Post-WorldCon WorldCon post

I’m back from being baked in Texas. San Antonio was hot. Austin was hotter. WorldCon was great.

There has been a lot of commentary about WorldCon and its various issues this year – check out thoughts from Chuck Wendig, Tobias Buckell, and Madeline Ashby. Yes, WorldCon felt like an old crowd, but then so does EasterCon and FantasyCon here in the UK. This year’s programming was up the wazoo, but hopefully that will be resolved for next year for London.

But I had a really good time. WorldCon is my annual chance to catch up with mostly US-based friends, colleagues and fans, as well as a chance to meet new people and make new contacts. And this year had some serious highlights: two of my best friends were up for the Campbell Award, and one of them won, and I discovered I came 12th on the ballot; my wife and I got to hang out with astronaut Cady Coleman at the Hugo Losers’ Party; Joe Haldeman liked my suit for the Hugo Awards; Gail Carriger interrupted my reading to personally deliver a freshly brewed cup of tea; my forthcoming novel from Tor, The Burning Dark, was featured at the Tor Presents panel and got one hell of an introduction from Patrick Neilsen Hayden, and the cover was up on the wall at the Tor party that night; I ate a rhino beetle to win a book at the Booksworn party; I had a mighty fine time at Drinks with Authors, where I gave an advance bound manuscript of The Burning Dark to the delightfully enthusiastic Tabitha; we had real Texas BBQ; we melted in the heat as we toured the state capitol in Austin; we walked through the gigantic, cathedral-like caverns of Natural Bridge; Chuck and I made plans for world domination in a non-novel field; there were pancakes.

I’m reluctant to list everyone I met, chatted to, hung out with, because inevitably I’ll just leave someone out. So instead I’ve got a set of photos up on Flickr, and here are some highlights:

The Burning Dark finds its very first reader.

The Burning Dark finds its very first reader.

Eat a bug, win a book! A selection of arthropod snacks. I had a rhino beetle. It wasn't great.

Eat a bug, win a book! A selection of arthropod snacks. I had a rhino beetle. It wasn’t great.

Tor senior editor Patrick Neilsen Hayden describes The Burning Dark to a packed Tor Presents panel.

Tor senior editor Patrick Neilsen Hayden describes The Burning Dark to a packed Tor Presents panel.

At the Hugo Awards, with Michelle Wendig, Chuck Wendig, Emma Newman, Sandra McGechan, me, Lee Harris.

At the Hugo Awards, with Michelle Wendig, Chuck Wendig, Emma Newman, Sandra McGechan, me, Lee Harris.

My wife, NASA senior astronaut Cady Coleman, and me at the Hugo Losers' Party.

My wife, NASA senior astronaut Cady Coleman, and me at the Hugo Losers’ Party.

The Campbell Award ballot results. Technically I came 12th. Result!

The Campbell Award ballot results. Technically I came 12th. Result!

See you in London, 2014!