This past week we drove to Denver to attend Denvention3, the 66th World Science Fiction Convention. There were the usual mishaps involving registration, the dealers room, and the art show, but overall the convention was wonderful. The kids programming, in particular, was stellar. Emily and Woodrow had so much fun that they’re begging to go to next year’s worldcon in Canada.My favorite part of the convention was discovering Wil McCarthy. I didn’t know that McCarthy was a “local writer,” living in Denver, Colorado. I had read two of his earlier novels: Aggresor Six and The Fall of Sirius. The first one was interesting, though I didn’t find too rewarding. The second was a lot more promising, but again, it just didn’t make me fall in love.
But listening to McCarthy was a completely different experience. He is phenomenal, and his command of science very clear. I was so impressed that I’ve already bought his non-fiction book Hacking Matter, and I will probably give his fiction another shot as well. He also reawakened my love of “hard” SF, so Brin, Baxter, and Benford are on my short reading list, too.
We also enjoyed the masquerade and the Hugo awards ceremony. The Hugos were spectacular. I’m glad to say that my favorites won in their respective categories. I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not vote for the Hugos, but that’s just because I hadn’t seen or read all of the nominated works. I plan to do better next year!
Science fiction conventions are not just about finding new books to read. Most of the time is spent enjoying the conventions and the company of other fans, and of course, the parties. We had a good opportunity in Denvention, since many of our fannish friends from Texas made the trip. We especially enjoyed getting together with Karen Meschke, whom we had not seen in about five years. She will be the fan guest of honor at next year’s ArmadilloCon, so we’ll be making the trip out there in August to celebrate her.
The big surprise was how much the kids enjoyed the convention. Woodrow followed his sister everywhere he went and generally enjoyed the kids programming and the dealers room. Emily dressed up two of the convention days, and she got lots of compliments. Mom and I (OK, mostly just I) are worried at the attention she got from the boys at the convention. We (OK, just I) are thinking about dressing her in burlap until she graduates from college.