The 2009 World Science Fiction Convention attracted thousands of geeks from around the world. The full hierarchy was present, from the higher functioning, to the merely breathing (and non bathing) geek. Where do I fit in? I’ll let you decide (I’d like to think that I’m higher functioning…able to slide in with the jocks when need be, but knowing full well that I don’t really belong).
I shacked up with Eileen Bell — my writer friend from Edmonton (she has coattails…and I’m riding them on the Women of the Apocalypse project) and luckily for me, has become a veteran of the literary conventions.
Because truthfully, these conventions aren’t really what you’re expecting. There are no stormtroopers or Klingons (though there are geeks…have I mentioned that?) but the focus is on books. So a lowly writer like me can try to get in there and network, network, network.
A few things I learned while I was there:
– Schwartz’s Smoked Meat sandwiches are good…but aren’t worth a half hour walk there and back. Any of the other smoked-meat delis would’ve done nicely
– The parties (yes, lots and lots of parties) are where everything happens. The sweet spot is 10pm-midnight. Too earlier, and you get stuck talking to the rashes (again, that hierarchy thing…I’m sure I’m a rash to the successful writers). Too late (after midnight) and everyone is stinking filthy drunk (and just plain stinking).
– writers are a neurotic bunch. The literary world would be much better without them.
– met with our publisher and he describes the different streams of publishing.
– agents and editors hide from lowly writers (luckily, both Bev and Eileen had told me this already). The only way in is with the help of other writers. But you have to put in your time.
– Montreal is a ‘dress-up’ type of town. You don’t let your hair down, you put it up and dress to the nines when going out. It’s the antithesis of Chicago. European. I’ve been to Montreal twice now — I gave it a ‘meh’ both times. This time, there’s weren’t 20K douchebags running around town, but it didn’t change all that much.