WorldCon Report, Day 6: So Long, and Thanks for the Chocolate Mousse

Wrath of the Scheduling Gods, part III: I had a reading at 9:00 a.m. on Monday.

Let me say that again: 9:00 a.m. On Monday.

If there’s a worse time slot for a panel, I defy you to name it. Last day of the con, with many people going home, and those who remain worn out from the long weekend. Yeah. Perfect. Fear the scheduling gods.

That said, there was a decent turnout, certainly better than I had expected–which is to say, the room wasn’t empty.

I shared my reading slot with Michael Skeet and Richard Chwedyk, who both read excerpts from longer works. I went last, and had about 15 minutes, at best. The good news was that I had chosen my material wisely, opting for "Fuel," which was just short enough. And it seemed to go over well, garnering reactions in the right spots and a generous round of applause at the end.

Who knew that the Monday 9:00 a.m. crowd could be so enthusiastic?

That was my last official programming item for the con, but I stopped at a panel on spirituality and writing. This wouldn’t normally be my thing, but John Pitts was on it, and we had hung out a fair amount over the weekend. Everyone ended up doing a little writing exercise, using Tarot cards to kick-start the creative process. Was kinda cool, actually.

The afternoon was one of many partings. The last day of a con is always sad for me: the party’s almost over, and we all have to go back to the (vastly overrated) Real World soon. How unutterably depressing. I went to the George R.R. Martin reading (a huge fan of his books, me), and that helped relieve the sting a bit. I ran into fellow Codexian Tom Crosshill outside of closing ceremonies, and together we went on a little walking tour of Old Quebec before he had to catch a cab. It was the most I got to see of the city, as is usual with WorldCons. I got in a few good pix along the way.

I figured I would be in for an early night. I was tired, and I had to get up pretty early the next morning. I should have known better.

At the Dead Dog party, I ran into Paolo Bacigalupi again; talk about coming full circle. After a pleasant chat with Scott Edelman, a group of us headed toward the Intercontinental to rendezvous with Liz Gorensky, Rob Bland, John Joseph Adams, Amelia Beamer, and raft of others whose names I didn’t catch. They had a hankering for chocolate mousse, and had heard tell of a place nearby where the chocolate mousse was to die for, or something like that. So off we went into the streets of Montreal in search of it, lateness of the hour be damned. Unfortunately, all we had was an address, not a name. After a few blocks, it became increasingly clear that the address existed only in a GPS. The Real World stubbornly persisted in not having it. See what I mean by overrated?

Undaunted, we pressed on. It became a quest.  Chocolate mousse is, after all, chocolate mousse.

Liz forged ahead, and eventually came across a pizza place that promised to serve the desired dessert. Their chocolate mousse was actually chocolate cake with mousse filling. And ain’t that just like a quest? When you finally obtain what you were searching for, you discover that it’s not quite what you thought it would be. Anyway, we declared the quest achieved, and sat to enjoy our hard-won prize.

It was the last great adventure of WorldCon 2009, at least for me. I headed back to the hotel and went to bed. A cab whisked me to the airport the next morning, and by late afternoon Tuesday, I was home.

And as I come to the end of this little travelogue, I realize that I’ve left out a bunch of stuff, omitted many names. If I’ve neglected to mention you in these ramblings, I apologize. There was just that much going on.

Anyway, that was my WorldCon. Next year’s is in Melbourne. Oh, how I would love to be there. If I can work out the funding, it’ll happen. Until then, au revoir.

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