Tags: wiscon 36


Wiscon 36 Con Report - Convo Edition

So this Wiscon I felt like I was always talking to a different group of people! For me, I get all these intersections at Wiscon. Wiscon itself and the people running it, Broad Universe, Outer Alliance, Clarion, people I met in previous years, people I met online (usually _because_ of Wiscon in some way). And this year in particular, I really felt that.

I helped out with Access, though not as much I should have. Though perhaps as much as I could have without feeling stretched extra thin. And I had wanted to attend a panel that was being interpreted, but too many conflicts.

I was on a panel about Broad Universe. Where the panelists exactly numbered the audience members. Except that one of the audience members could've been on the panel. It was a bad timeslot. Not because it was early in the morning or late at night, because it wasn't, but because it was the most crowded timeslot, like, ever. There were a least a dozen other things going on. The panel went well even with the low attendance, and it was fun to talk about BU.

I was on a reading for Outer Alliance. That was well-attended for its timeslot -- the parties were all in full swing. The room felt full, even though there were technically empty seats. I read one of my Clarion stories. Well, part of it.

I went to the Outer Alliance party, but had a panel conflict at the start of it. That also seemed to be going well, as people would stick around for the book giveaways. And I saw many people take the reading list there and at a later panel on YA dystopias.

Speaking of Outer Alliance, Julia Rios recorded several panels (I think all ones I went to!!) for the OA podcast. So if those recorded well, you can look forward to hearing those in the future.

I ran into Emily Jiang, or rather she ran into me, who was in the Clarion class after us. I felt all.. big brotherly.. no wait, that sounds sinister.. but like, I wanted the 2008 class to do really well and enjoy Clarion as much as (I think) the 2007 class did. They were the second class to be in San Diego. So if we were the guinea pigs, they were the capuchin monkeys.

As previously mentioned, I went to the gender variant dinner, despite not knowing anyone! (Tried to convince some people I _did_ know to come, but didn't manage it. Three times I tried!) It turns out I did sort of know some of the people I ate with, from seeing them on panels (or they saw me on one) either this year or past years, or from LJ.

But yea, I'm all brave and extroverted and stuff now. Because I _also_ sat down at a table in the dessert salon with nobody I knew. A whole table of strangers! Met Vanessa, who does horror movies, and later we chatted in the Arisia party as well.

I was generally comfortable joining a group if I knew someone in the group, and would join in if I had something to say. Although a lot of the time, I won't have anything to say, so I might still come off as quiet or shy. It really is just as fun listening to a conversation go on, really! You can learn so much at Wiscon just doing that.

So yea, nice putting faces to LJ names! See if I can actually remember them all now. :}

If anyone I met at Wiscon is following me now and wants me to friend them, I can totally do that. I don't really write friends-locked posts though, so you're not missing anything.

(Note: Please don't anyone feel bad if I didn't mention you by name in this post. I may mention you in a later post. Or not. And if anyone I _did_ name wants their names redacted or altered, just let me know.)

I'm also over on Facebook. Oh no, internet platforms colliding!! It's http://www.facebook.com/juliemandrews. Because I'm that cool.

Wiscon 36 Con Report - Food Edition

On the way to Wiscon, I bought a hummus sandwich at the Cosi in the airport. It has leaves of basil on it, which was odd. I would've preferred spinach. I also bought a bagel at DD. The fate of the hummus sandwich -- I ate most of it on the bus, discarded the rest eventually. The fate of the bagel -- turned hard and got thrown out, but I used the cream cheese on a later Starbucks bagel.

I got off at Memorial Union and walked down State Street with my luggage. So to reward myself, I stopped into Noodles & Co and got a pad thai with tofu and a fizzy peach drink. I thought I'd get back to Noodles & Co later, but I didn't. These got consumed in their entirety once I reached the room.

Had a fancy local root beer in the bar that night. Then went up to the Governor's Club lounge for desserts. A strawberry cupcake that was hard and dry and not very good, and a chocolate coffee trifle that was very good. (The con hotel does better with chocolate than other types of dessert.)

Breakfast was also in the Governor's Club lounge. Scrambled eggs (sometimes these seemed to have cheese, other times not), fruit that's mostly melon and pineapple, and various breakfast pastries. (They also have yogurt, cereal, bagels, english muffins, etc.)

I may forget the order of things after this point.


Mirch Masala(?) It's sort of around back of the hotel. I think I ate there last year, but if so, they've remodeled and might be under new management. Ate here with Kimberly, who reminded me we had the ASL dinner together last year, and with people she'd gathered. Some of them were new to Wiscon.

Decided I like (* is a wildcard):
paneer *
* korma
* pakoor (if that's the chick pea batter)
samosas are okay

They serve a buffet earlier in the day, so that might be a good option for some. Someday I will try Indian drinks, such as lassi.

The Fountain

For the gender variant dinner, we ate here. It's really close to the hotel and is probably new this year. It's a burger and sandwiches place, but it has not only one veggie burger option, but two! I had a portobello mushroom, but I could've had a black bean burger. They were a little slow. Our party was about a half a dozen, so not so terribly large. Fortunately its proximity to the hotel meant I didn't miss the start of the Tiptree Auction. Also had sweet potato fries.

Got a smoothie from the farmer's market. Pineapple. Mmm.
Had a free piece of Ian's mac and cheese pizza at the appdev meeting. So I never got into Ian's on my own and got my card punched for another year. Woe. Also, they moved across the street.
Bought a cheesecake chocolate brownie thingee from the Tiptree bakesale. Yum.
Lucked into a fresh batch of popcorn at the consuite once. Got soda and water there on other occasions.

Never had dessert again in the governor's club lounge. Did have breakfast most every day there. Had hors d'oeuvres once. Tortilla chips and black bean dip, veggies and bleu cheese dip, and veggie dumpling things that I didn't very much. Also a Shirley Temple.

Various chocolates from the reg desk or parties. Really knew better than to stick any in my pocket, but did it anyway. I had to throw my mp3 player's earbuds out (they were old anyway) and clean the player as best I could.

Looked at the pasty shop's veggie options, decided I wasn't interested. Failed to find the food cart at the farmer's market that last year had great Thai wraps.

Dessert salon, I had the chocolate mousse, because that's consistently good. Had the wrong shaped spoon for it. The pecan pie thing had a hard crust that wouldn't cut with my fork, so I just ate the topping off of it. Went back later for a chocolate decadent cake thing that gave me a good shot of sugar and caffeine. Not sure if it had coffee in it or not.

I think that was everything. Never enough opportunities to eat at all the cool places. Plus I felt I should eat in the governor's club lounge when I could, since I was paying a premium for the privilege.

Wiscon 36 Con Report - Travel Edition Part 2

Turns out a shuttle from the hotel across the street from where I live is cheaper than the cab to the bus station + bus ticket. So I'll be doing that more often in the future. The downside is no wifi on the shuttle, but it's a shorter trip.

Flying into Chicago and taking a bus from there worked okay. Except that I arrived a bit later than I wanted to and left earlier than I wanted to. Pricewise, it was the right decision. I left the hotel around 9:30am on Monday. I could've taken the 11:30 bus instead of the 10, but it would've cut it close at the airport. If traffic was heavier or the line at security longer, I might've been in trouble. And I would've worried the whole time that I'd miss my flight.

If I do the bus thing next year, I'll probably just pay for the bus when I get on the bus, rather than buying an e-ticket ahead of time. That way if there's a plane delay until the next day, I won't be out the cost of the bus ticket. But seriously, I need to buy plane tickets sooner and just fly straight to Madison. (Well, not straight, there'd be at least one plane change.)

On the flight back, I was across the aisle from a baby. Which was mostly a problem when the presumed father stood up in the aisle to jiggle the baby. At the exact time all the flight attendants and people going to the bathroom decided they needed to walk by. All elbows and butts for like 10 minutes.

Also there was a dentist or oral surgeon a few rows ahead of me and I could clearly see (could hardly avoid seeing) the powerpoint presentation he was working on. Teeth and mouths are gross.

