It’s been an interesting week and a half. School starts this Tuesday, but I didn’t have a job lined up yet as of ten days ago (and the spousal unit was getting worried about that fact). The septic system had a pump die, needing replacement. And Sasquan, the World Science Fiction Convention that was being held in Spokane this year was fast approaching. The latter normally wouldn’t mean much, except that this year I had been nominated for the John W. Campbell award for best new SF writer, and my publisher had encouraged me to go.
I was gluing the PVC pipe in the septic together when the phone rang with a call from a principal asking if I could come in for an interview the following morning. I could. So in about 36 hours I went from septic-tank diving and unemployed to employed and attending an international award convention as a nominee. Upon coming back, the specifics of the job have changed, so now (30 Aug 2015) I’m both a part-time long term sub and a part-time regular employee of the school district, both as a teacher.
Yes, it is indeed a strange world I live in.
So, about Sasquan and the Hugo (and Campbell-not-a-Hugo) awards….
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect being totally ignored, but that’s largely what happened. No offers of being on panels. No interviews. Nobody to introduce me. No packet available that was supposed to be ready for me. No open attacks on me. No large shows of support for the puppies. (Some background on the puppies here: http://sfauthor.net/burning-down-the-house/ ; I was a “rabid puppy” nominee. Five second recap: the insiders worked the nominations and voting in back rooms and parties for years, and didn’t like it when an outsider did the same thing, out in the open, and better, shutting them out of a lock on the awards). Normally new writers are loaded up with panels and shown around and introduced to folks. For me and most of the non-TOR-books nominees? Nothing. So I wandered around, watched, listened, talked to a lot of “average SF con attendees.” They were mostly nice, and most knew little or nothing about the whole puppies thing. Most who knew something had a warped left-wing version of events in their heads. I managed to line up 3 interviews of my own by walking down to the press room and asking “want to interview a rabid puppy?” including one with Amy Wallace of Wired (http://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters/ ) who talked to me for 20 or 25 minutes, but didn’t use any of it (flatly contradicted what I said, in fact, perhaps because I was recording the interview, too, so she could not out-of-context sound-bite me).
Generally, the CHORFs (Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics) behaved like HS girls having a hissy-fit that none of their cheer-leader friends got on the Prom Queen ballot, so they got the prom canceled rather than see one of the great unwashed wear the tiara.
There were several good post-voting analysis posts around the blogs, like https://chaoshorizon.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/2015-hugo-analysis-best-novel/ and the total results are here http://www.thehugoawards.org/content/pdf/2015HugoStatistics.pdf for the number-crunchers out there.
After all was said and done, I walked away with a number of pleasant interactions, a spiffy “Campbell nominee” pin https://fontfolly.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/campbellpin_cropped.jpg , 68 votes (out of 3859 cast for the Campbell, my write-up here http://www.thestarscameback.com/?p=663 ), and a lot of first-hand knowledge of what sort of people are the inside crowd of WorldCon. I met John C. Wright (http://www.scifiwright.com/ , and a fascinating post-Hugo podcast with him here http://superversivesf.com/2015/08/30/superversive-sf-post-hugo-livestream/ ), Quizzer and Codex (https://tempestinateardrop.wordpress.com/ , who it turns out live fifteen minutes from me), Ken Burnside of Ad Astra Games ( http://www.adastragames.com/ ), and more.
I would have liked to meet more non-SJWs, gunnies, or neutral locals, but I think that after all was said and done it was worthwhile and educational.