On basically 4 hours of sleep, I launched myself at the Saturday portion of Worldcon
Because this was about the speed of what I could handle at 9 AM on Saturday
Archetypes Without Stereotypes (Ben Jeapes, Pat Rothfuss, Nalo Hopkinson, Doselle Young)
This was a really good panel about stereotypes, clichés and other things to avoid in one's writing. All of the panelists were hugely thoughtful and entertaining.
Comedy & SF (James Zavaglia, Joe Pearce, John Scalzi)
About comedy in Science Fiction films. John Scalzi's always entertaining but this panel became more about audience commentary than questions or panelist discussion.
Knights Who Say F***! (David Anthony Durham, Guy Gavriel Kay, Marc Gascoigne, Pat Rothfuss)
All about what kind of dialogue sounds authentic (or should sound authentic) in fantasy. Ie, is modern diction appropriate? This was the best-moderated panel of the Con for me. Guy Gavriel Kay came prepared with really thoughtful questions for the panelists, as they batted around various positions based on an interpretation of an essay written by Ursula K. LeGuin. Mr. Kay kept the panel moving, on-topic throughout, and each panelist provided interesting and unique points of view. I believe Ellen Kushner (apologies if I got her mixed up with Ellen Klages) was an addition to this panel as well.
Online Magazine Markets (Diane Walton, Jude-Marie Green, Leah Bobet, Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace)
I ducked into this one but ducked out pretty quickly since I don't write much short fiction
The Middle Ages: Getting It Right (Edward James, Karl Sperring, Mark Sebanc, Kim Vandervort, Anna L. Bedford)
Went to support VP alum Kim Vandervort, realized she was doing fine, so ducked to attend the landscape panel
Landscape in Fiction as Character (Anne Whiston Spirn, Silvia Kelso, Stanley Schmidt, Nalo Hopkinson)
Started out with a rather long but pretty slideshow by the moderator (not sure if this felt weird for the other panelists), however, once the discussion got going this was a great panel on how the landscape itself can become a character in one's story. Michael Swanwick was a late addition to this panel. Very interesting to hear Nalo Hopkinson talk about church bells and gunshots in Jamaica.
Culture & Geography
I was pretty baked by this one so didn't stay for the whole thing. Lots of discussion about the fallacies of geographical determinism, imperialism, etc. I did pick up a few ideas for how the cultures in my novel might use the natural resources around them in more realistic ways.
That was about it for panels for me on Saturday. Hooked up with the VP folks again for dinner at the Delta, before we all trooped off to Kim Vandervort's launch party for The Song & The Sorceress. After checking out the other hospitality suites, the general consensus was that Kim's launch was the happening place to be. Late in the evening I was feeling "crowded" out, so a couple of us moved down to the lobby in search of quieter conversation. Only to miss Larry Niven dropping in by seconds. We had the weirdest elevator ride ever as we tried in vain to reach the lobby, fighting against some strange otherworldly elevator-algorithm that had us oscillating between various floors on an asymptotic approach to the lobby (with a Klingon for company, no less).
Right about here the alert reader will detect some foreshadowing, and should be waving their arms and screaming "Run, Kat! Escape while you can! Your luck has run out and it's all downhill from here!". Except I wasn't exactly alert the next morning.
Here's the obligatory schedule picture: