* Joe's Diner! Kate, Victor, and I arrived early, and were able to wander around, running errands. This led us to discovering an awesome little diner, just far enough from the convention center to be inaccessible if you didn't have a car (and thus entirely uncrowded throughout the weekend). Cheap, delicious food, real malts, and a waitress who came to know us all by name as we returned again and again for delicious meals. Yay!
* Also during our running around, I found a hardcover copy of Hellspark, one of my favorite hard-to-find books. (Actually, Victor found it. But he is a loving Victor, and he gave it unto me.) I will love it always.
* I wound up in two hotel rooms, one shared with Kate (and connected via adjoining door to Victor), one shared with Wes, Mary, and Amy. Both rooms were awesome in different ways, and I couldn't have asked for better roommates.
* "Just A Minute," where I not only became the new champion, I got to do it while hanging out with awesome people (including two of my favorite people, Paul and Caroline). Betcha John regrets telling me that lists were legal...
* Lauren Beukes's sloth! I nearly stole that thing. I still want to.
* Delivering an impassioned verbal smackdown during the zombie panel.
* Interviewing Tricky Pixie, Bill Wellingham, and this year's COMPLETELY AWESOME Campbell nominees. All on different panels, but still. I could not have shared a stage with more delightful people.
* Kaja hugs.
* Having a signing line longer than George R.R. Martin. It was bizarre and confusing, and totally fantastic.
* Brunch with Daniel and Kelly.
* Breakfast with Sheila.
* Surprise DDR with Kate and Vixy and Lauren and Amy.
* Dinner with Mike and Marnie and the posse, during which I received my official Barfleet tags. They're orange and green! I am truly loved.
...honestly, there were a lot of amazing people at WorldCon this year, but if I try to list them all, someone will be left off, because I am exhausted, and then we will all be sad. So please believe that I love all my friends, and I am so excited to have seen them, and I would not have survived this convention without them. Seriously. I would be dead.
* The one day when I didn't have, basically, a team of people handling me, I was unable to get any food for eleven hours, was repeatedly grabbed by people I don't know, and was even followed into the bathroom stall. Not the bathroom. THE ACTUAL STALL. Needless to say, I was not left alone again, resulting in my friends feeling put-upon, my feeling like I had to hide in my hotel room to have any privacy, and everyone being tense. Being grabbed is bad. It scares me.
* Smoking is allowed indoors in Reno. We were in Reno. I am not as sensitive to smoke as some of my friends, but I still feel pretty lousy, even after being home for almost two full days.
* The convention center was almost a mile away from my hotel, resulting in lots of walking back and forth in the extreme heat. Also, if I managed to forget something at the room, it stayed gone until I went home in the afternoon. This decentralized layout prevented a single Barcon from coalescing, and I am hence still faintly sad.
* The decentralized layout also meant that I saw some people I really care about rarely, if at all. Kate put it best when she noted that if you weren't part of the amoeba, we barely saw you.
* Finding things was almost impossible. I didn't even figure out where open filk was until Friday night, when I was doing "Whose Line?" across from it (an 11pm to 1am panel, so no, I didn't join the circle afterward). I made it to the dealer's hall twice, both times for under twenty minutes.
So. The Hugos. That happened.
You're not supposed to talk about being sad that you lost; it's considered poor form. Unfortunately, in this internet age, it's impossible to avoid addressing it at least a little if you have any sort of decent web presence. Not only is it obvious that you're avoiding an elephant, people keep hijacking other posts and other threads to tell you how sorry they are. That's worse for my sanity than having a few people sigh meaningfully at me, so I'm going to talk about this once, and have done.
Yes, I lost.
Yes, I am very sad about that. I wanted to win. Everybody wants to win. Wanting to win is human nature, and if you don't want to win, you decline the nomination. End of story.
Yes, I am aware that I lost by a very narrow margin. This doesn't make it easier. If anything, it makes it harder; what could I have done to make my book just twenty votes better? Rationally, I know this isn't a quantifiable thing, but, well. Me and numbers. It's a thing.
Yes, I hope that I get another shot next year.
No, I will not be responding to comments directly relating to the Hugos. I hope you understand why not. Congratulations to all the winners, and huge, huge thanks to everyone who voted. I came in second. I beat Bujold in the voting. That's a damn big deal. Maybe next time, we can win.
That was WorldCon, and now it's not. See you next year, in Chicago.