Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Worldcon day five

by Rob - August 29th, 2006.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

Sunday, August 27, was the final day of L.A. Con IV, the World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles.

I started off with a meeting with Scott Danielson from SFF Audio, then did my autographing, which was well attended, and my reading, which was not (just four people — the readings venue was hidden off in one of the hotels, instead of the convention center; I hate it when cons do that).

I read “The Eagle Has Landed” from Mike Resnick’s DAW anthology I, Alien, and spoke rather passionately about the societal role of science fiction. After that, I ran into actress Karen Black outside, as I was heading from the hotel to the convention center; I remembered her remembered fondly from Capricorn One and other movies; we had a very nice chat — she’s still quite lovely.

Next up was a group photo on a mock-up of the bridge of the Enterprise from the original Star Trek, posing with wax figures of the original crew, with me, Susan Forest, Heather Osborne, and Kirstin Morrell dressed in classic Trek uniforms. Once I get a copy of the photo, I’ll post it here. (As it happened, my editor walked by just after I’d put on my gold Enterprise tunic. “That’s your new author photo, Rob,” I was told.

Dinner was with Analog editor Stan Schmidt and his wife Joyce; very nice. After, Carolyn and I joined the Calgary contingent and headed off to watch the fireworks at Disneyland from a parking lot (Disneyland is only a short walk from the convention center). We then attended a bit of the dead-dog party, ran into Robert Charles Wilson and his wife Sharry over in the Marriott as they returned from Disneyland, and had drinks with them before calling it a day.

All in all, it was a very pleasant Worldcon. But it was small, as these things go; just 4,950 warm bodies on site, from what I heard; that’s only 2/3 of what was expected.

My theory: the presence of the 110,000-person San Diego Comics Con — which has evolved into a general pop-culture media convention with a very large science-fiction component — just last month in nearby San Diego may have siphoned off a lot of the potential traffic for L.A. Con IV. Or, it may be that World Science Fiction Conventions are generally in decline. Next year’s attendance figures in Japan won’t tell us anything, because that’s such an unusual location for a Worldcon (the Worldcon has only once before been in a country where English isn’t the principal language), but the 2008 con in Denver will be a significant test.

Anyway, I had a great time, and did a lot of useful business. And I’m now back home after 20 days on the road, a trip that took me to Calgary for a wedding; to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California; to San Diego for Writers of the Future; and finally to L.A. for the Worldcon. I wish I could say the rest of my year won’t be as hectic, but I’ve got trips to Banff, Denver, Montreal, and two trips to Vancouver coming up … Still, it’s a great life! :)

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