American Airlines is very alienating. I was 'group 3' both times. How I ended up 'group 3' and not 'group 1' or 'group 2', I have no idea. But after they board all the super awesome people who bought super awesome crazy expensive tickets, and the super awesome veterans, and the super awesome I don't even know what, they boarded group 1 like 10 minutes later. Then group 2. Then me. And it's not based on where I was sitting either. You know, load the back of the plane first? No. For 9$ extra, I could've boarded sooner. Screw that. They also want you to pay more for super awesome (not really) seats. Like, the exit row? Hello? Since when was that a prime spot? (I always go for one over the wing, but not the exit row. I can't handle responsibility.)

Also, the chick taking boarding passes was delusional about carryon luggage. She thought my backpack wouldn't fit under the seat, I assured her it would. She said then my feet wouldn't. I assured her they would. Hey, I'm short, my feet don't even rest flat on the floor of the plane. I think I can handle sharing the footspace with part of my backpack. Not that I needed to. She also made me test my other carryon in the metal space-testing thing. It slid right in neat as you please. See, chick? It's fine. The only difficulty was my right arm got tired lugging the bag up the aisle of the plane and then I needed help getting it into the overhead bin. (I had done it fine on the bus.) Books, y'know. Heavy things. :)

American Airlines clearly states on their board while you're waiting to uh.. board, that first class people get a meal. And regular slubs get 'beverage'. And they mean it too. No snacks. And they ran out of ginger ale!

Southwest and Jetblue are definitely my top choices for airlines. Next time I might even pay a bit extra for them.

Lessons learned: Southwest or Jetblue if at all possible. Fly into Madison if at all reasonable. Take shuttle to airport. Pay for buses on the fly, not ahead of time.

Also, I think I'll arrive on Wednesday or leave on Tuesday next year. I haven't decided which.

Wiscon 36 Con Report - Book Edition

Books I failed to buy, that I had intended to:

Steam-powered 2 -- Didn't find it in the dealer's room.
Are You My Mother? -- Decided it was too heavy and also that I didn't want to pay full price. Sorry, AROOO!
a & e 4ever -- Intended to buy it from Lethe Press, but they weren't there(!) I saw it at one point somewhere, but then when I realized Lethe Press wasn't there, I couldn't find it again.
Diamond Eyes by aa bell -- I admit I didn't search assiduously for this one.
Courier's New Bicycle -- This is only out in Australia, but since it's on the Tiptree list, I thought AROOO might have it. If they did, it wasn't in the dealer's room. I asked. I never did get over to the actual store.
Legends of Australian Fantasy -- Also only Australia. I didn't ask, since if they didn't have one, they didn't have this. It's older, I think.
Subscription to Cascadia Subduction Zone -- I tried to get a deal, but Aqueduct Press seemed a little thrown by the idea. They had a new checkout system. I'll consider subbing online.

ARCs acquired at Galley Ho! at the Gathering:
Zombie Stories - Kelly Link and a few other people were in it. Otherwise, zombies, meh.
Losers in Space - Had this on my wish list, so score!
I'll Get There, It Better Be Worth the Trip - The 'first' gay YA. I read it recently, but thought it'd be nice to have a copy.
Buffy and the Heroine's Journey
wow, the resolution on this photo is bad...
Vampire ???.. I can't read it. Have to check the actual book later.
?? by Alex Sanchez - An Alex Sanchez I haven't read. (I've only read a couple, so it's not that unusual.)
Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead - This is like book 3 of a series I haven't read, but I like her other stuff.
Seven Princes by ??? Fultz - I walked by this a couple times, then finally got it. I like the title more than anything.

ARC won at Outer Alliance Party, yay!!
Adaptation by Malinda Lo - Yay!!

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Yay, books!

Wiscon 36 Con Report - Travel Edition

Nearly an hour after I left my house, 35.50$ poorer, I am now a 5 minute car ride away from my house. But, hey, free wifi. Anyway, it turns out an airport shuttle is cheaper and while it wouldn't pick me up directly at my house for that price, it would pick me up at the hotel across the street. This bus is more crowded than I'm used to seeing it.

So because I procrastinated and because airlines go under and restructure and whatnot, I couldn't get a reasonably-priced plane ticket straight to Madison. This year I'll be flying into Chicago and taking a bus from there. It's not ideal, but I couldn't justify the ~300$ otherwise. Maybe when I'm rich and famous. Or at least rich. Although if you're famous, it's easy to be rich. Funny how that works.

