Worldcon 2019 felt like at least three conventions rolled into one for me. The gaming hall could have been a regular Irish gaming convention, crewed by friends I’ve known for decades, utterly familiar and comfortable. Then I’d step out into the bar, and be surrounded by names I’ve only seen on facebook – or on bookshelves. It was a little disconcerting – wonderful at times, but the con’s so big and full it’s also overwhelming.
(Convention #3, by the way, was the fantastic children’s program. We brought the twins and the six-month-old along with us, and the boys loved the activities at the kids’ program, like making costumes and the nerf battle. They were a little less sanguine about being dragged around the convention centre, and had to be appeased with iPad and chips regularly. I can’t praise the children’s program crew enough.)
My three panels all went better than I expected. I feared I’d have little to say at the writing in Ireland panel, as I’ve had little interaction with the Irish writing community, but the panel consensus seemed to be that everything’s online anyway these days. The Tabletop Gaming and Writing panel was nicely full, and seemed to entertain. Fantasies of Modern Ireland coalesced in the green room, and we had fun discussing the use of Irish mythology in the modern day.
I also attended two other panels – one on Hopepunk, and one on Tolkien. (I rather wish I’d applied to be on the Tolkien one, as I found myself muttering answers to every question the moderator posed to the panel.) I got to hang out/offload child-wrangling duties onto various other Orbit authors, met up with many people I know only from facebook/twitter/Cymera, finally had a long-delayed lunch with my agent, and generally wandered around in a happy daze.
As I mentioned to a few people at the convention, there’s News in the pipeline that I can’t announce officially yet. Worldcon, though, was a great way to end the summer and mark the beginning of some serious shoulder-to-the-wheel writing time…