Tuesday, May 9, 2006

ToBeCONtinued: not sure if I'll be there

In theory, 72 hours from now I should be boarding a plane, and heading to Chicago for the convention ToBeCONtinued, at which I am supposed to be Author Guest of Honor.

I say "in theory" because the convention was supposed to book my airline tickets, and, despite numerous reminders on my part, no tickets have been booked.

I had volunteered to buy tickets myself, back when they would have cost US$312, but the con chair wouldn't let me do that -- he wanted to see if he could get a better deal.

I've watched as the prices have gone up and up and up as we get closer to the travel date; right now, the cheapest non-direct flight is US$777, and the cheapest direct flight is US$972.

On Sunday -- when tickets could be had for US$100 less than they cost now -- I sent an email to the con, which said in part:

I feel a moral obligation to offer to not come to your convention.

Had tickets been booked in a timely fashion, they would have cost the con about one third of the current amount. I have no desire to bankrupt ToBeContinued. I was flattered to be asked to be GoH, and would happily consider coming in that role next year (with tickets purchased well in advance), instead, if that makes better sense for the convention -- or simply never attending at all.

I'm not looking to blame anyone for the delays or lapses in communication, and have no anger or animosity -- and I don't want you to feel pressured to spend money the con can't afford. If it's better for the con for me not to come, given the airfares available at this late date, simply say so, and that will be the end of the matter.

And I went on to outline some options for getting me to the con, should they still wish to do so. I've had no reply.

It's still possible that tickets may materialize in time for me to make the convention, but I feel an obligation to let those who might be planning to go specifically to see me to know that my attendance is now in doubt.

Just so there's no possible confusion about what went down, I've uploaded a complete record of the emails exchanged on the topic of my travel to my website (with names of the concom members and such things as phone numbers and passport numbers removed). You can read it here.

If I hear anything new, I'll post it here. Please accept my profound apologies; I am truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused any of my readers.


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