Chicon8 – Going Out with a Bang

I think I said something about yesterday’s post being my last one on Chicon unless something interesting happens. Well… last night, Melissa and I had the distinct pleasure of taking Michael Gallowglas, Patrick Tomlinson, Cliff Winnig, and David Gerald to dinner. It was an absolutely fantastic time.

It was just so, so good. What happens when you fill a table with storytellers? You have a great time.

The dinner is part of a tradition I started a long time ago, which is one night of the convention, I’m going to take a bunch of people out to dinner, my treat. I can be a bit awkward when it comes to socializing, so this is the one moment in the convention where I can overcome that and offer a good time.

Last night was probably the best one I’ve ever been a part of.

When I made the reservation, I tried to plan it so that when we finished, we’d have time to go to the Hugo’s. I assumed everyone coming to the dinner would want to go to the Hugo’s. It’s a big part of WorldCon, right?

We were having such a good time that when David Gerald said, “I’d rather sit here and have dessert and coffee” we all agreed. We stayed in the restaurant, continuing to share stories, and had a way, way better time than we would have had, stuffing ourselves into a convention hall and listening to the Hugo’s presentation.

When we finished with the restaurant, we went to the bar and had drinks and continuing visiting. Not much later, the Hugo’s ended and other people came into the bar.

A couple of Hugo winners came through the bar with their statues. Sarah Pinsker, who won for best Short Story, came near, and for the second time in my life, I got to hold someone else’s Hugo. I’m not going to lie, it affected me deeply, just like the first time when Mary Robinette let me hold hers. It’s a link in a chain that reaches back to Heinlein, the author that inspired me so long ago.

Actual, Final Thoughts on Chicon8

I had a good time throughout the convention, and I enjoyed getting to meet some new people and catch up with acquaintances I haven’t seen in a very long time.

The two moments that stand out the most for me are last night’s dinner, and a couple of days ago when Melissa and I walked with Alma Alexander. In both cases, there were opportunities to be a little bit less selfish, and just do something nice for other people. With Alma, we were attending the Stroll with the Stars, and the rest of the group left Alma behind. She was using a cane and struggling with pain in her hip. Melissa and I stayed with her and made sure she had company and people to talk to. She was concerned she would have some problems with her laptop, so I gave her my card and said I would help. Yesterday morning, she called, and I was able to come down and help her sort it out.

The lesson appears to be: if I want to enjoy a WorldCon, I need to give a little. That’s true in a lot of places, and it was proven out again this weekend.

I have no regrets whatsoever with coming to Chicon8. From a certain perspective, I hardly attended the convention at all. But I think I was present in the best way I could be present this time.

Now, it’s just about time to go home and prepare for a week on the seas with Writing Excuses.