/* new */

Thursday, August 18, 2011

WorldCon in Reno - Day 1

Mostly travel today. A smooth trip - nice to travel west and get an extra hour. Got into the Atlantis "Casino Resort Hotel" about 2. Walked in the door and struck by the smoke. I am just not used to smoky venues anymore. As in all these places, the main floor is a smoky labyrinth of neon-lit money sinks. This is one vice that just does not tempt me, thank goodness. Really, I just don't get it. Dropped my stuff in the room and found my way over to teh convention center.

This venue is HUGE. Besides two of these casino hotels (we don't fill both of them up) the convention center is the size of an airport. It is "across the street" which means a 10-15 minute trek through casino, skywalk, and vasty hallways the length of runways. Got credentials and schedule and decided to explore a little. Immediately ran into two friends - TI Morganfield and Barb-Galler-Smith - which was nice considering the number of friends who canceled on me - you know who you are Brenda and Justin. Found program ops in case of any snags and the Green Room - a nice place for program participants to meet each other and get a snack or cuppa during the day. Hiked back to the hotel and got ready for my first event, which was...

...a reading at the public library across the street. Not too hot ffor the walk - yea! Heard Sharon Lee and Steve Miller reading, which was fun, and was gratified that everyone didn't leave. Several new people came in even though it was 5pm. I read from Song of the Beast in honor of its re-release coming in October.

Caught good friend and fine writer Sue Bolich before she caught the shuttle back to the other hotel and we had a great con dinner - just the two of us talking writing for three hours. How nice is that! At 9 we made our way upstairs to the party floor. I generally avoid the "sweaty cheese" events as they are always crowded and hot, but this was the "bid party" for the 2015 WorldCon for the city of Spokane. Just like the Democratic National Convention, the Olympics, and other large moveable gatherings, prospective WorldCon host cities must raise money, promote their venues, and get a vote from the relevant people (in this case the members of the convention) to get the bid. This has to happen several years out as it takes reams of planning and multitudinous volunteers to put on one of these. As it happens the party hostess for Spokane's bid was Patty Briggs - the NYT bestseller, fabulous writer, and altogether delightful person and I wanted to make sure to see her.

Yes, the room was hot and crowded, but it was fun to catch up with Patty and some MisCon friends. The SpoCon people and MisCon people are sort of joined at the hip (though Justin and Bob, my MisCon hosts weren't there, darn it). Stopped by the San Antonio in 2013 bid party on my way out. They had so much good-smelling food, it made me wish I hadn't eaten dinner. Much more than sweaty cheese and baby carrots. But I settled for a root beer (yeah, not even the hard stuff) and a nice conversation with one of the first people I ever met at a WorldCon - Deidre Saoirse Moen. (Another fine writer.) WorldCons really are like family reunions.

But by this time I was fried and tomorrow (actually today) I have to moderate two panels, so I hauled back to the room and spent a little thinking time before cashing in my chips for the night. More tomorrow...today...


Kathy Amen said...

I was really appalled at all the smoky in our Reno hotel when I was there for a librarians' meeting a few years ago. Funny how un-used we are to smoky places now, when, as kids, all places were smoky places.

Keeping fingers crossed for San Antonio in 2013!

carolwriter said...

Supposedly it is only on the casino floor and in the non-food-serving bars, but it is still pervasive on the first floor. Yes, hard to believe how much we had to put up with back in the day.

S. A. Bolich said...

Aww, Carol, thanks for the kind words. I so enjoyed that dinner. AND the sneak peek at The Daemon Prism at the reading.