Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why I'm not going to the World Fantasy Convention this year

Answer: because they don't sell memberships at the door, and they cap sales for pre-registration.

This weekend, I have to be in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a presenter at the Surrey International Writers Conference. Sometime shortly after that -- but the date is yet to be precisely nailed down, but it might be Friday, October 30, and it might be Monday, November 2 -- I have to go to Los Angeles, to do some work on FlashForward, the TV series based on my novel of the same name.

So, what's in between Vancouver and Los Angeles, and is taking place between the dates I have to be in those two places? Why, San Jose, and this year's World Fantasy Convention, which is being held there.

But I can't buy a ticket now, unless I hunt around to find someone who isn't going and is willing to sell theirs, and I can't buy one at the door at any price. I understand that World Fantasy wants to keep out last-minute local goths and vampire-junkies who might get wind of the convention through the media as it's happening, but the effect of their membership-cap and no-at-the-door-sales policies is to keep me away.

Surely the same effect of keeping outsiders out could be accomplished by limiting at-the-door sales to publishing professionals (employees of publishing companies, active members of SFWA, etc.)? And surely a handful of at-the-door sales to people who obviously belong couldn't really overrun the convention's capacity?

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At October 21, 2009 4:01 PM , Blogger John Joseph Adams said...

Just come by and hang out in the bar. That's essentially the same thing as attending the convention anyway!

At October 21, 2009 4:04 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Couldn't bring myself to do that. World Fantasy has an amazing book room, which I'd kill myself if I couldn't see it. Plus, I've always thought that shadowing a con was tawdry.

At October 22, 2009 3:46 AM , Blogger brian_l_raney said...

Any thoughts about freelancing for some media organization on a press pass? I believe that's how Neil Gaiman described attending his first Worldcon. It's certainly not as tawdry as shadowing a con, and you could officially attend the convention on a day pass offered to the media.

At October 22, 2009 10:41 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Brian, but: no. I honestly don't have time to play games. It would have been nice to attend, but the rules don't allow it easily (even membership transfers, we're told, when processed at the door will be subject to delays). The rules are what the rules are; I'm simply noting for the record what the result of said rules are in my case.


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