Worldcon, Day 1, Friday

August 17, 2009

Actually for most it was Day 2 of Worldcon, but my flights didn't permit me to attend the opening day, so it was Day 1 pour moi.


The above is a picture of my calendar for the day. I spent much of the plane ride entering sessions that interested me into iCal so I wouldn't have to carry around the full program. Which was a lot of work, but turned out really well as I could move between sessions really quickly.

Sessions I actually went to:

Why Write Across Genres (Delia Sherman, James Patrick Kelly, Preston Grassmann, George R.R. Martin, Ellen Klages)

I believe Michael Swanwick stood in for George R.R. Martin on this one.

Author Reading: Nancy Kress & Walter Jon Williams

Intellectual Property and Creative Commons (Cory Doctorow, Laura Majerus, Felix Gilman)

Patrick Nielsen Hayden was a late addition to this panel. The author reading finished early so I ducked into this one, but missed most of the panel content and arrived for audience questions. However, after thinking about it for a bit, it seems that free distribution of content under the Creative Commons license is still being used mostly to market and promote items sold in print media. So my bigger question is this: if print media were to vanish, what is the business model behind Creative Commons, ie, how does a writer earn a living by distributing work under a Creative Commons license? This may have been discussed by the panelists but I wasn't there to hear it. Or to put it another way: can Cory Doctorow feed his family with proceeds from what he distributes under the Creative Commons license, if he doesn't count associated sales of paperbacks and hardcovers?

Second Time Around (Alexander Jablokov, Michelle M. Sagara, Mike Shepher Moscoe, Nick DiChario, Robert Silverberg)

A couple of panelists seemed to be missing from this panel, but Robert Silverberg and Michelle Sagara were a treat, and Nick DiChario a decent moderator. Mr. Silverberg discussed the various times he'd quit writing and why. Ms. Sagara wasn't sure why she was on the panel because she'd never quit writing, but assumed it might be because she's written under a pseudonym. The takeaway from this one was "You're never out unless you quit". And then as a bonus Larry Niven walked in.

Interview: Gay Haldeman and Joe Haldeman - The Writing Life

I had to duck out early of this one to make my workshop. But they were entertaining while I was there.

Writer's Workshop

This occupied 2 hours of my Friday afternoon and it was a treat to get feedback on my WIP from everyone. A very big thank you to Oz Drummond for organizing these. I don't know where you can get that kind of quality feedback for $17.

Anatomy for Writers, Heroes and Tavern Brawlers

Very funny demonstration of how the body works and what kind of physique one might want to pick for characters for various types of quests.

The Campbell Awards (Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Wen Spencer)

All about the Campbell award, its history, the tale behind the pin and the tiara, and what it's done for its recipients' careers. My brain was slush by this point so I was looking for a feel-good panel. As a bonus, John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow dropped in

After that, I was paneled and workshopped out, so I met up with the Viable Paradise alumni for dinner, made some excellent new friends, and we all trooped back to the bar at the Delta for drinks. The elevators were a gong show so we stayed downstairs and tried to snag various writers into our little corner (with some success, I might add). Lots of fun.

6 comments on “Worldcon, Day 1, Friday”

  1. I want to hear more about these excellent new friends! They sound awesome!

    Pertinent part of this comment is re: Cory D. and feeding his family... I think he makes most of his money blogging and from speaking engagements, so he doesn't have to worry about Creative Commons ruining his income if books/print goes away. That's the issue we may all face someday, much like musicians do today. No band or singer makes money from selling CDs or MP3s, they make it by touring. Our books may someday be the loss-leader for getting our names out there enough to be popular for other things. (Which means most of us are screwed...)

  2. Yeah, who were those excellent new friends and what were they doing down there at that bar...? :)

    I'd be curious to hear more about that "Why Write Across Genres" panel--it's something I wish I'd gone to, since I'm interested in that categorical question of "what is this kind of thing I like to read/write?" What was your takeaway(s) from the panel?

  3. Oooh! My hundredth blog comment!

    What happens in Montréal stays in Montréal :-)

    To be honest I can't remember a whole lot about that panel. i think I was still goggling about being at Worldcon. I did take away that it's fairly common for fantasy writers to read a lot of science fiction and vice versa. As in, the writers aren't necessarily reading in their genre all the time. Which was a bit of a relief for me.

    1. Thanks for the link. But I suppose my original question still stands. Or rather, is answered by "CC is not a business model in and of itself".

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