Saturday, September 02, 2006

People I Wish I'd Met At Worldcon

I'm more than a bit of a misanthrope (which probably surprises exactly none of you), and I used to get very antsy and anxious in crowds. It doesn't happen all that much anymore, but I'm also on two kinds of heart pills, so I may just be medicated down to a less frantic level.

Conventions have been deeply anxiety-inducing since I started going to them about ten years ago. I always want to have a good time, and I sometimes even have a rough idea of what a good time would be, but I generally end up afterwards thinking that I've missed doing everything I wanted to do. (Ask me about Glasgow sometime: I was there for six days with my wife, but I saw hardly any of the convention, didn't really talk to anyone, and I also feel like I didn't do any good touristy stuff, either.)

L.A. Con IV left me feeling less depressed than usual, but I still have a massive sense of lost opportunities. This was recently brought home to me by reading Mark Kelly's convention report, in which he talks about chatting with both me and Julie Phillips (author of the great new biography James Tiptree, Jr.) at the Eos party on Friday night. I would have loved to have met Julie Phillips; I had no idea she was even at the con. (On the other hand, Tim Powers was at the same party, I would also love to meet him, and I was too shy to go over and introduce myself.)

So now I'm making a mental list of people I saw but didn't talk to at Worldcon, people I probably could have talked to if I was the kind of person who was good at talking to semi-strangers. I walked right by Bob Silverberg at least once, and Mike Resnick twice. Similarly with Rob Sawyer, Karl Schroeder, and probably a dozen others. I didn't even see Cheryl Morgan, whom I'd hoped to meet in person.

I'll hereby make a solemn vow: I will spend the four days of World Fantasy actually talking to people, until either my voice gives out or I run screaming and curl up in a nice quiet corner somewhere. If you're there, say hello to me and see if I twitch...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience in Glasgow. Kinda glad I wasn't the only one. I tend to feel the same way about cons. I'm going to be at WFC and planning to make an effort to be more engaged in the way I want and not play the wall flower game.

I like your blog, by the by. I'm usually here lurking.

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