Thursday, September 08, 2005
Worldcon 2005, Glasgow
Just got back from the Worldcon in Glasgow, Scotland. Still reeling from jetlag.
Things I learned:
1. Scottish food is different. That's me being diplomatic, if you didn't catch the tone. Haggis tastes like sausage, but looks like hamster droppings. And customer service is a creature they haven't heard of.
2. Whiskey can be drunk at all times of day there. I approve.
3. Edinburgh is a beautiful city and the Scottish are a friendly people by nature, though sometimes impossible to understand, common language or no.
4. Glasgow feels a bit like LA -- the saying being, "There is no there, there."
5. Folks in the UK take programming more seriously than I have experienced in the States. Every panel I attended was packed, and attendees were attentive and engaged.
I had a great time. Met some UK editors, publishers, and agents. Had great discussions about the state of SF and where it may be headed. Saw Lou, Chris, and John, three of my favorite con cohorts, but did not get to spend enough time with Alan, Jude, or Graham. Same to be said for Justine & Scott, also con buddies. Met China and his sidekick Jesse, and was pleasantly surprised to find out he's exquisitely friendly. Went to a few serious panels analyzing SF; John Clute and Gary Wolfe in turn agreed and disagreed in an entertaining conversation which held over an extra half hour.
Best of all, I got to meet up with someone I had not seen for 15 years. My friend Abi and I together had written the first chapters to what was going to be our epic fantasy novel in ninth grade. We were good friends, and close, but it wasn't so apparent till I came to stay at her house in Edinburgh, the weekend before the Con. We practically still finish each other's sentences. We thoroughly creeped out her hub who at one point said, "Stop it, you're freaking me out." Both of us, however, fled, more than moved, past high school, and in the process abandoned all previous friendships. I didn't actually realize how nice it is to have someone who went through those sort of formative times with you. Who understands something more integral than just what you do for a living and what you got your degree in. I couldn't have asked for a better time with her and her family, and was thoroughly impressed by where she has taken herself in life.