The Final Lap

Last of my panels: Fermi/Drake, which, despite its Disneyfied title— and despite being held at 11am on the last bloody day of the con— was so jam-packed we had to move to a larger room halfway through the session.  It was the panel on which I talked the least, and learned the most.  I’m trying very hard to not notice the obvious lesson.

Penultimate Panel:  Legitimising the Woo.  Strong circumstantial evidence that  Margaret Ronald and I had done something to piss off the Worldcon organisers, since they scheduled us across from the Hugos.  And you know what?  Fuck ’em:  we kicked ass.  We had about thirty people in attendance — way higher than I was expecting, given the time slot — and we had a blast.  Many lavves were had by all.  Take home message; when faced with a cold house, ridicule family members.  Works every time.

Overall a terrific con, far better-run than 2003’s disastrous Torcon (although not without its own problems).  The only real downer over the weekend was the number of people who approached me wearing expressions of profound astonishment, blurting out “But— but you’re really cheerful and happy in person!” If one more person had done that, I swear I would  have broken their fucking nose.

News flash, people:  I’m always cheerful and happy.  Deal with it.

Here are some pictures of stuff.  The Convention Center itself:

Worldcon Locale

The convention center closer-up.  Probably too closer-up:

rot

I’m pretty sure that spiderweb of cracks was not part of any deliberate aesthetic:

Some guys:

strosskrugman

Some other guys:

assort05assort01

assort02glennkathbrad

(Okay, fine.  Paul Krugman and Charlie Stross; Michael Skeet, Madeline “Squeak” Ashby, and Robert “Death Ray” Ashby; some guy next to Karin Lowachee, Karin Lowachee; Jetsi de Vries; Glenn Grant & stuffed penguin (Glenn on left); Brad Templeton,  Kathryn Myronuk.)

David Nickle’s Female Friend (aka Caitlin Sweet):

assort03

An allegedly “Angry Robot” who, in my opinion, could use some lessons in the whole anger department:

angryrobot

A catnip mouse (or a small, fuzzy Star Destroyer, if you kinda look at it head-on) offered up as a gift for my cats by a fan who quite obviously had her priorities straight:

bananamouse

Some building:

somebuilding

Moonbase Alpha Memorial Maximum Security Penitentiary:

residence

One of Old Montreal’s less-frequented cafes, for reasons which remain unclear:

arsenik

Nature-loving Montrealers enjoying the wild untamed beauty of Canada’s great outdoors (visible at bottom center):

green

My soul:

mysoul

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Tuesday August 11 2009at 09:08 am , filed under On the Road, public interface, Uncategorized . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

17 Responses to “The Final Lap”

  1. Ahhh, controversy-free content. *exhales*

    What I have learned:

    1. Montreal is completely gray on its exterior, except for the Convention Center, which is unaccountably wrapped in colored Saran Wrap.

    2. Peter is fucking happy and cheerful, God DAMMit. Fuck you people, he’s happy. He’s an empty dark courtyard with bars across the small cell-like window that looks longingly out onto the wide green world, but happy, GAWDDAMMIT. Any questions? Good.

    3. Stross and Krugman live in the rooms in Hell that Andy Warhol decorated. Or possibly, in one of those infrared warming boxes they keep peeps in before they get their feathers. Mr. Stross’ head makes the peeps (invisible below the bottom of the frame) happy, because it reminds them of their former home, an egg.

    4. An intelligent insect hive mind has invaded Quebec and is convincing people that its garagantuan lair is actually Moonbase Alpha Super Max.

    5. Some people had way more fun this week than I did.

  2. My God, I’m so tiny.

    And it’s true, Peter’s a ray of fucking sunshine. Blistering, carcinogenic, bright, warm, planet-would-be-dead-without-it sunshine.

  3. Peter’s a ray of fucking sunshine. Blistering, carcinogenic, bright, warm, planet-would-be-dead-without-it sunshine

    Aaaawwwwwwww. You forgot, “causes you to clutch your head and squinch your eyes shut.” hee hee

    You know if you talk all nice to him, you’ll ruin it for him? His commercial success may well depend on dishing out the WE-SO-EFFING-DOOMED. Imagine, if you will, Yeats:

    Things coordinate nicely; the center is holding great!
    And sunshine and ponies are loosed upon the world;
    the candied orange tide is loosed, and extra money of good intents is spent!
    The best are all up-n-at-em, and the worst are sitting with their feet up.

    I mean, it’s not the same.

    My God, I’m so tiny.

    I feel so odd that I imagined that said in a teeny tiny voice. Did you ever find your shoes?

  4. This time I was staying with DeathRay and Dave, and neither of them tried to hide my shoes. One morning around three I was shuffling about the room trying to find my mp3 player, but that was hidden as a result of my own lack of organization rather than any wicked intent. I think.

  5. It was lovely talking to you on Sunday before lunch. Ack, did I just say, “lovely”? Holy shit, I might as well offer my nose for the breaking, now.

    Earlier in the morning, I tried to get into the Drake/Fermi panel after you moved into the bigger room only to be forced out by a crush of people. C’est la vie.

    The cool part for me though, was that I found a hardcover of Blindsight at one of the dealer’s tables, so that will be replacing the soft cover I had. *(I am a hard cover book whore.) I would have loved to have had it signed, but dammit, at that point you were eating lunch and I have some semblance of social respect!

