I’m back! And I had a fabulous, if exhausting, time. I arrived Wednesday morning, got all registered and everything–good call, because I gather the lines the next day or so were pretty amazingly huge–and went to the Orbit party, which was in a lovely venue near St Paul’s with a wonderful view. Met a zillion wonderful people, some of whom I’d met before, some of whom I only knew from the internet, some of whom were entirely new to me. It was fabulous.
That “met a zillion wonderful people” thing was a major theme of the week. I met so many people, in fact, that a day or two in my social circuits were more or less overwhelmed and I was having trouble sorting out who I’d met and when, and a few times I remembered that someone had said something–but it turned out, someone else had said it. Usually it was someone else who had been part of the same conversation and I’d just failed to tag it correctly in memory, I guess, but it was a strange experience.
The venue was GINORMOUS. I never did get to the other end of it, where things besides Loncon were happening. I swear I did more walking in a few days than I generally do in a couple of weeks. But the venue was really nice. I was dubious about the Fan Village thing, but it seemed to work out really well. There seemed to be plenty of elevators and ramps (though there may have been access problems I didn’t know about), traffic flowed pretty well, except in a couple of hallways where most of the panels were, which were really freaking crowded during shift changes. I did really like the whole “food court” kind of thing they had going on–not that any of it was life-changingly delicious, but so often at a con you’re stuck with the (incredibly expensive and often crowded) hotel restaurant, and then you hope there’s something decent within walking distance. The setup at the ExCel meant there was generally a good variety of food available right there at the con.
As seems to be the case with me and Worldcons, I attended only one panel. This time it was the Coode Street Podcast recording. I was on a couple others, and had a good time doing them.
So, you know, I had a great time.
Oh, and there was the Hugo Ceremony on Sunday night. Yeah. That little thing.
So, honestly, I expected Wheel of Time to take the rocket home. And I was good with that. There is, annually, some hand-wringing about the Hugos–they’re broken, they’re a sign of [insert thing you despise], they’re meaningless, they should be abolished, whatever. But it’s always seemed to me that the whole point of the Hugos is that people vote for the things that they love. This is not always the same as “the best” or “the most literary” or “the most sophisticated” or whatever–but determining “the best” or any of those other things is a really complicated question, and in the end it’s not actually what the Hugos are about. The Hugos are about what the members of Worldcon love.
Of course, at this point I have a vested interest in saying such a thing. But I’ve always felt that was the case, and never had much of a problem with it. Yeah, sometimes things I don’t love (or things I actively dislike) will win, but that’s the breaks. I might grouse about it to friends, and wish the thing I’d voted for had done better, but eh, it’s not the end of the world. This isn’t to say I don’t think winners should be held up for criticism–I absolutely do. But I generally don’t find that my preferred candidate not winning–or even my not having a candidate I think much of–is a sign of the ultimate bankruptcy of science fiction or whatever.
Anyway. I knew how many people really, really love the Wheel of Time. It’s not my thing, but it doesn’t need to be, does it. So I was just happy to go to London and dress up and go to the parties and be within spitting distance of the Hugo.
Yeah. About that.
Oh. My. God. Afterwards, people were saying, “Did you see, when your name was called…” or “Did you hear…” and I was like, I saw and heard nothing. I was just trying not to fall the fuck over from shock on my way up the steps. Cause, like I said, I was sure it belonged to WoT and I was all ready to cheer for it.
I did have one or two people tell me they were WoT fans but had put AJ in first place, and I would like to say how much that means to me. Because like I said, I know fans of WoT really, really love it.
And then my Twitter and my email exploded, and haven’t yet quite recovered. If you have emailed me or tweeted at me (particularly if you tweeted at me, Twitter doesn’t really want to show me all of my mentions right now, and I don’t blame it, there are a zillion of them) I would like to say THANK YOU. If you had told me at any time before Sunday night that winning a Hugo (let alone any other awards) was anything more than an embarrassingly grandiose fantasy, I would have said (did, in fact, to a couple people) that it was nice of you to say so, but come on, now, really.
Uh huh. Wow. I just…really, words fail.
It doesn’t help that I just got home last night, and my body still kind of thinks it should be in London, so I’m not exactly at my most witty and articulate, but I think I’d be having problems even if I weren’t tired and jetlagged. Holy crap.