Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, was definitely a Book View Café Event. Nineteen of us – more than a third of the co-op – showed up.
BVC’s own Vonda N. McIntyre was a guest of honor, which gave us an excuse to hold our first publisher’s party. The cake was every bit as good as reported and I understand that the party only generated two or three noise complaints, despite over-filling the hotel room.
I got the chance to talk to every BVC member who was there, several of whom I’d never met in person before. That was a real pleasure. (It helped that five of us shared a house during the con.)
But interviewing Vonda as part of the convention program was the high point of my Sasquan.
We began the interview by showing the trailer for The Moon and the Sun, the forthcoming movie made from Vonda’s novel of the same name. This was the first showing anywhere of the trailer, so it was a treat for the con attendees.
That led to a discussion of filmmaking – including Vonda’s delightful time watching them film at Versailles – and how movies differ from novels.
I also asked her why she chose to write science fiction. Like many authors in the field, she grew up reading it. But she also said she wrote it – and this is a vague paraphrase because I was busy asking questions and not taking notes on the answers – because she could have women characters do things without explaining how they had the opportunity to do them.
The interview was videotaped, so I hope it will soon be available for others to see.
Vonda and I did a panel on Book View Café along with Brenda Clough, Jeff Carver, and Pati Nagle. We also had a BVC Kaffee Klatche – Madeleine Robins and Chaz Brenchley were on that one along with the folks from the panel.
And Vonda read her BVC original story, “Little Sisters.” I enjoyed watching the audience reaction to that story.
The Hugo Awards got quite a bit of publicity this year because of the hijacking of the nominations. The award outcomes indicate that the science fiction community has rejected the rhetoric of hate and is taking a strong stand in favor of inclusion.
I’m glad the best novel award went to Cixin Liu, a Chinese author whose book, The Three-Body Problem, was translated by U.S. author Ken Liu. It is good to put the world in WorldCon!
The convention wasn’t all smooth sailing. The serious wildfires burning in the northwest caused very bad air pollution from particulate matter – aka smoke – in Spokane. The convention center sprawled all over the place, which was good for getting your exercise but bad for getting to panels in a timely fashion. And the numbering system for rooms made no sense whatsoever. Even by the last day of the convention people were still getting lost.
But on the whole, it was a successful gathering of the science fiction tribe. The BVC contingent had a great time.