WorldCon 2018 – San Jose, California

WorldCon 2018 – San Jose, California

I enjoy WorldCon every year, wherever it is held. It’s one of the most important conventions in my diary. Not only do I get to see and support a lot of my authors, I get to have interesting and useful conversations with agents, and other editors and publishers. Oh, and hang out with friends from all over the world, too.

Something happens every year to attempt to steal the limelight from the great stuff happening at the convention. This year, was no exception, with one author, desperate for attention, doing everything he could to paint himself the victim and attempt to shame the good people working the convention. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, count yourself fortunate. Happily, his efforts were insignificant, and even the far right protest he attempted to co-opt turned out to be a damp squib.

Not much in the way of panels for me, this year. There was the usual “What’s coming up at Tor/” panel, which is always well-attended, and the “Ready, Steady, Flash!” panel that I host on a regular basis, this time with Al Stuart, Seanan McGuire, Becky Chambers and Daryl Gregory. A room full to capacity with many people standing or sitting on the floor. It was a lot of fun.

On Wednesday evening, a few of us (me, Scalzi, Kellan Szpara, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire) went to a local dive bar for karaoke, to discover we were two or three hours too early for it. We had to spend the time conversing, instead. A pretty good start to the con, all told.

Sunday night saw the Hugos ceremony. I always attend the Hugos. I love the pomp and the ceremony, even when things go wrong (and things always go wrong). I was so happy to see Martha Wells win Best Novella for All Systems Red. On a personal, selfish note, it means that books I have edited have now won the Nebula and the Hugo every year for three years running.


This year I was nominated for Best Editor (short form). Four years ago, when I was nominated for Best Editor (long form) I wasn’t ready for the honour of the nomination. I truly believed (and believe) I wasn’t good enough. This year I feel like I’ve earned my seat at the table (see the note above about my Hugo/Nebula winners, for example). Three of the six finalists in the Best Novella category this year were edited by me. But it was a tough line-up, and I was never expecting to win. Sheila Williams is a legend. Jonathan Strahan has been nominated 14 times! Neil Clarke, John Joseph Adams and the Thomases (Michael Damian and Lynne M) do fantastic work with their magazines. It truly would have been an honour to lose to any of them. I came in last place, so imagine how much honour there was! :–D However, at nomination stage I had the second highest number of nominations, and I’m also the only British editor ever to be recognized in the Long Form or the Short Form categories, so I’m taking that as a win!

My biggest wins of the weekend, though, must be me having learned how to tie a bow tie hours before the awards ceremony (I’ve always used clip-ons) and people’s reactions to my rather cool new shoes, which I designed specifically for the event. Wherever I went, people would stop me and tell me how much they liked them. In the hotel, in the convention centre, and walking through town. Oh, and I was also catcalled at 1.00am while walking between two hotels. Someone stopped at a traffic light and shouted, “My friend thinks you’re hot!” and I responded with, “Well, in her defence, it is rather dark!”

I do regret not having had the opportunity to read out my speech, though – there were some good gags in there!


So, onto the next set of awards – British Fantasy Awards in the UK and World Fantasy Awards in Baltimore. I know how to tie a bow tie, now.

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