shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


nebular deposition (with apologies for namechecks)

There's probably not enough caffeine in the world to make me truly perky today -- not that perkiness is ever an intended state of being. Back here in the Land of Too Much Pollen (although copious amounts of sunlight help), I'm feeling tired and sniffly and headachey, due to the aforementioned allergens dancing in my nose. I'm sure I'll readjust in a couple of days.

Since everyone else is doing it, I thought I'd do a wrap-up post on the weekend, although the photos tell the same story.

Friday night we arrived at the lovely Allegro Hotel more or less when we intended, around the local quitting time. The Allegro's free 5 o'clock cocktail hour was in full swing in the lobby and, really, there's nothing I love more than entering a hotel and being immediately handed a glass of wine. The hotel's giant lobby was full of giant plush couches and chairs that looked like the kind of thing children would imagine for furniture. These would prove to come in very handy over the weekend. Also, there were cute dogs roaming around the hotel at various times and the rooms were less impersonal than the norm, more like the result of an interior design show. Anyway, we got in just in time to unpack, change, ice a bottle of wine for later, and meet Robin down in the lobby.

We chatted with David Hartwell and ran into an arriving Susan Groppi and Matt Withers (who has an unacceptable lack of web presence). Then we badged up and met up with fellow Southerners Andy and Sydney Duncan. They joined us and our friends Robin and Clint, who are local, for dinner at Ye Olde Elephant Pub, where I had a very nice Thai chicken salad despite what anyone may tell you. (Everyone else had chee-burgers.) We ran into Critical Mass on the way to the restaurant -- Chicago's CM has the right idea about these sorts of things, as opposed to the dour, growly or hippified way of massing (sometimes seen elsewhere).

Back to la hotel for the reception where nominated writers participate in the 1950s ritual of being "pinned" and the Grand Master is first celebrated (Anne McCaffrey -- apparently I am the only person who never read the Pern books). This year's also featured a call by those in attendance to Jack Williamson who was having his 97th birthday, delighted by the singing of "Happy Birthday" and is probably still trying to figure out who exactly was on the other end of the phone. We ran into lots more people at the reception and ended up in a late-night lobby confab with most of them. In the interest of naming names: Sean Stewart, David Moles, Ben Rosenbaum, Susan and Matt, Karen Meisner, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Greg van Eekhout and charming wife Lisa, David Schwartz, James Cambias, and others. There would be more names there but it's all kind of pleasantly blurry.

The next day we took it easy; you see, Nebula Weekend is kind of a convention without the panels and programming during the day (for the most part). Which makes sense when you think about it. We wandered around the streets near our hotel in the rain. Christopher observed that the part of Chicago where we were looks like the kind of city a little kid would draw (in perfect synch with the hotel furniture). We deep-dished and then spent the rest of the afternoon chatting with various interesting parties. At some point in the afternoon, we ended up at a table chatting with Gordon Van Gelder, Sheila Williams, Gardner Dozois, Ellen Datlow and Susan, among others. Editors gravitate toward each other! We talked about museums, gorillas and tiger training: also short fiction. Then I think they all went to be on a panel and we went to debate The Tie Issue on the plush couches in the lobby.

Dressing up was achieved for the awards dinner and I missed Golden Rule Jones, who happened to be dinnering in the hotel we were at, because of what can only be termed a Panty Hose Emergency. Free cocktail hour happened, followed by cash bar reception. We finally met Cory Doctorow, accompanied by a lovely date with outrageously cool hair. There was much drinking and eating and merry-making and picture-taking. We were next to the Strange Horizons table, which was in fact the youngest table in the room, and it's handy to be able to keep an eye on those people. Our table was split between SciFiction and F & SF, so we had it pretty good -- two eventual winners, Eileen Gunn and Ellen Klages, plus Andy and Sydney, the marvelous Ms. Datlow, Scott Edelman and Gordon and his wife. Sydney was officially the best dressed person in attendance, beating Annie Hall with a stick in her natty suit and Charlie Chaplin tie. Anne McCaffrey was given a chair to sit down in by Christopher (a chivalrous gesture I missed because I was in the ladies with Ellen), then showered with silly string (a reference to the dragons of Pern, I'm told). This meant that when Christopher got his chair back he had silly string to throw at people.

Awards were given.

We were happy and sad, sometimes all at once. I have no doubt that everyone who lost will someday win. Much joy for the people who won. Andy Duncan is officially the Susan Lucci of the Nebula awards. (Five nominations!)

More drinking! More discussion! More emailing and phoning of those not in attendance! Everyone who is in SFWA should be nominating the deserving things they read! Dean Koontz's dog Trixie's book should not be reviewed ANYWHERE! Do not fuck with bridesmaids in pink cowboy hats!

We slept and said goodbye to all the lovely people and then we came home. George was happy. The end.

Updated: Christopher's posted far more succintly on this topic. (See, he IS updating more frequently.)


  • At 5:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    John Scalzi also hasn't read the Pern books, so when you meet at WisCon you'll have something to talk about. Or one less thing to talk about, depending on how you look at it.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home