I went to my first major con a few weeks ago, driving up by myself to Chicago on Saturday to visit the World Science Fiction Convention, this year known as ChiCon 7. I wrote a blog post over at New Authors Fellowship, sharing the wonderful and not so wonderful experiences I had. Nothing great comes without sacrifice, so I’m fine, and so thankful that I went. I am sad that I only got to stay for Saturday, and therefore missed the Hugo Awards, so I’m putting together my own Hugo Awards based on people I met or sat as audience for in panels. Big congrats to all the winners of the real awards, and my silly fake ones.
The Hugo Award for … :
Most Unrecognizable Face goes to Brent Bowen, who is apparently not a wolf, but still cool. The story there is that he came up to me at the Baen Party and I had no idea who he was. “Brent Bowen, why does that name sound so familiar?”
Having the Coolest Mother, & Attempt to Make You Forget Her Name go to Madison Woods, if that is her real name. I guess it’s a good thing for her pen name that she doesn’t live in the middle of a rat’s nest, although that would make a cool Dark Fantasy last name, Madi Ratsnest. And the part about her mother, well, she just so happens to be the first person to ask for my autograph–and she didn’t care that I have nothing published! She said she’d keep it knowing I would. How precious.
Most Gracious Panelist goes to Kay Kenyon. Elegant in her mannerisms and adorable scarf and was so kind in response to my asking if I could record her panel saying I should tell everyone about my podcast.
Best Mentor Figure goes to Nancy Kress, who, as a panelist in the “Moral Ambiguity in SF” panel, displayed deft wisdom, kindness, and willingness to stand up to Charles Stross and tell him when he was wrong. (Charles is a really cool guy. I just thought it was funny watching her stand her ground.) I may be a little biased on this since she writes about genetic manipulation, and that’s one of my favorite tropes to write about. She also kind of reminds me of the English teacher I’d chat after class with.
Most Photogenic goes to Charles Stross. Bryan Thomas Schmidt led the panel and gave me his camera to take pictures, and every time I shot Charles, it was like he was staring into my soul, and laughing. So, I had to share.
Most Awkward Podcasting Reunion goes to Matt Forbeck. We did a podcast interview a few months prior for his 12 for 12 Kickstarter campaign, and I said something to a neighbor about us having met in my closet… “on skype–Skype!”
Most Likable Underdog goes to Tom King for having just published his first novel A Once Crowded Sky with Simon and Schuster. I just liked his honesty in sharing to the “Conquering Writer’s Block” panel how he’s in the worrying-about-how-his-book-will-sell stage. He’s got 28 reviews already, and a solid four-star average.
Coolest Artist goes to Tom Fowler, who also happens to have drawn Tom King’s cover for A Once Crowded Sky. He showed me pictures of stuff he’s drawn, and not only is it incredibly well done, but I thought it was awesome how he draws ideas his five year old son gives him. Check out his blog post “Walrus + Penguin = xmas”. Very cool, Tom. And great work on Tom King’s cover.
Most Enthusiastic Panelist goes to Teresa Frohock, who, as you can tell from this picture, has a tremendous personality–so enthusiastic and supportive to the other panelists.
Best Comedic Relief (Single) goes to Gene Wolfe. I just loved the opportunity to sit before this wonderful man who has done so much for our speculative fiction community. It was like watching a piece of history happen before my eyes, but instead of it being tragic, it was hilarious and insightful. I have a few of these panels recorded, so stay tuned.
Best Comedic Relief (Group) goes to the awesome group behind the “Disaster Response in SF” panel, led by Myke Cole. This was definitely a darkhorse candidate for hilarity, but we were in tears at one point it was so funny. I’m sure the fact that it was at the end of a long day had nothing to do with the whole room being slap-happy. Thanks to Myke, Marie Bilodeau, Eightball, Jean Johnson, Scott Lynch. I also have this recorded.
Best Reading goes to Patrick Rothfuss, for his gut-busting story about a college kid proving his hamster was a fish so the RA would let him keep it in his dorm.
I recorded a handful of panels from this convention, including Hugh Howey‘s reading “The Walk Up Nameless Ridge.” I’m working on giving away the Hugh Howey reading to a friend’s podcast because my new podcast won’t release until January. Stay tuned.