WorldCon is normally held in August, but this year is being held in December, because there were various catastrophes (aside from the Big Obvious Ongoing Catastrophe, the hotel they were planning to hold the con in closed down) and the convention organizers rescheduled it for December. It’s being held both virtually and in-person. I’m vaxxed, boosted, and going in person.
I am a finalist for two Hugo Awards this year: “Monster” is a finalist for Best Novelette, and “Little Free Library” is a finalist for Best Short Story. Both stories are up against an amazing set of fellow finalists; it’s an honor to be listed among them.
I’m getting in Wednesday evening, flying home Monday. Here’s my schedule:
10 am: Post-Pandemic Aesthetics. Virtual Panel.
“The 1918 flu pandemic had huge impacts on culture over the subsequent decades, including significant changes to architecture and personal fashion. What kinds of long-term changes to our public aesthetic will we see in reaction to COVID-19? Will restaurants and other public spaces need to change their room layouts and building designs? Will branded, designer facemasks become de rigueur symbols of conspicuous consumption?” I am moderating. Other panelists: Ana Rüsche, Charlie Stross, Leonardo Espinoza Benavides, sandy manning.
11:30 am: Kaffeeklatsch – Suite 325 Main Room.
1 pm to 1:50pm: Signing at the SFWA table in the Dealer’s Room.
2:30 pm: The Fallout of Being the Chosen One. Forum Room.
“Being a Chosen One isn’t always happily-ever-after. The season-by-season model of television, and the multi volume novel, allows viewers to explore the arc of the chosen one-type hero after the initial hero’s journey is complete. What are some of the emotional impacts and plot implications of the Chosen One’s story? What kind of generational trauma can being, or being near, the Chosen One inflict?” Ellen Kushner, Naomi Kritzer, Patricia A. Jackson, Sarah Guan, Hildy Silverman (Moderator)
5 p.m.: Hugo Nominee reception, Ambassador Ballroom.
This is a big public reception for people to meet the nominees from 2021 and the winners (and maybe also nominees?) from 2020 (which also includes me: I won the Lodestar Award for Catfishing on Catnet). How long I stay is going to depend heavily on whether I was able to find food between 12:30 and 1, and/or between 1:50 and 2:30, or if I’m running on pop and granola bars.
10 pm: Social Media: Making Enemies & Alienating People. Virtual.
“Social media can be an excellent place to find online community, especially during a pandemic, but it can also be a fraught world of vicious gossip, lip service activism, and whatever the Algorithm is. The panel will explore ways of using different forms of social media to connect with like-minded people, while providing tips to avoid falling prey to such platform’s worst aspects.” Elizabeth Hirst, John Wiswell, K.G. Anderson, Naomi Kritzer, Travis Tippens (Moderator)
(Yes, my Thursday is ridiculous. It was already ridiculous and then I added the signing at the SFWA table because the other available slots were problematic in other ways and I decided that I’d just come prepared to live on snacks that day if I have to. The 10 p.m. panel on social media dumpster fires should leave me thoroughly alert to go find people in the bar!)
10 am: Legal and Actuarial Supernatural Hypotheticals. Forum Room.
“What does a lifetime annuity mean to the undead? Are werewolves responsible for their actions during the full moon if they contracted lycanthropy by accident? Do mermaids have standing to bring citizen suits under the Clean Water Act? Do vampire thralls run afoul of anti-slavery laws? Not actual legal advice. Results may vary. Please contact your local coven before attempting to bargain with the fae.” I am moderating. Also on the panel: Alex Shvartsman, Andrija “Andy” Popovic, Pat Bahn, Tenaya Anue.
2:30 p.m.: 2020 ruined my novel! Forum Room.
“2020 was a giant curveball for the entire world. Everyone was affected in one way or another. What about authors? Our panelists will discuss what changes they had to make to their 2020 work-in-progress to accommodate all the weird things that were happening in the real world.” Alyc Helms, Lindsay Ellis, Lisa Nohealani Morton, Naomi Kritzer, Sue, Victor Manibo, Wesley Chu (Moderator)
8 p.m.: Hugo Award Ceremony.
Definitely planning to go to this.
I have nothing currently scheduled for Sunday other than being able to sleep in.
Anyway — for anyone coming, please say hi! Also please don’t be worried if I have to squint at your nametag to know who you are — I have always been bad at facial recognition, add masks and it’s just hopeless (but I’m strongly in favor of masks. Just, also nametags.) I am looking forward to the mix of in-person and virtual programming. If you want something signed and can’t make it to my signing or Kaffeeklatsch, feel free to just waylay me after a panel.
I went to Convergence this summer and in some ways, it was a very different con. It was smaller; a lot of stuff had been scaled back or cancelled either because they lacked volunteers to run it or because they couldn’t come up with a good way to make it safe. But it was still so great to see people again. I have missed conventions so much and I’m really grateful that WorldCon is being held.