Making Sacrifices — Panels That Cannot Be

In every convention, there are always panels we have to miss, be it due to time constraints, schedule mixups, or being too tired from partying all night the night before. I’m aware of this fact. I’ve come to terms with it.

… except this time for Worldcon, I’m just kicking myself for not going the full five days.

I have my reasons! It’s pretty expensive to do a Worldcon, and at the time I thought I’d be working. It’s just, coincidentally, I’m actually working fewer hours this week (which I didn’t know in advance) so I feel like a moron for not going for the full five days, hotel costs be damned.

The panels that I’m missing, though, would have been a huge boon for my work. I’m going to list them here, for posterity. And actually, if anyone reading this blog happens to be going to these panels, I’d love to know what’s said at them! Or heck, if there are, for whatever reason, youtube videos, or anything really, please point them to me.

ANYWAY:

WEDNESDAY

Opening Ceremony — 3:00 pm, C04 — Self explanatory. I’ve actually only been to one convention opening ceremony before in my life, period; I feel like I should go to more. Not this one though, I guess.

Done to Death: Program Topics that have Outstayed their Welcome — 4:00 pm, A10“Which common panel topics should be retired, and why? When does a topic become outdated and cliche?” This panel would have been a great way to get a feeling for the convention environment, to see what people want to talk about and what con veterans are tired of.

Tim Powers’ “On Stranger Tides” — 4:00 pm, A13 — Okay, I admit it — this one isn’t so much for this project as it is because I just really liked On Stranger Tides. That, and a friend of mine did ask me to write him an 800 word article on Tim Powers! But even if I was there Wednesday, this’d conflict with the “Done to Death” panel.

Fandom Online: Is the argument over? What was (is?) the argument about? — 5:00 pm, A16 “Many SF fans are part of the online community too. Yet we seem to keep emphasizing opposition rather than overlap. Are some of us always looking for a fight or is there still real cause for concern?” — For me, this would have been just more of a barometer for SF fandom itself, getting a feel for what the online community is like.

THURSDAY

Convention Running 101: Legal Compliance for Non-Profits — 11:00 am, A18“So you want to run a convention? What do you need to do to be a nonprofit? You’re working on a con? What can you write off? What are your obligations?” Do I even need to explain why I wanted to go to this panel? Do I??? Holy mother of god, this is everything I’ve been wanting and needing to know! I’ve been looking for so long to find out the technical aspects behind running cons, and this is just the ticket, especially since I got asked to help run a convention for the fans of the webcomic MS Paint Adventures (Don’t quote me on that — not sure if I can make the commitment). But I can’t go, as I will be on a plane until 8:30 pm.

Anime Cons: When will they grow up? 12:00 pm, A09“Is the program at anime cons essentially free publicity venues for distributors? If so, will this change?” This has been a question in my mind ever since I broke out of the anime con circuit and realized that at other cons, you have panels that are actually about things. Like, for instance, the state of the industry, or how to break in, or the physics of superheroes, or nanobots, or whatever, while anime cons you have panels on… Gaia Online. Or Yaoi panels that are basically an hour of fansqueeing with no real discussion about anything. It also would have been a good way for me to launch my research into anime cons, to get really started with that avenue of inquiry.

How did we get to where we are? A Brief History of the Hugos — 5:00 pm, A16“We take a look at the awards from the first Science Fiction Achievement Awards in 1953. Categories have come and gone over the years, including the #1 Fan Personality. What category was strongly considered to be dropped in the mid-70s. Why were there so many variations in the categories? How were the winners chosen, really? Other alternatives?” — History of the Hugos, folks! This is stuff I need to know. Again.

Regional and National Conventions: Past, Present, and Future — 5:00 pm, A18“The regional and national SF convention, while it does not date to the very beginnings of fandom, has a long and interesting history. Our panel looks back at days gone by and speculates on the future.” I would have had to pick between the Hugo panel and this one; I’d pick this one. This panel is about the thing I am writing this book on, right here, it is the perfect panel. And. I’m missing it. Whoops.

This isn’t to say that I’m not going to a whole bunch of great panels. Indeed, tomorrow I’ll have a full schedule up of the panels I’m trying to go to. This is just me lamenting what I’ve missed. Again! If you or someone you know are going to these, please tell me, so I can press them for information.

Even with me missing Wednesday and Thursday, I’m looking forward to this con. I just hope I can afford Chicon 7 next year (it’s… unlikely. But I’ll do my best.)

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