The Hugo Awards were even cooler than I thought they’d be. John Scalzi was hilarious and in amazing form. Neil Gaiman flew in to accept his Hugo for his work with Doctor Who. George RR Martin, my old nemesis, took home one for HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation. Ken Liu, a down-to-earth guy I met here at the con, won a Hugo to go with his Nebula. And the writer and artist of Digger won.
Great speeches and impressive production value. Most everyone was dressed up. It felt like a geeky Oscar ceremony, which is to say it was better than the Academy Awards.
Yesterday was also one for amazing coincidences. I went to lunch with the editor of Lightspeed, a sci-fi magazine. He and I have been exchanging emails for a few months. After reading Wool, he invited me to submit any forthcoming short stories for consideration. It wasn’t until after lunch that we started talking about where we lived and where we’ve previously lived. It turns out he grew up in my wife’s hometown. He is our age, but it seemed impossible to believe . . . yup, they know each other. They were in the same class of about 80 kids. He was up for two Hugos last night, and I was sad to see him not win one. If you’re looking for a good read, check out his Wastelands anthology. One of the best things I’ve read this year.
Overall, WorldCon has been a blast. The climate for independent publishing seems to be warming up, but there are still pockets of resistance. I imagine this is a far cry from where things were a year ago. If I came to another of these, I might do some things differently. I think it would be beneficial to have a table and pay someone to man it. It would give me a discoverable place in the dealer room to hang out between panels. Otherwise, what an amazing experience. An awesome meet-up with readers, some very well-received panels, met some awesome folks in the industry, and went to a gala event. Now the question is: do I go next year to Texas for another one?