Have now run out of things to do to take advantage of this free wifi and am contemplating turning the comp off and reading a book on the ereader.

Plan tonight is to get to the hotel by 6ish *fingers crossed*, check in, get some food, and see if Access or any other con department needs some help tonight.

Still don't know what I'm reading at the OA reading, but I printed out two Clarion stories if I fail to write a new story in the next 48 hours or so. Turns out I really gayed it up at Clarion. :)

In other news, I submitted two things to markets yesterday. Should hear back in a few weeks.

While I have your attention, I'll be doing the Clarion write-a-thon again this year. So be ready to support a great writing workshop!

Wiscon Thingees!

Do you want a livejournal or dreamwidth userpic sticker at the Livejournal party? Say so here.

Also, Wiscon will have ASL interpretation this year! A few more details here. If you have questions, do contact the access email address! Please let any ASL users who are sf/f fans/writers know. Wiscon will also have CART captioning at the Guest of Honor Speeches/Tiptree Award ceremony for the second year in a row.

I've also seen people posting trying to give up and/or share a governor's club room, so if you're looking for a room, there's probably one available. Governor's Club is more expensive, but you do get some free food.

Oh yea, and the schedule is up! I'm afraid of looking to see what I'll be missing Monday as I board a bus for Chicago. :(

Wiscon Schedule

Because all the cool kids are doing it, here's my Wiscon schedule:

Friday 9pm - 10:15pm
YA Love Triangles - Cultural Advance or Retreat?
A common theme in popular YA novels, spec fic and otherwise, is the ongoing love triangle—usually one girl who is in love with two boys. So far, she always chooses just one of them. Why is this so popular right now? Does it support at least thoughts of polyamory, or does the average reader refuse to consider that option? Is the love triangle meant to demonstrate conclusively that only heteronormative couples are acceptable? Have any YA writers been specifically working against this trend?

Saturday 10am-11:15
Introduction to Broad Universe
Broad Universe is an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres. Come meet some of our members and learn more about this amazing organization.

Saturday 10:30pm-11:45
Outer Alliance: New Writings in LGBTQ SF/F/H
We'll be reading from recent work featuring LGBTQ protagonists and themes. Outer Alliance is an organization created to combat homophobia in sf/f and provide greater visibility for positive portrayals of LGBTQ/Quiltbag-themed work.

There are people more awesome than me on all of these things, so come check 'em out!

I'm not much of a party person, but I plan to stop in at the Outer Alliance one and the Beyond Binary one. And probably the video one, because watching videos is more my speed party-wise. And if there's a Buffy sing-a-long, I've practiced this year! I know the words!

I have a dessert salon ticket. I don't ever want to miss the Tiptree auction. And I'll probably swing by the BU Rapidfire Reading.

I have some ideas on the YA love triangles panel. Obviously, or I wouldn't have volunteered for that one. But I'm taking recs! I have about a month to read some more.

Wiscon Reading!

Not reading, as in, I'm reading, though I probably will be in the Broad Universe RapidFire Reading. No, I mean reading as in... homework!

It occurred to me I should start my Wiscon reading. Get a good start on it. The Tiptree Awards won't be announced for several months yet, so I could read all the recommendations so far, but that could add up to a lot of reading! I could also read more of the honor list from last year, and in general fill out my Tiptree reading.

I should also read some GoH books. I have Andrea Hairston's Mindscape, bought at a previous Wiscon. Which is also on a Tiptree honor list, so.. double score there.

I expect people to be talking about N. K. Jemisin's The Kingdom of Gods and I've finished that. Oh, I should catch up on Ooku. First I have to figure out which ones I've bought and not read! So I can figure out which other ones to buy. I can also read more Fumi Yoshinaga. Again, some bought and not read.

I should also do some more reading of women in SF anthologies, of which I have several. More Joanna Russ couldn't hurt.

Are there any particular books out this year/coming soon that you guys think will be a hot topic at Wiscon?

And if you have any books/stories/poems to suggest to the Tiptree jury, you can do it at the link above. Deadline is December 31st.