LAX is like an 80-year-old whore who thinks she’s still got it with a wink and a smile and a mouth full of busted teeth. Its better days are behind it. The paint is peeling, its pipes exposed. Every time I go though it feels like looking at one of those Visible Man models plastered together with Elmer’s glue and monkey shit.
But it’s home and I’m here and I have survived Chicago.
Lovely town. Even the hobos are well dressed. They like their pizza heavy there. It anchors them, weighs them down with its cheezy heft. Reminds them of their mortality.
Worldcon was a blur of people I’ve known only online. It’s nice to put faces to people. So often when you meet someone you know in real life you realize that they’re not really the person you thought they were. This wasn’t the case here. Everyone was fantastic.
I roomed with Chuck Wendig (@chuckwendig) and his Eldritch Beard. It sang songs of madness in the dead of night, promising a lingering death and a world made of fire. A lovely fellow nonetheless and a great friend, even if his body is nothing but a meaty husk filled with sawdust and the despair of the souls he’s consumed.
Did a panel with him and author Adam Christopher (@ghostfinder), who is a snappy dresser in his Dalek cufflinks, on New Pulp (more on this later) that, though not nearly as profanity laden as I had hoped, was a lot of fun. Moderated a panel the first night on the intersection of crime and fantasy and flailed like a cockroach going down the drain (also more on this later).
Got to hang with some of the DAW crew. Seanan McGuire (@seananmcguire), who WON A FUCKING HUGO AWARD (which will be the first of many, I’m sure) is, as always, wonderful, kind, and my kind of crazy. Diana Rowland (@dianarowland) has proven without a doubt that she can take me in a fight while I scream like a little girl. Jim Hines (@jimchines) is a fantastic man who I wish I could have spent more time talking to. And Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) who is both a wonderful human being and a remarkable writer.
Spent many hours talking to my editor at DAW, Betsy Wollheim who also WON A FUCKING HUGO AWARD (Best Longform Editor – Woooooo!!!). We talked books and THE FUTURE but mostly about New York, Hawaii, family and our dogs. Lots of fun. And makes me very glad that I am with DAW.
And there were a lot of Angry Robots! SO MANY ANGRY ROBOTS!! Who turned out to be neither robots, nor particularly angry. Much to my disappointment. Lee Harris (@LeeAHarris), Ramez Naam (@ramez), Anne Lyle (@AnneLyle), Kim Curran (@kimecurran) and Emma Newman (@EmApocalyptic), who I suspect will one day take over the world with her mad networking skillz. And many, many others.
Hung out with many cool Twitter peeps, like Matt Forbeck (@mforbeck), Laura Anne Gilman (@lagilman), Myke Cole (@mykecole), Kat Richardson (@katrchrdsn), Jennifer Brozek (@jenniferbrozek), Stacia Decker (@staciadecker) and Monica Velentinelli (@mlvalentine).
Seriously, it was like real-life Twitter. And every time I met someone new I wanted big Follow stickers I could plaster them with.
That or a Follow paintball gun. You know, for long-distance.
All told it was a hell of a ride. I didn’t get a chance to mingle as much as I would have liked, but I got out of it what I went there to get. Meet some people, talk to my editor, see what all the fuss is about. Fandom is a weird and wonderful thing and I’m glad I had the chance to be a part of it.
Thank you Chicago for letting me sully your streets and hang out in your concrete mazes. Don’t worry about that string of grisly serial killings. I’m pretty sure you won’t have that problem for a while.
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