A Mid MidAmeriCon Con Update ( WorldCon )

Well, everything certainly is up to date in Kansas City. Despite our early trepidation about being lodged so far from the convention, the KC Streetcar is fast and efficient and the estimated wait times and travel times seem to be based on the worst reasonable traffic assumptions. WorldCon 74 is better run than our worst fears based on administrivial SNAFUs in the run-up, although I have to say that even at its best, we still find ourselves missing WisCon, and our absent friends.

Jack and I have been working on our routine for plugging Ligature Works in a way that plays to both of our strengths (neither of us are the most naturally forward people) and have given many authors and poets the good news. I’ve also had the interesting experience of telling people who know me as a poet that I’m also a humorist, those who know me as a humorist that I’m also a serialist, and so on, while telling all of them that I’m also an editor/publisher.

This con thing is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. The first two days, many people are still in transit or just arriving. We’ve been retiring relatively early in the day so far (around 6 Wednesday, just before 10 last night) in order to pace ourselves for the main event. So I feel like we have missed out on some of the real social culture of the convention, but I’m looking forward to rectifying that.

I’ve already had the pleasure of participating in a massive File 770 bar meetup, which allowed me to put faces (or at least name tags) to the names of some of my biggest boosters over the course of last year’s Puppy-related posts. Several people have approached me to tell me how much they enjoyed Sad Puppies Review Books or John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author and I Myself Am Quite Popular, my takedown of Vox Day’s commercialized grudgewank he poorly disguised as a definitive guide to fighting “SJWs”.

My weirdly intimidating aura seems to be in full effect, though. Yesterday, Jack could barely get out of the building for all the people who suddenly wanted to talk to him or have him pass things along when he ran back to the hotel to grab something I forgot. I really wish I had a better way to signal that it’s cool to just come up and say howdy directly. I’m not the most sociable person but cons are a good context for practicing the arts of diplomancy.

The rumors that I’m Chuck Tingle also still seem to be in full effect, as people keep going on fishing expeditions with Jack. I really don’t get it, beyond he writes funny things and I write funny things. There’s quite a difference in styles. I think it’s like how people assume every parody song is by Weird Al? I don’t know. People are far less willing to talk about it to me directly, so I can’t really ask what they’re thinking. I just read about it in comment sections and message boards, and hear about it from my partner and friends who have been questioned.

Anyway, whether it’s direct or indirect, I have enjoyed hearing from so many people that they enjoyed my satirical works. It is really nice to know people have been thinking of me and talking about my work. I also appreciate being told I was on people’s nomination lists, and while I appreciate the sentiment, I do wish people would stop telling me I was robbed. I think I was probably a longshot in my first year of getting any buzz to begin with, and the idea that the Hugo is anyone’s to be stolen away in the first place is the kind of mindset that gives us Puppies. The Hugo belongs to the winners. It is an honor conferred, not the systematic result of a process one author can initiate for themselves.

And whether or not you make the shortlist, it is still an honor to be nominated. If Larry Correia had understood what an honor it was to be picked out of thousands to be one of the finalists for the Campbell Award, we wouldn’t have had Sad Puppies to begin with. Though if we didn’t have Sad Puppies, I wouldn’t have had my breakout year as a satirist.

(All that being said, if someone taps me on the shoulder or drops me a line to usher me to the Losers’ Party, I will be absolutely over the moon. But if not this year, I’m sure I’ll get there someday. No one is owed a Hugo, but I am a born loser.)