Addendum to previous post: other Locusts (Locusoids?) at or expected to be at the Worldcon this year are Ed Bryant (who’s here), Gary K. Wolfe (who’s here), Tim Pratt and wife Heather Shaw (expected Friday evening), and Russell Letson and wife Cezarija Abartis (unconfirmed). This convention could see the largest gathering of Locus folks in many years; perhaps Beth will get a photo.
I live about 60 miles north of Anaheim, and so after finishing posts to the Locus Online website this morning, I left home and drove south on I-5 past downtown LA and into Orange County. (I hate the I-5, especially the narrow, congested part that runs for 10 miles or so south of downtown LA to just past the border into Orange County, where it blissfully widens. Local politics.) I thought that traffic mid-day on a weekday wouldn’t be so bad; I was wrong.
I arrived around 2 p.m., parked and checked in to the Marriott, and walked over to the (much-expanded, since 1996, the last time Worldcon was sited here) Convention Center, where I checked in with registration to get my badge and program items, then sought out the dealers room and found the Locus table in a far corner. I attended most of one panel, about future trends in SF, with Gary K. Wolfe, James Patrick Kelly, Lou Anders, and others. Quotable quotes and discussion points:
What’s the new trend in SF? Fantasy. (Jim Kelly citing a response to this question from an Asimov’s/Analog associate editor.)
Gary Wolfe: Virtually all fantasy is entry-level; little significant SF is (think Stross, Appleseed, Egan).
Franchise SF [Star Wars, Star Trek novels] will never go away… it’s the only entry-level SF around.
Do most SF writers believe their futures will come true? Surely Sheckley and Dick didn’t. But some hard SF writers do. And in simpler times, probably Heinlein and Clarke and Asimov assumed their imagined futures would come true, in some sense.
The Dealers Room is decent-sized, with a fair number of book dealers among those selling costumes, CDs, DVDs, and games, though I realized after it closed that I don’t think I saw any dealer selling new UK books (perhaps the cost and/or inconvenience of shipping into the US was prohibitive?).
As the Dealers Room closed, I tagged along with the Locus table folks up to the official Locus suite in the Hilton, where Jim Kelly and John Kessel, John Picacio, an Australian contingent of Simon Brown, Sean Williams, Garth Nix, and Jonathan Strahan, and assorted other Locusoids were holding forth, while The Charles sat in a back room away from the crowd where he could hear. Eventually most of the group embarked downstairs to the rather pricey Italian restaurant in the lobby where we split across two tables and conversed loudly while drinking wine and eating manicotti and lamb and scampi. I chatted with Sean Williams about Lost, John Kessel about his creative writing students, and Jonathan and Jim and the others about editorial philosophies and Best of the Year anthologies. After dinner we all retired outside to the bar area, for further discussion of Locus cover photos and so forth, as Nancy and Ellen and Cynthia and Andrew and others came by. But by 9 p.m. or so people began to drift off, to a Writers’ Workshop social and other events, and I took the opportunity to depart, return to my room, skim and delete the day’s 10,000 spam e-mails, and write this post. More tomorrow.