Chicon 7 Friday

Today’s late night report on Chicon 7 Day 2, because if I don’t do it tonight I won’t get to it–

More panel browsing today. The two I heard the most of were on short fiction and on ‘filling’ the magazines. The former I attended in part to put faces to names of people I’d never met – Rachel Swirsky, Mur Lafferty, and Niall Harrison. I did meet Niall briefly, and appreciated his comments about the site and the new awards site. The latter panel was an interesting discussion focusing largely on the differences between print ‘zines and e-zines, and the highlight of that event was meeting for the first time Rich Horton, long-time Locus magazine short fiction reviewer (who along with Gardner Dozois succeeded me in that role 11 year ago), whom I had never met before.

In between I listened to some of the John Scalzi reading, ducked into a panel that Jeffery Kooistra (another name I don’t have a face for) was supposed to be moderating but at which he didn’t show, and browsed the art show and dealers’ room (again), and chatted with Kirsten Gong-Wong and Russ Elliott. Didn’t see much that I liked in the art show, but I seldom do; the exception was the computer graphic work of Carolyn Nicita, of which I bought two small pieces last year at World Fantasy Con in San Diego…

My partner Yeong arrived today and he and his son James, who lives in Chicago (he’s a trader at the Chicago Exchange), took me out for a day-late birthday dinner at an excellent Italian restaurant, Prosecco. We made it back to the hotel in time for the Random House-hosted riverboat cruise party that embarked at 8pm. They had hors d’oeuvre and an open bar. We went inland, down the south branch of the Chicago River, turned around at a raisable railroad bridge that wasn’t raised, headed back through downtown and then out onto the lake, making a big oblong loop from north to south, giving us a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. It was a three hour tour! On the boat I chatted with Liza and Gary Wolfe – both for the first time at the con; they lead much busier schedules than mine – Kirsten and husband Aaron, Beth Gwinn, Ellen Datlow, Robert Reed, Kay Kenyon, Karen Haber, Rob Sawyer, Connie Willis, and probably others I don’t recall; other luminaries, John Joseph Adams and Joe Haldeman and Robert Silverberg and George R.R. Martin, were also onboard. It cooled off nicely after a day of humid heat, though the Blue Moon was hidden behind a gauzy film of thin clouds.

We were back by 11. I briefly checked out the top party floor in the east tower, which included both the Tor party and something called ‘Barfleet’, which apparently featured adult entertainment, but the entire floor was crowded and hot. I made one circuit through the Tor party, seeing no one I knew, and exited the floor forthwith. On the way to the elevator to my room in the other tower I paused briefly to chat with a group including Jim Kelly and John Kessel and Lawrence Person and Rick Wilber and Jacob and Rina Weisman, as they floated anthology ideas. I told them something I heard today: a nongenre publisher thought that a story wasn’t SF unless it had a dinosaur in it. (Did Ellen tell that anecdote? Now I don’t remember.) They also floated an SF version of ‘Fifty Shades of..’ If these anthologies ever appear, you heard it here first.

The view from my window on the 28th floor is of the office building next door. Curious observation: since this morning, a floor and a half of that building, two or three floors below me, has emptied out. I guess the tenants vacated.

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