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Con over; exhaustion sets in

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I'd love to write up a detailed con report for ConJosé, but I have no time. I've spent the last five days doing con stuff, and as a result have sadly neglected all of my editorial duties other than the ones that involve appearing in public and having a good time. I have a week's worth of stories to read tonight, several days' worth to enter into our submissions database, and two to edit, and it's already after 9 p.m. So, um, no con report from me for a while; knowing me, that probably (sadly) means not ever.

But I will say a few brief things (okay, so this amounts to a mini con report, I guess):

  • I mostly had a good time.
  • I got to meet a whole lot of people in person whom I'd only talked to via email: about ten of our contributors (there were seventeen of our fiction authors in attendance, and at least thirteen of our other contributors (articles, reviews, poetry, music, etc.), and eight staff members), various Important Personages (authors, editors, et alia—not that the less-well-known people weren't also important personages, mind you), a bunch of people who've submitted to us but whom we haven't accepted yet (I tried to go say hi and introduce myself to any whose names I recognized). Very cool. Everyone I talked to for more than thirty seconds was intelligent, fun, and interesting.
  • I also got to hang out with a bunch of new and old friends who I had previously met.
  • Sadly, we didn't win the Best Web Site Hugo. I still feel that all of the nominees were good enough to deserve the award; it would've been way cool if we'd won, but I think Locus Online was a perfectly good choice.
  • I attended several good readings (and no bad ones).
  • I attended almost no panels. One of the high points of the con for me, though, was the "Scottish Revolutionaries" panel, featuring Charlie Stross, Eric S. Raymond, Lawrence Person, and China Miéville. I suspect I'd have been distressed if I'd been in a more serious mood, but as it was I was entertained and intrigued by the thought-provoking and high-tension arguments, particularly the vehement debate between China (an ardent socialist activist) and Raymond (an ardent libertarian/extropian). Person did a good job of keeping things at a simmer while never quite letting the packed room boil over into a full-blown riot. (Though he did let his personal sympathies, which were closer to Raymond's than to anyone else's, flavor his moderation on occasion.) Particularly interesting was the end of the panel, when it became clear that nobody on the panel (possibly excepting Stross, who I don't think addressed the issue) believed that their ideal world could come about without violence. Extremely thought-provoking, very high-energy; certainly a fair number of people (both in the audience and on the panel) took things very personally and very emotionally, but I had enough distance (though I agreed with China more often than with any of the others, and thought he was particularly well-spoken and erudite) that I didn't get quite so involved.
  • I got to be a China Miéville groupie for a little while a few hours later, part of a little group that clustered around him briefly to talk politics. (I'd never have had the courage to go talk with him alone; if you read this, Greg, thanks for providing the opportunity to participate!)
  • I was totally delighted with getting to hang out with the SH authors and assorted friends, especially when we filled a room of the SFWA suite two nights running. It really made me feel like we at SH are part of something special, like we're involved in helping these "young turks" (whether or not chronologically young) find their rightful place among the rising stars of the field.
  • I bought too many books. (Surprise!)
  • I got too little sleep. (Surprise!)

So now I'm all tuckered out, and I have a lot of work left to do tonight. So I'll bid you all fondieu for now. But to everyone I met and saw and talked with: thanks for a great con! And to everyone who didn't make it: next year in Toronto! (Um, I guess that doesn't have the same ring as "next year in Jerusalem." Never mind.)

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