Slightly Less Wimpy

Tonight I have managed staying awake until 2:50AM. Well, that is the time at this moment. I am bedward headed, but not quite there yet. (Shelly, I am but a sliver of my former self. Apologies.)

Things I learned at WisCon today (or, er, yesterday):

Robin McKinley and Scott Westerfeld have completely different modes of writing. Scott’s is more sensible, but Robin’s sounds like a whole lot more fun.

Ex-friend Mely might possibly regain friend status. maybe. If Serenity is never mentioned. Ever.

Doselle is the same age as me! And Lauren.

Good wine that costs money is way better than free cheap beer, especially when drunk with the likes of Chris & Gwenda.

Elad is a darling.

Pan Morigan is amazingly talented and, on top of having a divinely gorgeous voice, she can play the accordion!

Pizza at 2AM tastes way better than it actually is.

Sleep is good.

That is really, really all.

I am old

It’s 1AM at Wiscon (no, I haven’t bothered to change this blog to Madison time, it’s still on NYC time) and I’m about to go to bed despite the many parties raging on the 6th floor. This is because I am old now, not because I’m avoiding ex-friend Mely and her Serenity keychain of taunt.

Things I learned on the first official day of Wiscon:

Frank Lloyd Wright was crazy.

The cover of Kelly Link’s new book is beautiful.

Pan Morrigan went on tour with Bobby McFerrin and she’s giving a free concert here at WisCon on Saturday at 10:30PM.

Ted Chiang starts stories by writing the last paragraph first.

Maureen McHugh starts at the beginning and has no idea where she’s going until she gets there.

That is all. I am old and must sleep now.

Back in Madison

So here I am back in Madison, Wisconsin for the annual feminist sf convention, WisCon. I just figured out that this is my seventh WisCon, while that’s nothing compared to the folks who’ve come here since the very first one way back in the olden days, it’s pretty damned amazing. There’s no other gathering like this of any kind that I’ve been to that many times. Such a committment!

Not only have I been coming here since 1996, I’ve also been actively involved on the convention committee. First organising the academic programming, and for the last few years, the readings programme, (that is organising the writers who want to read their work aloud for the enjoyment of the rest of us). In the hotel car on the way here from the aiport I got to overhear two of my readers discussing their preparation for their reading. (Don’t worry, I’d already outed myself as the person who organised the readings–I wasn’t spying.) One had read her piece out loud more than ten times! She was determined to have it fit the short time allocated to her and have it make sense. Not easy when you’re reading something from a larger piece. I could have hugged her! That’s just what I want my readers to do. Realise that they’ve got an audience, work on their pieces to make sure they’re not too long, or too boring, get them just right. Those two readers had never been to WisCon before and were nervous and excited and I wanted to hug them for that too. There’s nothing like your first WisCon.

And for the first time ever the con hotel (it’s been in the same hotel for a very long time now) has wireless throughout. I ask you is that a good thing? I mean here I am sitting in my hotel room blogging when I could be out enjoying the beautiful day and buying the damn toothpaste we forgot. Well, it did just enable me to do some actual work, ie send off the last essay of Daughters of Earth to Wesleyan Uni Press. A damn fine essay it is too. In fact, the whole collection is so much better than I’d hoped for (and, trust me, my hopes were high!). I feel like hugging all my contributors too. Hell, WisCon makes me want to hug everyone in the whole world and it hasn’t even started yet.

Here’s to another fabulous WisCon and I hope the newbies have as good a time as I know I will.

Firefly jealousy

I was once a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, but then along came season seven which I disliked so much I haven’t been able to watch it since. (Actually that’s a lie. I had to watch it a tonne immediately after the end, in order to wrap up essays on it for Roz Kaveney and Glenn Yeffeth. Talk about painful! Having to watch Buffy while I was in deep mourning for it. Like going to a wedding with your ex immediately after breaking up.)

Anyway, I was very reluctant to go near Firefly. I wasn’t ready for Joss Whedon to break my heart again. I didn’t watch for a very long time, not till it was out on DVD in fact. But once I finally gave in I liked what I saw. It’s uneven, but the very best episodes are amazing. The final one, “Objects in Space”, is one of the finest hours of TV I’ve ever seen. Incredible.

Now the movie version has been playing in sneak previews all over the USA despite the fact that its official release isn’t until September. Too, too cruel. What’s the big deal, anyway? Why torture people like me with this long drawn out preview fest in all parts of the country (except New York City! The bastards!)? And why do all those people who have seen it have to torment those who haven’t by writing about it endlessly (and spoilerishly) all over the web. Why?!

Okay, I go pack now. But I’m just warning everyone at WisCon–if someone tells me even so much as what the opening credits look like or what any of the characters are wearing in any given scene I will disembowel them. Nothing personal, that’s just how it is. Cause unlike certain other people I believe in the concept of spoilerage. I don’t even want to know whether people like it or not!


So I just started this new blog thingie and now I’m going to the “leading feminist science fiction convention in the world” known as WisCon. I’ll be away for a week and I haven’t made up my mind whether to take my computer or not. I’ve taken it in the past and done bugger all work. Anyways I’m unlikely to blog, but you never know.

Here’s my schedule for anyone else who’s going:

Promoting Your Novel
Sunday, 2:30-3:45 p.m. in Senate B
John M Scalzi, James F. Minz, Justine Larbalestier, Eileen Gunn, M: Liz Gorinsky

Everyone knows that the vast majority of published novelists do not get sent on book tours or make appearances on “Oprah” and “Good Morning America.” So what should the rest of us be doing to promote our novels? What are the best ways to let people know our novels exist?

“Rewrite” is a Four-Letter Word
Sunday, 4:00-5:15 p.m. in Conference Room 3
Nisi Shawl, Katya Reimann, Sarah Monette, Laurie J. Marks, Justine Larbalestier

Some folks actually enjoy rewriting; to others it is a painful chore. All agree it’s necessary. What techniques, attitudes, and approaches can lessen the negative aspects and increase the effectiveness of rewriting?

Pretty Magic Butlers of Roanoke
Sunday, 10:00-11:15 p.m. in Conference Room 2
Gwenda Bond, Justine Larbalestier, Scott Westerfeld, Ysabeau Wilce

Young adult fiction comes in many forms. Some of it involves the Pretty Magic Butlers of Roanoke who will read for your pleasure and offer spectacular cookies and prizes. The main prize is a limited edition chapbook (which is absolutely gorgeous) of work by the four of us. Only six exists in the entire world!

The SignOut
Monday, 11:30am-12:45pm in Capitol Room

A whole bunch of writers including me signing their books for you. Also much weary hanging out and gossiping.

Hope to see youse lot in Madison!