    Overall, I am glad you had fun!

  6. Having read a transcript of the Stross/Krugman talk, I was wondering: has anyone done the same for any of the other talks? I’d be interested hearing about the Consciousness ones, for example.

  7. I can almost guarantee I would have been one of the people put off by the faintest whiff of cheerfulness. It would soon subside and I’d look for some sort of mischief to try and drag you into.

    And yes Madeline you’re tiny but that just means you are packing a mean surface area to volume badass writing ratio.

  8. that just means you are packing a mean surface area to volume

    … therefore you radiate writing faster? Does that also mean, zoologically speaking, your writing arms should be longer?

  9. Kate Baker said:

    It was lovely talking to you on Sunday before lunch.

    And to you.

    Ack, did I just say, “lovely”? Holy shit, I might as well offer my nose for the breaking, now.

    Nah. I could tell you meant it ironically.

    I would have loved to have had it signed, but dammit, at that point you were eating lunch and I have some semblance of social respect!

    On the contrary, my ego is much better served when I am approached in the presence of witnesses. Otherwise my colleagues just keep making jokes about my “invisible fans”

    BTW, forgive me if I’ve asked this before, but do you think SS might be interested in a reading of that potentially-actionable Things story I excerpted?

    James said:

    Having read a transcript of the Stross/Krugman talk, I was wondering: has anyone done the same for any of the other talks? I’d be interested hearing about the Consciousness ones, for example.

    That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer: I myself did not make any recordings.

    Keippernicus said:

    And yes Madeline you’re tiny but that just means you are packing a mean surface area to volume badass writing ratio.

    To which Hljóðlegur replied:

    … therefore you radiate writing faster? Does that also mean, zoologically speaking, your writing arms should be longer?

    Squeak’s arms are as short and stubby as the rest of her. Do not let that mislead you, however. Though she be but little, she is fierce. Also she is an amazing writer. She is going far. Watch this space.

  10. So either Ms. Squeak is violating Bergmann’s Rule or violating the complementary Allen’s Rule, as an exemplar of our species in its local habitat. I like it. Way to be an outlier!

    I’m often sure I could be comfortable year-round, if only I could find the right Class-M planet.

  11. Actually I doubt my arms would have to be longer. My nerves would have to be faster, instead. The feedback loop that runs between the arm and the brain and back does so at about 200mph, as I learned at a martial arts demonstration at Worldcon. It can go faster, but only if I lose nervous function in other areas (my bowels, for example), and only under proper stimuli (me facing a mugger, i.e. not writing).

    Squid frequently says that I have a favourable surface area : volume ratio, usually when I complain of the cold. I commonly take advantage of this explanation to demand more of whatever we are eating.

    I also hope that he is right re: my abilities. Ideally, I’d like to move from amazing, to spectacular, to ultimate. Like Spider-Man, but without all the ill-advised, stupid, lazy, Galactica-like retconnery.

  12. I’d like to move from amazing, to spectacular, to ultimate. Like Spider-Man

    So, Authorwoman? Compositiongirl? The Authoress – black cat-suit, adamantium index fingernail that can produce ink or write in stone. Being the ultimate writer is a high goal; some superpowers wouldn’t be amiss.

  13. Madeline said “I also hope that he is right re: my abilities. Ideally, I’d like to move from amazing, to spectacular, to ultimate. Like Spider-Man, but without all the ill-advised, stupid, lazy, Galactica-like retconnery.”

    Just remember to Edit>Find and search for stuff like “angels” “gaping plot errors” “Absolute break in continuity, character and spirit” and I think you’ll be dandy.

    Also Squid and Squeak are excellent nick names, how does one go about getting a nifty “Squ…” moniker? And can I called dibs on “Squander” since I devote more time to crappy youtube vids than actual writing?

  14. Keippernicu calls “Squander.”

    Still up for grabs:

    Squab – a fledgling bird, a short thick person, a couch pillow
    Squadron
    Squamate – scaly, as like a reptile
    Squawk
    Squirrelly
    Squire
    Squish
    Squib – a small firecracker
    Squat
    Squeal
    Squeegee
    Squaw
    Squamulose – having a thallus made of small leafy lobes.
    Squint.

    Oh, baby! I like SQUEG, meaning to oscillate in an irregular fashion, as in, it squegged all over the place until the circuit cooled down. Squeg, squeg, squeggity squeg-squeg. Squeg. It doubles as a curseword – you squeghead.

    I may have to buy a pet so I can name him Squeg.

  15. That robot is curious at best…

  16. As to the “Angry Robot”:when considering the people who might be the ‘evil AI behind the robot’ I shortly thought about you, but seeing that you are *always* cheerful and happy I’m glad that I abandoned the idea…;-)

    Shine, baby, shine!

    (And great to meet you!)

  17. Hjool you missed a few:

    squad
    squalidae
    squall
    squally
    squalus
    squama
    squamule
    square
    square(a)
    square(p)
    squash
    squatina
    squatinidae
    squatter
    squaw
    squawk
    squeamish
    squeeze
    squelch
    squiggle
    squint
    squire
    squirming
    squirt
    squish

    Sadly at least 4 of these would be appropriate.