So I arrived at Sasquan yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the World Science Fiction Convention, usually referred to as WorldCon. This year, it’s up in Spokane, Washington. This is my first big con, and I’ve been planning this trip since around December of last year, when it was confirmed that Brandon Sanderson would be attending the entire time.
I had to get up at 4:30 AM to start my day, so it was a really long one. Thankfully, travel was relatively uneventful. It was my first time traveling by myself, so it was an interesting experience. Thankfully, my flights were relatively on-time, my luggage made it here in one piece, and I was able to catch a bus to the con for $2 quite easily. Check-in at the hotel was easy, and even if the room is so posh I’m literally sinking into the bed as I write this… It’s worth it. The convention center itself is easy to navigate once I have my map oriented correctly. I hope my travels back are just as uneventful.
Registration was relatively easy, even if it did take half an hour to get through the line. Once I got through, since I had preregistered, I was given my badge in moments!
The thing is, being my first big con, I don’t really know anybody here. I think the only person here I’ve ever met in person before is Brandon himself, and he meets so many fans, I’m fairly sure that he won’t even remember meeting me before, even if Peter (who is also attending) does know who I am.
But that’s what the internet is for! I’m meeting people left and right that I only previously knew on the internet. I was on the plane with Dave Robison of the Roundtable Podcast (His voice is SO recognizable. Like, wow.), Mur Lafferty was on my bus from the airport to the hotel… I actually got to meet and talk to Dave in the registration line, and he now recognizes me by sight. I met Alice Arneson, more commonly known as Wetlander, who does half of the Stormlight Archive reread over on tor.com and is a long-time Sanderson beta-reader. I’ve talked with her several times on the internet, and she’s a super nice person.
The only panel I made it to yesterday was the Opening Ceremonies. They were worth it, though. A Native American storyteller from one of the local tribes came and sang a traditional song and told several traditional stories. He had an incredible stage presence, and the audience, myself included, was captured by his imagination and performance. After he spoke and the guests were introduced, we were treated to a video recording from our special guest of honor, Kjell Lindgren, who is currently living on the ISS, and who will be teleconferencing in at least a few times this week to do panels.
After that, Alice introduced me to the con suite, where there are apparently free snacks for participants 24 hours while the con is going. It’s kind of awesome. While there, she introduced me to Joel Phillips, another Sanderson beta-reader and owner of the signed and numbered #1 copy of A Memory of Light, for which he had to camp out 2 weeks in below-zero weather. I almost tripped over Charles Stross.
I decided to subsist on snacks for the evening, since dining around here is so freaking expensive. I’m only planning to go out to any of the nice restaurants to eat if I’m going with a group of people and it’s worth it for the connections and friends made. I crashed in my way too posh hotel bed, utterly exhausted after being up for… something close to 18 hours straight. I walked about 5 miles, and I’m sure that’s going to be demolished by the amount of walking I’m doing today. I have a lot more people I’m looking forward to meeting (Sanderson), and today I start hauling books around to get signed. Until tonight, everyone!