Saturday, August 08, 2009

Scattered Worldcon Thoughts

I've been in town a hair over twenty-four hours, which means this is as good a time as ever to start pontificating. So here's what I've noticed or thought so far:
  • There really is a Tim Horton's on every corner here. On the other hand, when I was looking for a bank yesterday -- preferably a TD Bank -- I couldn't manage to find one.
  • The turndown service in the Delta is the best I've ever seen -- they even filled my ice bucket.
  • There's supposedly free Wi-Fi in the convention center (the Palais), but this laptop was not able to find any network called "Anticipation" there, and so I have stopped lugging it about and will now leave it safely here in my hotel room.
  • I've run into a lot of the people I was hoping to catch up with (and even caught up with a few of them), but I don't want to descend into name-dropping, so I won't say who they were.
  • The con suite here has so much food that it's not strictly necessary to each actual meals anywhere else.
  • Speaking of food, the parties had some quite impressive spreads last night, too. I even sampled a local delicacy called a "smoked meat sandwich." (The genericism of the name worried me briefly, I'll admit, but it was tasty, whatever sort of To-Serve-Fan kind of meat it actually was.)
  • Speaking of parties, Anticipation has planned them well (possibly aided by local laws) -- all the major ones are on the 28th floor of the Delta (entirely made up of dramatic two-floor suites), and all of those are essentially open to the entire convention. (And serving alcohol, too -- the two big no-nos of an American Worldcon. I want to give the matter further study, but, right at this moment, I'd be cautiously in favor of having the Worldcon in Montreal forever.)
  • Speaking of alcohol, "the bar" for this Worldcon is in the Intercontinental, right across from the Palais (the convention center). It's small, far from the outside, difficult to maneuver through, and has a very limited number of beer choices (as Jetse de Vries was bemoaning last night), but, aparrently, it's where all of the pros and/or Brits are gathering to schmooze.
  • Speaking of Brits, I noticed in the newsletter that Martin Hoare isn't here. Who's going to phone David Langford at an ungodly hour about his Hugo win? We cranky conservative SFnal types don't like these radical changes....
  • Speaking of ungodly, customs was a pain on the way up -- a good fifty-minute delay (sitting in my car, slowly dying of carbon monoxide poisoning from the other two thousand cars all around) to have a two-minute conversation with a gentleman I could barely understand.
  • Speaking of conversations, I've only made it to one panel so far, yesterday afternoon. It was about what fans don't know about book marketing and distribution, and I mostly sat in to see if the panelists (an agent, a book editor, a writer, and a magazine editor) knew what I know about b.m. and d. From the evidence of the panel, I win -- but I generally consider myself to have won most of the time anyway.
  • Speaking of winning, congratulations to Chris Roberson for getting the Sidewise Award for The Dragon's Nine Sons and to Cory Doctorow for seizing the Prometheus Award for Little Brother. (I don't remember who won the short fiction Sidewise, but congratulations to whoever that is, too.)
  • Speaking of Cory Doctorow, this morning he had a signing line rivaling that of Neil Gaiman's epic queue last evening. For those intent on using line-length as a gauge for handicapping the Hugos, please remember to take into account that Doctorow is somewhat closer to being a local (being a Canadian but not a Montrealler) and that Gaiman has another signing, probably of equally massive proportions, tomorrow.
  • Speaking of proportions, the Delta is really quite convenient to the Palais -- once Your Humble Correspondent looks at a map and walks in the correct direction, unlike my first attempt yesterday. It's only a couple of flat blocks away, and both are nice facilities. (I can't speak to the other hotels; I've only made a quick visit to the Intercontinental's bar.)
  • Speaking of nice facilities, a walk this afternoon to find some used book stores took me through McGill territory (the local University), and that institution certainly attracts some very eye-catching co-eds. (Of course, I'm not only married, but look and feel old enough to be their fathers, but leave that aside for now.)
  • Speaking of looking and feeling old, that's a sign that it's time to finish up and post this rambling, silly list.
And that's my Worldcon so far -- still to come, the Masquerade tonight (which I fear will be run by the crowd that did Torcon of blasted memory), the Hugos tomorrow night, possibly more panels if I can find anything interesting, and more partying.


bingol said...

I very much hope that "filled my ice bucket" is a euphemism.

Andrew Wheeler said...

bingol: Now, now. My wife might not read this blog, but my mother does (which is worse).

Perhaps you haven't been in a hotel any time in the past six decades, and don't realize that they typically have an (empty) bucket for ice sitting around somewhere. And there's an ice machine lurking somewhere on the floor. But here at the Delta, helpful housekeeping staff run around in the evening, bringing the ice to thankful hotel guests.

The Brillig Blogger said...

Good turn-down service at the Delta would be leaving some timbits on the bed. Timbits are yummy.

Crotchety Old Fan said...

Speaking of co-ed - there is an age at which BOTH mothers AND their daughters are within an appropriate age range...

Adrienne Martini said...

The turn-down service at the Delta was amazing, I agree. It was the expertly placed water and chocolates that won me over.

The wifi, on the other hand, was maddening because I had a heck of a time convincing it to a) work and/or b) work in a language other than French. C'est la vie.

Post a Comment