an enjoyable chat, in spite of the fact that the Intercontinental was still serving breakfast, not lunch. Ann called it "elevenses," and that was good enough for me.

The rest of my afternoon was wide open, so I forced myself to go back to the hotel and do some actual writing. Oooh . . . being all productive and professional at a con. What a concept.

I made it back to the Palais des congres in time for the Baen Books presentation, ably handled by Baen editor Jim Minz, after which I had a quick bite to eat with some Codexian friends. Then it was time for the Hugos.

Once again, we formed a Codexian posse, so that we could cheer loudly for our peeps–Campbell nominees Aliette de Bodard and Tony Pi, and Hugo nominee Mary Robinette Kowal. None of them won, sadly, but it was cool to see Ann VanderMeer and Stephen Segal get the Best Semiprozine Hugo, a bit of an upset.

Wrath of the Scheduling Gods, part II: I had a panel after the Hugo ceremony. Yes, really. This was the "Young Turks" panel, which struck me as endlessly amusing, as I am neither particularly young nor particularly Turkish. Even so, and despite the unfavorable time slot, Colin Harvey, Leah Bobet, Chandra Rooney, and I had a pretty decent turnout, and an enjoyable discussion. Write and submit, gang. And never give up. That’s really all there is to it.

Then it was (finally) party time. Baen threw a nice soiree, with a generous assortment of good beer. I exchanged some pleasantries with Jim Minz, who then, upon noticing I was from Omaha, informed me that the Cornhuskers suck. For the edification of Wisconsin fan Minz, I noted that former coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez used to play for Nebraska. I’m just sayin’. (I didn’t even mention the inherent lameness of the Big Ten. That would have been too easy.)

All in good fun, all in good fun.

As I departed the Baen party, I came across Ann VanderMeer and Stephen Segal, so I got the opportunity to congratulate them on their Hugo win. And as we were chatting, Steven Silver approached, carrying the Hugo he had accepted on behalf of Pixar for WALL-E. Turns out that for a mere $5.00 donation to the fan fund (TAFF, DUFF, or CUFF, I disremember which), one could actually hold that Hugo.

Hey, a bargain’s a bargain.

(Photo by Ann VanderMeer. Thanks again, Ann!)

It was a gorgeous Hugo, BTW. That granite base was heavy.

Then I gave it back–if by "gave it back," you mean "forced them to call in five burly guys to pry it from my desperate grip." The bruises are starting to fade now, but I did think the brass knuckles were bit of overkill.

Next time, I’m gonna make a run for it.

Tune in tomorrow for our thrilling conclusion: Reading, Tarot writing, and the Quest for Chocolate Mousse.

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