This weekend, I attended my first convention as an Angry Robot, which also happened to be my first WorldCon.
For those who don’t know, WorldCon is a traveling convention, meaning that it changes locations each year. Convetion organizers bid on the chance to host the convention. This year the con was held in Chicago as Chicon7, and it for me, it was both delightful and exhausting.
I spent most of the weekend working the Angry Robot Booth, selling brand new books such as Seven Wonders, Mockingbird, The Corpse-Rat King, and the first two books from our new YA imprint Strange Chemistry, Blackwood and Shift.
Working the booth was very tiring, but just as rewarding. I put my bookseller hat back on and spent hour after hour hand-selling our books to visitors and passers-by. Working the booth helped me learn the line much faster, and thanks to the help of our marvelous editors Lee Harris and Amanda Rutter, as well as a rotating guest-star cast of Angry Robot and Strange Chemistry authors, we had a great weekend of sales.
Team Angry Robot had several outings, including a bowling night at a bowling alley that was way more upscale than the ones I was used to, and a fabulously-attended author event at The Book Cellar.
Angry Robot authors Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig read from their books Seven Wonders and Mockingbird, and Strange Chemistry authors Gwenda Bond and Kim Curran read from Blackwood and Shift. There was a fun Q&A including questions like “Who is your favorite angry robot?” as well as homemade cupcakes by a Strange Chemistry author.
Luckily, I also got away for a few panel sessions, including a fantastically fun panel on Old-Fashioned Storytelling, a fun fannish panel on the Game of Thrones TV show (made all the more awesome by a visit from actor Ron Donachie aka Ser Rodrik Cassel).
I was also on a panel for new writers, which interestingly turned into a ‘New writers helping even newer writers learn important things about the business’ panel, which I really enjoyed. It was great to be able to take the pains I’d gone through on writing query letters and pass on the lessons learned.
And on Monday, the last day, as most everyone wore the look of end-of-con-exhaustion, I did the midlist author thing of sitting at the autograph table with the hope that people would come by. And a couple did, but they were mostly people who already knew me. 🙂
The parties were great, the company was even better, and I was tremendously excited to get to meet many authors, readers, and other SF/F folk. One of the highlights of my weekend was the agency dinner which my fabulous agent Sara Megibow set up. Sara was coincidentally in town, so she gathered up Nelson Literary authors Betsy Dornbusch, Jason M. Hough, Shanna Swedson, Hugh Howey and myself for a lovely dinner. It was the first time I’d met Sara in person, and she is even more of a Publishing Faerie Godmother in person than I guessed from talking on the phone. The six of us had a great bit of shop talk and hanging out, though I’m sad I had to run off a bit early to get to a panel.
Another highlight for me was attending the Hugos. The Hugo is the most prestigious award in Science Fiction/Fantasy (some argue that the Nebula is its match, but for me, the Hugo is the big one). It was a chance to suit up and see the SF/F community celebrate excellence in and service to the community. John Scalzi was a fantastic toastmaster, and the love in the room was palatable. Or maybe that was just the body heat of more than a thousand people in one room at the same time. 🙂
Two days later, I am still recovering, but it was a world-class bit of fun, and I look forward to going again next year for WorldCon in San Antonio.