ChiCon Report

How many of you have attended one of the larger cons like the World Science Fiction Convention known as WorldCon? I recently returned from my first one as a published author. John Scalzi was the terrific toastmaster who kept the Hugo Awards both funny and classy, we had a surprise visit by Neil Gaiman himself to accept his well-deserved award for Best Dramatic Presentation short form with the wonderful “The Doctor’s Wife” for Dr. Who, and George RR Martin was genuinely thrilled and surprised to win for long form, even though the audience knew he would win.

I was on two panels on the peak day, Saturday, which was fun because of the new fans and authors you get to meet. One panel I had requested -- "How You Get Your Ideas" -- and the other one I was assigned to. That one was called -- "Moral Ambiguity in Your Characters" -- and I was honored to be there with Jay Lake, Nancy Kress and Charles Stross, all multi-published authors. Our moderator was Bryan Thomas Schmidt, who kept the panel lively and even funny, especially for such a heavy topic. The room was packed, people sitting on the floor, and was well-received.


My first panel was opposite George RR Martin on the conference grid, so I didn’t expect anyone would show up. But we did have a nice turnout and a great group of authors. Former CIA member Tom King moderated for us, with the esteemed Harry Turtledove really showing us all how to be a consummate professional in all circumstances. He always has the best stories. 


Much of the fun took place after dark. On Friday my publisher put on a special invitational cruise down the river. I had no idea how gorgeous the Chicago architecture would be from the water, all lit up, with movie soundtrack music making you feel like this is the best cruise of your life (the alcohol and appetizers didn’t hurt). George RR Martin was there, along with GoT actor Ron Donachie, and many of the convention’s biggest authors. I was able to catch up with 2010 Hugo winner Paolo Bacigalupi and meet a writer I’ve admired for a long time for her “Kitty” series, Carrie Vaughn, as well as the lovely Liza Groen Trombi who won the Hugo this year.

Click to see George wearing his signature cap.

The other thing to do at night is party hop. You take the elevator to the top floor and work your way down. You never know who you’re going to meet from the whole range of people from fans who like to dress in costume to some of the best authors and editors working in science fiction and fantasy. A surprising amount of business takes place then. And then there are also those seeking the android of their dreams.

So many people volunteer their time all year to make the con a success. One group that came across my radar this year is the dealers. They work so hard, packing their cars and driving across the country, getting little sleep, to bring us the books and jewelry and treasures. They are the first ones there building their booths, and the last ones to leave, carefully packing up each book to carry home.

One of my treasures!

So tell us – have you gone to one of these large cons? How was it? Did you meet anyone? Fall in love?

19 comments:

Alexandra Trebek said...

Sweet necklace! No idea what it is but hey! If noone else does you can always default the prize to the first commenter ha-ha:D

Alexandra Trebek said...

But wait kind of resembles a spiderish being or maybe Appa from Avatar the Last Airbender. Probably not though. It was worth a try!

Lissa Price said...

Good try! But BZZZZT (game show buzzer). If no one guesses it, I will name you winner.

Alexandra Trebek said...

Darn! But huzzah! I don't think I've wanted other people to not succeed before. Haha but good luck to all people!

slcard said...

I have been lucky enough to attend a couple of Worldcons and I highly recommend them to anyone with an interest in science fiction or fantasy! They really are as much fun as you describe!

americangirlemmie said...

I have never been to a convention, but I REALLY want to. They sound amazing... It looks like the Appa from Avatar the Last Airbender, to me as well, but you already said that is incorrect. It kind of looks like a dinosaur on the top of it. I don't know what it is, but it looks cool. :)

Lissa Price said...

Yeah, I can see that. But it's not. And I agree, tres cool.

americangirlemmie said...

Kind of looks like a mountain, hill or something of that sort... Mount Doom maybe? I am running low on ideas.

americangirlemmie said...

I asked my brother's opinion and he thinks it looks like the Gungan beasts from Star Wars. I'm gonna keep looking for the answer...

americangirlemmie said...

Was it made by laurieopal? I am trying to figure out what it is, it looks so familiar!

Lissa Price said...

For anyone who didn't see, I tweeted that I would give a prize to the first person who could *guess* (by looking) what the necklace is supposed to be. I didn't name the prize yet, (it's not the new necklace).

americangirlemmie said...

Gahhh... I have given up. The sad part is, it looks so familiar! I should know what it is. Maybe you should just draw a name from everyone who commented. *hinthint* Well, good luck to everyone else!

americangirlemmie said...

Kind of looks like an anthill to me. Is it an anthill? Strange idea...

Lissa Price said...

Americangirl, I already posted in my comment above I would give it to the first responder if no one guessed it, so I have to keep to my word. Not an anthill but I can see why you saw that.

americangirlemmie said...

Well, I have run out of ideas... my last guess is tree roots. Is it tree roots? Congrats to whoever wins!:)

Lissa Price said...

Not tree roots, but good guess.

Lissa Price said...

Alexandra Trebek please email me via the address on my website.

Alexandra Trebek said...

Okay!

Lissa Price said...

So no one guessed jellyfish, so I am sending a new, signed, hardback copy of Starters to the first person to respond, Alexandra Trebek. Thank you all for playing. I will do more games in the future. Follow me on twitter (lissa_price) or fb (lissapriceauthor) to catch them quickly!